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Distinguished
Author Series
Well Testing and Interpretation
for Horizontal Wells
Fikri J. Kuchuk, SPE, Schlumberger Technical Services Inc.
Summary
The use of transient well testing for determining reservoir parameters
and productivity of horizontal wells has become common because of
the upsurge in horizontal drilling. Initially, horizontal well tests were
analyzed with the conventional techniques designed for vertical
wells. During the last decade, analytic solutions have been presented
for the pressure behavior of horizontal wells. New flow regimes have
been identified, and simple equations and flow regime existence cri
teria have been presented for them. The flow regimes are now used
frequently to estimate horizontal and vertical permeabilities of the
reservoir, wellbore skin, and reservoir pressure.
Although the existing tools and interpretation techniques may be
sufficient for simple systems, innovation and improvement of the
present technology are still essential for well testing of horizontal
wells in many reservoirs with different geological environments
and different wellcompletion requirements.
Introduction
This paper reviews testing and interpretation methods for hori
zontal wells. Since Renney's! article in 1941, many articles dealing
with reservoir engineering, PI, and welltesting aspects of horizon
tal wells have appeared in the literature. 112 In the last decade, many
papers have been published on the pressure behavior of horizontal
wells in singlelayer, homogeneous reservoirs.Jr" Recently,
numerous papers on interpretation of horizontal well test data
21

26
and on the behavior of horizontal wells in naturally fractured
27

29
and layered
30
•
31
reservoirs have appeared.
Because of the uncertainty of regulating flow rate or keeping it
constant for drawdown tests in general and buildup tests (particularly
at earlytimes), the use of production logging tools to measure down
hole flow rate during pressure well tests has increased in the last
decade. These tools have increased the scope of pressuretransient
well testing by providing new measurements. Drawdown tests, for
which it has often been difficult to keep the flow rate constant, can
now provide the same quality of information as buildup tests. Thus,
the possibility of obtaining reliable information about the well/reser
voir system by using characteristic features of both transient tests
(drawdown and buildup) has increased considerably. This is particu
larly crucial for horizontal wells, where the earlytime transient data
are the most sensitive to the vertical permeability and skin if the well
bore storage effect is minimized. Recently, production logging and
Copyright 1995 Society of Petroleum Engineers
This paper is SPE 25232. Distinguished Author Series articles are general, descriptive pa
pers that summarize the state of the art in an area of technology by describing recent develop
ments for readers who are not specialists in the topics discussed. Written by individuals rec
ognized as experts in the area, these articles provide key references to more definitive work
and present specific details only to illustrate the technology. Purpose: to inform the general
readership of recent advances in various areas of petroleum engineering. A softbound
anthology, SPE Distinguished Author Series: Dec. t98tDec. 1983. is available from SPE's
Book Order Dept.
36
downhole shutin have been combined'? to acquire reliable pressure/
rate data during drawdown and buildup tests.
Nonaxisymmetric drillingfluid invasion and the long, snakelike
completed wellbore make the cleanup process difficult, particularly
toward the tips of horizontal wells. Therefore, it is important to
obtain flow profiles and the effective well length, which is often
much less than the drilled length, for the interpretation of horizontal
well tests. The effective well length is important for determining
damage skin and the vertical permeability. Production logging for
horizontal wells is now usually conducted with a coiledtubing sys
tem.
32
The fluid profiles also provide information about standing
water and wellbore crossflow, both common phenomena.V Unfor
tunately, the wellbore crossflow during buildup tests makes inter
pretation difficult. In many instances, the pressure data may not
reveal any information about the wellbore cross flow. The wellbore
temperature profiles are often useful tools for determining wellbore
crossflow for buildup tests.
Significant progress has been made over the last decade in devel
oping forward analytical models and interpretation techniques for
horizontal wells. Many flow regimes predicted by the theory, which
are essential for system identification, have been observed in the
field examples. However, testing horizontal wells is sill challenging
in terms of measurements and interpretation. The field experience
documented in the last decade indicates that interpreting tests from
horizontal wells is much more difficult than for vertical wells.
The objective of this paper to present solutions and to describe
problems in pressuretransient testing and interpretation for hori
zontal wells rather than to provide a scholarly review of the litera
ture on the subject.
Flow Regimes for Horizontal Wells
Let us consider a horizontal well (Fig. I) completed in an anisotrop
ic reservoir, which is infinite in the x and y directions. The formation
permeabilities in the principal directions are denoted by k
x
=k
y
=kH
and kz = kv, with a thickness, h, porosity, fjJ, compressibility, Ct, and
viscosity,,u. The well halflength is 4. the radius is r
w
, and the dis
tance from the wellbore to the bottom boundary is z.,.. The boundary
conditions at the top and bottom(in the z direction) of the system are
either no flow and/or constant pressure. For this horizontal well in
a singlelayer reservoir, we provide simple equations for obtaining
permeabilities and skins. There are usually several flow regimes
with different durations because of the partially penetrated nature of
horizontal wells and multiple boundary effects. For instance, as Fig.
2 shows, we may observe three radial (pseudoradial) flow regimes
for a horizontal well in a vertically bounded singlelayer reservoir.
The flow regimes for horizontal wells have been investigated by
many authors,I418 and specific methods have been proposed to
identify flow regimes and their durations under ideal conditions.
January 1995• JPT
derivatives
Ex. 2
. _
104
0.1
10
pressure
Zw
x
ky
L
o
Fig. 1Horizontal well model.
I
I
I Z
.....
HLw
I
I
I
""""""
h
and the damage skin as
mIl = 162.6qll/2 jkHkvL
w
••• ••••• ••••• •••••• •••••• (1)
s 1.151[ + 3.2275 + 2 log 1'(
. . .. .. . . . .. . . .. .. (2)
(AA)]
+ 4  +  log  ,
k
H
TABLE 1RESERVOIR PARAMETERS FOR
EXAMPLES SHOWN IN FIG. 3.
h
kH kv i;
Zw
Example
.Q!L
(md) (md)
J!!L J!!L
.
