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1.1 Introduction

Material balance is the application of the law of conservation of mass to oil and gas

reservoirs and aquifers. It is based on the premise that reservoir space voided by

production is immediately and completely filled by the expansion of remaining fluids and

rock. As demonstrated later in this chapter, material balance is a useful engineering

method for understanding a reservoir's past performance and predicting its future

potential.

To understand and analyze gas reservoirs, the following conditions will be applied.

1. Reservoir hydrocarbon fluids are in phase equilibrium at all times, and

equilibrium is achieved instantaneously after any pressure change;

2. The reservoir can be represented by a single, weighted pressure average at any

time (Pressure gradients in the reservoir cannot be considered by the method.)

3. Fluid saturations are uniform throughout the reservoir at any time (Saturation

gradients cannot be handled.)

4. Conventional PVT relationships for normal gas are applicable and are sufficient to

describe fluid phase behavior in the reservoir.

2. Determine original water in place in the aquifer;

3. Estimate expected oil and gas recoveries as a function of pressure decline in a

closed reservoir producing by depletion drive, or as a function of water influx

in a water-drive reservoir;

4. Predict future behavior of a reservoir (production rates, pressure decline,

and water influx);

5. Verify volumetric estimates of original fluids in place;

6. Verify future production rates and recoveries predicted by decline-curve analysis;

7. Determine which primary producing drive mechanisms are responsible for a

reservoir's observed behavior, and quantify the relative importance of each

mechanism;

8. Evaluate the effectiveness of a water drive;

9. Study the interference of fields sharing a common aquifer.

Data requirements to accurately apply the material balance method consists of: (1)

cumulative fluid production at several times (cumulative oil, gas, and water); (2) average

reservoir pressures at the same times, averaged accurately over the entire reservoir; (3)

fluid PVT data at each reservoir pressure as well as formation compressibility.

1.1

1.2 Basic concepts

The general material-balance equation for a depletion-drive gas reservoir, neglecting

water and formation compressibilities is expressed by:

p p G

i 1 p

z zi G

(1.1)

It is one of the most often used relationships in gas reservoir engineering. It is usually

valid enough to provide excellent estimates of original gas-in-place based on observed

production, pressure, and PVT data.

During the life of a gas reservoir, cumulative production is recorded, and average

reservoir pressures are periodically measured. At each measured reservoir pressure the

gas z-factor is determined to calculate P/z, and the result plotted as shown in Figure 1.1

below. Notice that Equation 1.1 results in a linear relationship between P/z and G p. That

is, as gas is produced from the reservoir, the ratio P/z should decline linearly for a

volumetric reservoir. Note that for an ideal gas, pressure alone would decline linearly.

4000

(p/z)i

3500

Last measured

3000 data point

2500

p/z, psia

2000

extrapolate

1500

1000

(p/z) a

500

Gpa=8.5 Bscf G=10 Bscf

0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Cumulative gas produced,Bscf

Figure 1.1 Example of linear relationship between p/z and gas produced for a volumetric

reservoir.

Example 1.1

Determine the original gas-in-place and ultimate recovery at an abandonment pressure of

500 psia for the following reservoir.

1.2

Gas specific gravity = 0.70

Reservoir temperature = 150F

Original reservoir pressure = 3000 psia

Abandonment reservoir pressure = 500 psia

Production and pressure history as shown in the following table.

0 3000 0.822 3650

580 2800 0.816 3431

1390 2550 0.810 3148

3040 2070 0.815 2540

Steps:

1) Determine z-factor and calculate P/z.

2) Plot P/z versus GP. (Example shown in Fig. 1.1)

3) Draw a straight line through the data points.

4) Extrapolate the straight line to p/z = 0, where Gp must equal G, the OGIP.

From Figure 1.1 G = 10.0 Bscf.

5) Ultimate recovery is estimated from an abandonment pressure of 500 psia

and z = 0.945, thus (p/z)a = 529 psia. From Fiqure 1.1, the ultimate

recovery is estimated to be 8.5 Bscf, or 85% of the OGIP.

In the example, the data points formed a easily-recognizable straight 1ine, but in practice

this may not always be the case. Theoretically, there should be a linear relationship

between p/z and G. However, in practice there are several factors that may cause the

relationship to be nonlinear. Formation compressibility may be significant, as in an

unconsolidated sand reservoir. If this extra stored energy is not accounted for, the

measured data points will be extrapolated to an optimistically high value of OGIP. In the

example, if the reservoir actually had an OGIP of 10.0 Bscf, but the formation was

unconsolidated and had significant compressibility, the three measured reservoir

pressures after production had begun would have been greater, and extrapolation to OGIP

would have exceeded 10.0 Bscf. Secondly, average reservoir pressure may not have been

accurately determined. This is a common problem, and the plot of p/z versus G p

frequently shows more fluctuations from a straight line than in Figure 1.1. Finally, if a

water drive were acting on the gas reservoir, pressure support would occur and the plot of

p/z versus Gp would give an overly optimistic OGIP.

