Well Bore

Oil Zone

Cone

Water

Figure 15-16: Water production due to water coning
2690

8,800

Hole Depth (ft)

9,200

Thermal
Conductivity
Effects

Pre Frac
Profile

2750
Static
Log

9,400
9,600

2870
Post Frac
Profile

2930
2990

9,800
Fracture
Top

10,000

Profiles
Separate

12,000
10,400
175
80ºC

2810

Hole Depth(m)

9,000

3050
3110

200

225
Temperature (ºF)
93ºC
108ºC

250

3170
275

121ºC

135ºC

Figure 15-17: Pre- and post fracture temperature logs identifying fracture height
(After Dobkins., 1981)

Figure 15-18: Spinner flowmeter log identifying a watered zone at bottom .

3σ 1 / 4 (ρ L − ρ g ) 1/ 4 v sl = C d1 / 4 ρ g 1/ 2 . field units as 1. The well can be unloaded by gas-lifting or pumping the liquids out of the well.’s terminal slip velocity equation is expressed in U.23) According to Turner et al.5. increasing difference between the tubing and casing pressures with time. Tz (15. Turner et al.24). A thorough diagnostic analysis of well data needs to be performed.. The symptoms to look for include onset of liquid slugs at the surface of well. On the basis of analyses on field data.1 Turner’s Method Turner et al (1969) were the pioneer investigators who analyzed and predicted the minimum gas flow rate to prevent liquid loading.06 pv sl A . Using smaller tubing or creating a lower wellhead pressure sometimes can keep mist flow. they concluded that the film movement model does not represent the controlling liquid transport mechanism. However.15. and sharp drops in a production decline curve. Q gslMM = 3. liquids begin to accumulate in the well and the well flow can undergo annular flow regime followed by a slug flow regime. As the gas flow velocity in the well drops owing to the reservoir pressure depletion. Down-hole injection of water into an underlying disposal zone is another option. The accumulation of liquids (liquid loading) increases bottom hole pressure that reduces gas production rate. Turner et al.5 Liquid Loading of Gas Wells Gas wells usually produce natural gas carrying liquid water and/or condensate in the form of mist. the carrying capacity of the gas decreases.’s entrained drop movement model was derived on the basis of the terminal free settling velocity of liquid drops and the maximum drop diameter corresponding to the critical Weber number of 30. Heating the wellbore can prevent liquid condensation. Several measures can be taken to solve the liquid loading problem.23) and (15. When the gas velocity drops to a critical level. The minimum gas flow rate (in MMcf/D) for a particular set of condition (pressure and conduit geometry) can be calculated using Eqs. (15. gas will continuously remove liquids from the well until its velocity drops to below the terminal slip velocity. They presented two mathematical models to describe the liquid loading problem: the film movement model and entrained drop movement model.S.24) . 15. sharp changes in gradient on a flowing pressure survey. (15. Low gas production rate will cause gas velocity to drop further. Foaming the liquid water can enable the gas to lift water from the well. liquid loading is not always obvious and recognizing the liquid loading problem is not an easy task. Eventually the well will undergo bubbly flow regime and cease producing.

