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Straightline Analysis of Flow Rate vs.

Cumulative-Production Data for


the Explicit Determination of
Gas Reserves
Peng Ye and Luis F. Ayala H., John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering and
EMS Energy Institute, Pennsylvania State University

Summary and
 
Production forecasting and prediction of original fluids in place 4 A
qsc lgw cgw ln
are important gas-well-performance evaluations which are rou- 1 ec CA rw2
tinely conducted using rate/time decline-curve analysis. Cur- Y : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3d
qgi 4pkhqi  qwf
rently, rate/time decline-curve analysis of natural-gas reservoirs
relies heavily on the use of empirical curve fitting of boundary- We arrived to these analytical gas-well boundary dominated
dominated rate/time production data using type curves or the Arps flow (BDF) decline models by demonstrating the validity of the
hyperbolic decline model. In this study, we show that original- following gas/liquid analytical transformation for wells in decline
fluids-in-place prediction and gas-well-performance evaluations (Ye and Ayala 2012):
can be conducted simply by straightline analysis of boundary-
dominated data in flow-rate vs. cumulative-production plots. We qgas liq
Dd tDAd k  qDd btDAd : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
first analytically demonstrate that the hyperbolic decline exponent
describing the depletion of single-phase volumetric gas reservoirs In this transformation, qgas
Dd is the associated analytical predic-
is not subject to empirical determination from rate/time data. tion for gas-flow-rate response and qliq
Dd is the liquid-decline-rate
Decline behaviour of gas wells producing at less than full poten- response on the basis of the solution of the liquid diffusivity equa-
tial is also shown to exhibit a hybrid decline character: hyperbolic tion. We showed that liquid analytical solutions can be used to
during early boundary-dominated flow and exponential at later predict gas analytical responses by rescaling the solutions using
times. In both cases, explicit calculations of hyperbolic decline the dimensionless parameters k and b. k represents the dimension-
coefficients are possible, thus enabling the explicit calculation of less parameter that tracks the space-averaged effect of depletion
gas reserves using flow-rate vs. cumulative-production straight- on fluid properties affecting the value of hydraulic diffusivity
line plots. Numerical and field case studies are presented to dem- (g k=/lg cg ), which controls the systems ability to propagate
onstrate the applicability and generality of the proposed reserves-
pressure changes through its spatial domain. Mathematically, this
determination methodology.
dimensionless parameter tracks the space-averaged evolution of
the fluid viscosity-compressibility product by a time-dependent
Introduction version of Carters k (Carter 1985):
Recently, we demonstrated using analytical arguments and corro- lgi cgi
borated by numerical reservoir simulation and field-data analysis kt ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
l g c g t
that the long-time, boundary-dominated approximation for the
decline-rate behaviour of gas reservoirs of arbitrary shape produc- while the time-averaged evolution of kt is quantified using the
ing at constant bottomhole pressure is given by the expression standard averaging definition,
(Ye and Ayala 2012; Ayala and Ye 2013)
t
qgsc kqgi expbDei t; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1
bt ktdt: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
t
0
which in terms of decline dimensionless variables also can be
written as Our methodology further establishes a direct link between k
calculations and cumulative production (Gp), as shown in (Ye and
qDd kexpbtDAd ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Ayala 2012; Ayala and Ye 2013),
where  B  
lgi cgi q Gp t B
kt 1 ; . . . . . . . . . . . 7
tDAd X  t; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3a lgcg qi OGIP

qDd Y  qgsc ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3b by calculating an average value of the following dimensionless


parameters within the depletion interval of interest, as shown in
4pk
X Dei   ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3c Appendix A,
4 A
ln c A/lgw c gw  
e CA rw2 dlnlg cg
B ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
dlnq av

and honouring the material-balance statement


Copyright V
C 2013 Society of Petroleum Engineers
q Gp t
Original SPE manuscript received for review 24 September 2012. Revised manuscript 1 : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
received for review 25 February 2013. Paper (SPE 165583) peer approved 23 April 2013.
qi OGIP

296 July 2013 Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology


All of these state-of-the-art decline-analysis techniques rely on
pseudopressure and pseudotime transformations applied to pro-
1
duction data and require iterative procedures for the calculation of
OGIP. In this study, we demonstrate that the analysis can be made
r=0.01 using a straightline analysis technique that circumvents such itera-
r=0.1
tions and bypasses any pseudopressure and pseudotime calcula-
tions while rigorously modelling the problem at hand. Also,
r=0.3 additional physical insight about the applicability of the hyper-
DD

0.1 r=0.5
bolic decline assumption to gas wells emerges from this analysis,
while removing the empiricism that dominates the calculation of
r=0.7 hyperbolic decline exponents (b) for gas wells in BDF.
r=0.9

r=1
Analysis of Decline Behaviour of
Gas Wells in BDF
0.01 As discussed previously, gas production from wells in BDF pro-
1E4 1E3 0.01 0.1 1 10 100 ducing under a constant bottomhole pressure can be rigorously
tDAd modelled by Eq. 2, reproduced as
Fig. 1Dimensionless decline rate (DD) for a gas reservoir qDd kexpbtDAd : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
(B 50.85) producing under less-than-wide-open BDF decline.
Dimensionless cumulative gas production is readily obtained
by integrating this equation to yield
Classical Arps decline equations include the exponential
tDAd
model for undersaturated, volumetric oil reservoirs (Arps 1945):
GPDd qDd dtDAd 1  expbtDAd : . . . . . . . . . . 15
qsc qi expDei t; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 0

