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SPE 97099

Fundamental PVT Calculations for Associated and Gas/Condensate Natural


Gas Systems
R.P. Sutton, Marathon Oil Co.

Copyright 2005, Soc iety of Petroleum Engineers


This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2005 SPE Annual Technical Conference and
Exhibition held in Dallas, Texas, U.S.A., 9 12 October 2005.
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of
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presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to
correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any
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Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax 01-972-952-9435.

Abstract
Problems with existing procedures used to estimate gas PVT
properties are identified. The situation is reviewed and
methods proposed to alleviate these problems. Natural gases
are derived from two basic sources associated gas which is
liberated from oil and gas condensates where hydrocarbon
liquid, if present, is vaporized in the gas phase. The two gases
are fundamentally different in that a high gravity associated
gas is typically rich in ethane through pentane while gas
condensates are rich in heptanes-plus. Additionally either type
of gas may contain nonhydrocarbon impurities such as
hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Failure to
properly distinguish between the two types of gases can result
in calculation errors in excess of those allowable for technical
work. Sutton investigated high gravity gas condensate gases
in 1985 and developed methods for estimating pseudocritical
properties which resulted in more accurate Z factors. The
method is suitable for all light natural gases and gas
condensate gases. It should not be used for high gravity
hydrocarbon gases that do not contain significant levels of
heptanes-plus. The original Sutton database of gas condensate
PVT properties has been expanded to 2264 gas compositions
with over 10,000 gas compressibility factor measurements. A
database of associated gas compositions containing over 3200
compositions has been created to evaluate suitable methods
for estimating PVT properties for this category of gas. Pure
component data for methane, methane-propane, methane-nbutane, methane-n-decane and methane-propane-n-decane has
been compiled to determine the suitability of the derived
methods. The Wichert55 database of sour gas compressibility
factors has been supplemented with additional field and pure
component data to investigate suitable adjustments to pseudocritical properties that ensure accurate estimates of
compressibility factors. Mathematical representations of
compressibility factor charts commonly used by the

engineering community and methods used by the geophysics


community are investigated. Generally these methods are
robust and have been found suitable for ranges beyond those
originally recommended. Natural gas viscosity, typically
estimated through correlation, has been found to be inadequate
for high gravity gas condensates requiring revised procedures
for accurate calculations.
Introduction
51
Since its publication in 1942, the Standing and Katz (SK)
gas Z factor chart has become a standard in the industry.
Several very accurate methods have been developed to
digitally represent the chart. The engineering community
26,27
typically uses methods published by Hall and Yarborough
16
(HY), Dranchuk, et al. (DPR) and Dranchuk and AbouKassem14 (DAK). These methods all utilize of some form of
an equation of state that has been specifically fitted to selected
digital Z factor chart data published by Poettmann42. The
geophysics community typically uses a method developed by
3
39
Batzle and Wang (BW). Recently, Londono, et al. (LAB)
refit the chart with an expanded data set resulting in a
modified DAK method. They provided 2 equations, one fit to
an expanded data set from the SK Z factor chart and another
which included pure component data.
A general gas Z factor chart, such as the one developed by
Standing and Katz, is based on the principal of corresponding
states31 . This principal states that two substances at the same
conditions referenced to critical pressure and temperature will
have similar properties. These conditions are referred to as
reduced pressure and reduced temperature. Therefore, if two
substances are compared at the same reduced conditions, the
substances will have similar properties. In the context of this
paper, the property of interest is the gas Z factor.
Mathematically, the SK chart relates Z factor to reduced
pressure and reduced temperature.

Z f pr , Tr ....................................................................(1)
where

pr

p
............................................................................ (2)
pc

T
Tr ...............................................................................(3)
Tc
For gas mixtures, the critical properties are replaced with
pseudocritical properties. These values have no physical
significance but serve as correlating parameters for
corresponding states calculations. How these pseudocritical
properties are determined can affect the accuracy in the
calculated Z factor.
The principle of corresponding states is not an exact law of
nature but will allow properties to be determined at sufficient
accuracy for engineering calculations. With this in mind, the
various Z factor methods, which are typically constrained to
reduced pressures of 30, were compared against an expanded
37
methane data set obtained from NIST . The method used by
NIST to generate methane Z factors reports a maximum
uncertainty of 0.15% up to pressures of 145,038 psia with a
limiting density of 28.185 lbm/ft3. While it is not envisioned
that there is a physical need to determine properties at these
high pressures, the industry is moving toward more extreme
pressure and temperature conditions as the search for
resources moves to deeper producing environments. Fig. 1
depicts the relationship between pressure and gas gravity for a
range of limiting reduced pressures and illustrates the need to
accurately perform calculations at reduced pressures in excess
of 30. Figs. 2 and 3 and Table 1 summarize method error and
standard deviation for the various Z factor methods. The DPR
method shows the overall lowest error but a higher standard
deviation. The DAK method strikes a balance between low
error and low standard deviation and is preferred for
calculations presented in this paper. In using the DAK method
at high pressures, the coding modifications suggested by
Borges4 must be made so that accurate Z factors will be
calculated. Failure to make this modification results in Z
factors that change exactly as pressure changes resulting in
constant density and formation volume factor.
Background
The original database of gas compositions and physical
properties constructed by Sutton53 20 years ago was
augmented with a significant amount of new data.
Historically, in the development of gas gravity critical
property relationships, gases were typically classed as natural
gas, miscellaneous gas or gas condensate. The natural gas and
miscellaneous gas are reflective of gases separated from crude
oil and will referred to as associated gases. Data taken from
the new database provides insight into these two gas types
from Fig. 4. Change in composition with hydrocarbon gas
gravity is annotated on the plot to aid in quantifying the
differences in the two gas types. High gravity associated
gases are typically rich in ethane through pentane while the
gas condensates exhibit high concentrations of heptanes-plus.
Associated gases can contain a significant amount of
heptanes-plus but this is usually the result of low separation
pressure or separation from a volatile crude oil.
Suttons method was targeted at gas condensates and showed
that Kays30 mixing rules were not suited to this category of
gas. In Kays original work, it was stated mole fraction