Coleman et al. The main problem that hinders the application of Turner et al. Lea and Nickens (2004) made some corrections to Turner et al. recommended the equation-derived values be adjusted upward by approximately 20% to insure removal of all drops. the assumption of stagnation velocity. 15. oil.2. A spreadsheet program TuurnerLoading.’s approach still remain unsolved. A 4-phase (gas. (2006) determined the minimum kinetic energy of gas that is required to lift liquids.xls has been developed for quick calculation associated with this book.’s entrained drop movement model. (2000) expanded Turner et al. Turner et al.1 Minimum Kinetic Energy Kinetic energy per unit volume of gas can be expressed as .5. However. derived an expression for gas density as 0. Turner et al. Using an average value of gas specific gravity (0.’s model and test flow rates Figure 15-19 shows a comparison between the results of Turner et al. believed that the discrepancy was attributed to several facts including the use of drag coefficients for solid spheres. Guo et al.2 Guo et al. The map shows many loaded points in the unloaded region.Test Flow Rate (Mcf/D 12000 10000 8000 6000 Unloaded 4000 Nearly loaded up ? 2000 Loaded up Questionable 0 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 Calculated Minimum Flow Rate (Mcf/D) Figure 15-19: Calculated minimum flow rates with Turner et al.’s entrained drop model to gas wells comes from the difficulties of estimating the values of fluid density and pressure. 15.’s Method Starting from Turner et al. (1991) suggested to use Eq (15. Nosseir et al. water. they did not present a method for calculating the gas pressure in a multiphase flow wellbore. Turner et al. and the critical Weber number established for drops falling in air.5.’s simplified equations. Applying the minimum kinetic energy criterion to the 4-phase flow model resulted in a closed form analytical equation for predicting the minimum gas flow rate. Turner et al.’s entrained drop model. However. and solid particles) mist-flow model was developed.0031 times the pressure.’s entrained drop model to more than one flow regimes in a well.23) with a lower constant value. the original drawbacks (neglected transport velocity and multiphase flow pressure) with Turner et al.’s entrained drop movement model was later modified by a number of authors. not in compressed gas.6) and gas temperature (120oF).

23) and (15.026 σ (ρ L − ρ g ) .2v sl . this equation yields the minimum kinetic energy value of 3. In order to evaluate the gas kinetic energy Ek in Eq. used vtr as an empirical constant to lump the effects of non-stagnation velocity.25) 2gc Substituting Eq (15. geometry of the conduit.e.0576 σρ L . Use of this value results in v gm ≈ 1. and liquid volume fraction. Expressions for ρg and vg can be obtained from ideal gas law: .28) The transport velocity vtr may be calculated on the basis of liquid production rate. Eq (15. (15.30) For typical gas wells producing water. (15. These numbers imply that the required minimum gas production rate in water-producing gas wells is approximately twice of that in condensateproducing gas wells. i. (15. (15. the values of gas density ρg and gas velocity vg need to be determined. (15.s work. The minimum gas velocity required for transporting the liquid droplets upward is equal to the minimum gas velocity required for floating the liquid droplets (keeping the droplets from falling) plus the transport velocity of the droplets.5 lbf-ft/ft3. (15. For typical gas wells producing condensate.6 lbf-ft/ft3. (15..29) Substituting Eqs (15.25) results in the expression for the minimum kinetic energy required for transporting the liquid droplets as: E km = 0.25) at a given gas flow rate and compare it with the minimum required kinetic energy Ekm in Eq.Ek = ρ g vg 2 .25) gives an expression for the minimum kinetic energy required to keep liquid droplets from falling: E ksl = 0.44 (recommended by Turner et al. Instead of trying to formulate an expression for the transport velocity vtr.73 lbf-ft/ft3.29) into Eq. which is difficulty to quantify. respectively. v gm = v sl + vtr .26) becomes: E ksl = 0. (15. the value of vtr was taken as 20% of vsl in this study. Guo et al. drag coefficients for solid spheres. respectively. typical values for condensate-gas interfacial tension and condensate density are 20 dynes/cm and 45 lbm/ft3.) is used.26) Cd If the value of drag coefficient Cd = 0.27) In gas wells producing water.23) into Eq (15.04 σρ L . In gas wells producing condensate. typical values for water-gas interfacial tension and water density are 60 dynes/cm and 65 lbm/ft3. and the effect of gas density is neglected (a conservative assumption). and the critical Weber number established for drops falling in air.30). On the basis of Turner et al. (15. This yields the minimum kinetic energy value of 1. This yields the minimum kinetic energy value of 2.2 lbf-ft/ft3. this equation gives the minimum kinetic energy value of 1.