The bottomhole-pressure specification is introduced in our


which matches the prediction of Eq. 1 for liquids, for which
studies through the concept of a bottomhole-to-initial density ra-
k b 1 because B 0. Arps hyperbolic decline, in turn, is
tio, shown next
more typical of volumetric depletion of natural-gas reservoirs for
which we write qwf qi  qwf
rq 1  ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16
qgi qi qi
qgsc ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11
bDi t 11=b from where it follows, according to Eqs. 3a through 3d, 9, and 15,
that
where b is Arps hyperbolic exponent (0 < b < 1) defined as
GP
GPDd ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
d1=D 1 dlnD OGIP  rq
b  ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 p
dt D dt B
k 1  rq  GPDd ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
which is expressed in terms of the decline rate D or unit change in
flow rate with time given by and
1 dq dlnq 1 qgi
D  : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 OGIP : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
q dt dt X  Y  rq Dei  rq

Fetkovich provided physical justification to the empirical obser- Ibrahim and Wattenbarger (2005) also proposed a concept similar
vations of Arps (Fetkovich 1980). Fetkovichs seminal work con- to rp expressed in terms of pseudopressure instead of density and
cluded that hyperbolic decline exponents (b) are subject to demonstrated that its value has an impact on the prediction ability
empirical determination through their dependence on n-exponents of analytical linear solutions. They focused on the study of tran-
of the gas backpressure equation for wells producing at full poten- sient linear flow performance while this work discusses BDF anal-
tial. Since then, modern decline-curve analysis has evolved to ysis. The basic premise of this work is based on the finding that
account for the effects of prevailing bottomhole-pressure ( pwf) Eq. 14 unequivocally predicts when classical hyperbolic behav-
specifications and the changing gas viscosity and compressibility iour can be expected for gas wells in decline, while predicting the
with time. Reviews of these traditional and modern decline-curve- subsequent hyperbolic coefficient simultaneously and explicitly
analysis methods have been presented by Mattar and Anderson for such cases. This is demonstrated on the basis of Eqs. 14
(2003) and Ahmed and McKinney (2005). Carter (1985), for exam- through 18, from where the dimensionless decline rate (DD) for
ple, developed a set of type curves that used a time-independent ver- any gas well in BDF decline can be derived to be
sion of the k parameter presented in Eq. 5 for the analysis of
1 dqDd k
boundary-dominated data. Blasingame and Lee (1988) and Palacio DD  1 Bk  1  rq  B p : . . . . 20
and Blasingame (1993) were the first to convert gas-well-produc- qDd dtDAd B
k
tion data with variable bottomhole-pressure specifications into
equivalent constant-rate liquid data by introducing the concept of Note that D X  DD Dei  DD , according to Eqs. 3a, 3b, and
material-balance pseudotime or superposition time into the analy- 13. It follows that the b-exponent for gas wells in BDF decline
sis. Mattar and Anderson (2003, 2005) introduced the flowing or can be derived from direct differentiation of Eq. 20 to obtain
dynamic material-balance technique on the basis of the concepts of !
normalized rate and a cumulative production function calculated in 1  rq
1B2 p
terms of material-balance (superposition) pseudotime which gener- d1=D d1=DD 1  rq  B k
ates a straightline plot that extrapolates to OGIP. Another popular b B !2 :
dt dtDAd 1  rq
analysis method involves plotting the normalized rate using pseudo- 1B p
pressure against superposition time and obtaining OGIP predictions 1  rq  B k
from the slope of the resulting straightline plot (Blasingame and
Lee 1988; Ibrahim et al. 2003).                    21

July 2013 Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology 297


0.6 0.5
B/(1+B)=0.4595
0.5
0.4
r=1

0.4
r=0.5
0.3
r=0.7
0.3 r=0.3

bi
b

0.2
0.2 r=0.9

r=0.1
0.1
0.1
r=0.01
0.0 0.0
1E4 1E3 0.01 0.1 1 10 100 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
tDAd r