1 100 100 10 500 20 0.00146
2 100 100 1 500 20 0.00389
3 100 100 5 500 5 0.00194
4 40 100 5 500 20 0.00197
5 200 200 1 500 20 0.00530
• Where fwD = (f
W
/ 2L
w
l(1+
k  ¢Il
c,
[2 (h )2]
v  0.00026377Ct
sjb e
max zw.  z., • . (4)
where lsfbe is the time to feel the second (farthest) boundary effect.
In practice. Eqs. 3 and 4 may not be reliable because the ¢Ilcr prod
uct may not be accurately known . Nevertheless, they can be used
qualitatively. Alternatively. because Eqs. 3 and 4 provide two pieces
of information. they may also be used to provide constraints on the
positions of the boundaries. Thi s information is useful when the
where tsnbe is the time to feel the effect of the nearest boundary. or
where q is the constant flow rate, !i.PI hr = Po Pw(t= I hour) for
drawdown tests, and !i.Plhr=Pw(!i.t=1 hour)  (!i.t 0) for buildup
tests. Pw at 1hour for both tests is obtained from the semilog, Horner,
or derivative plot.
In principle, the geometric mean permeability j kHk
v
and damage
skin may be obtained from the first radial flow regime. provided thaI
the wellbore pressure during this regime is not affected by wellbore
storage and/or boundaries. The anisotropy ratio is needed for calcu
lati7 damage skin from Eq. 2. However, because the dependence
on kH/k
v
is logarithmic. its effect on the damage skin estimation
will usually be small.
The vertical permeability may be obtained from the time of onset
of the deviation of the pressure or pressure deri vative from this flow
regime as (in oilfield units)
k  ¢Il
c,
. 2 2
V  00002637 t mm [zw.(h  zw)], (3)
. "I. snbe
Fig. 3Derivatives for Examples 1 through Sand pressure for
ExampleS.
10
2
Third radi al
_J ._.
Time
Fig. 2Radial flow regimes for a horizontal well.
First radial
7

r
Hemiradial
.. ..r.
First Radial Flow Regime. The first flow pattern for horizontal
wells is ellipti ccylindrical. After some time. the ellipticcylindrical
flow regime becomes pseudoradial, as shown in Fig. 2. This radial
flow around the wellbore may continue until the effect of the nearest
boundary is felt at the wellbore. It may not develop if the anisotropy
ratio. kH/kV. is large. The behavior of this regime is similar to the ear
lytime behavior of partially penetrated wells. The derivatives for
all examples, for which the well/reservoir parameters are given in
Table 1 (see Ref. 18), clearly indicate (Fig. 3) the first radial flow
regime . The slope of the semilog straight line can be expressed as
Loglog plots the change in the wellbore pressure. !i.p...•
associated with type curves have been used extensively as diagnostic
and interpretation tools since the early 1970's.9 In the early 1980·s.
Bourdet et al.
33
showed that a combined loglog plot of pressure and
pressure derivative is a better diagnostic and interpretation tool than
a pressure plot alone for comparing measured transient data with the
model responses. In this paper. the pressure change and pressure
derivative are denoted by !i.Pw and dPw/dIn t. respectively.
10
OJ
.2:
Cii
>
o
JPI' • January 1995 37
location of one of the boundaries changes with time, such as when
the gas cap moves downward or when there is an unknown continu
ous shale above or below the well.
Second Radial Flow Regime. This is a hemicylindrical flow
regime, as shown in Fig. 2, that follows the first radial flow. This
flow regime may occur when the well is not centered with respect
to the noflow top and bottom boundaries. In some cases, only this
flow regime may be observed without the first flow regime. The
slope obtained from this flow regime is two times larger than that
obtained from the first regime. Thus,
mrz = 2m
rl
(5)
and
s 2302{ + 32275 + IO{(1 + fj;) ;:]
 log ( ,/,kHkVz) } . . (6)
r/lctrw
As in the first radial flow regime, the geometric mean permeability
j kH/k
v
and damage skin may be obtained from this flow regime.
IntermediateTime Linear Flow Regime. If the horizontal well is
much longer than the formation thickness, this flow regime may
develop after the effects of the upper and lower boundaries are felt
at the wellbore. As Fig. 3 shows, the derivative for Example 4 exhib
its a linear flow regime for almost one logarithmic cycle because the
formation thickness (Table I) is short (40 ft). The slope of the linear
straight line (plot of pressure vs. the square root of time) is given by
mil = (8.128q/2L
wh)j/l/kJIPc,
(7)
and the skin by
S = (2LwjkHk v/141.2q/l)!1POhr
+ 2.303
where !1POhr is the intercept. Note that if bo. jkv/k
H
(h/L
w),
is not
small, then the linear flow regime will not take place because the
flow will spread out significantly from the ends of the well before
the effects of the top and bottom boundaries are seen.
Third (Intermediate) Radial FlowRegime. After the effects of the
top and bottom boundaries are felt at the wellbore, a third radial flow
pattern will develop (Fig. 2) in the xy plane. This regime does not
exist for wells with a gas cap or aquifer. The semilog straightline
slope is
m
r
3 = 162.6q/l/k
Hh
(9)
and the skin is
(10)
where S,  2303 IO{ (1 + jf;}
 fj; L(t  + (11)
38
Eq. 11 is valid only for no< 2.5. The full expression given by
Kuchuk et ai.
18
should be used when ro 2.5.
The start of this flow regime can be written as18
tv = 20, (12)
where tv = (13)
The start ofthe third radial flow regime defined by Eq. 12is some
what subjective. Clonts and Ramey,13 Goode and Thambynaya
gam.!" Ozkan et ai.,16 and Odeh and Babu17 presented different
expressions for the start of the third regime. Although it can be used
only qualitatively to determine an upper bound to the horizontal
permeability (see Fig. 3), Eq. 12 is a good approximation for the
start of the third radial flow regime. However, for bo 1, Eq. 12
becomes crude, as shown by Curves 2 and 5 in Fig. 3. For these two
examples, the start times are actually less than those obtained from
Eq. 12. For large anisotropy ratios, ho may become large, and the
start of the radial flow regime could be much larger than that
obtained from Eq. 12.
Other flow regimes may also develop, depending on the outer
boundaries in the x and y directions and the well geometry. For
example, a spherical flow regime may occur if a horizontal well is
much shorter than the formation thickness.