However. which means that the controlling conditions are bottom hole conditions where gas has higher pressure and lower kinetic energy.34) where a= b= 15 . Ai2 p (15.5.07 S wQw + 86 .33) Equation (15. 15.379 Qo 10 3 Tav QG . controlling.7 S g p .31) T v g = 4.33 S sQs + 86 . (15. in most instances.ρg = 2.25) yields: E k = 9. According to the 4-phase flow model.2456 Qs + 1.35) (15. a gas-oil-water-solid 4phase mist-flow model was developed by Guo et al.36) .79 S g QG 10 3 Tav QG 0. (2006). the flowing pressure p at depth L can be solved numerically from the following equation: 144b( p − p hf ) + b(P − Phf ) + − m+ b n − bm 2 c n (144 p + m ) + n 1 − 2bm ln 2 (144 p hf + m)2 + n 2 (P + m ) + n 1 − 2bm ln 2 (Phf + m)2 + n 2 ⎡ −1 ⎛ 144 p + m ⎞ ⎛ 144 p hf + m ⎞⎤ ⎟⎥ ⎟⎟ − tan −1 ⎜⎜ ⎢ tan ⎜⎜ ⎟ n n ⎝ ⎠ ⎠⎦⎥ ⎝ ⎣⎢ ( ) = a 1+ d 2 e L .’s results that indicated that the wellhead conditions are.07 S oQo + 18 .32) Substituting Eqs (15.3 × 10 − 5 S g TQG 2 . cos(θ ) (15. (15.33). Ai p (15.31) and (15. (15.32) into Eq.379 Qw + 1. this analysis is in contradiction with Turner et al.71 × 10 − 2 TQG .2 Four-Phase Flow Model In order to accurately predict the bottom hole pressure p in Eq. This analysis is consistent with the observations from air-drilling operations where solid particles accumulate at bottom hole rather than top hole.33) indicates that the gas kinetic energy decreases with increased pressure. (15.2.

74 − 2 log⎜⎜ ⎢⎣ ⎝ Dh ⎠ ⎥⎦ m= cde 1 + d 2e n= c 2e (15.2. ft2 = hydraulic diameter. fresh water =1 = the average temperature in the butting.3 Minimum Required Gas Production Rate A logical procedure for predicting the minimum required gas flow rate Qgm involves calculating gas density ρg.38) e= 6f gDh cos(θ ) (15. fresh water =1 = specific gravity of produced solid. and gas kinetic energy Ek at bottom hole condition using an assumed gas flow rate QG.39) ⎡ ⎤ ⎢ ⎥ 1 ⎥ fM = ⎢ ⎢ ⎛ 2ε ' ⎞ ⎥ ⎟⎟ ⎥ ⎢1. ft = pressure.5.c= 6. Deg. The value of QG should be reduced and the calculation should be repeated until the Ek is very close to Ekm. bbl/day = solid production rate. For this procedure is tedious. in = Moody friction factor = gravitational acceleration. 32. gas velocity vg. 15. psia = wellhead flowing pressure. oR = pipe wall roughness. (15.17 ft/s2 = conduit length.615(Qw + Qo ) 600 Ai (15. air =1 = specific gravity of produced oil. fresh water =1 = specific gravity of produced water.40) (15. If the Ek is greater than Ekm.42) where A Dh fM g L p phf QG Qo Qs Qw Sg So Sw Ss Tav ε’ θ = cross-sectional area of conduit. the QG is higher than the Qgm. a simple equation was derived by .785 × 10−6 TavQG Ai (15. ft3/day = water production rate.37) d= Qs + 5. and compare the Ek with Ekm. psia = gas production rate.41) (1 + d e) 2 2 2 . Mscf/day = oil production rate. bbl/day = specific gravity of gas. in = inclination angle.