Fig. 2Transient hyperbolic exponent (b) for a gas reservoir Fig. 3Early BDF hyperbolic exponent (bi) for a gas well
(B 50.85) producing under less-than-wide-open BDF decline. (B 50.85) as a function of the prescribed constant-bottomhole
specification.
Eqs. 20 and 21 show that well-decline rates and b-values are this value remains the same throughout well productive life. For
sole functions of prevailing drawdown (rq ). They are also a func- all other cases of constant-pwf gas-well BDF production (rq < 1),
tion of the strength of the intrinsic viscosity-compressibility char- hyperbolic decline can be expected only during early BDF
acteristics of the fluid (B) and the evolution of the viscosity- (hyperbolic window). Such early BDF hyperbolic behaviour
compressibility values with time (k). Figs. 1 and 2 show the can be characterized by a b-value readily obtained by evaluating
behaviour of these two parameters: decline rate (DD) and decline Eq. 21 at initial conditions (t0, k1),
exponent (b), respectively, as a function of time for the case
B0.85 and the constant-bottomhole-pressure specifications of 1 B 2rq0
rq 0.01, 0.10, 0.30, 0.50, 0.70, and 0.90, including wide-open b  bi B  ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
1 B rq0 2
decline rq 1. Fig. 1 suggests that decline rates do change in time
during early BDF and tend to reach a constant value (i.e., expo- where
nential decline) at late times. In other words, gas wells producing
at rq <1 exhibit a hybrid decline character: nonexponential BDF 1 qwf 1  rq
rq0 1 ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
decline at earlier times and exponential decline at late times. The rq qi  qwf rq
duration of the nonexponential decline behaviour and the onset of
exponential decline are clearly dependent on the value of rq : the Fig. 3 displays the behaviour of Eq. 24 as a function of the rq
lower the rq , the sooner the exponential decline starts. Note that specification. Because rq ! 1, b reaches its maximum possible
initial decline rates (Di) can be calculated by evaluating Eq. 20 at valuethe one prescribed by Eq. 23, which is exclusively dic-
t0 (k1) to obtain tated by the gas viscosity-compressibility parameter B. It is also
clear in Fig. 3 that a decreasing value of rq constrains b severely.
Di X  1 rq B Dei  1 rq B: . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Straightline Analysis of Flow Rate vs.
The early-time nonexponential character of the decline behav-
iour in Fig. 1 can be further characterized by investigating Fig. 2. Cumulative-Production-Data Technique
For rq 1 (wide-open decline, pwf 0), a constant b-decline expo- The preceding discussion demonstrated that gas wells in BDF
nent can be observed throughout the life of the well, which is con- decline experience at the least an early period of hyperbolic
sistent with what classical decline analysis characterizes as behaviour regardless of prevailing bottomhole-pressure specifica-
hyperbolic decline. It is significant to note that rq 1 is the only tion (hyperbolic window). In addition, within this window, result-
scenario that exhibits such hyperbolic decline throughout well ing hyperbolic decline exponents (b) are fully predictable through
productive life. However, it is also apparent that for all rq specifi- Eq. 24. As a result, the decline model in Eq. 1 and Arps classical
cations, the initial value of b is able to remain constant for at least hyperbolic model in Eq. 11 become interchangeable within the
a portion of the early BDF period. hyperbolic window of the well. In other words, when the con-
We refer to this period as the hyperbolic window of the gas straint b constant is embraced, Eq. 11 becomes a subset or spe-
well [i.e., the time period when gas-well-decline data can be con- cial case of Eq 1. Upon integration of Eq. 11, the well-known
sidered hyperbolic in the classical sense (i.e., constant b)]. As pro- cumulative production (Gp) vs. time expression for hyperbolic
duction dies off and tDAd > 0.1, the initial value of b transitions decline is obtained:
into exponential decline (b0). This shows that gas wells produc- (   )
ing at constant, less-than-wide-open-decline conditions (rq <1) qgi qgsc t 1b
Gp t 1 : . . . . . . . . . . . 26
actually exhibit a hybrid decline character: hyperbolic decline Di 1  b qgi
(constant b) at early times during BDF, but nonhyperbolic decline
at late times. It is also interesting to note that for wells in wide- Hyperbolic data that obey Eq. 11 must also conform to the
open decline (rq 1), Eq. 21 readily collapses to flow-rate vs. cumulative-production relationship described by Eq.
26, which can be rewritten in terms of the following straightline
B equation as
b : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
1B q1b
gsc t m  Gp t iy ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
In other words, the value of the hyperbolic exponents (b) of
any well produced at wide-open condition is defined uniquely by Di b  1
where m is the slope given by m and iy q1b
gi is the
the strength of the viscosity-compressibility dependency on den- qbgi
sity for the depletion process of interest (B). As shown in Fig. 2, y-axis intercept. Given that b-values can be calculated a priori

298 July 2013 Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology


10
1b
qgsc 9 B=0.80
BDF hyperbolic
window 8 B=1.00
7 B=1.20
iy = q1b Late-time
gi
nonhyperbolic 6
BDF data g(r) 5
m (r <1)
Early 4
time 3
iy
nonBDF ix = = OGIP* 2
data
1b
qgsc = m Gp + iy m
1
Gp 0
0 2 4 6 8 10
r
Fig. 4Straightline analysis of flow-rate vs. cumulative-produc-
tion BDF data. Fig. 5OGIP  adjustment caused by less-than-wide-open (rq <
1) specifications.
(Eq. 24), a straightline analysis of any available q1b
gsc vs. Gp data
can be performed and the values of Di and qgi can be extracted.
OGIP grq  OGIP ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
Once Di and qgi are known, a straightforward, iterationless calcu-
lation of OGIP using Eq. 19 can be found:
where grq > 1, as shown in Fig. 5, according to the expression
1 1 rq B rq0
OGIP  qgi  : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Di rq grq 1 ; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
1 rq B
qgi
Note that OGIP 6 (rq 6 1), as would be predicted which follows Eq. 28. The required grq adjustment for OGIP
Di 1  b proves not to be highly sensitive to values of B, but highly de-
by extrapolation of Eq. 26 to the t ! 1 limit. In addition, the pendent on the prevailing rq specification.
proposed straightline analysis eliminates the well-known problem
of nonunique matches that can be obtained during the simultane-
ous calculation of b, Di, and qgi from rate/time data fitting in classi- Case Studies: Explicit OGIP Estimations
cal decline-curve analysis. In addition, a clear connection between Case Study 1: Numerical Study, Palacio and Blasingame
Arps classical b, Di, and qgi parameters and OGIP has also been (1993). The first case study uses a numerical-simulation scenario
firmly established for gas analysis. Fig. 4 displays the typical flow- reported by Palacio and Blasingame (1993). For this scenario
rate vs. cumulative-production-data analysis and highlights the numerically created by the authors, OGIP is known accurately
location of the BDF hyperbolic window. As illustrated in Fig. 4, and is reported as equal to 4.04106 Mscf. Input data provided by
flow-rate vs. cumulative-production data should be expected to the authors are presented in Table 1.
deviate from the straightline BDF relationship when (a) data have The following straightline analysis methodology is used by
been collected before the onset of boundary-dominated flow con- this study:
ditions, which should be expected of early-time data if depletion (1) Calculate rq , rq0 , and the expected value of b for the hyper-
has not yet been established for the entire drainage area; and (b) at bolic decline window.
late times, after the onset of boundary-dominated flow, once non- Density ratios are obtained by estimating fluid densities at the
hyperbolic behaviour starts for wells that are produced at less- prescribed initial and bottomhole pressures. In our studies, gas-
than-wide-open decline (rq <1). On the basis of the straightline compressibility factors are obtained from the Dranchuk and Abou-
analysis of the BDF hyperbolic window in Fig. 4, the highlighted Kassem (1975) correlation and gas-mixture pseudoproperties are
values of slope (m), y-intercept (iy), and x-intercept (ix) are calculated as a function of gas specific gravity using the correlation
extracted. The OGIP expression in Eq. 28 can be rewritten directly by Sutton (1985). For this problem, the calculation yields
in terms of these values as qi 12.86 lbm/ft3, qwf 1.38 lbm/ft3,
 