ConstantPressure Boundary. If the top or bottom boundary is at
a constant pressure, a steadystate pressure is achieved at the well
bore. The total skin can then be expressed as
s = (jkHk
v
Lw/374.4q/l)!1Pss  2.303
I
[
8h (nz
w)
(h  zw) fj;H]
X og ( 2h + r:: k
v
'
nr; 1 + ,;kv/k
H
...................... (14)
where !1pss is the pressure difference between the well pressure and
constant pressure at the boundary. The height of the formation may
be estimated from the time lcbp at which the wellbore pressure
becomes steady state, as
h = 0.01 jkvtCbP/cjJ/lCt, (15)
where tcbp is the time to reach the steadystate pressure at the well
bore. Alternatively, if h is known, this equation may be used to esti
mate the vertical permeability.
Interpretation
Horizontal test well data may be interpreted in two steps: the first is
the identification of the boundaries and the main features, such as
faults and fractures, of the model from flow regime analyses. Unlike
most vertical wells, well test measurements from horizontal wells
are usually affected by nearby shale strikes and lenses and by top
and bottom boundaries at early times. The second step is to estimate
well/reservoir parameters and to refine the model that is obtained
from flow regime analyses.
The graphical type curve procedure is practically impossible for
the analysis of horizontal well test data because usually more than
three parameters are unknown, even for a singlelayer reservoir.
Thus, along with the flow regime analyses, nonlinear leastsquares
techniques are usually used to estimate reservoir parameters. In
applying these methods, one seeks not merely a model that fits a
given set of output data (pressure, flow rate, and/or their derivatives)
but also knowledge of what features in that model are satisfied by
the data. Evaluation of model features can be done iteratively during
estimation and by the diagnostic tools mentioned above (identifying
flow regimes). However, if the uncertainties about the model can be
resolved with the diagnostic tools, the estimation can be carried out
with a greater confidence at a minimal cost. For instance, if the loca
tions of the lower and upper boundaries are known or identified
January 1995· JPT
Fig. 5The permeability and thickness distributions for the
ninelayer reservoir.
Layered Reservoirs. Most oil and gas reservoirs are often layered
(stratified) to various degrees because of sedimentation processes
over long geologic times. The geologic characterization of layered
reservoirs and their evaluation have received increasing attention in
recent years because of the widespread use of 3D seismic and high
resolution wireline logs.
Understanding the pressuretransient behavior of layered reser 
voirs is important because of the strong influence that layering has
on the productivity of horizontal weIIs.
12
However, singlelayer
models are often used for the interpretation of weIItest data from
layered reservoirs. Recently, an interesting example" was pres
ented to examine the behavior of a horizontal weII in a ninelayer
reservoir and in two equivalent singlelayer reservoirs. The nine
layer system consists of nine differentthickness horizontal layers
with high and low horizontal and vertical penneabilities randomly
distributed among the layers (Fig. 5) . In this ninelayer reservoir,
each layer is a laterally and vertically continuous flow unit that com
municates vertically (formation crossflow) with adjacent layers
in the z direction. The horizontal well is completed in the middle
of the fifth layer. For computation of the singlelayer response,
we used the thicknessweighted arithmetic average horizontal
permeability < k
H
> = [k7= j(kH);h;]/h, and the harmonic aver
age vertical nneability < k
v
> = hr7k7=lhj(kvl; or < k
v
> =
k7=1 (kHkv);hjh
r
(the < kHk
v
> curve in Fig. 6), where lit =
k7=A
As shown in Fig. 6, the derivatives for these three cases clearly
indicate the first radial flow regime before the effects of the bottom
100
kH
!iJ kv
80 60 40
permeability, md
20 a
5
g) 15 ·'.:·.:·:·::·\,:x";,:·x
20
:£
10
15.
Fractured Reservoirs. Many horizontal weIIs have been drilled in
fractured reservoirs, such as Respo Mare" and Austin Chalk,23 to
increase production. The solutions presented for horizontal wells in
naturaIIy fractured (doubleporosity) reservoirs are a simple exten
sion of homogeneous singlelayer solutions.
2729
Although the
doubleporosity model may work for latetime behavior, it does not
work at early and middletime intervals unless the fracture density
is very high and its conductivity is low.
1000
from the flow regime analyses, the horizontal and vertical pennea
Lilities and damage skin can beestimated with a greater confidence.
The well bore volume of horizontal wells is usually larger than
those of vertical wells. Field observations indicate that well bore
storage may vary considerably as pressure builds up. The effect of
wellbore storage can be easily eliminated or reduced if the down
hole flow rate is measured and analyzed with the bottornhole pres
sure. As stated, a downhole shutin tool should be used for buildup
tests, particularly for lowproductivity wells, to minimize the weII
bore storage effect.
It is well known that the estimated parameters for horizontal wells
are strongly correlated. For instance, vertical permeability and well
bore storage are strongly correlated. Skin is correlated to both kH
and ky. As recommended by Kuchuk et al.,21 it may be necessary to
conduct a short drawdown test and a long buildup test for flowing
wells to estimate these parameters confidently. These two tests
should be carried out sequentially. For shutin weIIs, the drawdown
should be long enough to minimize the effect of producing time.
Fig, 4 presents pressure derivatives for two drawdown and two
72hour buildup tests with a 24hour producing time for the same
system with different vertical penneabilities. For the drawdown
tests, derivatives are taken with respect to the logarithmic of the test
time. For buildup tests, derivatives are taken with respect to the log
arithm of the Homer time (t
p
+6. t}/6.t, where t
p
is the producing
time and 6.t is the test time].
As Fig. 4 shows, even for a 24hour producing time, the effect is
visible. The behavior of the lowverticalpermeability case is not
drastically different from that of the highverticalpermeability
case. A 24hour producing time is about the minimum time required
to flow the well for these two systems. The drawdown derivative
type curves without skin and storage for these two systems are pres
ented in Fig. 3 as Example 1 (ky =10 md) and Example 2 (ky =I
md). Note that none of the flow regimes that are clearly visible in
Fig. 3 can be identified in Fig. 4 because of the weIIbore storage and
skin effects. Although these are noisefree synthetic data, the third
radial flow regime is hardly identifiable even at 72 hours. This prob
lem would become much more pronounced for real tests . If the
downhole flow rate is measured or a downhole shutin device is
used, the identifiable data interval would then be increased.
ninelayer
• harmonic <ky>
harmonic <kHky>
'R
gj'
... 100
QJ
"0
DOfor kv=10md
11 BUfor kv=lO md
. DD for kv = 1 md
o BUfor ky= 1 md 100
10°
time, hr
Fig. 4Comparison of derivatives for drawdowns and buildUps
for different vertical permeabllities.
