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SPE 98010

New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature
Fields: Methodology and Application
Mohaghegh, S. D., Gaskari, R. and Jalali, J., West Virginia University

Copyright 2005, Society of Petroleum Engineers

geographic resolution) and are highly subjective.
This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2005 SPE Eastern Regional Meeting held in
Morgantown, W.V., 14–16 September 2005.
In this paper a new methodology is introduced that attempts to
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of
information contained in a proposal submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as
address the first and the second, i.e. unify a comprehensive
presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to production data analysis with reduced subjectivity while
correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any
position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Papers presented at addressing the entire reservoir with reasonable geographic
SPE meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the Society of
Petroleum Engineers. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper
resolution. The geographic mapping of the depletion or
for commercial purposes without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is remaining reserves can assists engineers in making informed
prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to a proposal of not more than 300
words; illustrations may not be copied. The proposal must contain conspicuous decision on where to drill or which well to remediate. The
acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, SPE, P.O.
Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax 01-972-952-9435.
third shortcoming will be addressed in a separate paper where
a software product is introduced that would perform the
ABSTRACT analysis with minimum user interaction.
Most of the mature fields in the United States have been
producing for many years. Production in these fields started at The techniques introduced here are statistical in nature and
a time when reservoir characterization was not a priority; focuses on intelligent systems to analyze production data. This
therefore they lack data that can help in reservoir methodology integrates conventional production data analysis
characterization. On the other hand to re-vitalize these fields techniques such as decline curve analysis, type curve matching
in a time that price of hydrocarbon is high, requires certain and single well radial simulation model, with new techniques
degree of reservoir characterization in order to identify developed based on intelligent systems (one or more of
locations with potentials of economical production. The most techniques such as neural networks, genetic algorithms and
common type of data that may be found in many of the mature fuzzy logic) in order to map fluid flow in the reservoir as a
fields is production data. This is due to the fact that usually function of time. A set of two dimensional maps are generated
production data is recorded as a regulatory obligation or to identify the relative reservoir quality and three dimensional
simply because it was needed to perform economic analysis. maps that track the sweet spots in the field with time in order
to identify the most appropriate locations that may still have
Using production data as a source for making decisions have reserves to be produced. This methodology can play an
been on the petroleum engineer’s agenda for many years and important role in identifying new opportunities in mature
several methods have been developed for accomplishing this fields.
task. There are three major shortcomings related to the efforts
that focus on production data analysis. The first one has to do In this paper the methodology is introduced and its application
with the fact that due to the nature of production data its to a field in the mid-continent is demonstrated.
analysis is quite subjective. Even when certain techniques
show promise in deducing valuable information from INTRODUCTION
production data, the issue of subjectivity remains intact. Techniques of production data analysis (PDA) have improved
Furthermore, as the second shortcoming, existing production significantly over the past several years. These techniques are
data analysis techniques usually address individual wells and used to provide information on reservoir permeability, fracture
therefore do not undertake the entire field or the reservoir as a length, fracture conductivity, well drainage area, original gas
coherent system. in place (OGIP), estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) and skin.
Although there are many available methods identified, there is
The third short-coming is the lack of a user friendly software no one clear method that always yields the most reliable
product that can perform production data analysis with answer1. Furthermore, tools that make these techniques
minimum subjectivity and reasonable repeatability while available to the engineers are not readily available. The goal of
addressing the entire field (reservoir) instead of autonomous, this study is to develop a comprehensive tool for production
disjointed wells. It is a well known fact that techniques such as data analysis and make it available for use by industry.
decline curve analysis and type curve matching address
individual wells (or sometime groups of wells without Production data analysis techniques started systematically
2 New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature Fields SPE 98010