SPE 97099

weighted critical properties provided accurate values for most


engineering calculations. Pseudocritical properties determined
in this manner for mixtures with components that differ
greatly in molecular weight or are of a different chemical
54
nature are likely to be in error. Wichert and Aziz developed
a method to modify pseudocritical properties to account for
the presence of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide in the
18
gas. Eilerts examined natural gas and varied the amount of
nitrogen in the gas. No additional modifications to mixture
pseudocritical properties were required to predict accurate Z
factors. Sutton noted that gas compressibility factors were
underpredicted for high molecular weight gas condensates.
Mole fraction weighted critical properties did not work for this
class of gas due to the significant presence of heptanes-plus.
New methods fit to this class of gas resulted in pseudocritical
properties similar to those determined by mixing rules
presented by Joffe28 and Stewart, Burkhart and Voo52 (SBV).
Poling et al.43 recommend mixing rules proposed by Pausnitz
and Gunn. While better than Kays mixing rule, this method
is not as accurate as Joffe or SBV. Kays mixing rules should
be suitable for associated gases because they primarily consist
of the light paraffin gases methane through pentane.
Critical Property Gas Gravity Relationships (Associated
Gas)
Associated gas compositions and PVT properties were
collected from PVT reports of a worldwide origin43. The gas
compositions were the result of differential or single stage
flash experiments and separator tests. Compositional data
alone amounted to 3256 points. Data that included gas Z
factors totaled 967 compositions with 4817 measurements as
summarized below.

Property
Hydrogen Sulfide, mole %
Carbon Dioxide, mole %
Nitrogen, mole %
Total Gas Gravity
Hydrocarbon Gas Gravity
Pressure, psia
Temperature, F
Z Factor

Minimum
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.554
0.554
12
32
0.105

Maximum
10.0
55.8
21.7
1.862
1.862
10,000
460
2.328

Critical properties derived from Kays mixing rules are


presented in Fig. 5 as a function of gas gravity. The results are
not particularly suited to correlation because of nonhydrocarbon impurities and the presence of heptanes-plus. A
review of the literature reveals past work in this area limited
the acceptable level of gas impurities and heptanes-plus. This
data was limited to include only those gases with hydrogen
sulfide less than 2%, carbon dioxide less than 2%, nitrogen
less than 2% and heptanes-plus less than 3% resulting in Fig.
6. A relationship that can be easily correlated with gas gravity
is developed. Since the level of impurities is limited, this is
effectively a relationship of pseudocritical properties with
hydrocarbon gas gravity.
Associated gases are typically characterized as having a low

SPE 97099

heptanes-plus component; however, as illustrated by Fig. 7, it


can be present in significant quantities. If this is the case, the
pseudocritical property relationships for gas condensates
should be used. Fig. 8 illustrates the change in hydrocarbon
gas gravity with changes in pressure. At reservoir conditions,
the gas is typically characterized as being relatively light (
g<
0.8) with the gravity increasing at lower separation pressures.

comparison with Standings method is provided below. Errors


as a function of gas specific gravity are provided in Figs. 11
and 12.

Standing50 reviewed the method for determining hydrocarbon


gas gravity for gases containing nonhydrocarbons. The
hydrocarbon portion of the total gas gravity and the
hydrocarbon gas gravity are determined as follows:

Critical Property Gas Gravity Relationships (Gas


Condensate)
In a prior work, Sutton developed new critical property - gas
gravity relationships for gas condensates. This work has been
confirmed by Piper et al.41 and Elsharkawy et al.19,20,21 who
developed similar relationships summarized in Table A-1.
5,6,7,10,11,17,18,23,25,32,34,40,41,44,45,46,48,49,56,57
Recent additions
to the
original Sutton database of gas condensates resulted in a
review of critical property gas gravity relationships. The
updated database contained 2264 compositions with 10,177
measurement of gas Z factor as summarized below

y HC 1 y H 2 S y CO2 y H2 S ............................................ (4)

g y H2 S M H 2 S y CO2 M CO 2 y N 2 M N 2 M air
gHC
. (5)
y HC
The associated gas data was processed in this manner and
compared with a limited data set. As shown in Fig. 9, the
relationships are essentially identical confirming Standings
technique. It should be pointed out that the relationship
depicted in Fig. 9 is nonlinear and best represented with a
quadratic form of equation. Abd-El Fattah1 summarized many
of the published gas gravity-pseudo critical property
relationships. Approximately 20 equations sets have been
published over the years and the majority of the equations are
linear.
These linear equations can only possibly be
representative over a limited range of gas gravity.
50
Standings equations best represent this data set over the
entire range as shown in Fig. 9.