50) All the parameter values should be evaluated at Qgm. In fact.48) (15.45) for predicting the minimum unloading gas flow rate.45) where α1 = 9. Therefore.3 × 10− 5 S gTbhQgm 2 (15. and other data are given in Table 15-1.47) (15. (15.70 specific gravity gas and 50 bbl/d condensate through a 2. Newton-Raphson iteration technique can also be used for solving Qgm. .44) into Eq.3 × 10 −5 2 S gTbh Qgm Ai2 Ekm (15. the Goal Seek function built in the MS Excel was used for generating solutions presented in this chapter. The minimum required gas flow rate Qgm can be solved from Eq (15.441-in. Commercial software packages such as MS Excel can be used as solvers. Eq (15. (15. consider a vertical gas well producing 0.xls.Guo et al. for predicting the minimum required gas flow rate in this section.44) Substituting Eq (15.45) is a one-to-one function of Qgm for Qgm values greater than zero.34) results in: 1 − 2bm 144bα1 + ln α 2 − 2 b m + n − bm 2 c tan −1 β1 − tan −1 β 2 = γ n [ ] (15.D. Example Problem 15-2: To demonstrate how to use Eq. (15.000 ft.46) − phf 2 ⎛ ⎞ S T Q2 ⎜1.33) becomes: Ekm = 9. The spreadsheet program is named GaswellLoading. I. It can be shown that Eq (15.3 × 10−5 2 S gTbhQgm Ai2 Ekm .34 × 10− 2 2 S gTbhQgm β1 = β2 = 144 phf + m Ai2 Ekm n +m (15.43) Ai2 p which gives: p = 9. tubing against a wellhead pressure of 900 psia.49) n γ = a(1+ d 2e)L (15.45) with a trial-and-error or numerical method such as Bisection method. Suppose the tubing string is set at a depth of 10.34 × 10 −2 g 2bh gm + m ⎟ + n ⎜ ⎟ Ai Ekm ⎠ α2 = ⎝ 2 (144 phf + m) + n 1. Under the minimum unloaded condition (the last point of the mist flow regime).

2034 0.20965E-07 875999.05 water = 1 2.xls is shown in Table 15-2.0325 570 1.07387106 438684299.6019 ft ft2 o R lbf-ft/ft3 2.10598146 0. Table 15-2: Result Given by the Spreadsheet Program GasWellLoading.000015 inch Solution: The solution given by the spreadsheet program GasWellLoading.5.000571676 0.65 water = 1 20 dyne/cm 0.007481992 53.8117 0.01 oF/ft 60 oAPI 1.7 air =1 0 Deg 60 oF 0.45)-calculated minimum flow rates mapped against the test flow rates for the same wells used in Figure 15-19.xls Calculated Parameters: Hydraulic diameter Conduit cross-sectional area Average temperature Minimum kinetic energy a= b= c= d= e= fM = m= n= 0.’s Methods Figure 15-20 illustrates Eq (15.77547E-05 1.3 Comparison of Turner’s and Guo et al.Table 15-1: Basic Parameter Values for Example Problem 15-1 Gas specific gravity Hole inclination Wellhead temperature Geothermal Gradient Condensate gravity Water specific gravity Solid specific gravity Interfacial tension Tubing wall roughness 0.78615E-05 Mscf/day psia 15.6 Solution: Critical gas production rate Pressure (p) = 1059 1189 Objective function f(Qgm) = -1. This map shows 6 loaded points in the unloaded .