Fig. 6Comparison of derivatives for layered and equivalent
homogeneous singlelayer systems.
JPT • January 1995 39
and top noflow boundaries. After a transition period, all curves flat
ten, indicating a latetime radial flow regime. This occurs because
during this period the horizontal well behaves as a pointsource well
in the xy plane. As Fig. 6 shows, the behavior of the ninelayer res
ervoir is completely different from that for a reservoir with two
equivalent single layers, except for the latetime radial flow regime,
which evolves in 100 hours. Note that the shape of the derivative of
the ninelayer case is similar to that of the singlelayer case given
by Example I (Fig. 3). Consequently, identification of such a layer
system may not be possible and may also lead to an incorrect inter
pretation, particularly in estimating the vertical permeability and the
distance to the boundaries. As Fig. 6 also shows, it is difficult to say
which averaging techniques work better for vertical permeability.
Therefore, a multilayer reservoir generally cannot be treated as an
equivalent singlelayer system, except when the permeability varia
tions are small .
30
.
In addition, the behavior of the gas and water zones may differ
from that of the constantpressure boundary condition, and the
effect of a gas cap or a water zone should not automatically be
assumed as a constantpressure boundary.P
Conclusions
Over the last decade, significant progress has been made in develop
ing forward analytical models and interpretation techniques for hor
izontal wells. The effects of the top and the bottom boundaries, such
as noflow and/or constantpressure boundaries, on the transient
behavior of horizontal wells have been recognized. Flow regimes
have been presented for system identification and for estimation of
a number of reservoir parameters.
A wide variety of testing equipment (hardware) for vertical wells
has been adapted for testing horizontal wells. Production logging
and/or downhole shutin have been used successfully to acquire reli
able pressure and rate data for drawdown and buildup tests. Produc
tion logging tools usually have been run with a coiledtubing system.
Field experience indicates that the interpretation of well tests
from horizontal wells is much more difficult than for vertical wells .
A large anisotropy ratio and the existence of multiple boundaries
with unknown distances to the wellbore increase the complexity of
the interpretation. Minimizing the well bore storage effect is crucial
for system identification and parameter estimation.
The pressure derivative is shown to be an effective system identi
fication tool that can also provide initial approximations of the non
linear estimation. Relying solely on nonlinear estimation without
diagnostics may lead to an erroneous model and estimates.
The behavior of a multilayer reservoir with a horizontal well can
not be treated as an equivalent singlelayer system with average
properties.
Nomenclature
c/ = total compressibility, Lt
2tm
, psi  I
h = thickness, L, ft
k= permeability, L2, md
L = length, L, ft
m= slope
n = number of layers
p= pressure, mlLt
2,
psi
q = flow rate, L
3tt,
RB/D
r = radius, L, ft
S= skin
t = time, t, hours
x, y, z= coordinates, L, ft
Jl = viscosity, mILt, cp
ljJ = porosity, fraction
Subscripts
D = dimensionless
H = horizontal
hr= hour
i = layer number
1= linear
0= initial or original
40
p = producing
r= radial
ss = steadystate
t= total
v= vertical
w= well
wf= flowing pressure (drawdown)
x, y,z= coordinate indicator
Acknowledgments
I am grateful to Schlumberger for permission to publish this paper.
I am indebted to P.A. Goode, R.M. Thambynayagam, and DJ.
Wilkinson for their contributions to horizontal well testing.
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January 1995• JIYI'
SI Metric Conversion Factors
Canadian SPEICIM/CANMET IntI. Conference on Recent Advances in
Horizontal Well Applications, Calgary, March 2023.
Fikri J. Kuchuk is chief reservoir engineer for Schlumberger
Middle East in Dubai. He was a senior scientist and a group
leader at SchiumbergerDoll Research Center, Ridgefield , CT,
and conducted research in pressure transient testing , inverse
problem, flow through porous media, and downhole pressure
and flow rate measurements. He was a consulting professor in
the Petroleum Engineer ing Dept. of Stanford U. during
19881994. Kuchuk was the recipient of the 1994 Reservoir Engi
neering Award. He was the Program Chairman for the 1993
Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition and has chaired
many SPEtechnical committees.
EOI =m
E04 =,um
2
E+OO = kPa
ft x 3.048*
md x 9.869 233
psi x 6.894 757
"Conva rsion factor is exact.
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sient Analysis of the JX2 Horizontal Well, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska," pa
per SPE 20610 presented at the 1990 SPE Annual Technical Conference
and Exhibition, New Orleans, Sept. 2326.
25. Shah, P.C., Gupta , D.K., and Deruyck, B.G.: "Field Application of the
Method for Interpretation of HorizontalWell Transient Tests," SPEFE
(March 1994) 23.
26. Suzuki, K. and Nanba, T.: "Horizontal Well Test Analysis System," pa
per SPE 20613 presented at the 1990SPE Annual Technical Conference
and Exhibition, New Orleans, Sept. 2326.
27. Carvalho, R.S. and Rosa, AJ .: ' 'Transient Pressure Behavior for Hori
zontal Wells in Naturally Fractured Reservoir," paper SPE 18302 pres
ented at the 1988 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition,
Houston, Oct. 2 5.
28. Williams, E.T. and Kikani, 1.: "Pressure Transient Analysis of Horizon
tal Wells in a Naturally Fractured Reservoir," paper SPE 20612 pres
ented at the 1990 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition,
New Orleans, Sept. 23 26.
29. Aguilera, R. and Ng, M.e.: "Transient Pressure Analysis of Horizontal
Wells in Anisotropic Naturally Fractured Reservoirs," SPEFE (March
1991) 95.
30. Kuchuk, FJ.: "Pressure Behavior of Horizontal Wells in Multilayer
Reservoirs With Crossflow,' paper SPE 22731 presented at the 1991
SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, Oct. 69.