ppcHC 667 15gHC 37.5 2gHC .....................................(6)


2

T pcHC 168 325 gHC 12.5 gHC ....................................(7)

A nonlinear regression routine was developed to infer


pseudocritical properties for the edited hydrocarbon gas data
set. Since the data is comprised of a single measurement of Z
factor for a given gas composition, the regression took the
form of solving for the coefficients of the quadratic equation
that relates the pseudocritical properties to gas gravity in order
to minimize the error in calculated Z factor. The resulting
equations are
2
p pcHC 671. 1 14gHC 34.3 gHC
.................................(8)
2
T pcHC 120 .1 429 gHC 62. 9 gHC
.................................(9)

A comparison of the new method, Standings method and


critical properties derived from compositions and Kays
mixing rules are provided in Fig. 10. Natural gas Z factors
from the database, and data from the literature47 including pure
component and binary data were used to test the pseudocritical
property relationships. Accuracy of the new method for
calculating the Z factor for hydrocarbon gases and a

Method
Standing
Sutton

% AE
-0.18
-0.07

Std Dev
1.23
1.03

Property
Hydrogen Sulfide, mole %
Carbon Dioxide, mole %
Nitrogen, mole %
Total Gas Gravity
Hydrocarbon Gas Gravity
Pressure, psia
Temperature, F
Z Factor

% AAE
0.95
0.80

Minimum
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.556
0.554
12
0
0.129

Std Dev
0.80
0.66

Maximum
90.0
89.9
33.3
2.667
2.819
17,065
460
2.795

A relationship between condensate yield determined from


composition and hydrocarbon wellstream gravity is presented
in Fig 13. Using data from single phase, constant composition
expansion (CCE) experiments, pseudocritical properties were
determined for each gas utilizing nonlinear regression
methods. A subset of the database for gases with low levels of
nonhydrocarbon impurities (hydrogen sulfide < 2%, carbon
dioxide < 2% and nitrogen < 2%) is plotted in Fig. 14. It is
important to note that as with the associated gases, the
relationships presented in these figures form a relationship of
hydrocarbon pseudocritical properties with hydrocarbon gas
gravity. Modifications to pseudocritical properties to account
for nonhydrocarbons will be discussed later. Furthermore, the
highest gas condensate hydrocarbon gas gravity in the
database is 1.912. In order to better define relationships for
high gravity gases, pseudocritical properties were correlated
for oils. It is interesting to note that these relationships
extended to oils with molecular weights in excess of 300.
However, for this work data analysis was limited to a range
more appropriate for gas condensate systems.
The entire database includes numerous data from constant
volume depletion (CVD) experiments. As this data includes
only a single measurement of Z factor for each composition,
the analysis techniques used with the CCE data cannot be
utilized. The CVD data can be combined with the CCE data
and coefficients for quadratic polynomial equations
determined through nonlinear regression. The resulting
equations are

SPE 97099

2
ppcHC 744 125 .4 gHC 5. 9gHC
..................................(10)
2

T pcHC 164 .3 357 .7 gHC 67.7 gHC ..............................(11)

A comparison of results from this equation with selected


literature pseudocritical property methods is given in Figs. 15
and 16. A statistical analysis of calculated Z factors with
measured data resulting from the use of these methods is
provided below.
Method
% AE
Sutton 1985
0.52
Piper
0.40
Elsharkawy
0.81
Sutton 2005 -0.10

Std Dev
2.15
1.89
3.28
1.46

% AAE
1.43
1.49
1.86
1.11

Std Dev
1.70
1.23
2.82
0.96

Graphs for each method displaying the resulting error in Z


factor as a function of gas gravity are given in Figs. 17-20.
Comparison of the new relationships developed for both
associated gases and gas condensates is presented in Fig. 21.
Nonhydrocarbon Gas Impurities
Natural gas often contains nonhydrocarbon components.
Hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen are typically
identified and are found in varying amounts. Graphs of
component distribution with gas gravity are provided in Figs.
22-24.
Hydrocarbon pseudocritical properties are modified as follows
to account for the nonhydrocarbon components50.

p*pc

y HC p pcHC y H2 S p cH 2 S yCO 2 p cCO2 y N 2 p cN 2 ...(12)

*
T pc
y HC T pcHC y H S T cH S y CO T cCO y N T cN .......(13)
2

Wichert and Aziz determined that pseudocritical properties


must be further modified as follows to account for the
presence of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide in the gas.