In this example the recovery factor was estimated simply by the ratio of ultimate recovery

to the original gas-in-place. Alternatively, it is possible to estimate ultimate recovery

efficiency (RE) in a depletion-drive gas reservoir with negligible water and formation

compressibilities by:

B gi

RFvol 1 1 p a zi

B ga z a pi (1.2)

1.3

where the gas formation volume factor is defined as:

P zT

Bg sc (1.3)

Tsc P

For the example, ultimate recovery efficiency can be estimated from Equation (1.2),

529

RFvol 1 85% of OGIP

3650

operational considerations, reservoir variables and economics. In general, the higher the

reservoir permeability the lower the abandonment pressure. However, in tight gas sands,

where permeability is in the milli- to microdarcy range, abandonment pressures are being

reduced by a variety of methods targeting bottomhole flowing pressure. These methods

can be on the surface, such as adding compression, or in the wellbore, such as adding

plunger lift or capillary tubes. The added benefit can be quite substantial. For instance,

in the previous example if the abandonment pressure could be reduced in half, the

incremental gain in recovery would be approximately 1 Bscf.

The previous section provides the basic concepts in material balance for simple,

volumetric gas reservoirs. However, nonlinearity can occur in the p/z vs G p relationship

as a result of water influx, or changes in rock and water compressibilities in geopressured

reservoirs, or the inability to achieve average reservoir pressure such as in low

permeability reservoirs.

p

1 c ( p p)

z e( p ) i

p

p / zi 5.615

(1.4)

pG G W R W B

p w W B W

z i G inj p sw B inj w e

g

where Ginj and Winj are gas and water injection, respectively; Rsw is solution gas in the

water phase, and ce(p) is an average effective compressibility term. From this general

material balance equation we will investigate the affects of water influx, rock/water

compressibilities and low-permeability systems.

The impact of water influx is to provide pressure support, resulting in slower pressure

decline. Subsequently, gas reservoirs associated with aquifers show a flattening of the

p/z curve. Figure 1.2 shows p/z curves for gas reservoirs with varying strengths of aquifer

support. In all cases, linear extrapolation of the water-drive cases to determine OGIP

would lead to optimistically high values.

1.4

strength

(p/z)i

(p/z)a

water drive

p/z

(p/z)a

Depletion drive

Gp

Figure 1.2 Water Drive Gas Reservoir p/z Curve

The rate of the gas withdrawal is directly proportional to the ability of water to encroach.

For example, a high withdrawal rate coupled with a strong aquifer could lead to early

coning and/or pockets of trapped gas. Agarwal, et. al, in 1965 attributed the low gas

recovery in water drive reservoirs to the trapped residual gas saturation and a volumetric

displacement efficiency less than unity. They showed that the size and properties of the

aquifer and the withdrawal rates, along with residual gas saturation and volumetric sweep

efficiency impact the ultimate gas recovery and thus are major factors in designing field

development strategy.

When water invades a gas reservoir, the net volume of water influx reduces the gas

volume. The material balance equation must reflect this addition, subsequently, we can

write,

original volume remaining volume net water

of GIP, rcf of GIP, rcf influx, rcf

Assuming no injection has occurred, that rock and water compressibility changes are

small and the solubility of gas in the water is negligible, then the general material balance

equation reduces to:

p p

Gp 1

1 We 5.615Wp B w (1.5)

z z i G GBg

where,

We = cumulative water influx into the gas reservoir, rcf

Wp = cumulative water production, stb

Bw = water formation volume factor in rbbl/stb.

Rearranging Eq. (1.5) to solve for gas-in-place results in the following expression,

1.5

G B

We 5.615B w Wp

G

p g

B B

(1.6)

g gi

Early in the producing life of a reservoir, the difference in the denominator is small and

therefore could lead to erroneous values of gas-in-place. Subsequently, to obtain accurate

results, Eq. (1.6) should be used over longer periods of time.

estimate of residual or trapped gas saturation. In a water-drive gas reservoir, gas

saturation at abandonment (called residual or trapped) does not equal original gas

saturation: Sgr = Sgt Sgi; therefore,

B gi Sgr p a z Sgr

RFwd 1 1 i

B ga Sgi z a p i Sgi (1.7)

Implicit in the derivation of Equation (1.7) is the assumption that volumetric sweep

efficiency for gas, Ev, is 100%. This assumption is optimistic as frequently the

displacement of gas by water results in unswept, bypassed portions of the reservoir,

increasing the trapped gas saturation. Subsequently, a modified form of Eq. (1.6) is:

B gi Sgr 1 E v

RFwd 1 E v (1.8)

B ga Sgi E v

Some published values of residual gas saturation were given by Geffen (1952) and are

shown in Table 1.1 below.

Unconsolidated sand 16

Slightly consolidated sand 21

(synthetic)

Synthetic consolidated sand Selas Porcelain 17

Norton Alundum 24

Consolidated sandstones Wilcox 25

Frio 30-38

Nellie Bly 30-36

Frontier 31-24

Springer 33

Torpedo 34-37

Tensleep 40-50

Limestone Canyon Reef 50

Table 1.1 Residual gas saturation after waterflood as measured on core plugs

(Geffen,et. al, 1952)

Example 1.2

The reservoir is the same as described in the previous example except that pressure is

fully maintained at its original value by a strong water drive. Assume that the entire gas

1.6

reservoir is swept by water. What is the recovery factor? Given: Sgi = 75% and Sgt =

35%, respectively. What if Ev = 60%?

Since the pressure is constant for the life of the reservoir, a simplified form of Eq. (1.7)

becomes,

Sgr

RFwd 1 1 0.35 53%

Sgi 0.75

Similiarly, if the volumetric sweep efficiency is accounted for, then Eq. (1.8) results in

RFwd = 32%.

Both are much less than typical recovery efficiencies in depletion-drive gas reservoirs.