with a method presented by Arps in the 1950s1. Arps decline Nevertheless, it will be demonstrated that as more data such as
analysis is still being used because of its simplicity, and since those mentioned above are available, one may use them to
it’s an empirical method, it doesn’t require any reservoir or increase the accuracy and the reliability of the methodology
well parameters. Fetkovich proposed a set of equations being introduced here.
described by an exponent, b, having a range between 0 and 12.
Arps’ equation is based on empirical relationships of rate vs. Furthermore, as it will be explained in this paper, IPDA, at
time for oil wells and is shown below3: this time, may come across as a lengthy procedure. This is due
to the fact that IPDA is an iterative and essentially an
optimization technique. The next step in our efforts is the
q(t ) =
(1) development of an automatic or semi-automatic procedure that
(1+ bDi t ) b will make this process much faster and easier to implement. In
the new development the goal is to reduce the user interaction
to a minimum. Figure 1 is a flow chart that describes the
In this relationship, b = 0 and b = 1 represent exponential and
methodology used in this process. As shown in the chart, there
harmonic decline, respectively. Any value of b between 0 and
are four distinct and inter-related parts to this process, namely
1 represents a hyperbolic decline. Although Arps equation is
decline curve analysis, type curve matching, single-well
only for pseudo-steady state conditions, it has been often
reservoir simulation (history matching) and finally relative
misused for oil and gas wells whose flow regimes are in a
reservoir quality indexing and mapping that includes three
transient state.
dimensional mapping of remaining reserves.
The Fetkovich methodology analyzes oil wells producing at a
In a nutshell, IPDA is a two step process. In the first step the
constant pressure. He combined early time, analytical
idea is to simultaneously, interactively and iteratively perform
transient solutions with Arps’ equations for the later time,
decline curve analysis, type curve matching and history
pseudo-steady state solutions. The Fetkovich method like
matching on the production data of a particular well in the
Arps equation, calculates expected ultimate recovery.
field until convergence is achieved to a unified set of reservoir
characterizations. Given the fact that each of these techniques
Carter’s gas system type curves were published in 19853.
are quite subjective by nature, by letting each one technique to
Carter used a variable λ identifying the magnitude of the
guide and keep an eye on the other two during the analysis, the
pressure drawdown in gas wells. A curve with a λ value of 1
degree of confidence and reliability on the results as well as
corresponds to b=0 in Fetkovich liquid decline curves and
repeatability of the analysis will increase.
represents a liquid system curve with an exponential decline.
Curves with λ=0.5 and 0.75 are for gas wells with an
The second step is to use the well-based results from the first
increasing magnitude of pressure drawdown.
step and super impose them on the field as a whole and
develop two and three dimensional maps of reservoir quality
Agarwal-Gardner also introduced a method for production
and remaining reserves. In the following sections each part of
data analysis in 1998. This technique combines decline curve
this process will be explained.
and type curve concepts for estimating reserves and other
reservoir parameters for oil and gas wells using production
Decline Curve Analysis
data. 3
Decline curve analysis is the first step in the process. The
production data is plotted on semi-log scale and decline curve
Other methods were introduced by Palacio & Blasingame, and
is fitted. If one uses hyperbolic decline, then the outcome of
Agarwal-Gardner, which provide information on gas in place,
the decline curve analysis would be “qi” (initial flow rate),
permeability, and skin.
“Di” (initial decline rate) and “b” (hyperbolic exponent).
Figure 2 is an example of decline curve analysis performed on
There are also modern analytical methods that do not use type
a well located in the Golden Trend Fields of Oklahoma.
curves. One of these methods is “flowing material balance”.
This technique provides the hydrocarbons in place using
It is a good idea to plot both production rate and cumulative
production rate and flowing pressure data from a reservoir
production versus time simultaneously and try to match the
under volumetric depletion. 3
production rate while keeping an eye on the cumulative
production. This usually helps in getting a reasonably good
match. Once the match is completed the result would be a set
of decline curve characteristics as mentioned above. Based on
In this section a step by step process for Intelligent Production
the decline curve characteristics that you have identified in
Data Analysis (IPDA) is introduced. Several items must be
this step you can easily calculate Estimated Ultimate Recovery
mentioned in order to put the degree of reliability of these
(EUR) for a certain number of years, say 30 years. The 30
techniques in perspective. Please keep in mind that IPDA is
year EUR for the well in Figure 2 is calculated to be 1,795
developed for situations that only production data is available.
Therefore, in situations that one has access to other data such
as logs, core analysis, pressure tests, geologic models, etc. one
Type Curve Matching
might choose to use other well established techniques.
Two things are important in selecting the type curves for this
SPE 98011 Mohaghegh, Gaskari and Jalali 3

