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FUNDAMENTALS OF

RESERVOIR FLUID FLOW


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Reference: Tarek Ahmed (2006), Reservoir Engineering


Handbook, 3rd Edition, Gulf Professional Publishing

Acknowledgement
Dr. Ismail M. Saaid ,Mr. Ali Fikret and AP Dr Khalik M Sabil

Learning Outcome
To describe type of fluid in reservoir .

To identify flow regimes in reservoir.

To describe reservoir geometry.

To identify number of flowing fluids in the


reservoir

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Introduction
• Flow in porous media is a very complex
phenomenon and as such cannot be
described as explicitly as flow through pipes
or conduits.
– In a pipe: measure the length and diameter of a pipe and
compute its flow capacity as a function of pressure

– In a porous media, there is no clear-cut flow paths which


lend themselves to measurement.

Why the flow is complex ?


The shapes of oil bearing formations and
aquifer are irregular.

Most oil bearing & water bearing formation


are heterogeneous with respect to porosity,
permeability , connate water saturation .

The wellbore usually deviates resulting in an


irregular well pattern through the pay zone .

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Why the flow is complex ?
The production rates usually different from
well to well. In general, a high rate well
drains a larger radius than lower rate well.

Many wells do not fully penetrate the pay


zone or not fully perforated.

DARCY’S LAW
L

q
A

dx
For one-dimensional, horizontal flow through a porous •
medium, Darcy’s Law states that:

Flow rate (cm3/s)


kA dp Cross sectional area (cm2)
q=− Viscosity of flowing fluid (cp)
µ dx Permeability (Darcy)
Pressure gradient (atm/cm)

Transport eqn implying velocity is proportional to pressure gradient


and reciprocal to viscosity

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Objectives
• To identify reservoir characteristics that
influence the flow
• To present mathematical equations
describing the flow behavior of reservoir
fluids.
• To apply fluid flow equations in reservoir
engineering scenarios

Reservoir Characteristics
• Types of fluids in the reservoir

• Flow regimes

• Reservoir geometry

• Number of flowing fluids in the


reservoir

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Types of fluids
As classified by isothermal compressibility.
1. Incompressible fluids
2. Slightly compressible fluids
3. Compressible fluids
• described/classified mathematically by the isothermal compressibility
coefficient (c)

1. Incompressible fluids

• An incompressible fluid: fluid whose


volume (or density) does not change with
pressure, i.e.:

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2. Slightly compressible fluids
• exhibit small changes in volume, or density, with
changes in pressure.
• changes in the volumetric behavior of this fluid
as a function of pressure can be mathematically
described by integrating the coefficient of
isothermal compressibility, ‘c’ to give:

where;
p = pressure
V = volume at pressure p,
pref = initial pressure
Vref = fluid volume at initial
pressure

-------------- (3)

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• The ex may be represented by a series
expansion as:

-------------- (4)

• Because the exponent x [which represents


the term c (pref−p)] is very small, the ex term
can be approximated by truncating Equation
(4) to:

-------------- (5)

• Combining Equation (5) with Equation (3)


gives:
-------------- (6)

A similar derivation is applied to Equation (2)


to give:
-------------- (7)

where V = volume at pressure p


ρ = density at pressure p
Vref = volume at initial (reference) pressure pref
ρref = density at initial (reference) pressure pref

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3. Compressible Fluids
• Fluids that experience large changes in
volume as a function of pressure.
• All gases are considered compressible
• The truncation of the series expansion, as
given by Equation (5), is not valid in this
category and the complete expansion as
given by Equation (4) is used.

• the isothermal compressibility of any


compressible fluid is described by:

-------------- (8)

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Figure(1): P-V relationship

schematic illustrations of the volume and density changes


as a function of pressure for the three types of fluids:

(Gas)

Figure(2)
Fluid density versus pressure for different fluid types

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FLOW REGIMES
• Three types of flow regimes that describe
the fluid flow behavior and reservoir
pressure distribution as a function of time:
 Steady-state flow
 Unsteady-state flow
 Pseudo steady-state flow

Steady-State Flow
• The pressure at every location in the reservoir
remains constant does not change with time

-------------- (9)

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• In reservoirs, the steady-state flow
condition can only occur when the
reservoir is completely recharged and
supported by strong aquifer or pressure
maintenance operations.

Scenario:
Open outer boundary. Infinite reservoir boundary.
Production is balanced by fluid entry across the outer boundary.
Never occur in reality!

Unsteady / Transient State Flow


• the rate of change of pressure with respect
to time at any position in the reservoir is
not zero or constant

-------------- (10)

Scenario:
analysis of well test where rate is deliberately changed and pressure
response is analyzed.
Pressure disturbance for a short period (In cases of well closure/ repair)
No boundary effect

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Pseudo steady-State Flow
• The pressure at different locations in the
reservoir is declining linearly as a function
of time

-------------- (11)

Reservoir Scenario?
- Reservoir has been producing long enough.
- Pressure reduction has reached boundary of reservoir. Boundary
effect.

Figure (3)
Flow regimes

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RESERVOIR GEOMETRY
• The shape of a reservoir has a significant
effect on its flow behavior
• Most reservoirs have irregular boundaries
• Rigorous mathematical description of
geometry is often possible only with the
use of numerical simulators
• One of the following flow geometries:

Radial flow

 Linear flow

 Spherical and hemispherical flow

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Radial Flow
• Flow into or away from a wellbore will follow radial
flow lines from a substantial distance from the
wellbore
• In the absence of severe reservoir heterogeneities
fluids move toward the well from all directions and
coverage at the wellbore.

Figure (4)
Ideal radial flow into a wellbore.

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Linear Flow
• When flow paths are parallel and the fluid
flows in a single direction
• The cross sectional area to flow must be
constant
• A common application of linear flow
equations is the fluid flow into vertical
hydraulic fractures

Figure (5)
Linear flow

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Figure (6)
Ideal linear flow into vertical fracture

Spherical and Hemispherical


Flow
• Depending upon the type of wellbore
completion configuration
• possible to have a spherical or hemispherical
flow near the wellbore
• A well with a limited perforated interval could
result in spherical flow in the vicinity of the
perforations
• A well that only partially penetrates the pay
zone could result in hemispherical flow

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Figure (7)
Spherical flow due to limited entry

Figure (8)
Hemispherical flow in a partially penetrating well

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NUMBER OF FLOWING
FLUIDS IN THE RESERVOIR
• Single-phase flow (oil, water, or gas)

• Two-phase flow (oil-water, oil-gas, or gas-water)

• Three-phase flow (oil, water, and gas)

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