iy 1 rq B qi  qwf qwf
OGIP  1  b  rq 0:89; rq0 0:12: . . . . . . . . 32
m rq qi qi  qwf
: . . . . . . . . . . . 29
1 rq B
ix  1  b  The value of B, the intrinsic fluid parameter that quantifies the
rq
strength of the viscosity-compressibility dependency on density,
Gas-reserves estimations in Fig. 4 also can be visualized in is extracted from Fig. A-1 in Appendix A. With it, the determina-
terms of the extrapolation of the straightline hyperbolic data into tion of the expected hyperbolic exponent can be carried out with
the Gp-axis (qgsc0), corresponding to the OGIP intercept (ix). Eq. 21 as B 0:89 (from Appendix A);
The extrapolation yields true OGIP values for wells producing
at full potential (rq 1) only, but results in significantly lower 1 B 2rq0
b  bi B  0:4692: . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
reserves estimates for all other rq <1 cases. For rq <1, 1 B rq0 2

TABLE 1INPUT DATA FOR CASE STUDY 1*


(2) Plot available q1b
sc vs. Gp data, and identify the hyperbolic
decline window.
Reservoir and Fluid Properties Values
Fig. 6 shows the flow-rate vs. cumulative-production plot for
the numerical data provided by Palacio and Blasingame (1993).
Gas specific gravity (SG), air1 0.65 The figure clearly shows a straightline behaviour within the data
Reservoir temperature ( F) 200 (i.e., the formation of the hyperbolic decline window). As
Initial pressure (psia) 4,800 expected, early infinite-acting-flow data are observed to certainly
deviate from the straightline relationship because BDF conditions
Wellbore bottomhole pressure (psia) 500
have not been established as Gp ! 0. It also can be seen that late
* Palacio and Blasingame (1993). BDF data start to slightly deviate from the straightline

July 2013 Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology 299


1200
1b TABLE 2INPUT DATA FOR CASE STUDY 2*
qgi
1000 Reservoir and Fluid Properties Values

800 Gas SG, air1 0.601


(MscfD)1b

Reservoir temperature ( F) 200


Initial pressure (psia) 5,000
600
Wellbore bottomhole pressure (psia) 3,000
1b
qgsc

* Fraim and Wattenbarger (1987).


400

200 OGIP* OGIP grq  OGIP 1:0673:776 Bcf 4:03 Bcf


                   37
0
0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 This OGIP prediction closely matches the exact OGIP value
Gp (Bcf) (4.04106 Mscf) reported by Palacio and Blasingame (1993).
Future production from this well could be fitted to the hyperbolic
1b
Fig. 6qgsc vs. cumulative-production analysis for Case Study 1. model in Eq. 11 by substituting the calculated values of b, qgi , and
Di as
relationship. This should be expected because of the less-than-full 458; 897
qg   1 Mscf=D: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
potential production specification (rq 0:89).
(3) Determine slope, determine y- and x-intercepts, extract qgi 0:47 0:47
t1
and Di . 4:367
The best-fit straight-line equation for the hyperbolic window
of Fig. 6 yields the following values for slope, and y-axis and x- This extrapolation, however, should be used with caution
axis intercepts: because of the onset of nonhyperbolic decline behaviour in the
8 late-time data, as Fig. 4 shows. It should be noted that while Eq.
< m 2:680  104 Mscf b =D1b 38 should be expected to match the early BDF data (i.e., history
i q1b 1b
: . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 match the past), any extrapolation or forecast from it is laden with
: y gi 1011:93 Mscf=D

ix OGIP 3:776 Bcf uncertainty. A hyperbolic prediction so constructed implicitly
assumes that the value of bi would remain constant for the life of
From where the decline parameters can be extracted, the well. This assumption can lead to significant overestimation
8   of future flow rates and recovery if the rq < 1 bottomhole specifi-
>
> Mscf cation remains unchanged. A rigorous forecasting approach would
< qgi 458; 897 require the implementation of the gas-well decline model in Eq. 1
D : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
> 1 as described by Ayala and Ye (2013):
>
: 4:367D
Di qgsc 458;897  k 
As in classical analysis, the qgi obtained here is not the actual bt : . . . 39
 exp  Mscf=D
initial production of the reservoir at t0 (which corresponds to in- 4:367  1 0:89  0:89
finite-acting conditions), but rather the corresponding initial pro-
duction value for a pure-hyperbolic-decline production.
(3) Calculate reserves (OGIP) and provide production forecast,
as applicable. Case Study 2: Fraim and Wattenbargers Numerical Case 1
On the basis of the information obtained previously, the OGIP (Fraim and Wattenbarger 1987). Case Study 2 is a another in-
prediction can be performed by invoking Eqs. 30 and 31: dependently generated numerical gas-well decline scenario,
reported by Fraim and Wattenbarger (1987). As a synthetically
rq0 created scenario, OGIP is known accurately and is reported equal
grq 1 1:067: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 to 61.51 Bscf. We now present the results obtained by the pro-
1 rq B
posed methodology for this case study.
(1) rq , rq0 , and b calculationson the basis of the input data pro-
vided by the authors in Table 2 and the associated natural-gas fluid-
300
property calculations, the following parameters are calculated:

250
qi  qwf
q1b qi 12:09 lbm=ft3 ; qwf 8:02 lbm=ft3 ; rq
gi qi
qwf
(MscfD)1b

200 0:336; rq0 1:9705;           40


qi  qwf
150 B 1:322 Fig: A  2 in Appendix A;
1 B 2rq0
1b
qgsc

100 b  bi B  0:4493:            41
1 B rq0 2
50 OGIP*
(2) q1b
sc vs. Gp plotFig. 7 shows the flow-rate vs. cumula-
tive-production plot for the numerical data provided by Fraim and
0 Wattenbarger (1987). The presence of the hyperbolic decline win-
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 dow is clearly observed, early-time deviations for infinite-acting-
Gp (Bcf) flow data are also evident, and late BDF data deviations are now
more pronounced because rq 0:34  1. The end of the hyper-
1b
Fig. 7qgsc vs. cumulative-production analysis for Case Study 2. bolic window marks the point where the hyperbolic decline starts