31. Suzuki, K. and Namba, T.: "Horizontal Well Pressure Transient Behav
ior in Stratified Reservoirs," paper SPE 22732 presented at the 1991
SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, Oct. 69.
32. Domzalski, S. and Yver, J.: "Horizontal Well Testing in the Gulf of
Guinea," Oil Field Review (Apri l 1992) 42.
33. Bourdet, D. et al.: "A New Set of Type Curves Simplifies Well Test
Analysis," World Oll (May 1983).
34. Kuchuk, FJ . and Kader, A.S: "Pressure Behavior of Horizontal Wells
in Heterogeneous Reservoirs," paper HWC9425 presented at the 1994
JPT • January 1995 41
.151[ ~:. . 2. !i.2275 + 2 log 1'( 4 5 100 100 100 100 200 10 1 5 5 1 0.r. 3 and 4 provide two pieces of information.00026377Ct ¢Il c. 3. .6qll/2 jkHkvL w ••• ••••• ••••• •••••• •••••• (1) and the damage skin as 1 2 3 s ~ 1. kH/kV. they may also be used to provide constraints on the positions of the boundaries.t.z. 500 500 500 500 500 J!!L J!!L 20 20 5 20 20 Zw ~ ...Q!L 100 100 100 40 200 (md) kH kv (md) i. .. "I. Thi s information is useful when the TABLE 1RESERVOIR PARAMETERS FOR EXAMPLES SHOWN IN FIG. and !i. It may not develop if the anisotropy ratio.1 104 Fig. clearly indicate (Fig. . Loglog plots ~f the change in the wellbore pressure.00146 0. provided thaI the wellbore pressure during this regime is not affected by wellbore storage and/or boundaries. 18).(!i.00389 0.00530 • Where fwD = (f W / 2L w l(1+ jk~kV) 37 JPI' • January 1995 .~ o .. This radial flow around the wellbore may continue until the effect of the nearest boundary is felt at the wellbore. . 3 and 4 may not be reliable because the ¢Ilcr product may not be accurately known . !i..• associated with type curves have been used extensively as diagnostic and interpretation tools since the early 1970's... 2. HLw ~l( Z ky L .2: OJ Cii > ..p. Horner. because Eqs. is large. the geometric mean permeability j kH v and damage skin may be obtained from the first radial flow regime. In this paper.. Nevertheless. k In principle. .PI hr = Po. The anisotropy ratio is needed for calculati7 damage skin from Eq..33 showed that a combined loglog plot of pressure and pressure derivative is a better diagnostic and interpretation tool than a pressure plot alone for comparing measured transient data with the model responses. . zw. . The derivatives for all examples. 2 derivatives o ~ x I I I Zw 0. ... Eqs.00197 0. . The behavior of this regime is similar to the earlytime behavior of partially penetrated wells.zw)]. 3Derivatives for Examples 1 through S and pressure for ExampleS. The vertical permeability may be obtained from the time of onset of the deviation of the pressure or pressure deri vative from this flow regime as (in oilfield units) k V  ¢Il c. """""" ~ Third radial Fig.Plhr= Pw(!i.r~ (AA)] . . as shown in Fig. h Example . The first flow pattern for horizontal wells is ellipticcylindrical. + 3. First Radial Flow Regime.Pw and dPw/d In t. J + . the pressure change and pressure derivative are denoted by !i.  (4) where lsfbe is the time to feel the second (farthest) boundary effect. = 162. . (h . the ellipticcylindrical flow regime becomes pseudoradial. After some time.10 I I I pressure h J_L:_y~.¢Ilc. sjb e k v . (2) Time Fig. 2Radial flow regimes for a horizontal well.Pw(t= I hour) for drawdown tests. because the dependence on kH/k v is logarithmic. 10 _ . In practice. Alternatively. Pw at 1 hour for both tests is obtained from the semilog. The slope of the semilog straight line can be expressed as mIl where q is the constant flow rate. or max [2 (h .0) for buildup tests. . However..00194 0. )2]• . Bourdet et al. 1Horizontal well model.t= 1 hour) .9 In the early 1980·s. 3) the first radial flow regime . or derivative plot. _ ~. snbe (3) where tsnbe is the time to feel the effect of the nearest boundary. Ex. for which the well/reservoir parameters are given in Table 1 (see Ref.0. they can be used qualitatively._. . 2 2 00002637 t mm [zw. respectively. its effect on the damage skin estimation will usually be small. First radial 7 102 Hemiradial r ~v 4  kH + ) log .