120 y CO2 y H 2 S

0 .5

15 y H 2 S y H 2 S

0 .9 yCO

y H 2S

1 .6

...................(14)

*
T pc T pc
......................................................................(15)

*
p*pc T pc

p pc
*
T pc
y H S 1 y H
2

2S

...........................................(16)

Piper and Elsharkawy provide alternatives to the Wichert and


Aziz method for modifying or adjusting the pseudocritical
properties. In order to determine the suitability of each
method, pure component data from API Project 37 was
evaluated. Results for methane hydrogen sulfide mixtures
are presented in Fig. 25 while results for methane carbon
dioxide mixtures are presented in Fig. 26. The Wichert and

Aziz method was used to adjust pseudocritical properties for


methane derived from Standings equations (Eqns. 6 and 7).
At low levels of impurities, all of the methods perform
reasonable well, but errors increase dramatically as the
nonhydrocarbon content level increases.
Clearly, the
modifications proposed by Wichert and Aziz are superior
compared with the other available methods.
Wichert and Aziz originally proposed alternatives to Eqn. 14
for different methods of determining pseudocritical properties.
Therefore it is appropriate to modify the coefficients and
exponents in this equation in order to tune the equation for
optimal use with the proposed new relationships. Utilizing
nonlinear regression techniques, the resulting equation was
derived:

107. 6 y CO2 y H2 S y CO2 y H 2S

0. 06

0 . 68

5. 9 y H 2 S y H 2 S

2.2

...................(17)

A comparison of this equation with Wichert and Aziz is


presented in Figs. 27 and 28 for varying amounts of hydrogen
sulfide and carbon dioxide. Despite a significant change to the
coefficients and exponents, the new relationship is similar to
that originally proposed by Wichert and Aziz with only a
minor offsets in the results. Eqn. 17 was tested using the
newly developed pseudocritical property relationships. The
results are plotted in Fig. 21 and 22 for comparison with other
methods. The resulting accuracy in predicted Z factor is
marginally changed by the new relationship.
Eilerts analyzed the effect of varying nitrogen content on Z
factor. Measurements were taken on a natural gas. Two
different levels of nitrogen contamination were then added to
the gas and new measurements acquired. Methods proposed
by Standing (Eqns. 4, 5, 12 and 13), Piper and Elsharkawy to
account for nitrogen in the gas mixture were evaluated against
this data. Standings method to account for the effects of
nitrogen was tested using Standings pseudocritical property
equations (Eqns. 6 and 7) and the new equations proposed in
this paper (Eqns. 8, 9, 10 and 11) for hydrocarbon
pseudocritical properties. Results are presented in Fig. 29.
Errors are relatively flat as the nitrogen content changes
except for equations proposed for Elsharkawy.
Statistical analyses utilizing the entire database are presented
below

Method
Standing
Sutton 2005

Associated Gases
% AE Std Dev % AAE
-0.13
1.38
1.05
-0.16
1.20
0.91

Std Dev
0.90
0.79

Method
Sutton 1985
Piper
Elsharkawy
Sutton 2005

Gas Condensates
% AE Std Dev % AAE
0.49
1.84
1.34
0.81
4.11
1.91
0.52
6.09
2.85
-0.11
1.42
1.11

Std Dev
1.35
3.73
5.40
0.89

SPE 97099

The new pseudocritical property methods were tested with the


original Wichert and Aziz equations. The improvements
offered by Eqn. 17 are subtle.
Method
Sutton 2005 AG
Sutton 2005 GC

% AE
-0.15
0.01

Std Dev
1.20
1.50

% AAE
0.92
1.16

Std Dev
0.79
0.94

Gas Viscosity
Gas viscosity is a property infrequently measured by PVT
laboratories. Several correlation alternatives are available for
estimating this quantity. These include methods proposed by
9,13,15
29
Carr, et al.
(CKB), Jossi, et al. (JST) which was adopted
38
by Lohrenz, Bray and Clark (LBC), Dean and Stiel 12 (DS),
Lee, et al.36 (LGE) and Lucas 43. Recently Londono, et al.39
(LAB) updated LGE to provide a more accurate method for
predicting the viscosity of pure component and light natural
gas mixtures. These methods are summarized in Table A-2.
Laboratories typically present a calculated gas viscosity. Prior
to the mid-1980s, the CKB method was used almost
exclusively, but then changed to LGE. LGE was developed as
35,36
study. The resulting
a result of the API Project 65
equation reflects pure component gases and 8 natural gases
with specific gravity less than 0.77. The reported accuracy of
the method was a standard deviation of +2.69% with a
maximum deviation of 8.99%. The LGE method results from
a modification of the Starling and Ellington equation.

T
gsc exp X
T gY
....................................................(17)

The LGE equations are presented as follows:

g 104 K exp X Yg .......................................................(18)


where
1. 5
9.4 0. 02 M
T

gsc 104 K

209 19 M T

...................................(19)

986
X 3. 5 0. 01M .....................................................(20)
T
Y 2. 4 0. 2 X ...................................................................(21)