Note that a partial water drive does not maintain pressure completely, and thus would

allow some gas production by pressure depletion, and recovery efficiency would

improve. In general, recovery efficiency in a gas reservoir is much better under depletion-

drive than under water-drive.

A modified material balance for water drive gas reservoirs was proposed by Hower and

Jones (1991) and Schafer, et al (1993) to account for pressure gradients that develop

across the invaded region. Previous theory assumed the invaded zone pressure is

equivalent to the reservoir pressure and is constant. The modified approach accounts for

pressure gradients in the invaded zone due to capillary pressure. The method predicts a

higher pressure at the original reservoir boundary and a much lower pressure in the

uninvaded region of the reservoir. Both water influx calculations and reservoir

performance predictions are influenced by the pressure gradient term.

The pressure drop in the invaded zone is given by the steady state radial flow equation.

141.2q w w ln(ro / rt )

pinv po pt (1.9)

k rw kh

where

po = pressure at the original reservoir boundary

pt = pressure at the current reservoir boundary

ro = radius at the original reservoir boundary

rt = radius at the current reservoir boundary

The relative permeability to water is evaluated at the endpoint; i.e., at residual gas

saturation; therefore it is not required to obtain the entire relative permeability curve. The

residual gas saturation is assumed constant throughout the entire invaded region. The

water flow rate can be estimated using the water influx term, q w = dWe/dt. The resulting

modified material balance equation becomes:

G p B g G ( B g B gi ) Gt ( B gt B g ) We B wW p (1.10)

where Gt is the volume of trapped gas in the invaded region of the reservoir and is a

function of Sgr and average pressure in the invaded region.

1.7

Results from the proposed modified material balance method agreed with a numerical

simulation model and demonstrated the influence of relative permeability on the reservoir

performance. Figure 1.3 from Hower and Jones (1991) illustrates the excellent match

with the simulator if a krw = 0.06 is assumed. Also, notice the difference in reservoir

performance between the conventional and modified material balance techniques.

Figure 1.3 Comparison of reservoir performance for conventional and modified material

balance methods and numerical simulation. (Hower and Jones, 1991)

Example 1.3

GWINFLUX is a software application for the modified gas material balance method

provided by GRI. Use the DEMO.DAT file and determine the OGIP.

When applying the material balance equations for oil and gas reservoirs the typical

solution is to rearrange to solve for N and then used to compute OOIP or OGIP at

different times during a reservoir's life. Naturally the results of each calculation vary

somewhat from one time to another. Thus, there are often major questions about the

correct value for OOIP or OGIP, especially if a gas cap or water influx is present.

A powerful method of removing much of the doubt concerning the accuracy of computed

results was presented by Havlena and Odeh in two papers in 1963 and 1964. The first

1.8

paper presents the theory; the second presents field case studies. Havlena and Odeh's

method rearranges the material balance equations into an algebraic form that results in an

equation of a straight line. The procedure requires plotting one variable group versus

another. The shape of the plot and sequence of plotted points provide important insight

into the validity of the assumed reservoir drive mechanism.

5.615W B

F e w

G (1.11)

E E

t t

F = total net reservoir voidage

F G p B g W p Bw (1.12)

Et = Eg + Ecf = total expansion

E g B g B gi (1.13)

Ecf = connate water and formation expansion * Bgi

S wi c w c f

Ecf B gi *

1 S wi

p p

i

(1.14)

Since G and Gp are usually expressed in SCF, the units of Bg and Bgi are in RCF/SCF. A

plot of F/Et vs WeBw/Et should result in a straight line with intercept of G, the original gas

in place, and slope related to water influx (see Figure 1.4).

We too small

We correct

We too large

F/Et ,stb

Intercept=G

We Bw

Et

1.9

Figure 1.4 Material balance linear plot for gas reservoirs with aquifer support

To appropriately interpret Figure 1.4, the material balance equation must be coupled with

a water influx model. For example, for the Fetkovich aquifer model, the slope of the

straight line should be equal to one. If not, different aquifer properties must be used.

Others are the unsteady state Van Everdingen and Hurst and steady state Schilthuis water

influx models. In the former, a straight-line slope provides an estimate of the water

influx constant, B. If the data does not plot as a straight line then different aquifer

properties must be estimated. In the latter, the slope is equal to the water influx constant,

k. Further discussion on water influx properties is beyond the scope of this chapter. For

details the reader is directed to the references at the end of this chapter.

GE g

Gas drive index: GDI (1.15)

G p Bg

We Bw W p Bw

Water drive index: WDI (1.16)

G p Bg

GEcf

Compressibility drive index: CDI (1.17)

G p Bg

Example 1.4

1.10

The performance history for a gas reservoir with water influx is given in Table 1.2 below.