300 July 2013 Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology


70
TABLE 3RESERVES ANALYSIS FOR CASE STUDY 3
FIELD CASE 60 q1b
gi

Inputs

(MscfD)1b
50

Reservoir and Fluid Properties Values 40


Gas SG (air 1) 0.57
30

1b
qgsc
Reservoir temperature ( F) 160
Initial pressure (psia) 4,175 20
Well sandface pressure (psia) 500 OGIP*
10
Outputs
0
Variables Values 0.0 0.4 0.8 1.2 1.6 2.0 2.4 2.8
Gp (Bcf)
qi (lbm/ft3) 10.92
qwf (lbm/ft3) 1.29 1b
Fig. 8qgsc vs. cumulative-production analysis for Case Study 3.
rq 0.88
rq0 0.134
B (Fig. A-3, Appendix A) 0.89 OGIP grq  OGIP
; . . . . . . 45
b  bi (Eq. 21) 0.47 2:363626:37 Mscf 62:33 Bscf
iy (Mscf/D1b) (y-intercept in Fig. 8) 56.35
which is an estimation that closely agrees with the actual value
qgi (Mscf/D) 1,978.5 reported by the authors (61.51 Bscf). Future production from this
1/Di (days) (from slope in Fig. 8) 689 well should not be predicted from the classical hyperbolic model in
OGIP* (Bcf) (from x-intercept in Fig. 8) 2.56 Eq. 11, using the calculated b, qgi , and Di because it is clear in Fig. 7
g(rq) (Eq. 31) 1.075 that the onset of exponential decline is readily apparent in the data.
OGIP prediction (Bcf) (Eq. 30) 2.76
Case Study 3: West Virginia Gas Well A, Field Case
to transition into exponential decline. A clear straight line can be (Fetkovich et al. 1987; Fraim and Wattenbarger 1987). Gas
defined within the hyperbolic window, also shown in Fig. 7. Well A is a low-permeability, hydraulically fractured gas well pro-
(3) Obtain m, ix, iy, qgi , and Di the best straight-line-fitting ducing from the Onondaga chert formation in West Virginia. Its
analysis of the hyperbolic window data in Fig. 7 yields rate/time-production data were originally studied by Fetkovich
(Fetkovich et al. 1987) and later by Fraim and Wattenbarger (1987)
8
< m 9:2  106 Mscf b =D1b for reserves-quantification analysis. Table 3 provides the relevant
i q1b 1b
; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 reservoir and fluid properties and results obtained from the pro-
: y gi 242:6 Mscf=D
 posed reserves analysis. Fig. 8 shows the clear linear relationship
ix OGIP 26:37 Bcf
that is obtained between flow rate and available cumulative-pro-
from where: duction data. On the basis of this linearity, a prediction of 2.76 Bscf
8   is obtained (Table 2), which is a result consistent with the 3.36
>
> Mscf Bscf originally predicted by Fetkovich et al. (1987), later revised to
< qgi 21; 434 3.035 Bscf by Fraim and Wattenbarger (1987), and the predictions
D : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
> 1 of 2.6281 Bscf of Blasingame and Lee (1988) and 2.737 Bcf of
>
: 677:43D
Di Ahmed and McKinney (2005) for the same data. Future production
can be predicted with the regressed values of qgi and Di, which is
(4) Calculate reserves (OGIP)Eqs. 30 and 31 provide the valid as long as the hyperbolic character is maintained:
means for the explicit calculation of reserves:
1; 979:5
qgsc   1 Mscf=D: . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
rq0
grq 1 2:3636: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 0:47 0:47
1 rq B t1
689

70 Case Study 4: High-Pressure/High-Temperature (HP/HT)


Gas Well, Field Case (Ilk et al. 2009). Rate-time field data from
60
a hydraulically fractured HP/HT well producing from a tight gas
1b
qgi reservoir has been reported by Ilk et al. (2009). Their analysis pre-
50
dicted an OGIP of 8.0 Bcf for this HP/HT well. Table 4 presents
(MscfD)1b

input and output variables used and generated by the analysis.


40
Fig. 9 presents the straightline analysis for this case. The resulting
30
OGIP prediction (8.69 Bcf) is slightly higher than, yet consistent
with, the 8.0 Bcf value estimated by Ilk et al. (2009), who
1b
qgsc

20 obtained their OGIP estimates using independent empirical and


semiempirical methods. This consistency is remarkable given the
OGIP* simplicity of the proposed method, the evident restimulation con-
10
ducted during production for this well, and the prevailing HP/HT
0 conditions of this case study.
0 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0
Gp (Bcf) Case Study 5: Effect of rq Specification on q1b gsc vs. Gp
Plots. The final case study considers the case of a well producing
1b
Fig. 9qgsc vs. cumulative-production analysis for Case Study 4. from a cylindrical reservoir of known properties producing at