step of the analysis. First, the type curves must be for rate and within a particular range that is acceptable for a particular
not pressure, and second, it would be great if it could provide field. Usually the initial reservoir pressure for a field or
some commonality with the decline curve results, such that it formation is known with reasonable range or it can be
would use some of the results of the decline curve. Something assumed based on formation depth. Formation depth can also
that would weave the two (the decline curve analysis and the be a good indication of average reservoir temperature. Gas
type curve matching) together. This is essential since the specific gravity can be easily calculated based on the assumed
procedure would call for an iterative process. average initial pressure and reservoir temperature. In most of
our calculations we assume that the reservoir is isotropic,
In this case a set of type curves for low permeability reservoirs meaning that the kx/ky ratio is equal to 1. The drainage shape
with hydraulically fractured wells4 were used. Figure 3 shows factor is also assumed to be 1 meaning that we are assuming a
the type curve match achieved for the same well shown in square drainage area. Average porosity, thickness and gas
Figure 2. The link between this set of type curves and the saturation can be calculated for each well from logs, if they
decline curve analysis are the hyperbolic exponent “b”. In are available. If they are not, then an average value for the
Figure 3 it is shown that the type curves for a particular “b” entire field can be assumed. This method allows for better
value are generated and used for matching the production rates matches and results in higher confidence level if wells in the
from this well. The “b” value used for this well (b=0.9) was field have logs. By having access to logs; porosity, thickness
the same that was calculated during the decline curve analysis. and saturation can be calculated and used individually for each
This is important since a new set of decline curves can be well during the analysis. If and when such logs are not
developed for any values of “b”. Figure 4 shows the available or prove to be too expensive to analyze (which
production data from this well plotted against type curves that seems to be the case in many fields in the United States) then
have been generated for “b” values 0.1 (on the left) and 1.5 the procedure allows the user to input an average value (as the
(on the right). best guess) for all wells. In the bottom right corner of Figure 3
you can see two buttons. The button on the top lets the user
Once the match is accomplished, the results from type curve input values for the above parameters that will be used as
matching is a set of parameters such as permeability, fracture default for the entire field and the second button will let the
half length and drainage area. Results of these parameters user to input and over-write the default values for any specific
appear on the top left corner of the type curve screen as show well.
in Figures 3 and 4. On the top right corner of the screen the
EUR (again for 30 years) is calculated and shown. The EUR Single-Well Reservoir Simulation
from the decline curve analysis was calculated to be 1,795 This step of the analysis calls for history matching the
MMSCF while the EUR from the type curve matching is production data using a single-well, radial reservoir simulator.
calculate to be 1,800 MMSCF as shown in Figure 3. The EUR Reservoir characterization data that is the result of type curve
calculated from the decline curve analysis is used as a matching is used as the starting point for the history matching
controlling factor for the match of the type curve. This allows process and the objective is to match the production data of a
us to develop more confidence on the type curve matching and particular well. History matching is not a simple and straight
have a bit more faith on the values calculated for permeability, forward procedure. Care must be taken in order to preserve the
fracture half-length and the drainage area. The EUR values integrity of the match, in other words, the match that results
from the two procedures (type curve and decline curve) are from this procedure must make physical sense. One of the
used in order to finalize the match in both cases. As we main reasons for performing the history matching in
mentioned before this is an iterative procedure and sometimes conjunction with the type curve matching and the decline
it may take several iterations before the decline curve analysis curve analysis as an iterative process is to preserve the
and the type curve match would agree with one another. integrity of the entire process. Many times the results of the
history matching will force us to go back and re-evaluate our
One important issue that needs to be mentioned at this point is decline curve results and the type curve match. This rigorous
that the type curve matching process requires knowledge iterative process is the key to the successful completion of this
about a set of parameters. These parameters are used during process.
the calculation of permeability, fracture half length, drainage
area and EUR. These parameters are listed below: This is performed for all the wells in the field. In most cases a
match should be possible within reasonable ranges of the
¾ Initial reservoir pressure; reservoir characteristics that were used as the starting point
¾ Average reservoir temperature; (result of iterative type curve matching and decline curve
¾ Gas specific gravity; analysis). This may prove to be a long process. The goal is to
¾ Isotropicity (kx/ky ratio); automate this process with minimal user interaction.
¾ Drainage shape factor (L/W ratio);
¾ Average porosity; Once a match is accomplished within a reasonable range of all
¾ Average pay thickness; the reservoir characteristics, the ground work has been
¾ Average gas saturation; established for another important step in the analysis, namely
¾ Average flowing bottom-hole pressure. Monte Carlo Simulation. Since now we have (most probably)
diverged from the reservoir characteristics that we started
Most of the parameters above can be (and usually are) guessed with, it is reasonable to expect that we have converged on a
4 New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature Fields SPE 98010