L.D. Inc.: Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering. Production logging analysis identifies fluid entries to the wellbore from different zones.B.’s method in estimating the minimum flow rates.’s method is more accurate than Turner et al. Edinburgh (2005). . AIME. E-Production Services. Guo et al.” The Petroleum Engineer (Sept. Dake.’s model and the test flow rates * * * * * Summary This chapter presented a guideline to identifying problems commonly encountered in oil and gas wells. Test Flow Rate (Mcf/D) 12000 10000 8000 6000 4000 Unloaded Nearly loaded up ? 2000 Loaded up Questionable 0 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 Calculated Minimum Flow Rate (Mcf/D) Figure 15-20: The minimum flow rates given by Guo et al. Dobkins. Coleman.. M. A..H.J. E-Production Services..” JPT (March 1991). T.: “A New Look at Predicting Gas Well Loading-Up..B. Elsevier. Trans.: “The Analysis of Problem Wells. Economides. Well test analysis provides a means of estimating properties of individual pay zones..: Petroleum Production Systems.” JPT (April 1981).. Clay H.A. L. C..’s method is more accurate than Turner’s method for predicting liquid loading problems in gas production wells. A. EPS: FloSystem User Manu. Inc. Edinburgh (2004). C. N. Prentice Hall PTR. 1956) 28: B30-B38. D. Amsterdam (2002).P.: Oil Well Testing Handbook.region but they are very close to the boundary. 329. and Norris III. 719-726. 291.P. Hill. McCurdy. EPS: PanSystem User Manu. Burlington (2004). Clark.. New Jersey (1994). and Schultz.J. This means Guo et al. S.G.: “Improved method to Determine Hydraulic Fracture Height. Gulf Professional Publishing. and Ehlig-Economides. W. References Chaudhry.

Society of Petroleum Engineers. A.E.N. Lea.A. tubing against a wellhead pressure of 500 psia. 1969). A.75 air =1 0 Deg 60 oF 0.B. and Xu. 246.: Pressure Transient Testing. tubing against a wellhead pressure of 400 psia and temperature of 70 oF.. I. 245...995-in. 30. 4. No. M. Rollins.A. Nosseir.Fekete: F.2 cubic foot of sand through a 2. 1475. Richardson (2003).: A Systematic Approach to Predicting Liquid Loading in Gas Well.000 ft. J. M. and Dukler.D..: Modern Well test Analysis: A Computer-Aided Approach. (Feb.” SPE Prod. Hubbard. .07 water = 1 2. Inc. and Sallaly. and Spivey. Trans. T. I.000015 inch 15. C.2 Consider a gas well producing 50 bbl/d of water and 0. estimate the minimum gas production rate before the gas well gets loaded. H. Suppose the tubing string is set at a depth of 9.. & Facilities (Nov. 15.1 Consider a gas well producing 50 bbl/d of condensate and 0. B.V. J.000 ft and geothermal gradient is 0. J. Calgary (2003).441-in. Suppose the tubing string is set at a depth of 8. tubing against a wellhead pressure of 600 psia and temperature of 80 oF. Guo.01 oF/ft.D. 2006).P.01 oF/ft 60 oAPI 1.W.” JPT (Nov. I. and Nickens.G.1 cubic foot of sand through a 2. Turner.441in.D.S. & Facilities (April 2004).65 water = 1 20 dyne/cm 0. Problems 15.G.: “A New Approach for Accurate Prediction of Loading in Gas Wells Under Different Flowing Conditions.: “Solving Gas-Well Liquid-Loading Problems.A. New York (1995). R.: “Analysis and Prediction of Minimum Flow Rate for the Continuous Removal of Liquids from Gas Wells.T.2 Consider a gas well producing 80 bbl/d of water and 0.H.... J. 15. and Ghalambor.1 cubic foot of sand through a 1. WellTest User Manu. Lee.. Darwich. Petroway Publishing. Horne.. 2000). M. SPE Production & Operations J.” SPE Prod. Gas specific gravity Hole inclination Wellhead temperature Geothermal Gradient Condensate gravity Water specific gravity Solid specific gravity Oil-gas interfacial tension Tubing wall roughness 0. M.F.E. AIME. R. Sayyouh. fekete Associates. use the following data and estimate the minimum gas production rate before the gas well gets loaded.

tubing against a wellhead pressure of 600 psia and temperature of 80 oF. I. Suppose the tubing string is set at a depth of 6. estimate the minimum gas production rate before the gas well gets loaded.1 cubic foot of sand through a 1.000 ft and geothermal gradient is 0. .4 Consider a gas well producing 70 bbl/d of oil and 0.995-in. estimate the minimum gas production rate before the gas well gets loaded. 15.Suppose the tubing string is set at a depth of 7.D.01 oF/ft.000 ft and geothermal gradient is 0.01 oF/ft.