July 2013 Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology 301


TABLE 4RESERVES ANALYSIS FOR CASE STUDY 4 TABLE 5RESERVOIR DESCRIPTION FOR CASE STUDY 5
FIELD CASE
Properties Values
Inputs
Permeability, k (md) 0.01
Reservoir and Fluid Properties Values Porosity, / (%) 5
Pay-zone thickness, h (ft) 300
Gas SG (air 1) (estimated) 0.55
Gas SG (air 1) 0.55
Reservoir temperature ( F) 260
Wellbore radius, rw (ft) 0.25
Initial pressure (psia) 14,000
Initial pressure, pi (psia) 5,000
Well sandface pressure (psia) 1,000
Initial density, qi (lbm/ft3) 11.01
Outputs Reservoir temperature, T ( F) 200
Reservoir outer radius, re (ft) 700
Variables Values Drainage area (acres) 35.34
OGIP (Bscf) 6.0
qi (lbm/ft3) 17.63
qwf (lbm/ft3) 2.136
rq 0.88
rq0 0.138
B (Fig. A-4, Appendix A) 1.37 TABLE 6CASE STUDY 5, LOW pwf SPECIFICATION
(SEE FIG. A-5)
b  bi (Eq. 24) 0.58
iy (MscfD1b) (y-intercept in Fig. 9) 36.08
Variables Values
qgi (Mscf/D) 4,737
1/Di (days) (from slope in Fig. 9) 731 pwf (psia) 100
OGIP* (Bcf) [from x-intercept Fig. 8] 8.18 qwf (lbm/ft3) 0.227
g(rq) (Eq. 31) 1.062 rq 0.9794
OGIP prediction (Bcf) (Eq. 30) 8.69 rq0 0.021
B (Fig. A-5a, Appendix A) 0.92
b  bi (Eq. 24) 0.4791
40 qgi (Mscf/D) (from y-intercept Fig. 10) 785.28
1b 1/Di (Days) (from slope Fig. 10) 3,979.4
qgi
OGIP* (Bcf) (from x-intercept Fig. 10) 6.0
30 g(rq) (Eq. 31) 1.011
(MscfD)1b

OGIP prediction (Bcf) (Eq. 30) 6.06

20
three different bottomhole-pressure specifications (rq 0.98, 0.65,
1b
qgsc

OGIP*
and 0.31, approximately). Table 5 presents the reservoir and fluid
r = 0.31 r = 0.65 r = 0.98
10 properties used for the case study, which consider a common ini-
tial reservoir pressure of 5,000 psia and a gas in place of 6.0 Bcf
for all simulations. Reservoir simulations were conducted with a
commercial simulator (Computer Modelling Group 2012). Fig. 10
0 shows the resulting straightline analyses for all three numerical
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 scenarios. Note that early-time data (infinite-acting), as expected,
Gp (Bcf) does not follow the linear trend. However, the formation of a
hyperbolic window is evident in all cases. The onset of nonhyper-
1b
Fig. 10qgsc vs. cumulative-production analysis for Case bolic BDF behaviour at late times also becomes evident for all
Study 5. cases, rq < 1. Tables 6, 7, and 8 present the results of the

TABLE 7CASE STUDY 5, INTERMEDIATE pwf TABLE 8CASE STUDY 5, HIGH pwf SPECIFICATION
SPECIFICATION (SEE FIG. A-5b) (SEE FIG. A-5c)

Variables Values Variables Values

pwf (psia) 1,600 pwf (psia) 3,200


qwf (lbm/ft3) 3.86 qwf (lbm/ft3) 7.57
rq 0.65 rq 0.31
rq0 0.53 rq0 2.20
B (Fig. A-5b, Appendix A) 1.06 B (Fig. A-5c, Appendix A) 1.32
b  bi (Eq. 24) 0.49 b  bi (Eq. 24) 0.43
qgi (Mscf/D) (from y-intercept Fig.10) 599.6 qgi (Mscf/D) (from y-intercept Fig. 10) 347.4
1/Di (Days) (from slope Fig. 10) 3900.9 1/Di (Days) (from slope Fig. 10) 3808.1
OGIP* (Bcf) (from x-intercept Fig. 10) 4.61 OGIP* (Bcf) (from x-intercept Fig. 10) 2.34
g(rq) (Eq. 31) 1.32 g(rq) (Eq. 31) 2.56
OGIP prediction (Bcf) (Eq. 30) 6.08 OGIP prediction (Bcf) (Eq. 30) 5.98