range of values for each of the parameters rather than a single the PI (First 3 Months of Production) decreases as the index of
value. In order to get a more realistic look at the capabilities of the relative reservoir quality increases. This confirms our
a well and its potential future production a Monte Carlo partitioning practices. Figure 7 displays a three dimensional
simulation is performed at this point. During the Monte Carlo view of the reservoir quality with smooth transitions from one
simulation each of the parameters that play a role during the reservoir quality to the next.
simulation process is represented by a probability distribution
function (instead of a crisp, certain number) with If the output of the problem is changed from a PI representing
characteristics that have been identified during the entire early life of the field to one representing a later time in the life
integrated analysis, i.e. decline curve analysis, type curve of the field, then the difference in these figures may represent
matching and history matching using reservoir simulator. depletion in the reservoir or fluid movement. Furthermore,
each of the reservoir characteristics that are generated as the
The result of the Monte Carlo simulation is a probability result of the analysis that was mentioned in the previous
distribution of the 30 year EUR. If we have done everything sections can be mapped throughout the field. This will provide
properly, it is expected that the EUR that was calculated a good visual of the status of the field at different times in its
during the decline curve analysis and the type curve matching life and can provide insight on the locations that have high
process for a given well would fall within the probability production potentials for future development. More details on
distribution that has been calculated as the result of the Monte these mapping procedures and how remaining reserve are
Carlo simulation. As the values of these EURs get closer to calculated on a field-wide basis is provided in the next section.
higher probability values, our confidence on the accuracy of
the ranges (of the reservoir characteristics) that were used in RESULTS & DISCUSSIONS
the Monte Carlo simulation will increase. The methodology described in this paper was applied to
production data from 85 wells producing in the Golden Trend
Mapping of the Reservoir Quality fields of Oklahoma. The only data used to perform the
Once the integrated production data matching is completed analysis shown here are the production data that are publicly
and a set of reservoir characteristics are identified, it is time to available; therefore, all these analyses can be performed on
produce some maps that would ultimately help operators in any field throughout the United States and Canada. This may
identifying the sweet spots in the field. The two and three prove to be a valuable tool for independent asset valuation
dimensional maps include relative reservoir quality indices as prior to any acquisition.
a function of time as well as some reservoir characteristics and
map of the remaining reserve as a function of time. The first step in the process is performing three different kinds
of analysis techniques on each well simultaneously in an
Let us look at an example to help demonstrate the process. iterative manner in order to converge to one unified set of
First step is to identify the parameter that would be used as the matches and EURs. The three analysis techniques are decline
key for the reservoir partitioning. Figure 5 shows that “Gas” curve analysis, type curve matching and history matching
has been selected as the fluid of choice and from among the using a single-well radial reservoir simulation. Figures 8
Production Indicators (PIs) that have been calculated “First 3 through 12 show results of two analyses, reached
Months of Production” is selected as the output as well as an simultaneously (iteratively) on five different wells in the filed.
attribute. The PI identified as the output (you may only have The graph on the left in each figure is the decline curve
one output but multiple attributes) is used as the key to analysis and the graph on the right is the type curve match.
partitioning the field while attributes are those PIs that their
average values are calculated for each partition and are used as The EURs are quite comparable in each of the figures. Table 3
a guide to fine tune the partitioning process. Once these shows the parameters that were calculated in this analysis for
selections are made, the next step is to partition the field into the five wells shown in Figures 8 through 12. As mentioned
different reservoir qualities based on the average values of the before, the hyperbolic exponent found in the decline curve
output for each partition. This is shown in Figure 6. analysis is used to identify the set of type curves that should
be used during the matching process. Then the EUR from the
As displayed in this figure, 85 wells in this field have been type curve matching is compared with the EUR calculated
analyzed for this study. Fuzzy pattern recognition5 is from the decline curve analysis. If the difference is greater
performed on the latitude and longitude as a function of the than a certain threshold, then the characteristics of the decline
selected output and then super imposed on one another to curve is modified and the new b value is used in the type curve
create the partitions as shown in Figure 6. The numbers on the matching resulting in a new EUR. This process is continued
map indicate the relative reservoir quality with 1 being the until the hyperbolic exponent provides the closest EUR
highest quality. In this representation, the relative quality of between type curve matching and the decline curve analysis.
the reservoir rock in terms of hydrocarbon productivity
decreases with higher numbers of RRQI. Results shown in Table 3 are the final results that have been
achieved upon convergence when all three methods (decline
The values corresponding to the partitions in Figure 6 are curve analysis, type curve matching and history matching
shown in Table 1. In this table the 85 wells in the field are using a single-well radial simulation model) are performed
divided into five different categories identified as Relative simultaneously and convergence is achieved. Figures 13 and
Reservoir Quality Indices of 1 through 5. The average value of 14 show the history match results achieved for two of the
SPE 98011 Mohaghegh, Gaskari and Jalali 5