. and/or their derivatives) but also knowledge of what features in that model are satisfied by the data. However. The full expression given by ~ 2. After the effects of the top and bottom boundaries are felt at the wellbore. ConstantPressure Boundary.303 where !1pss is the pressure difference between the well pressure and constant pressure at the boundary.2q/l)!1POhr + 2. the derivative for Example 4 exhibits a linear flow regime for almost one logarithmic cycle because the formation thickness (Table I) is short (40 ft)...0002637kHt/cjJ/lctL~ (5) and s ~ 2302{". only this flow regime may be observed without the first flow regime. ~ ..(~~. 12 is somewhat subjective. + 32275 + IO{ (1 + . one seeks not merely a model that fits a given set of output data (pressure..location of one of the boundaries changes with time.5. The second step is to estimate well/reservoir parameters and to refine the model that is obtained from flow regime analyses. the start times are actually less than those obtained from Eq. If the top or bottom boundary is at a constant pressure. IntermediateTime Linear Flow Regime. (14) and the skin by S = (2L wjkHk v/141.:] . For example.. that follows the first radial flow.~v + ~~) (11) Horizontal test well data may be interpreted in two steps: the first is the identification of the boundaries and the main features. Alternatively. (1 + jf.)] . Other flow regimes may also develop.. .2. Thus. 2) in the xy plane. the estimation can be carried out with a greater confidence at a minimal cost. The height of the formation may be estimated from the time lcbp.) . the square root of time) is given by mil s= X (jkHk v L w/374.6q/l/k Hh and the skin is (9) (10) where S.. 2. as shown by Curves 2 and 5 in Fig. The semilog straightline slope is = 0. 12. a steadystate pressure is achieved at the wellbore. For large anisotropy ratios.. along with the flow regime analyses.. of the model from flow regime analyses. a third radial flow pattern will develop (Fig..!" Ozkan et ai. This is a hemicylindrical flow regime. if the uncertainties about the model can be resolved with the diagnostic tools. then the linear flow regime will not take place because the flow will spread out significantly from the ends of the well before the effects of the top and bottom boundaries are seen./. as h where !1POhr is the intercept.zw) fj. Third (Intermediate) Radial Flow Regime. this equation may be used to estimate the vertical permeability. (15) where tcbp is the time to reach the steadystate pressure at the wellbore. Kuchuk et ai. The graphical type curve procedure is practically impossible for the analysis of horizontal well test data because usually more than three parameters are unknown.. This regime does not exist for wells with a gas cap or aquifer. a spherical flow regime may occur if a horizontal well is much shorter than the formation thickness. nonlinear leastsquares techniques are usually used to estimate reservoir parameters. well test measurements from horizontal wells are usually affected by nearby shale strikes and lenses and by top and bottom boundaries at early times.. Thus.13 Goode and Thambynayagam.5. For instance.. Unlike most vertical wells. For these two examples.01 jkvtCbP/cjJ/lCt.4q/l )!1Pss . 3). (7) . 38 L(t . 12.16 and Odeh and Babu 17 presented different expressions for the start of the third regime.. if h is known. In applying these methods. In some cases. 3. as shown in Fig.....128q/2L wh)j/l/kJIPc. depending on the outer boundaries in the x and y directions and the well geometry.303 8h ~)cot (nz w) + (h . 3 shows. 11 is valid only for no < 2.kHk Vz) } . Although it can be used only qualitatively to determine an upper bound to the horizontal permeability (see Fig.kv/kH Iog [ nr. However. Second Radial Flow Regime. mrz = 2m rl Eq. ho may become large. Clonts and Ramey. such as when the gas cap moves downward or when there is an unknown continuous shale above or below the well.~. the geometric mean permeability j kH/k v and damage skin may be obtained from this flow regime. r/lctrw fj.log ( (6) The start ofthe third radial flow regime defined by Eq.H] ' 2h kv + . Evaluation of model features can be done iteratively during estimation and by the diagnostic tools mentioned above (identifying flow regimes). even for a singlelayer reservoir.2303 IO{~~. (12) (13) where tv = 0. for bo ~ 1. Eq. Eq. 18 should be used when The start of this flow regime can be written as 18 ro tv = 20. Note that if bo. jkv/k H (h/L w). this flow regime may develop after the effects of the upper and lower boundaries are felt at the wellbore. 12 becomes crude.. flow rate. and the start of the radial flow regime could be much larger than that obtained from Eq. Interpretation m r3 = 162..fj.. If the horizontal well is much longer than the formation thickness. As Fig. is not small. The slope obtained from this flow regime is two times larger than that obtained from the first regime. if the locations of the lower and upper boundaries are known or identified January 1995· JPT . The slope of the linear straight line (plot of pressure vs. This flow regime may occur when the well is not centered with respect to the noflow top and bottom boundaries. 12 is a good approximation for the start of the third radial flow regime... such as faults and fractures. The total skin can then be expressed as As in the first radial flow regime.}.at which the wellbore pressure becomes steady state. ( 1 r:: = (8.
As stated.. For computation of the singlelayer response. The horizontal well is completed in the middle of the fifth layer. "0 QJ 100 ninelayer • harmonic <ky> harmonic <kHky> 10° time. Many horizontal weIIs have been drilled in fractured reservoirs. Although these are noisefree synthetic data.and middletime intervals unless the fracture density is very high and its conductivity is low. For instance. Understanding the pressuretransient behavior of layered reser voirs is important because of the strong influence that layering has on the productivity of horizontal weIIs. The ninelayer system consists of nine differentthickness horizontal layers with high and low horizontal and vertical penneabilities randomly distributed among the layers (Fig. Fig. As Fig. 5) .:x". For the drawdown tests.. singlelayer models are often used for the interpretation of weIItest data from layered reservoirs. The effect of wellbore storage can be easily eliminated or reduced if the downhole flow rate is measured and analyzed with the bottornhole pressure. The well bore volume of horizontal wells is usually larger than those of vertical wells.~ . to minimize the weIIbore storage effect. and the harmonic average vertical nneability < k v > = hr7k7=lhj(kvl.·. or < k v > = k7=1 (kHkv). The drawdown derivative type curves without skin and storage for these two systems are presented in Fig.23 to increase production. 3 can be identified in Fig. In this ninelayer reservoir. 6Comparison of derivatives for layered and equivalent homogeneous singlelayer systems. an interesting example" was presented to examine the behavior of a horizontal weII in a ninelayer reservoir and in two equivalent singlelayer reservoirs. If the downhole flow rate is measured or a downhole shutin device is used. 1000 DO for kv=10md 11 BU for kv=lO md BU for ky= 1 md . particularly for lowproductivity wells.. 39 . Most oil and gas reservoirs are often layered (stratified) to various degrees because of sedimentation processes over long geologic times. md Fig.h. Skin is correlated to both kH and ky.·:·::·\. These two tests should be carried out sequentially. 5The permeability and thickness distributions for the ninelayer reservoir. Recently.hjh r (the < kHk v > curve in Fig. such as Respo Mare" and Austin Chalk.t is the test time].DD for kv = 1 md o 100 'R gj' . The behavior of the lowverticalpermeability case is not drastically different from that of the highverticalpermeability case. The solutions presented for horizontal wells in naturaIIy fractured (doubleporosity) reservoirs are a simple extension of homogeneous singlelayer solutions. As recommended by Kuchuk et al.~ . vertical permeability and wellbore storage are strongly correlated.:·x :: :£ 5~ 10 ~ 20 ~ ~ kH kv 5~:il~ 15. derivatives are taken with respect to the logarithm of the Homer time (tp +6. !iJ 40 60 80 a 20 100 permeability. This problem would become much more pronounced for real tests . even for a 24hour producing time. 4 because of the weIIbore storage and skin effects. 2729 Although the doubleporosity model may work for latetime behavior. the derivatives for these three cases clearly indicate the first radial flow regime before the effects of the bottom k7=A 20~ 1O~ Vl~ g) 5 15 ~~~~~~~~~~~ ·'. Layered Reservoirs. 4 presents pressure derivatives for two drawdown and two 72hour buildup tests with a 24hour producing time for the same system with different vertical penneabilities. The geologic characterization of layered reservoirs and their evaluation have received increasing attention in recent years because of the widespread use of 3D seismic and highresolution wire line logs. JPT • January 1995 Fig.. For buildup tests. hr Fig. 6).21 it may be necessary to conduct a short drawdown test and a long buildup test for flowing wells to estimate these parameters confidently. the horizontal and vertical penneaLilities and damage skin can be estimated with a greater confidence. 4 shows. where tp is the producing time and 6. the drawdown should be long enough to minimize the effect of producing time. the effect is visible.. For shutin weIIs. 3 as Example 1 (ky = 10 md) and Example 2 (ky = I md). Note that none of the flow regimes that are clearly visible in Fig . the identifiable data interval would then be increased.]/h. it does not work at early. It is well known that the estimated parameters for horizontal wells are strongly correlated. derivatives are taken with respect to the logarithmic of the test time. 12 However. a downhole shutin tool should be used for buildup tests. A 24hour producing time is about the minimum time required to flow the well for these two systems. where lit = As shown in Fig . t}/6. 6.t. we used the thicknessweighted arithmetic average horizontal permeability < kH > = [k7= j(kH). each layer is a laterally and vertically continuous flow unit that communicates vertically (formation crossflow) with adjacent layers in the z direction. Fractured Reservoirs. the third radial flow regime is hardly identifiable even at 72 hours. 4Comparison of derivatives for drawdowns and buildUps for different vertical permeabllities. Field observations indicate that well bore storage may vary considerably as pressure builds up.from the flow regime analyses.