302 July 2013 Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology


straightline analysis and the calculation of OGIP on the basis of pi initial reservoir pressure, psia
OGIP* (x-axis) extrapolation. It is clear that the resulting OGIP pwf wellbore-pressure specification, psia
predictions are able to closely match the known resource base of qDd dimensionless flow rate
this reservoir (OGIP6.0 Bcf), regardless of bottomhole-pressure qgi initial flow rate of gas, Mscf/D
specification, and that the available production data do show win- qgsc gas-flow rate at standard conditions, Mscf/D
dows of hyperbolic behaviour that can be used to make this qi initial flow rate of gas, Mscf/D
assessment. qsc flow rate at standard conditions, STB/ D
rq bottomhole/initial density ratio, dimensionless
rq0 modified bottomhole/initial density ratio, dimensionless
Conclusions rw wellbore radius, ft
This study has demonstrated analytically that gas-well-perform- SG gas specific gravity, dimensionless
ance analysis can be carried out successfully using straightline t time, days
analysis of flow rate vs. cumulative-production boundary-domi- tDAd dimensionless time for decline-curve analysis
nated data. The analysis does not employ explicit calculations of X dimensional multiplier in t to tDAd conversion, 1/day
pseudopressure or pseudotime, which renders the analysis itera- Y dimensional multiplier in qgsc to qDd conversion, D/
tionless. The hyperbolic decline exponent (b) is shown to be Mscf
predicted explicitly from the viscosity-compressibility characteris- a correlation coefficient for viscosity-compressibility and
tics of the reservoir fluidwhich are directly controlled by the flu- density best-fit equation
ids specific gravity (composition) and reservoir temperatureand b depletion-driven time rescaling factor, dimensionless
the prevailing drawdown. This is contrary to the common practice c Eulers constant, 0.5772156649
in classical gas-well-decline analysis, which assumes that the / porosity, fraction
decline exponent b of a gas well in BDF is subject to empirical k viscosity/compressibility ratio, dimensionless
determination from rate/time data fitting. True hyperbolic decline g hydraulic diffusivity, ft2/sec
in BDF is observed throughout well productive life only for wells lg gas viscosity, cp
produced under wide-open decline conditions (rq  1). For all lg space-averaged reservoir gas viscosity, cp
other wells produced at less than full potential, decline behaviour lgi gas viscosity at initial reservoir conditions, cp
is also shown to exhibit a hybrid character: hyperbolic decline dur- lgw average gas viscosity at well bottomhole conditions, cp
ing early boundary- dominated flow but exponential decline char- q gas density, lbm/ft3
acter at later times. This observation also invalidates a basic tenant q space-averaged reservoir gas density, lbm/ft3
of Arps classical hyperbolic decline: the one that assumes that the qi gas density at initial reservoir pressure, lbm/ft3
value of b is time independent and constant for all gas wells in qsc gas density at standard conditions, lbm/ft3
boundary-dominated flow producing at constant bottomhole pres- qwf gas density at well bottomhole, lbm/ft3
sure. However, the existence of true hyperbolic decline conditions
for the early portion of the BDF data enables the identification of a
hyperbolic window, where the straightline analysis can be carried
out. The analysis enables straightforward reserves estimations References
(OGIP) on the basis of an unambiguous rate/time data analysis. Ahmed, T. and McKinney, P.D. 2005. Unconventional Gas. In Advanced
Reservoir Engineering, Chap. 3. Oxford, UK: Gulf Professional Pub-
lishing/Elsevier.
Nomenclature Abou-Kassem, J.H., Mattar, L., and Dranchuk, P.M. 1990. Computer Cal-
A reservoir area, sq ft culations Of Compressibility Of Natural Gas. J Can Pet Technol 29
b Arpss decline-curve hyperbolic exponent (5). PETSOC-90-05-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/90-05-10.
B intrinsic dependency between viscosity-compressibility Arps, J.J. 1945. Analysis of Decline Curves. In Petroleum Development
and density, dimensionless and Technology 1945, Vol. 160, SPE-945228-G, 228247. New York:
B average intrinsic dependency between viscosity-com- Transactions of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical
pressibility and density, dimensionless Engineers, AIME.
CA Dietz shape factor, dimensionless Ayala, L. and Ye, P. 2013. Unified Decline Type-Curve Analysis for Natu-
cg gas compressibility, 1/psi ral Gas Wells in Boundary-Dominated Flow. SPE J. 18 (1): 97113.
c g space-averaged reservoir gas compressibility, 1/psi SPE-161095-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/161095-PA.
cgi gas compressibility at initial reservoir condition, 1/psi Blasingame, T.A. and Lee, W.J. 1988. The Variable-Rate Reservoir Limits
cgw average gas compressibility at well bottomhole condi- Testing of Gas Wells. Presented at the SPE Gas Technology Sympo-
tions, 1/psi sium, Dallas, 1315 June. SPE-17708-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/
D decline rate, 1/day 17708-MS.
DD dimensionless decline rate Carter, R.D. 1985. Type Curves for Finite Radial and Linear Gas-Flow
Di decline BDF rate at t0, 1/day Systems: Constant-Terminal-Pressure Case. Society of Petroleum
Dei initial decline rate coefficient in the exponential model, Engineers Journal 25 (5): 719728. SPE-12917-PA. http://dx.doi.org/
1/day 10.2118/12917-PA.
DDi initial dimensionless decline rate, dimensionless CMG. 2012. IMEX User Manual, MYR2012 Version. Calgary, Alberta:
grq bottomhole-initial-density-ratio-dependent reserves adjust- Computer Modelling Group.
ment function, dimensionless Dranchuk, P.M. and Abou-Kassem, J. H. 1975. Calculation of Z Factors
Gp total cumulative production, Mscf For Natural Gases Using Equations of State. J Can Pet Technol 14 (3).
GPDd dimensionless total cumulative production PETSOC-75-03-03. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/75-03-03.
h pay-zone thickness, ft Fetkovich, M.J. 1980. Decline Curve Analysis Using Type Curves. J Pet
ix x-axis intercept of the hyperbolic window straightline Technol 32 (6): 10651077. SPE 4629-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/
in flow-rate vs. Gp plots, Mscf 4629-PA.
iy y-axis intercept of the hyperbolic window straightline Fetkovich, M.J., Vienot, M.E., Bradley, M.D. et al. 1987. Decline Curve
in flow-rate vs. Gp plots, (Mscf/D)1b Analysis Using Type Curves: Case Histories. SPE Form Eval 2 (4):
k permeability, md 637656. SPE-13169-PA. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/13169-PA.
m slope of the hyperbolic window in flow-rate vs. Gp Fraim, M.L. and Wattenbarger, R.A. 1987. Gas Reservoir Decline Curve
plots, Mscf b/D1b Analysis Using Type Curves with Real Gas Pseudopressure and Nor-
OGIP extrapolated OGIP prediction from flow rate vs. Gp malized Time. SPE Form Eval 2 (4): 671682. SPE-14238-PA. http://
plots, Mscf dx.doi.org/10.2118/14238-PA.