Solve for the correct gas-in-place using the linearized method.

time Gp Bg Wp

days mscf rbbl/mscf stb

1 816 0.837 0

31 25299 0.843 0

61 52191 0.849 0

92 83814 0.855 0

123 140817 0.868 16563

153 210174 0.885 37934

184 260921 0.894 54497

214 313742 0.905 75868

245 392389 0.925 108994

276 429366 0.930 120036

304 504400 0.952 144969

335 618738 0.993 183615

365 733260 1.035 221015

396 825832 1.067 259662

426 909022 1.098 297061

457 949839 1.104 335708

488 991534 1.117 385396

518 1031923 1.132 396082

549 1074335 1.152 478896

579 1109657 1.167 516296

610 1145626 1.185 554942

641 1196897 1.221 571505

670 1275411 1.289 612823

701 1315925 1.316 651469

731 1353185 1.340 688869

762 1385369 1.360 721995

792 1427744 1.407 754052

823 1463357 1.442 853428

854 1501825 1.488 958326

Table 1.2 Performance history data for Example 1.4

The example is setup to demonstrate the influence of water influx on identifying the

5.0 line. A cumulative water influx of 831 mbbl, results in a straight line and

correct straight

estimate of4.8

2.107 Bscf of gas-in-place (See Figure 1.5). A decrease in cumulative water

influx of 484 mbbl. resulted in a concave upwards trend andy an increase in cumulative

= 1.0602x + 2.1074

4.6

water influx of 1427 mbbl resulted in a concave downwards trend. 2

4.4 R = 0.9843

The GDI is4.2approximately constant at 60% and the WDI at 40% for the +2 years of

production 4.0

history.

F/Et

3.8

3.6

3.4

3.2

3.0

1.0 1.5 1.112.0 2.5 3.0

We/Et

Figure 1.5 Influence of water influx on gas material balance for Example 1.4

Note if no connate water and formation expansion occurs, then Eq. (1.11) reduces to Eq.

(1.6), the standard expression for gas material balance with water drive. Also, if the

reservoir drive mechanism is purely by gas expansion (depletion drive), then Eq. (1.11)

reduces to:

F GEt (1.18)

A plot of F vs Et should be a straight line through the origin with slope of G.

effects result in a nonlinear p/z vs cumulative plot. Figure 1.6 is a schematic illustrating

this behavior. The rate of decrease of pressure during the early time is reduced due to

support of these compressibility components. Extrapolation of this initial slope will

result in an overestimation of gas-in-place and reserves. As pressure reduces to a normal

gradient, the formation compaction influence on the reservoir becomes negligible and

thus the remaining energy comes from the expansion of the gas in the reservoir. This

accounts for the second slope in Figure 1.6.

1.12

(p/z)i Gas expansion

+

Formation compaction

+

Water expansion

p/z

Gas expansion

Overestimate of G

Gp

Figure 1.6 nonlinear p/z vs Gp plot due to formation and water compressibility effects.

Assuming no water influx or production and no injection, then the general material

balance equation (1.4) reduces to:

pi G

1 p

p

zi G (1.19)

z 1 c e( p ) ( p i p)

where ce(p) is a pressure-dependent effective compressibility term. An early definition of

ce(p) by Ramagost and Farshad (1981) where in terms of constant pore and water

compressibilities.

c S c

c e w wi f (1.20)

(1 S wi )

Average values were assumed thus removing the complication of pressure dependency.

To determine gas-in-place, the p/z term (y-axis) is linearized by plotting,

p c w S wi c f (p i p)

1 vs G p

z (1 S wi )

Example 1.5

Estimate the original gas-in-place for the data given by Duggan (1972) for the Anderson

L sand. Apply both the conventional and geopressured material balance equations.

Given:

pi = 9,507 psia

cw = 3.2 x 10-6 psi-1

Swi = 0.24

cf = 19.5 x 10-6 psi-1

Original pressure gradient = 0.843 psi/ft

1.13

p,psia z Gp,Bcf

9507 1.440 0

9292 1.418 0.3925

8970 1.387 1.6425

8595 1.344 3.2258

8332 1.316 4.2603

8009 1.282 5.5035

7603 1.239 7.5381

7406 1.218 8.7492

7002 1.176 10.5093

6721 1.147 11.7589

6535 1.127 12.7892

5764 1.048 17.2625

4766 0.977 22.8908

4295 0.928 28.1446

3750 0.891 32.5667

3247 0.854 36.8199

Figure 1.7 displays the results of the conventional material balance. Gas-in-place is

estimated to be 89.3 Bcf.

Figure 1.8 shows the results when using the geopressured approach. The resulting gas-in-

place is 70.7 Bscf. Thus if the conventional approach is taken, the gas-in-place will be

overestimated by more than 25%.

1.14

Figure 1.8 Geopressured material balance solution for Example 1.5

The above example assumed that formation compressibility was both known and

constant. However, frequently formation compressibility varies during pressure

depletion, and is difficult to obtain in the laboratory. Roach (1981) developed a material

balance technique for simultaneously estimating formation compressibility and gas-in-

place and was later applied by Poston and Chen (1987) to the Anderson L example. The

revised material balance equation is:

1 p i z 1 G p p i z S wi c w c f

1

p i p pz i G p i p pz i 1 S wi (1.21)

If the formation compressibility is constant then a straight line will develop with a slope

= 1/G and an intercept = -(Swicw + cf)/(1-Swi).

Example 1.6

Repeat example 1.5 and estimate both gas-in-place and formation compressibility. Figure

1.9 shows the results from this analysis. The original gas-in-place is estimated from the

slope,

1000

G 75.8 Bscf

13.199

and the formation compressibility from the intercept,

c f bx106 (1 S wi ) S wi cw 12.5 x106 psi 1

The deviation from the straight line at early time is due to the pore fluids supporting the

overburden pressure. However, as fluids are withdrawn the formation compacts, thus

transferring more of the support on the rock matrix.