As such the LGE equation for K is essentially a low


pressure gas viscosity. Comparisons of this quantity derived
to the various methods are presented in Fig. 30. For gases
which derive their gravity from light hydrocarbon
components, the resulting relationships provide similar values
for low pressure viscosity. The methods proposed by CKB,
LGE and LAB all correlate low pressure gas viscosity with
gas gravity (or molecular weight) and temperature. JST, DS
(which is essentially the same as JST) and Lucas correlate this
low pressure gas viscosity with temperature, molecular

weight, pseudocritical temperature and pseudocritical


pressure.
If the associated gas pseudocritical property
relationships are utilized, the second group of correlations
provides results similar to the first group. However, for gas
condensates, the behavior of low pressure viscosity with
changing gas gravity is markedly different for JST, DS and
Lucas.
Gas viscosity is determined by multiplying the low pressure
viscosity by a viscosity ratio or through a correlation of excess
viscosity. Both viscosity ratio and excess viscosity are
correlated with either density or reduced density. For
comparison, all of the methods were re-expressed as a
viscosity ratio as presented in Fig. 31. The methods all exhibit
similar trends. Problems are evident with CKB which make it
unsuitable for use with high pressure and/or high gas gravity
scenarios.
Considerable research has been published in recent years for
2,8,33
. This binary can be used
methane-decane binary mixtures
to approximate the behavior of a gas condensate which can
have a significant heptanes-plus component. A statistical
analysis of the viscosity methods shows a strong tendency to
underpredict viscosity for high gravity gas condensate
systems. In particular, the LGE method was tested against
several gas condensate and methane-decane binary mixtures
with results shown in Fig. 32.
Reviewing the methods, it is apparent that developing a
correlation for viscosity of both associated gases and gas
condensates needs to address the differences in each gas type.
The resulting errors are significantly larger than those
originally reported by LGE. For this reason, the method of
Lucas for low pressure viscosity was selected. The method
proposed by LGE for viscosity ratio was selected because of
its simplicity and acceptability by the petroleum industry.
Nonlinear regression was then utilized to refit the coefficients
in the LGE equation. A database consisting of viscosity data
for methane, propane, methane-propane, methane-butane,
methane-n-decane
and
natural
gas
from
the
2,8,19,33,35,36,39
literature
was combined with laboratory measured
gas condensate viscosity45 . The available data consisted of
5881 points covering the following ranges:
Property
Hydrogen Sulfide, mole %
Carbon Dioxide, mole %
Nitrogen, mole %
Heptanes-plus, mole %
Gas Gravity
Pressure, psia
Temperature, R
Viscosity, cp

Minimum
0
0
0
0
0.554
14.7
-45.7
0.0083

Maximum
1.7
8.9
5.2
24.3
1.861
20305
1112
0.435

Literature data was measured with a capillary tube, vibrating


wire, oscillating cup and falling-body viscometers.
Laboratory measurements of the gas condensates were
acquired mostly with a rolling ball viscometer although a
Cambridge viscometer was used for one sample. While there
are more accurate methods for measuring the viscosity of gas

SPE 97099

condensate, this data provides an indication of values and


compelling evidence that the methods presently used to
calculate viscosity underpredict this quantity. The nonlinear
regression of the data using proposed relationships resulted in
the following equation:

g gsc exp X Yg ...........................................................(22)


where

1588
X 3. 47
0.0009 M .............................................(23)
T
Y 1.66378 0. 04679 X ...................................................(24)

The low pressure gas viscosity used in Eqn. 22 is derived from


Lucas.

0. 618

0.807 T pr 0.357 exp 0.449 T pr


.....(25)
gsc 10 4
0.340 exp 4.058 T pr 0.018

where
16

T pc
0. 9490 3 4 ................................................. (26)
M p pc

A comparison of the new viscosity ratio method with methods


from the literature is provided in Fig. 31. A comparison of the
proposed method with methods from the literature is provided
in Figs. 33-38. The statistical results covering the entire
viscosity data set is as follows:
Method
CKB
JST
DS
LGE
Lucas
LAB
Sutton

% AE
-8.2
-8.9
-8.0
-3.5
-4.2
-1.0
-0.5

Std Dev
17.1
10.3
8.9
6.3
6.5
4.1
4.2

% AAE
17.1
10.3
8.9
6.3
6.5
4.1
4.2

Std Dev
63.3
12.1
10.7
7.1
10.2
5.6
4.9

Since the new method was developed to provide improved


accuracy for high gravity gas condensate, a subset of the
database consisting of methane was tested against the
correlations with the following results.

Method
CKB
JST
DS
LGE
Lucas
LAB
Sutton

% AE
-4.3
-3.8
-3.8
0.2
-1.1
-0.6
-2.7

Std Dev
4.9
4.4
4.1
5.6
4.3
4.3
4.3

% AAE
5.4
4.4
4.1
4.2
2.7
2.2
3.5

Std Dev
3.7
3.8
3.9
3.7
3.6
3.7
3.6

A subset of the database containing only the methane ndecane and data and data from gas condensates was also
checked against the correlations.
Method
CKB
DS
JST
LGE
Lucas
LAB
Sutton

% AE
40.5
-36.2
-39.3
-22.6
-28.1
-13.9
-3.9

Std Dev
263.8
18.8
18.6
15.1
18.6
15.9
17.1

% AAE
103.7
36.2
39.3
22.6
28.7
16.6
13.9

Std Dev
245.8
18.8
18.6
15.0
17.8
13.0
10.8

Results of the proposed method compare favorably with the


published methods and show improved results for the gases
containing higher levels of heptanes-plus.