: "Some Practical Formulas to Predict Horizontal Well Behavior. This occurs because during this period the horizontal well behaves as a pointsource well in the xy plane." SPEFE (Dec." SPEFE (Dec . L. J: "Inflow Performance of Horizontal Wells in Multilayer Reservoirs.: "Pressure Transient Analysis for Horizontal Wells. 287. and Wilkinson.A. EM. Wilkinson for their contributions to horizontal well testing. Trans. Oakland. and Combe .: "Productivity of a Horizontal Well. 1989) 417 .: "Pressure Transient Analysis for Wells with Horizontal Drainholes. L. ft m= slope n = number of layers p= pressure. Trans.: "Pressure Drawdown and Buildup Analysis for Horizontal Wells in Anisotropic Media. 17. A. 3." 1PT (Nov. AIME. 2\." SPEFE (Dec . 5. 6 also shows. Bahrain . Thambynayagam. Raghavan. ft S= skin t = time. all curves flatten. As Fig . 1987) 683. Odeh.P. et al. identification of such a layer system may not be possible and may also lead to an incorrect interpretation.D.D. 1619. Reiss.: "Transient Flow Behavior of Horizontal Wells: Pressure Drawdown and Buildup Analysis.: "Inflow Performance of Partially Open Horizontal Wells. 19. Giger. 58. I am indebted to P. and Thambynayagam. RB/D r = radius. Giger. Production logging and/or downhole shutin have been used successfully to acquire reliable pressure and rate data for drawdown and buildup tests. Trans. Kuchuk. S. Kuchuk.: " A Mathematical Model for Pressure Evaluation in an InfiniteConductivity Horizontal Well. M.R. Clonts. fraction Subscripts D= H= hr= i= 1= 0= dimensionless horizontal hour layer number linear initial or original 40 January 1995• JIYI' . 12.." SPEFE (March 1991) 86. such as noflow and/or constantpressure boundaries. 1989) 559. y. In addition." paper SPE 15430 presented at the 1986 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. 1991) 983. which evolves in 100 hours. G.. D. Trans . Brice. on the transient behavior of horizontal wells have been recognized. HJ. 16. Trans . : " Horizontal Well Pressure Analysis. mILt. P. Trans.M .W. References \. 289. 283. I \.• AIME... EM. 15.: "Application of Horizontal Wells at Prudhoe Bay. AIME .• AIME . DC. M." Oil Weekly (Jan. AIME. April 24.. Production logging tools usually have been run with a coiledtubing system. 289. and Raghavan . 1988) 716. t.S. Ozkan. Oct.M." paper SPE 20609 presented at the 1990 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibit ion. et al . FJ.. March 1114. J. D. particularly in estimating the vertical permeability and the distance to the boundaries. Relying solely on nonlinear estimation without diagnostics may lead to an erroneous model and estimates. except for the latetime radial flow regime. A. 20. Goode . 289. The behavior of a multilayer reservoir with a horizontal well cannot be treated as an equivalent singlelayer system with average properties. Goode. The pressure derivative is shown to be an effective system identification tool that can also provide initial approximations of the nonlinear estimation. 289.: "Production From Horizontal After 5 Years. OJ. As Fig. Sherrard. P. and Saaedi.: "Horizontal Wells Production Techniques in Heterogeneous Reservoirs.: "Inflow Performance of Horizontal Wells. Sept. Jr. ft k= permeability. 2326 .and top noflow boundaries.' paper SPE 15116 presented at the 1986 SPE California Regional Meeting. and Joshi. 22. it is difficult to say which averaging techniques work better for vertical permeability. 1990) 375. P. New Orleans. hours x. the behavior of the ninelayer reservoir is completely different from that for a reservoir with two equivalent single layers. 7.H. New Orleans. 20. FJ. 1990) 277. E. Sept.: "Augmentation of Well Productivity With Slanted and Horizontal Wells." 1PT (June 1988) 729 . and Jourdan. a multilayer reservoir generally cannot be treated as an equivalent singlelayer system. Oct . the behavior of the gas and water zones may differ from that of the constantpressure boundary condition. psi q = flow rate. EM . and Odeh. 3). BJ. King. and Hegeman." JPT (August 1990) 974.. Rosa. and DJ. 8. and Ramey.. P. Ozkan . A wide variety of testing equipment (hardware) for vertical wells has been adapted for testing horizontal wells. 1987) 1417. E et al ..A. except when the permeability variations are small .. O. 291." SPERE(Aug.: "Pressure Buildup Test Results From Horizontal Wells in the Pearsall Field of the Austin Chalk.W. A large anisotropy ratio and the existence of multiple boundaries with unknown distances to the wellbore increase the complexity of the interpretation..1941 ) 12. 1989) 567.K. significant progress has been made in developing forward analytical models and interpretation techniques for horizontal wells. and Kuchuk. Reiss." 1PT(Nov.30 . Goode. GJ." SPEFE (Sept. Field experience indicates that the interpretation of well tests from horizontal wells is much more difficult than for vertical wells ." paper SPE 13710 presented at the 1985 SPE Middle East Oil Technical Show. 1991) 319. R. Consequently. AIME. 2. FJ.G.A. O. T.D. mlLt 2.: "Pressure Analysis for Horizontal Wells. 