1.15

Figure 1.9 Simultaneous solution of gas-in-place and formation compressibility for a

volumetric geo-pressured gas reservoir, Example 1.6

Fetkovich, et al. in 1991 further expanded the effective compressibility term by including

both gas solubility and total water associated with the gas reservoir volume. The

resulting expression accounts for pressure dependency.

ctw( p) S wi c f ( p) M [ctw( p) c f ( p ) ]

ce( p) (1.22)

(1 S wi )

The cumulative total water compressibility, ctw, is composed of water expansion due to

pressure depletion and the release of solution gas in the water and its expansion. The

associated water-volume ratio, M accounts for the total pore and water volumes in

pressure communication with the gas reservoir. This includes non-net pay water and pore

volumes such as in interbedded shales and shaly sands, and external water volume found

in limited aquifers. The authors defined both terms as:

M M NNP M aq

nnp 1 hn / hg h 2

aq raq

1 (1.23)

h r

r hn / hg r r

where

nnp - non-net pay property

r - reservoir (net pay) property

aq - aquifer property

hn/hg - net to gross ratio

The proposed method of obtaining gas-in-place requires a trial and error solution.

Historical pressure and production data is coupled with an assumed gas-in-place value to

back-calculate values of effective compressibility from a rearranged material balance

equation.

1.16

p / z i G p 1

c e backcalculated 1 1 (1.24)

p / z G pi p

The effective compressibility from Eq. (1.24) can be plotted as a function of pressure, and

compared to values determined from rock and fluid properties in Eq. (1.22). A

reasonable fit between the two methods provides an estimate of gas-in-place and a

measure of physical significance to the results.

Example 1.7

Fetkovich, et al tested their method on the Anderson L sand data from Duggan (1971).

Additionally, they calculated total water compressibility as a function of pressure. Using

their values of ctw, a G = 72 Bscf, cf = 3.2 x 10 -6 psi -1, and M = 2.25, the following

results were obtained.

with the rock and fluid property derived values.

Figure 1.10 shows best fit results after varying M, c f, and G, respectively. (The authors

also varied Swi and decided on Swi = 0.35. In Fig 1.10 the original Swi = 0.24 was

maintained.) Figure 1.11 shows the performance match and prediction using the

variables listed above. The estimated gas-in-place of 72 Bcf is within the range of the

previous methods. Notice the first data points at high pressure in Figure 1.10 do not fit

the correlation drawn. These points correspond to the same data points which deviate

from the straight line in Figure 1.9, and thus the same explanation is believed valid for

this method as well.

The disadvantages of the Fetkovich, et al method are the requirement of rock and water

properties to build the effective compressibility correlation, the assumption that c f is

constant, and the non-uniqueness of the solution since multiple combinations of the

variables can yield the same outcome. The advantage is the addition of the pressure

1.17

dependency of the water compressibility and the development of a physical basis for the

analysis.

Figure 1.11 Performance match and prediction for the Anderson L reservoir.

relationship between pressure/z-factor (p/z) and cumulative production. Unfortunately,

tight gas reservoirs do not exhibit this type of behavior, but instead develop a nonlinear

trend (see Figure 1.12), which is not amenable to conventional analysis.

(p/z)i

m ?

2 =

m

1

(p/z)int Co

m n ve

Tig 1 nti

h on

t ga a lr

s re esp

p/z

spo on

nse

se

Gp G

Figure 1.12 P/z response for conventional gas reservoir and a tight gas reservoir.

1.18

The nonlinear trend is a function both of the pressure measurement technique and the

reservoir characteristics. Typical shut in periods are not of sufficient duration to achieve

a representative average reservoir pressure. This concept can be reinforced by examining

the criteria for reaching pseudosteady state flow.

i cti A

t pss 3790 t DApss (1.25)

k

Assuming a well located in the center of the drainage area and substituting typical

reservoir and gas properties for a tight gas formation ( = 11%, k = 0.1 md, gi = 0.012

cp., cti = 0.001 psi-1), results in a time to reach pseudosteady state of 2 years for an 80-

acre drainage area and 16 years for a 640-acre drainage area. Subsequently, a single

buildup pressure measurement after seven days of shut in will not achieve such a

boundary condition.

To analyze low-permeability reservoirs the following constraints are applied: (1) no water

influx, (2) constant reservoir temperature, (3) no rock compressibility effects, and (4)

only single phase dry gas; i.e., no phase changes occur in the reservoir. Furthermore, to

simplify the analysis the bottomhole flowing pressure will be assumed to be constant

over the life of the well. A reasonable assumption for dry gas wells controlled by surface

line pressure.

Referring to Figure 1.12, three trends are exhibited on the p/z plots for low permeability

reservoirs. During the early time period a rapid decrease in pressure occurs. If this trend

is extrapolated to p/z = 0, the gas-in-place (G) will be seriously underestimated. The

behavior has been previously explained as the response to transient flow (Slider, 1983);

however, additional analysis did not confirm this hypothesis. An alternative solution is

the rapid depletion of a stimulated well in a reservoir consisting of a natural fracture

network; in simple terms, the flush production associated with such a condition. Coupled

with this behavior is the inability of the pressure measurement technique to capture

reservoir pressure within the testing time. Subsequently, as the drainage radius is

expanding the testing pressure deviates more and more from the average reservoir

pressure.

The intermediate period exhibits uniform slope over an extended period of time, even

though, the magnitude of the pressure measurement observed is significantly below the

average reservoir pressure. During this period, the test time is too short to capture the

average pressure response; however, consistency of the data suggests that a similar region

is being repeatedly investigated by the pressure test. For example, notice in Figure 1.13

the difference in pws and pr is approximately constant for an extended period of time.