wells in the database. Figures 15 an 16 are results of Monte The RRQIs are identified based on partitioning the fuzzy
Carlo simulation performed on the two wells shown in Figures pattern recognition performed on latitude and longitude as
13 and 14. During the Monte Carlo simulation each of the shown in the figure. The red and blue lines in the fuzzy pattern
parameters that were used and calculated during the type curve recognition part of the figure are the partitioning agents that
matching and history matching process is assigned a can be moved up and down. Each time the partition agents are
probability distribution function and the history matched moved the partitioning of the field is renewed and the average
model is run for hundreds of times each time calculating the Production Indicator (in the case of Figure 17, the First 3
30 year EUR. The 30 year EUR calculated during the decline Months cumulative production) for each of the partitions are
curve analysis and the type curve matching are also shown in recalculated. This process can be used as a guide for
Figures 15 and 16. As expected (since this was an iterative identification of the correct partitions in the field.
procedure to converge to a common set of characteristics that
would provide a common set of results) the 30 year EUR Comparing Figures 17 and 18 one can see the migration of
values from the other two techniques fall in the high frequency several wells from RRQI “1” to RRQI “2” and from RRQI “2”
areas of the probability distribution function of the 30 year to RRQI “3”. Based on the reservoir characteristics (and
EUR obtained from Monte Carlo simulation. sometimes well related issues such as damage) several wells
do not produce as well as others and exhibit different
Once the iterative process of matching the production data of behaviors. If it is a well related problem, these would be
each well individually using three simultaneous process of isolated wells and in a long term analysis can be identified by
decline curve analysis, type curve matching and history other means such as a process called “Intelligent Candidate
matching is completed, several production indicators (that are Selection Analysis6-8” (ICSA). Integration of ICSA with IPDA
simply statistical measures of a well’s production) are is the topic of a future paper. This integration allows the
calculated such as: identification of wells that are in need of remedial processes
and those that cannot be rescued. This integration would unify
¾ Best 3 Months of production the field development strategies as a combination of well
¾ Best 6 Months of production remedial operations and new drilling opportunities.
¾ Best 9 Months of production
¾ Best 12 Months of production Table 3 shows the statistical change of the RRQIs as the
¾ First 3 Months of production analysis move from first 3 month of production to first 9
¾ First 6 Months of production months of production. Following items are notable in this
¾ First 9 Months of production table. The value of average cumulative production in both
¾ First year cumulative production cases (3 and 9 months of production) decreases with an
¾ Three year cumulative production increase in RRQI (please remember that increase in RRQI
¾ Five year cumulative production indicates a relative decrease in the reservoir quality).
¾ Ten year cumulative production Furthermore, the number of wells that are located in RRQI 1,
2, and 3 are different in two cases, identifying the migration of
Other indicators are calculated as a result of decline curve wells from one RRQI to another which can be an indication of
analysis and type curve matching such as: depletion.

