Lesson 1

Introduction to Well Test Analysis
Topic 1: What is Well Test Analysis?
The overall goal of well testing is to collect information about flow conditions in the well,
around the immediate vicinity of the well, in the virgin portions of the reservoir not influenced
by the drilling operations and simulation treatments, and information about the boundaries of the
reservoir. In order to collect this information, the well flow rate is varied and the resulting
pressure transients are measured. The measurement of variation of pressure with time provides a
pressure transient data which then can be analyzed to determine the formation parameters that
characterize the flow conditions that exist in the system.

1. Well Test Analysis as System Analysis

Well test analysis can be considered as a systems analysis technique. In a systems analysis
application, the system under consideration is subjected to a certain kind of perturbation. The
system responds to this perturbation and the resulting signals are measured. Figure 1.1.1 gives a
schematic representation of system analysis.

Figure 1.1.1 Schematic representation of interaction of a system with input

The principles governing the analysis of well tests can be more easily visualized when one
considers well test interpretation as a special pattern recognition technique. In a well test the
system “S” represents the wellbore and the formation that it is in communication with. The input
“I” typically represents the constant withdrawal of the reservoir fluid and it can be considered as
a forcing function applied to an unknown system “S” as described earlier. Finally the response of
the system, “O” which represents the change in reservoir pressure (this response is typically
measured in the wellbore) is measured during the test.

2. Forward and Inverse Problems

P N G 425: Principles of Well Testing and Evaluation
Lesson 1, Topic 1 ~ Page 1 of 3

In this representation. It is expressed as: [O]/[I]  [S] The purpose of well test interpretation is to identify the system knowing only the input and output signals and possibly some of the system characteristics. 3. it is possible to find several systems that would yield similar responses to a given input. Initially. This type of problem is known in mathematics as the inverse problem. The well fully penetrates the formation and the well in its entirety is exposed to the formation (open-hole completion). Gravitational forces are ignored. It should be recognized that the solution of the inverse problem is not unique.1) r r  r k t Initial Condition: p = pi for rw  r   and t = 0 (Equation 1. In other words.3. The reservoir is 100% saturated with only one fluid (single-phase reservoir).1. the system has uniform pressure distribution (initial condition). The well is put on production at a constant flow rate (internal boundary condition) and since the reservoir is infinitely large no pressure drop will be experienced at the outer boundary of the system which is located at infinity (outer boundary condition). the number of alternative systems decreases as the number and range of output signal measurements increase.1.The response of the reservoir can be computed for specific initial and boundary conditions for a reservoir-well system with known properties. the well is located in the center of an infinitely large reservoir which has isotropic and homogeneous property distributions.3. This is called the “forward (direct)” problem and is expressed as: [ I ] X [ S ] [ O ] In an “inverse” problem we attempt to find a well defined system whose response to the input signal is measured as output. Topic 1 ~ Page 2 of 3 . The problem described above can be expressed in one-dimensional radial-cylindrical flow geometry as follows: Flow Equation: 1   p  c p  r   (Equation 1.2) P N G 425: Principles of Well Testing and Evaluation Lesson 1. The Classical Well Test Formulation and the Hydraulic Diffusivity Concept The classical well test formulation is tied to a theoretical reservoir / well representation. However.

Boundary Conditions: p q B (i) r  for t > 0 r r  rw 2 kh r rw (ii) p  pi as r   for t  0 (Equation 1. B. Topic 1 ~ Page 3 of 3 . It describes the area-wise extension rate of a pressure transient per unit time. Professor of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Copyright © January 2006. the rate of propagation of a pressure transient will be less than the one we would have in permeable systems. h.1.5) [1]    c    Lt  M  k In fluid flow in porous media. pi) (Equation 1. It is obvious that in tight formations. The Pennsylvania State University P N G 425: Principles of Well Testing and Evaluation Lesson 1. q. the   group is referred to as the hydraulic diffusivity   c constant. ø. a solution of the following form is obtained: p = p(r.1.3) When the above system of equations is solved. all of the reservoir and well properties are considered to be available. the hydraulic diffusivity constant of a formation determines the duration of a well test.3. On performing a dimensional analysis we find that this coefficient is analogous to the diffusivity constant: k [ L2 ] [ L2 ]    M  Lt 2 [t ] (Equation 1.3.3. Written by Turgay Ertekin. t. Accordingly. µ.4) In the forward solution. rw. c. 1  k The   coefficient that appears in front of the time derivative is a crucial in reservoir   c engineering and well testing applications.1. k.