Several researchers (Stewart,1970) (Brons and Miller, 1961) have presented methods to

correct measured data to average reservoir pressure by pressure buildup techniques.

1.19

Pi

ri

Case A

Pwf

.472re P/z m

1

=m

rw re 2

Figure 1.13 Schematic of a partial buildup response in a tight gas reservoir, indicating the

difference in measured pws and average reservoir pressure, pr. Gp G 1 G 2

The constant slope provides an opportunity to estimate the hydrocarbon-pore volume,

Vhc. Defining the slope (m) as; Case B

(p / z)

m (1.26)

G p

P/z m

1

and substituting into the gas material balance equation, results min

2 an expression to

determine Vhc.

TPsc 1

V * (1.27)

hc Tsc m

Gp G 1= G 2

From volumetrics,

m2 Case

Case AA Vhc 43560Ah(1 S w ) (1.28)

thus providing a method to determine the drainage area.

Case C

P/z P/z

Furthermore, m the

from P/z three scenarios can be developed

m observation of a constant slope,

1= 1 m

m11 is defining the

m = m as illustrated in Figure 1.14. The problem

to determine the gas-in-place

2 2 mm measure the

relationship between the determined slope and the actual slope if one could

22

actual reservoir pressure. Case A exhibits two parallel trends of constant slope; i.e., m 1 =

m2. Gas-in-place can readily be obtained from,

G 1 G 2

1p G 2

Gp G p Gp

G 1GG2 i 1

G * (1.29)

z m

i

Case B between the two lines is due to the initial reservoir

Case B

The difference in gas-in-place

pressure difference; and not the hydrocarbon pore volume, which is the same for both

lines.(p/z) m

P/zint m 1

P/z 1

m m2

2

Gp G 1= G21.20

Gp G1= G2

Figure 1.14. Three possible relationships between the conventional response and the tight

gas response.

To have equal slopes suggests the pressure test is measuring a radius of investigation that

is proportional to the radius of drainage of the reservoir. That is, ri constant* re over an

extended period of time. The magnitude of gas-in-place will be overestimated by this

method and therefore provides an upper bound to the well.

In case B the slopes are different, but the intersection point occurs at the same gas-in-

place. Estimation of G is obtained by,

p 1 pi 1

G * * (1.30)

z int m1 zi m2

where the (p/z)int is the intercept value from the identified pressure trend. To solve for the

correct Vhc requires the substitution of m2 into Eq. (1.27). Subsequently, the hydrocarbon

pore volume is corrected to reflect the difference in reservoir pressures. For this behavior

to occur means the investigative volume seen during subsequent pressure tests is

approaching the average drainage volume of the well. In other words, r i 0.472re. This

is as expected for depleted reservoirs where the pressure gradient is approximately

uniform throughout the reservoir.

The third and final scenario (Case C) exhibits both a different slope and intercept

between the measured pressure trend and the actual reservoir behavior. Unfortunately,

the measured data does not reflect the actual reservoir behavior. The best is to estimate a

range for gas-in-place using Case A as the upper bound and case B as the lower bound.

1.21

A final stage of the life of the well occurs when depletion has been significant (see Fig.

1.12). At this time the measured pressure curve flattens and becomes constant;

converging to the actual average reservoir pressure. In many cases the gas-in-place was

estimated by extending a straight line from the initial p/z point through this late time

point. Experience has shown this method typically underestimates gas-in-place, due to

the late time measured pressure slightly underpredicting the actual reservoir pressure.

Also, as Fetkovich, et.al. (1987) correctly point out, a rise in pressure can be a rebound

effect due to a decrease in withdrawal from the reservoir.

Example 1.8

The example well produces from the Pictured Cliffs sandstone in the San Juan Basin of

northwest New Mexico. Picture Cliffs is a low permeability, sandstone to shaly sandstone

gas reservoir found at a depth of approximately 3200 feet and developed on 160 acre

spacing (Dutton, et al, 1983). The example well (No.114) was initially completed in

1958 and included a hydraulic fracture treatment to be commercially productive. Other

well and reservoir data are listed below. The long history of production and pressure data

make this well an excellent candidate for investigation.

11

gi, cp 0.0134

h, ft 40

-1 -4

cti, psi x 10 5.77

g 0.67

Tr , deg F 106

Sw, % 44

rw, ft. 0.229

Pi, psi 1131

Table 1.3 Input well and reservoir properties

Figure 1.15 is the p/z vs cumulative production plot for this well. In the San Juan Basin,

pressure data is recorded over a 7-day shut in period and reported annually until 1974 and

every other year until 1990. The primary purpose of collecting this information was for

deliverability testing and proration. Notice the typical tight gas well response of a rapid

decrease in pressure within the first year. This behavior does not correspond to the end of

the transient period, which occurs 8 to 10 years later according to decline curve analysis.

The majority of time and hence cumulative production exhibits case B behavior; i.e.,

constant p/z decline. Applying Eq. (1.30) this trend results in an estimate of 661 mmscf

of gas-in-place.

P/Z vs. Cumulative Production

No. 114

1600

1400

1200

1000

P/Z, psia

800

600

400

200 y = -0.8367x + 552.88

0

R2 = 0.958 1.22

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700

Figure 1.15. Field example of tight gas response (Case B) on p/z plot and estimation of

gas-in-place.

Also shown on Figure 1.15 is an extrapolation between the initial p/z and the anomalous

increase in p/z found in the latest data points; resulting in 520 mmscf of gas-in-place.