¾ Decline curve related indicators: In Figure 19, First 3 years of production is selected as the
o Initial flow rate output for partitioning. Changes in this figure as compared
o Initial decline rate with Figure 18 show the movement of RRQIs in the field that
o Hyperbolic exponent is a clear indication of depletion and fluid movement in the
o Estimated Ultimate Recover reservoir. Furthermore, Figure 20 shows the 30 year EUR
forecast for this field if no new wells are drilled. This can help
¾ Type curve matching indicators operators to identify the locations in the field that would
o Permeability present good candidate for infill drilling due to the remaining
o Fracture half length gas in place.
o Drainage area
o Permeability * Thickness (kh) Similar maps can be generated for other parameters that have
o Estimated Ultimate Recovery been calculated as a result of decline curve and type curve
matching analyses. Figure 21 shows the two dimensional map
All the above characteristics are now available for all the wells based on reservoir permeability and Figure 22 is the three
in the field, in our case for 85 wells. Figures 17 through 20 dimensional version of permeability distribution in the filed.
show the change of the relative reservoir quality index with
time. In Figure 17 the Relative Reservoir Quality Index The next step is to track the fluid movement in the reservoir.
(RRQI) is shown as a result of First 3 months of production. In case of primary recovery this can simply mean depletion or
As mentioned before RRQI 1 indicates the best location in the detection of remaining hydrocarbon in place. Wells are drilled
field followed by numbers from 2 to 5. Please keep in mind at different times and therefore may be in production for
that all these numbers and quality indicators are relative as the different length of time. This is shown in Figure 23 where
name points out. example for several wells is presented. What we are interested
6 New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature Fields SPE 98010