23.A. Nomenclature c/ = total compressibility." SPEFE (March 1990) 7.S.I h = thickness. 4. psi .: " Performance of Horizontal Wells Subject to Bottomwater Drive. Abbaszadeh. 10. Washington. . 6. Karcher. FJ ." SPERE (May 1988) 720 . y.." 1PT(Aug." paper SPE 13024 presented at the 1984 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.: "PressureTransient Behavior of Horizontal Wells With and Without Gas Cap or Aquifer.H. 1987) 1411. Flow regimes have been presented for system identification and for estimation of a number of reservoir parameters.: "Comparative Evaluation of Vertical and Horizontal Drainage Wells for the Degasification of Coal Seam s. 9. L 3tt. 6 shows. Lt 2tm .: "Reservoir Engineering Aspects of Horizontal Drilling . Therefore.: " PressureTransient Analysis for a Slanted Well in a Reservoir With Vertical Pressure Support. 283. L. Trans . indicating a latetime radial flow regime. After a transition period. L. Goode. L.. z = coordinate indicator Acknowledgments I am grateful to Schlumberger for permission to publish this paper. Houston.. Renney. L. AJ and Carvalho. R. Trans . Babu. R. Trans . Over the last decade. E.S. R . R. Giger. 18. The effects of the top and the bottom boundaries. L.K. md L = length. cp ljJ = porosity. z = coordinates. S. 13. and the effect of a gas cap or a water zone should not automatically be assumed as a constantpressure boundary. 47. AIME 285. 14. Daviau. B. and MacDonald ." paper SPE 24945 presented at the 1992 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. AIME. and Babu." SPEFE (Dec. AIME. A. Kuchuk. L2. Note that the shape of the derivative of the ninelayer case is similar to that of the singlelayer case given by Example I (Fig. Joshi." SPERE (Aug . and Ertekin.P Conclusions p = producing r= radial ss = steadystate t= total v= vertical w= well wf= flowing pressure (drawdown) x. Minimizing the well bore storage effect is crucial for system identification and parameter estimation. ft Jl = viscosity." SPERE (Nov.: " Drilling Wells Horizontally. Lichtenberger.
R.S: "Pressure Behavior of Horizontal Wells in Heterogeneous Reservoirs. JPT • January 1995 41 . Domzalski.T. of Stanford U.um 2 E+OO = kPa Fikri J. New Orleans.E. R. Suzuki. Dallas.: "Horizontal Well Test Analysis System. 27. during 19881994. and downhole pressure and flow rate measurements." SPEFE (March 1994) 23. and Yver. Bourdet.869 233 psi x 6. Williams.24. FJ . U.: ''Transient Pressure Behavior for Horizontal Wells in Naturally Fractured Reservoir.' paper SPE 22731 presented at the 1991 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.. and Kikani. 69. Prudhoe Bay. Sept. G." paper HWC9425 presented at the 1994 Canadian SPEICIM /CA NMET IntI... Aguilera. Gupta .: "Horizontal Well Pressure Transient Behavior in Stratified Reservoirs. 26. J. 30." paper SPE 22732 presented at the 1991 SPE Annual Technical Confe rence and Exhibition.: "A New Set of Type Curves Simplifies Well Test Analysis. and Kader. K. D. 33. Alaska. New Orleans. 2. March 2023. Oct. and Deruyck.5. D. Oct. Sept. and Rosa. Shah. Oct. A. FJ. T. Sept. Rosenzweig. Kuchuk was the recipient of the 1994 Reservoir Engineering Award.: "Field Application of the Method for Interpretation of HorizontalWell Transient Tests. Dallas. 25. Kuchuk. and Nanba. flow through porous media . Suzuki. CT. 34. EOI =m E04 =. et al.: "Transient Pressure Analysis of Horizontal Wells in Anisotropic Naturally Fractured Reservoirs.: "Pressure Behavior of Horizontal Wells in Multilayer Reservoirs With Crossflow. 2326." SPEFE (March 199 1) 95." paper SPE 18302 presented at the 1988 SPE Annual Techn ical Conference and Exhibition. and Ng. Conference on Recent Adva nces in Horizontal Well Applications. He was a consulting pro fessor in the Petroleum Engineer ing Dept. 29. Houston. Kuchuk." World Oll (May 1983). He was a sen ior scientist and a group t leader at Schiumberge rDoll Research Center. D. 32. SI Metric Conversion Factors ft x 3." Oil Field Review (April 1992) 42.S. 2326. AJ . 69. Calgary. K. 1. Kuchuk is ch ief reservo ir engineer for Schlumberger Middle Eas in Dubai." paper SPE 206 13 presented at the 1990 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.K. Ridgefield .G.C. 28. 3 1.: "Pressure Transient Analysis of Horizontal Wells in a Naturally Fractured Reservoir.048* md x 9. He was the Program Chairman for the 1993 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition and has chaired many SPE technical committees. New Orleans.C. M.: "Pressure Transient Analysis of the JX2 Horizontal Well..894 757 "Conva rsion factor is exact.26. inverse problem . and Namba. T.: "Horizontal Well Testing in the Gulf of Guinea. and conducted research in pressure transient testing . Korpics. and Crawford." paper SPE 206 12 presented at the 1990 SPE Annual Technical Confere nce and Exhibition. P. S. Carvalho." paper SPE 206 10 presented at the 1990 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. E. 23. B.e.
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