Common Mistakes and Example Calculation


A common mistake is to use the total gas gravity instead of the
hydrocarbon gas gravity. Another common mistake is to use
the wrong pseudocritical property relationship with the wrong
type of gas.
Data taken from the API Project 37 report for methanepropane mixtures was analyzed for a mixture with a specific
gravity of 1.3476. Z factors were calculated and compared
with reported values. The average percent error in the
calculated value was determined and is presented for each
pressure as presented in Fig. 39.
In this analysis,
pseudocritical properties were generated for the gas using the
new relationships for gas condensates and associated gases.
Clearly this gas is best represented by Eqns. 8 and 9 for
associated gases. To further illustrate this point additional
data from API Project 37 for mixtures of methane-propanedecane data was analyzed for a mixture with a specific gravity
of 1.3747. The average percent error is presented in Fig. 40
which clearly shows this gas is best represented as a gas
condensate. In this instance, Eqns. 10 and 11 should be used
to calculate pseudocritical properties.
The problem with using the correct gas pseudocritical property
model applies only to high gas gravity scenarios. For gases
with a hydrocarbon gas gravity less than 0.75-0.8, the
differences in the pseudocritical property relationships is too
small to create significant errors in calculated Z factors.
Example
To illustrate the problem of using the incorrect gas gravity in
the calculations, the following example is offered.
A gas mixture has a specific gravity of 0.7016. The gas
contains 15.3 mole % carbon dioxide. Calculate the gas Z
factor at 2000 psia and 160
F. The measured Z factor is
22
0.8814. For this problem, the following properties are given
for carbon dioxide and air.

SPE 97099

Property
Molecular weight
Critical pressure, psia
Critical temperature, R

Carbon Dioxide
44.01
1073
547.7

Air
28.964
NA
NA

p pc T pc
p pc
*
T pc
y H 2 S 1y H 2 S

the temperature adjustment is


= 16.2 R

Solution
Step 1 - Determine the hydrocarbon gas gravity from Eqn. 4.

and the pseudocritical values


pseudoreduced conditions are

y HC 1 y H 2 S y CO2 y H2 S

used

for

determining

Tpc = 357 R

the hydrocarbon mole fraction, yHC = 0.747

Ppc = 705 psia


Step 6 - Calculate the pseudoreduced pressure and
pseudoreduced temperature using Eqns 2 and 3. The absolute
temperature (160 + 459.67) is used in Eqn. 3.

Step 2 - From Eqn.5, calculate the hydrocarbon gas gravity


g y H2 S M H 2 S y CO2 M CO 2 y N 2 M N 2 M air
gHC
y HC

p pr

resulting in
gHC = 0.554
Step 3 - Calculate the pseudocritical properties using Eqns. 10
and 11.
2
ppcHC 744 125 .4 gHC 5. 9gHC

p
= 2.837
p pc

T
= 1.736
T pr
T pc
Step 7 Calculate the Z factor.

T pcHC 164 .3 357 .7 gHC 67.7 2gHC

Using the DAK Z factor method, the result is 0.8794. This


underpredicts the measured value of 0.8814 by 0.2%. The
example can also be worked using the associated gas
equations for hydrocarbon pseudocritical properties (Eqns. 8
and 9). The resulting calculated Z factor is 0.8828 which
overpredicts the measured value by 0.2%.

the calculated results are


ppcHC = 676.3 psia
TpcHC = 341.7 R
Step 4 - Determine the intermediate pseudocritical properties
for the gas mixture using Eqns. 12 and 13.
p*pc y HC p pcHC y H2 S p cH 2 S yCO 2 p cCO2 y N 2 p cN 2

A common error in the calculation of gas Z factor is to use the


total gas gravity directly in the calculation of pseudocritical
properties.

*
T pc
y HC T pcHC y H 2 S T cH2 S y CO 2 T cCO2 y N 2 T cN 2

Skipping steps 1 and 2, if the total gas gravity is used in Eqns.


10 and 11, the result is

resulting in the following

Ppc = 635.9 psia

Ppc* = 737 psia

Tpc = 431.4 R

Tpc* = 373.2 R

Skipping step 4 and moving to Step 5, the temperature


adjustment,
, remains the same (16.2 R). Therefore, the
adjusted pseudocriticals are

Step 5 - Adjust the critical properties using the Wichert and


Aziz method

120 y CO2 y H 2S

y CO
0 .9

y H 2 S

15
1 .6

0. 5
yH 2S

4
y H 2 S

Tpc = 431.4 16.2 = 415.2 R


Ppc = 635.9 (415.2/431.4) = 612.0 psia
and the reduced conditions are
Tpr = 1.492