in is the map of the remaining fluid in the reservoir. This can result is a set of two and three dimensional maps that identifies
help operators (in conjunction with other maps such as those the potential places for drilling new wells. This technique uses
presented in Figure 17 through 24) to identify the best location state of the art in intelligent systems in order to discover
for drilling new wells or to make decision on the wells that patterns in the production data using all the wells in the field
need to be stimulated or re-stimulated. simultaneously. This is an important recognizing factor for
this technique as compared to others in the literature that
As shown in Figure 23 we are going to identify the remaining allows mapping of the reservoir characterization and
gas in place by calculating the 30 Year EUR for each well and remaining reserves in the field in two and three dimensional
then subtracting the amount of gas that they have produced up graphs.
to a certain point in time. This way we can identify the
remaining gas in place as of any date of interest. Figure 23 Implementation of this technique in its present form for a field
shows the dates at which we would perform the above with tens or hundreds of wells is a relatively lengthy process.
calculation. Identification of remaining gas in place based on The research and development team is currently working to
the current cumulative production and decline curve forecast automate this process that would require minimum user
is not new. New items that are introduced here are the interaction during the iterative process. A new paper
identification of fuzzy patterns that evolves in the field and introducing the automated procedure will be presented as soon
three dimensional mapping of the remaining hydrocarbon in as the development process is completed.
Such mapping is shown in Figures 24 and 25. In Figure 24 the 1. “A Systematic and Comprehensive Methodology for
remaining gas in place as of year 2005 is shown and Figure 25 Advanced Analysis of Production Data”, L. Matter,
is the same map after 15 more years of production. The D. M. Anderson, Fekete Associates Inc., SPE 84472,
difference between these two figures shows the depletion in 2003.
the reservoir and identifies the parts of the field that still have 2. “Useful Concepts for Decline-Curve Forecasting,
potential for more recovery. Figure 26 shows the reservoir Reserve Estimation, and Analysis”, M.J. Fetkovich,
depletion in 5 year intervals by mapping remaining gas in E.J. Fetkovich, and M.D. Fetkovich, Phillips
place as of January of 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2020. Petroleum Co., SPE Reservoir Engineering, February
An important note is that using this technique, new wells can 3. “Analyzing Well Production Data Using Combined
be virtually drilled in a particular location and their effects Type Curve and Decline Curve Analysis Concepts”,
(production) on the remaining reserves can be observed. In Ram G. Agarwal, David C. Gardner, Stanley W.
other words many “What If” scenarios can be played out in Kleinsteiber, and Del D. Fussell, Amoco Exploration
order to make the best possible decision on the location of the and Production Co., SPE 49222, 1998
next wells. 4. “Advanced Type Curve Analysis for Low
Permeability Gas Reservoirs”, Cox, Kuuskraa and
Application of these techniques to water flooding (and other Hansen. SPE 35595, 1998.
enhanced recovery) operation may prove to be very useful in 5. Fuzzy Clustering Models and Applications, Studies
identification of flood fronts as a function of injection and in Fuzziness and Soft Computing, Volume 9. M.
production data when reservoir characteristics of the formation Sato, Y. Sato, L.C. Jain. Physica-Verlag, Heidelberg,
is complex and not very well understood. New York.
6. "Benchmarking of Restimulation Candidate Selection
CONCLUSIONS Techniques in Layered, Tight Gas Sand Formations
A new technique for field-wide production data analysis has Using Reservoir Simulation", Reeves, Bastian,
been introduced in this paper. This technique takes advantage Spivey, Flumerfelt, Mohaghegh, and Koperna, SPE
of an iterative procedure to unify the matching of production 63096, 2000.
data for each well using three independent techniques, namely 7. "Development of an Intelligent Systems Approach to
decline curve analysis, type curve matching and history Restimulation Candidate Selection", Mohaghegh,
matching using a single-well radial reservoir simulation Reeves, and Hill, SPE 59767, 2000.
model. Working with the above three techniques 8. "Restimulation Technology for Tight Gas Sand
simultaneously and iteratively a set of reservoir characteristics Wells", Reeves, Hill, Hopkins, Conway, Tiner, and
emerge that approximately satisfies all three production Mohaghegh, SPE 56482, 1999.
matches. In absence of any reservoir characterization studies,
this technique resolves the subjectivity associated with each of
these techniques by using each one of them as a controlling
factor for the other two in an iterative fashion.

The techniques presented in this paper also provide means for

mapping reservoir quality throughout the field using the
results of the production data matching mentioned above. The
SPE 98011 Mohaghegh, Gaskari and Jalali 7

Table 1. Average value of First 3 Months PI for each of the partitions.

First 3 Months of
RRQI No. Wells % of Wells
Production (MSCF)
1 15 17.65 89,684.5
2 22 25.88 74,832.9
3 9 10.59 51,179.0
4 22 25.88 30,801.4
5 17 20.00 22,141.6
TOTAL 85 100

Figure 1. Flow chart of Intelligent Production Data Analysis – IPDA.