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Ibrahim, M., Wattenbarger, R.A., and Helmy, W. 2003. Determination of
4x105
OGIP for Wells in Pseudosteady-State-Old Techniques, New Approaches.
Presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Den- 3.5x105 1/gcg = 10514*1.322
ver, 58 October. SPE-84286-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/84286-MS. i
Ibrahim, M., and Wattenbarger, R.A., 2005, Analysis of Rate Dependence 3x105
in Transient Linear Flow in Tight Gas wells, Petroleum Society s 6th
2.5x105

1/gcg (psi/cp)
Canadian International Petroleum Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Can-
ada June 79.
Ilk, D., Rushing, J.A., and Blasingame, T.A. 2009. Decline Curve Analysis 2x105
for HP/HT Gas Wells: Theory and Applications. Presented at the SPE
wf
Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, 47 Octo-
ber. SPE-125031-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/125031-MS. 1.5x105
Lee, A.L., Gonzalez, M.H., and Eakin, B.E. 1966. The Viscosity of Natu-
ral Gases. J Pet Technol 18 (8): 9971000. SPE-1340-PA. http://
dx.doi.org/10.2118/1340-PA.
Mattar, L. and Anderson, D. 2005. Dynamic Material Balance (Oil or Gas-
105
In-Place Without Shut-Ins). Presented at the Canadian International 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Petroleum Conference, Calgary, 79 June. CIPC 2005-113. http:// density (lbm/ft3)
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Methodology for Advanced Analysis of Production Data. Presented at Case Study 2.
the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, 58
October. SPE-84472-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/84472-MS.
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Type CurvesAnalysis of Gas Well Production Data. Oral presenta- 1/gcg = 27925*0.88
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dx.doi.org/10.2118/25909-MS.
5
10
1/gcg (psi/cp)
Sutton, R.P. 1985. Compressibility Factors for High-Molecular-Weight
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14265-MS. http://dx.doi.org/10.2118/14265-MS. wf
Ye, P. and Ayala H, L.F. 2012. A density-diffusivity approach for the
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7: 2234. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2012.03.004.

4
Appendix A: The Viscosity-Compressibility vs. 10
1
Density Dependency
density () (lbm/ft3)
In our studies, we quantify the isothermal dependency of viscos-
ity-compressibility and density values through the definition of Fig. A-3Viscosity-compressibility vs. density behaviour for
the dimensionless parameter Case Study 3.
 
dlnlg cg
B : . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A-1 pressure natural gases, B1 as predicted by the kinetic theory for
dlnq T nonattracting rigid spheres, thus generating a 45 line slope in
1
This intrinsic dependence can be shown to be a function of log-log vs. density plots at low pressures. For real natural
fluid specific gravity (composition), reservoir temperature, and lg cg
pressure level. It is straightforward to show that B0 for liquids gases, values of B can be lower than unity (B < 1) as pressure
1 increases away from ideal conditions and are higher than unity (B
which generate horizontal vs. density profiles. For ideal low-
lg cg
6 107
10
1/gcg = 24573*0.89 1/gcg = 14726*1.37

i i
106
1/gcg (psi/cp)
1/gcg (psi/cp)

5
10

wf
wf 105

10
4
104
1 10 1 10
density (lbm/ft3) density (lbm/ft3)

Fig. A-1Viscosity-compressibility vs. density behaviour for Fig. A-4Viscosity-compressibility vs. density behaviour for
Case Study 1. Case Study 4 (HP/HT).

304 July 2013 Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology


(a) (b) 6
10
1/gcg = 28627*0.92 i 1/gcg = 21962*1.06

105

1/gcg (psi/cp)
1/gcg (psi/cp)

wf
105

104 wf

104
0.1 1 10 5 10
3 3
density (lbm/ft ) density (lbm/ft )

(c)
4x105
3.5x105 1/gcg = 12445*1.32
i
3x105

2.5x105
1/gcg (psi/cp)

2x105 wf

1.5x105

105
7 8 9 10 11 12
density (lbm/ft3)

Fig. A-5(a) Viscosity-compressibility vs. density behaviour for Case Study 5 low pwf specification. (b) Viscosity-compressibility
vs. density behaviour for Case Study 5 intermediate pwf specification. (c) Viscosity-compressibility vs. density behaviour for Case
Study 5 high pwf specification.

> 1) at even higher pressures (Ye and Ayala 2012). For a given Peng Ye is a reservoir engineer with Hess Corporation in Kuala
depletion process, a representative average B-value can be Lumpur, specializing in rate transient analysis and production
1 analysis for unconventional reservoirs, and in multiphase trans-
derived by plotting the behaviour of the coefficient vs. den- port description in porous media using both analytical and nu-
l g cg merical approaches. He holds a BS degree in geology from
sity in a log-log format, with the average slope of such a plot rep- Peking University and MS and PhD degrees in energy and min-
resenting the B-value for the process and pressure interval under eral engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. Ye
study. A best-fit regression analysis of the equation can be reached at pengye@hess.com.

1 Luis F. Ayala H. is Associate Professor of Petroleum and Natural


a  qB: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A-2 Gas Engineering and Associate Department Head for Gradu-
lg cg ate Education in the John and Willie Leone Family Department
of Energy and Mineral Engineering at the Pennsylvania State
within the interval of interest yields the desired B. This determi- University. His research activities focus on the areas of natural-
nation is illustrated in Figs. A-1 through A-5c for every case gas engineering, unconventional reservoir analysis, and nu-
study discussed in this manuscript. In these plots, gas-compressi- merical modelling. Ayala H. holds PhD and MS degrees in pe-
bility factors are obtained from the Dranchuk and Abou-Kassem troleum and natural-gas engineering from the Pennsylvania
correlation (Dranchuk and Abou-Kassem 1975), fluid isothermal State University and two engineering degrees with summa
compressibilities from Abou-Kassem et al. (1990), and fluid vis- cum laude honours, one in chemical engineering and the
cosities from the Lee-Gonzalez-Eakin correlation (Lee et al. other in petroleum engineering, from Universidad de Oriente
in Venezuela. He was awarded the 2007 SPE Outstanding
1966). Gas-mixture pseudoproperties are calculated as a function Technical Editor Award and the 2008 Wilson Award for Out-
of gas specific gravity using the correlation by Sutton (1985). standing Teaching by Pennsylvania State University. Ayala H. is
Best-fit regression equations are presented at the upper-left corner a member of the SPE Reservoir Description and Dynamics Ad-
of each plot with the associated B-value being prescribed by the visory Committee and has served as Editor-in-Chief of The Way
stated power of density in these regression equations. Ahead. He can be reached at ayala@psu.edu.

July 2013 Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology 305