*
T pc T pc

Ppr = 3.268

SPE 97099

The calculated Z factor using the DAK method is 0.7673


which has an error or -13% when compared to the measured
value of 0.8814.
Conclusions
1. Methods for commonly predicting Z factor were
reviewed and tested for accuracy over an extended
range of conditions.
The DAK method was
determined to be most suited for calculations.
Furthermore, the method can be extended from the
accepted upper reduced pressure limit of 30 to
reduced pressure limits of 90 without significantly
compromising accuracy.
2. A review of pseudocritical property gas gravity
relationships has been made. This review resulted in
the development of new methods for both associated
gases and gas condensates. Increased accuracy in
calculated Z factor results from use of the new
methods.
3. New equations have been developed for adjusting
pseudocritical properties for the effects of
nonhydrocarbons. Minor differences are noted from
the method proposed by Wichert and Aziz and the
changes in the accuracy of calculated Z factor is
insignificant. Therefore, the method of Wichert and
Aziz is recommended to adjust pseudocritical
properties for the presence of hydrogen sulfide and
carbon dioxide.
4. The method recommended by Standing to account for
the presence of nitrogen in natural gas has been
checked against measured data and found to be
accurate.
5. A new viscosity method suitable for both associated
gas and gas condensate is presented. The method
shows improved accuracy over the entire range of
expected gas types.
6. Common mistakes in the application of
pseudocritical property gas gravity relationships are
identified along with errors that result from
misapplication of the methods. An example is
provided to ensure that the methods are properly
used.
Acknowledgment
The author would like to thank the management of Marathon
Oil Company for permission to publish this paper.
Furthermore the author would like to thank Tom Blasingame
for his insights and encouragement. Finally, the author would
like to thank his wife, Nancy. Without her patience and
understanding, this would have never been written.

Nomenclature
AE
=
AAE
=
M
=
p
=
pc
=

average error, %
average absolute error, %
molecular weight, lb-mole
pressure, psia
critical pressure, psia

ppc
ppc*

=
=

ppcHC
pr
ppr
T
Tc
Tpc
Tpc*

=
=
=
=
=
=
=

TpcHC
Tr
Tpr
w
wHC
wHNC
y
yHC
yH2S
yCO2
yN2
Z

=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=

gHC
g
g sc

=
=
=
=
=

pseudocritical pressure, psia


pseudocritical pressure with intermediate
nonhydrocarbon adjustment, psia
hydrocarbon pseudocritical pressure, psia
reduced pressure
pseudoreduced pressure
temperature,
R
critical temperature,
R
pseudocritical temperature,
R
pseudocritical temperature with intermediate
nonhydrocarbon adjustment,
R
hydrocarbon pseudocritical temperature,
R
reduced temperature
pseudoreduced temperature
weight fraction
weight fraction of hydrocarbons in gas
weight fraction of nonhydrocarbons in gas
mole fraction
mole fraction hydrocarbon
mole fraction H 2S
mole fraction CO2
mole fraction N2
compressibility factor
pseudocritical temperature adjustment
parameter,
R
gas gravity (air = 1)
hydrocarbon gas gravity (air = 1)
gas viscosity, cp
low pressure gas viscosity, cp
viscosity normalizing parameter

References
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Equations Devel oped, Oil and Gas J. (June 2, 1997)
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(up to 140 MPa) Dynamic Viscosity of the
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1469-1486.
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of Hydrocarbon Gases Under Pressure," Trans., AIME
(1954) 201, 264-272.

SPE 97099

10. Coats, K.H.: Simulation of Gas Condensate Reservoir


Performance, J. Pet. Tech. (Oct., 1985) 1870-1886.
11. Coats, K.H. and Smart, G.T.:
Application of a
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13. Dempsey, J.R.: "Computer Routine Treats Gas Viscosity
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14. Dranchuk, P.M. and Abou-Kassem, J.H.: "Calculation of
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15. Dranchuk, P.M., Islam, M.R. and Bentsen, R.G.: A
Mathematical Representation of the Carr, Kobayashi and
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16. Dranchuk, P.M., Purvis, R.A. and Robinson, D.B.:
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(1974) 1-13.
17. Drohm, J.K., Trangrove, R.D. and Goldthorpe, W.H.:
On the Quality of Data From Standard Gas-Condensate
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18. Eilerts, C.K.:
Phase Relations of Gas-Condensate
Fluids,Vol. II,
Monograph 10, Bureau of Mines,
American Gas Association (1959) 764-770.
19. Elsharkawy, A.M., Hashem, Y.Kh. and Alikhan, A.A.:
Compressibility Factor for Gas Condensates, paper SPE
59702 presented at the SPE 2000 Permian Basin Oil and
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20. Elsharkawy, A.M. and Elkamel, A.: Compressibility
Factor for Sour Gas Reservoirs, paper SPE 64284
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Conference, Brisbane, Australia (Oct. 16-18, 2000).
21. Elsharkawy, A.M.: Efficient Methods for Calculations
of Compressibility, Density, and Viscosity of Natural
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A Study on the
Supercompressibility and Compressibility Factors of
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26. Hall, K.R. and Yarborough, L.: "A New Equation of
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27. Hall, K.R. and Yarborough, L.: "How to Solve Equation
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86-88.
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29. Jossi, J.A., Stiel, L.I., and Thodos G.: "The Viscosity of
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paper SPE 14269
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257-317.