8 New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature Fields SPE 98010

Figure 2. Decline curve analysis of well “C-ANY #1-4”

Figure 3. Type curve matching of well “C-ANY #1-4”

SPE 98011 Mohaghegh, Gaskari and Jalali 9

Figure 4. Type curve matching of well “C-ANY #1-4” with “b” values 0.1 and 1.5.

Figure 5. Selecting output and attributes for partitioning the field into zones with different quality.
10 New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature Fields SPE 98010

Figure 6. Partitioning the field into zones with different quality based on First 3 Months PI.

Table 2. Results of field partitioning for 3 and 9 months production.

Number of Wells Average Cumulative Production
RRQI 3 Months 9 Months 3 Months 9 Months
1 15 9 89,684 270,355
2 22 21 74,832 198,686
3 9 16 51,179 152,250
4 22 22 30,801 100,389
5 17 17 22,141 67,964
SPE 98011 Mohaghegh, Gaskari and Jalali 11

Figure 7. Three dimensional view of the relative reservoir quality partitioning of the field based on First 3 Months PI.
12 New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature Fields SPE 98010

Figure 8. Simultaneous decline curve analysis and type curve matching of well C-LL#1-28.

Figure 9. Simultaneous decline curve analysis and type curve matching of well C-WBY #1-1.

Figure 10. Simultaneous decline curve analysis and type curve matching of well C-AN #2-27.
SPE 98011 Mohaghegh, Gaskari and Jalali 13

Figure 11. Simultaneous decline curve analysis and type curve matching of well N-CERO 3-3.

Figure 12. Simultaneous decline curve analysis and type curve matching of well T-dle A#1.

Table 3. Results of simultaneous decline curve analysis and type curve matching
shown for five wells in the field.
Decline Curve Analysis Type Curve Matching
Well Name Di b
(MSCF) (MMSCF) (md) (ft) (ac) (MMSCF)
C-LL#1-28 40,500 0.051 0.51 1,449.3 3.45 35.8 73.4 1,455.5
C-WBY #1-1 28,130 0.057 1.15 1,709.6 2.09 28.3 48.1 1,671.6
C-AN #2-27 47,830 0.248 1.30 1,314.8 3.78 29.3 17.7 1,328.3
N-CERO 3-3 6,333 0.026 1.80 800.8 0.18 27.2 6.8 809.6
T-DLE A#1 10,894 0.268 1.42 318.9 0.75 8.6 4.2 318.5
14 New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature Fields SPE 98010

Figure 13. History match results for Well C-ER #1-16.

Figure 14. History match results for Well C-VA #1-34.

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Figure 15. Results of Monte Carlo Simulation study for Well C-ER #1-16.

Figure 16. Results of Monte Carlo Simulation study for Well C-VA #1-34.
16 New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature Fields SPE 98010


Fuzzy Pattern Recognition

Figure 17. Relative Reservoir Quality Index based on first three months of cumulative production.

Figure 18. Relative Reservoir Quality Index based on first nine months of cumulative production.
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Figure 19. Relative Reservoir Quality Index based on first three years of cumulative production.

Figure 20. Relative Reservoir Quality Index based on 30 year EUR forecast.
18 New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature Fields SPE 98010

Figure 21. Distribution of reservoir permeability in the field based on IPDA’s integrated technique.
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Figure 22. Three dimensional distribution of reservoir permeability in the field based on IPDA’s integrated technique.
20 New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature Fields SPE 98010

Figure 23. Production schedule for different wells, corresponding production forecast and dates for calculating remaining gas in place.

Figure 24. Remaining gas in place as of January 2005.

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Figure 25. Remaining gas in place as of January 2020.

22 New Method for Production Data Analysis to Identify New Opportunities in Mature Fields SPE 98010

Figure 26. Remaining gas in place as a function of time.