Frequently this extrapolation is applied to tight gas wells to estimate gas-in-place and

recovery. The validity of the last points is pivotal to this method being successful or not.

These pressure points were acquired during a time of extended cycles of shutin and

production due to external constraints. The resulting bottomhole flowing pressure is

increased which subsequently translates into an increase in recorded shutin bottomhole

pressure. This is the same conclusion as drawn by Fetkovich, et al. in 1987. Unless this

pressure data is obtained very late in the life of the well it is likely this method will

underestimate gas-in-place and reserves.

Cumulative production (through 2006) for this well is 526 mmscf; therefore 80% of the

gas-in-place has been recovered. A rate – cumulative plot (Figure 1.16) also provides a

linear trend, which when extrapolated results in gas-in-place of 700 mmscf or 75%

recovery. Both methods are within reasonable agreement.

4500

4000

3500

flow rate, mscf/month

3000

2500

2000

1500

1000

500

0 1.23

0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700

Cumulative production, mmscf

Figure 1.16. Extrapolation of Rate – cumulative trend for gas-in-place.

A key to tight gas development is the drainage area of existing wells and the feasibility of

infill drilling. Using Equation (1.30) to adjust the slope, the hydrocarbon pore volume is

calculated to be 7.544 mmrcf. Substitution of the known gas and well properties results

in a drainage area calculation of 70 acres.

To further investigate the tight gas, pressure behavior, a single well, simulation model

was developed for single-phase flow. As a simplification, the reservoir properties were

assumed to be homogeneous and isotropic. The well was bottomhole pressure

constrained, initially at 250 psi and then reduced to 150 psi ten years later. This change

reflects the actual pressures measured during the annual deliverability tests. Figure 1.17

illustrates the excellent match between the results from the simulator with the measured

data for both gas rate and shutin bottomhole pressure. The success of the model verifies

the linear trends seen on the gas material balance plots and the slow pressure response of

tight gas reservoirs. Furthermore, to obtain this match the areal extent of the simulation

model was 86 acres, which is in agreement with the previous methods.

The analysis suggests this well has drained 70 to 90 acres of the dedicated 160-acre

proration unit and has recovered approximately 70% of the gas-in-place within that

volume. The paradox is the boundary-dominated flow exhibited by the decline curve.

The nearest well is approximately 1850 feet away from the subject well, farther than the

estimated drainage area. Two explanations can be given. First, the drainage calculations

are based on 1000

isotropic conditions and therefore a circular drainage pattern.

1200 However, if

anisotropy exists, then the two wells are sufficiently close enough to provide interference.

Investigation of production and geological trends show a dominant northwest/southeast

simulated 1000

direction, the exact direction of these two wells. Second, a thinning of the reservoir net

production rate, mscf/mo

measured

pay thickness over the areal extent of this well would increase the drainage area. For

example if thickness is reduced by half then the drainage area doubles800

100

to approximately

SIBHP, psi

160 acres.

600

10 400

200

1 0

0 5 10 1.24 15 20 25

time, years

Figure 1.17 Comparison of simulation results with measured data for Pictured Cliffs

example.

1.25

References

Agarwal, R.G., Al-Hussainy, R. and Ramey, Jr., H.J.: “The Importance of Water Influx in

Gas Reservoirs”, JPT (Mar. 1965).

Brons,F and Miller, W.C.:”A Simple Method for Correcting Spot Pressure Readings,”

(1961) Trans., AIME 222, 803-805.

Carter,R.D. and Tracy, G.W.: “An Improved Method for Calculating Water Influx”, JPT,

(Dec. 1960)

Texas, “ JPT 24, No. 2, pp. 132-138, (Feb. 1972).

Akhter,M.S., and Laubach,S.E.: “Major Low Permeability Sandstone Gas Reservoirs in

the Continental United States”, GRI/BEG Report No. 211 (1993)

Engler, T.W.: “A New Approach to Gas Material Balance in Tight Gas Reservoirs”, SPE #

62883, presented at the ATCE in Dallas, TX (2000).

Systems”, JPT, (July 1971), p814.

Using Type Curves-Case Histories,” SPEFE (Dec. 1987) 637-656.

Fetkovich, M.J., Reese, D.E. and Whitson, C.H.: “Application of a General Material

Balance for High-Pressure Gas Reservoirs”, SPE 22921, presented at the ATCE in Dallas,

TX. (October 1991)

Geffen, T.M., Parrish, D.R., Haynes, G.W., and Morse, R.A.: “Efficiency of Gas

Displacement from Porous Media by Liquid Flooding”, Trans AIME 195, pp 29-38

(1952).

presented at the SPE ATCE in New Orleans, La., (Oct 1971).

Havlena, D. and Odeh, A.S.: “The Material Balance as an Equation of a Straight Line,”

Trans. AIME Part 1: 228 I-896 (1963), Part 2: 231 I-815 (1964).

Hower, T.L. and Jones, R.E.: “Predicting Recovery of Gas Reservoirs Under Waterdrive

Conditions”, SPE 22937, presented at the ATCE in Dallas, TX (Oct. 1991)

1.26

Ikoku, C.U.: Natural Gas Reservoir Engineering, Krieger Publishing Co., Malabar, FL

(1992)

Lee, J. and Wattenbarger, R.A.: Gas Reservoir Engineering, SPE Textbook Series, Vol 5,

Richardson, TX 1996.