10

SPE 97099

43. Poling, B.E., Prausnitz, J.M. and OConnell, J.P.: The


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SI Metric Conversion Factors


cp x 1.0*
F (F 32)/1.8*
psi x 6.894 757E+00
R x 5/9
*Conversion factor is exact

= Pas
= C
= kPa
= K

Fig. 1 - Pressure Corresponding to Reduced Pressure


Limits for Varying Gas Gravity

SPE 97099

11

Method

Year

Gas Type

Equations

p pcHC 667 15gHC 37.5 2gHC


Standing51

1981

Associated
2

T pcHC 168 325 gHC 12.5 gHC


2

Sutton 52

1985

Gas
Condensate

p pcHC 756. 8 131gHC 3. 6gHC


T pcHC 169 .2 349. 5gHC 742gHC
J 0. 11582 0. 45820 y H2 S
0. 66026 y N 2

Piper

41

1991

Gas
Condensate

TcN 2
pcN 2

TcH 2 S
pcH 2 S

0.90348 y CO2

TcCO 2
pcCO 2

0. 70729 g 0. 099397 g

K 3 .8216 0 .06534 yH 2 S

TcH 2 S
p 0cH. 52 S

0. 42113 yCO2

TcCO 2
0.5
pcCO
2

0.91249 yN 2

17 .438 g 3 .2191g
2

K
p pc 2
J

K2
T pc
J
p pc 193 .941 131 . 347g 217. 144 w HC 1060. 349 w NHC
20

Elsharkawy

2000

Gas
Condensate

344. 573 w 2HC 60.591 w 2NHC


T pc 195 .958 206 . 121g 25.855 w HC 6.421 w NHC
2
9. 022 w HC
163 .247 w 2NHC
2

p pcHC 671. 114gHC 34.3 gHC


Sutton

2005

Associated
2
T pcHC 120 .1 429 gHC 62. 9gHC

Sutton

2005

Gas
Condensate

p pcHC 744 125 .4 gHC 5.9 2gHC


T pcHC 164 .3 357 .7 gHC 67.7 2gHC

Table A-1 Summary of gas critical property equations

TcN2
0. 5
pcN
2

12

SPE 97099

Method

Year

Carr, Kobayashi and Burrows9,13

Jossi, Stiel and Thodos

29,38

12

1954

1962

Dean and Stiel

1965

Lee, Gonzalez and Eakin 24,36

1966

43

Equations

Lucas

1981

Londono, Archer and


Blasingame39

2002

Sutton

2005

Table A-2 Summary of gas viscosity equations

SPE 97099

Fig. 2 Z Factor method error

13

Fig. 3 Z Factor method standard deviation

Table 1 Statistical summary of Z factor method accuracy

14

SPE 97099

Gas Condensate Compositions

Associated Gas Compositions

Slope
-0.305

Slope
-0.752

0.058

0.140

0.046

0.265

0.031

0.182

0.020

0.082

0.015

0.034

0.135

0.049

Fig. 4 - Summary of gas condensate and associated gas compositions

SPE 97099

Fig. 5 Associated gas pseudocritical properties


from composition

Fig. 7 Associated gas heptanes-plus mole


fraction vs separation pressure

Fig. 9 Associated gas data comparison of edited


data with calculated hydrocarbon only
pseudocritical properties

15

Fig. 6 Associated gas data (H2S<2%, CO2 <2%,


N2 <2%, C7+<3%)

Fig. 8 Associated gas - hydrocarbon gas


gravity vs separation pressure

Fig. 10 Associated gas data comparison


with pseudocritical property correlations

16

SPE 97099

Fig. 11 Error in calculated Z factor from DAK using


Standing critical properties

Fig. 13 Relationship of condensate yield


and wellstream gravity

Fig 15. Comparison of pseudocritical


pressure methods for gas condensates

Fig. 12 Error in calculated Z factor from DAK using


Sutton critical properties

Fig. 14 Inferred pseudocritical properties from CCE data

Fig. 16 Comparison of pseudocritical


temperature methods for gas condensates

SPE 97099

Fig. 17 Error in calculated Z factor from DAK using


Sutton (1985) pseudocritical property method

Fig. 19 - Error in calculated Z factor from DAK using


Elsharkawy pseudocritical property method

Fig. 21 Comparison of new pseudocritical


property relationships for associated
gases and gas condensates

17

Fig. 18 Error in calculated Z factor from DAK using


Piper pseudocritical property method

Fig. 20 Error in calculated Z factor from DAK using


Sutton (2005) pseudocritical property method

Fig. 22 Distribution of hydrogen sulfide in gas samples

18

SPE 97099

Fig. 23 Distribution of carbon dioxide in gas samples

Fig. 24 Distribution of nitrogen in gas samples

Fig. 25 Error in calculated Z factor from DAK for


methane-hydrogen sulfide mixture

Fig. 26 Error in calculated Z factor from DAK for


methane-carbon dioxide mixture

Fig. 27 Variation in temperature correction with H 2S


changing hydrogen sulfide concentration

Fig. 28 Variation in temperature correction with


changing carbon dioxide concentration

SPE 97099

Fig. 29 Error in calculated Z factor from DAK for


varying levels of nitrogen

Fig. 31 Comparison of gas viscosity ratio methods

Fig. 33 Accuracy of CKB gas viscosity method

19

Fig. 30 Comparison of low pressure gas viscosity methods

Fig. 32 LGE Viscosity for mixtures containing


high levels of heptanes-plus

Fig. 34 Accuracy of JST gas viscosity method

20

SPE 97099

Fig. 35 Accuracy of DS gas viscosity method

Fig. 37 Accuracy of LAB gas viscosity method

Fig. 39 Error in calculated Z factor from DAK for


methane-propane mixture

Fig. 36 Accuracy of LGE gas viscosity method

Fig. 38 Accuracy of Sutton gas viscosity method

Fig. 40 Error in calculated Z factor from DAK for


methane-decane mixture