Compressibility and Gas-in-Place in Abnormally Pressured Reservoirs,” SPE 16227

presented at the 1987 Production Operations Symposium in OKC, OK (March 1987).

Ramagost, B.P. and Farshad, F.F: “p/z Abnormal Pressured Gas Reservoirs,” SPE 10125,

presented at the ATCE in San Antonio, TX (Oct. 1981).

SPE paper 9968, Dallas, Tx, (Dec. 1981).

Schafer, P.S., Hower, T.L., and Owens, R.W.: Managing Water-Drive Gas Reservoirs,

published by GRI (1993)

Publishing, Tulsa, OK (1983)

1970) 1149-1156.

Van Everdingen, A.F. and Hurst, W.: “Application of the Laplace Transform to Flow

Problems in Reservoirs”, Trans AIME 186, pp 305-324, (1949)

1.27

Problems

1. One well has been drilled in a volumetric (closed) gas reservoir, and from this well

the following information was obtained:

Initial reservoir pressure, pi = 3000 psia

Specific gravity of gas, g = 0. 60 (air = 1)

Thickness of reservoir, h = 10 ft

Porosity of the reservoir, = 10%

Initial water saturation, Swi = 35%

After producing 400 MMscf the reservoir pressure declined to 2000 psia. Estimate the

areal extent of this reservoir.

2. Reservoir temperature is 180ºF. Reservoir pressure has declined from 3400 to 2400

psia while producing 550 MMscf. Standard conditions are 16 psia and 80ºF. Gas

gravity is 0.66. Assuming a volumetric reservoir, calculate the initial gas-in-place and

the remaining reserves to an abandonment pressure of 500 psia, all at the given

standard conditions.

3. A gas field with an active water drive showed a pressure decline from 3000 to 2000

psia over a 10-month period. From the following production data, match the past

history and calculate the original hydrocarbon gas in the reservoir. Assume z = 0.8 in

the range of reservoir pressures and T = 600ºF.

time p Gp

months psia mmscf

0.0 3000 0.0

2.5 2750 97.6

5.0 2500 218.9

7.5 2250 355.4

10.0 2000 500.0

4. The material balance plot below is for Well No .88, completed in the Picture Cliffs

Formation in the San Juan Basin as described in Example 1.8. Well and reservoir

properties are given below.

, % 11

gi, cp 0.0131

h, ft 67

cti, psi-1 x 10-4 6.22

g 0.67

Tr , deg F 103

Sw, % 44

rw, ft. 0.229

Pi, psi 1045

1.28

Estimate the gas-in-place and drainage area for this well. If cumulative production

was 752 mmscf, what has been the recovery factor?

1400

1200

1000

p/z, psia

800

600

400

200

0

0 200 400 600 800 1000

cumulative production, mmscf

5. Ramagost and Farshad (1981) provided the following information for an offshore

Louisiana gas reservoir.

pi = 11,444 psia

cf = 19.5 x 10-6 psia-1

Swi = 0.22

cw = 3.2 x10-6 psia-1

11444 1.496 0 7650

10674 1.438 9.92 7423

10131 1.397 28.62 7252

9253 1.330 53.60 6957

8574 1.280 77.67 6698

7906 1.230 101.42 6428

7380 1.192 120.36 6191

6847 1.154 145.01 5933

6388 1.122 160.63 5693

5827 1.084 182.34 5375

5409 1.054 197.73 5132

5000 1.033 215.66 4840

4500 1.005 235.74 4478

4170 0.988 245.90 4221

a. assuming a normally pressured gas reservoir

b. assuming a geopressured reservoir and known cf

c. assuming a geopressured reservoir with an unknown, but constant cf.

1.29

Appendix A

Procedure for predicting reservoir pressure and water influx (Schafer, et al, 1993)

Assumptions:

a. Steady state radial flow occurs throughout the invaded zone

b. Residual gas saturation is constant throughout the invaded region

aquifer

Original

Reservoir ra

boundary Invaded

zone

reservoir ro

rt

Current

Water

influx Reservoir

boundary

Step 1: Calculate the original reservoir radius, ro, using rock and fluid properties,

1/ 2

5.615B G

gi

ro (A.1)

hSgi

Step 2: For a given Gp, estimate the pressure at the original reservoir boundary, Po.

Step 3: Calculate water influx (We) associated with po and the rock/fluid properties using

a standard method.

Step 4: Calculate the radius of the uninvaded zone, rt, using the We value calculated in

step 3.

1/ 2

2 5.615We

rt ro (A.2)

h (Sgi Sgr )

Step 5: Calculate the reservoir pressure at the flood front, pt.

141.2q w w ln o

r

po p t rt (A.3)

kk rw h

where,

1.30

We

qw (A.4)

t

Step 6: Calculate the volumetric average pressure in the water invaded region.

2 ro

282.5q w w 1 rt ln rt

p po (A.5)

kk rw h 4 2(ro2 rt2 )

B r

G T A p o ro2 rt2 ABrt2 ln o (A.6)

2 rt

where

hS gr

A 1.111 x10 4 (A.7)

zT

141.2q

w w

B (A.8)

kk rw h

zT

B gt 5034.6 (A.9)

p

We G p B g G (B g B gi ) G T ( B gt B g ) B w Wp (A.10)

Step 9: Compare We from step 8 with We from step 3. If not within a specified tolerance

then repeat steps 2 through 9.

Step 10: Repeat steps 1 through 9 for the next production increment.

1.31

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