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Wellbore Effects in Injection Well Testing

Robert C. Earlougher, Jr., SPE-AIME, Marathon Oil Co.
K. M. Kersch, SPE-AIME, Marathon Oil Co.
H. J. Ramey, Jr., SPE-AIME, Stanford U.
Introduction
Injectivity or pressure falloff tests in injection wells
are commonly used to investigate formation proper-
ties.. Ideally, such tests provide information about
formation permeability, skin factor, distance to fluid
banks, and distance to boundaries.
1
,2 Wellbore stor-
age
3
-
9
and its effects on transient testing have been
described in the literature. The storage of fluids in
the wellbore due to compression or changing liquiq
level causes transient test:> to act differently at short
times than they would in the absence of wellbore stor-
age effects; long-time behavior is essentially un-
affected. Wellbore storage is a general term encom-
passing the more specific terms, "afterflow" (pressure
buildup) and "unloading" (pressure falloff and draw-
down); we use only the general term in this paper.
The specific term commonly applied to injectivity tests
is wellbore storage.
We show here that under certain circumstances
wellbore storage effects, in particular changing well-
bore storage, can make test interpretation for forma-
tion characteristics practically impossible. We include
fieid data illustrating this problem, provide an ex-
planation of the behavior of these data, make sugges-
tions for injection well testing and test analysis, and
illustrate the analysis technique. The problem of well-
bore storage effects in injection well testing is much
too broad and complex to be· treated exhaustively in
this paper, but we feel that the material presented is
detailed enough to identify, illustrate, and at least
partially solve the problem.
We first encountered and finally recognized this
prQblem as a result of a series of injectivity and fall-
off tests on several wells. The purpose of the testing
was to locate and estimate the distance to fluid banks.
Fig. 1 shows data from one of these falloff tests, from
a 1,OOO-ft-deep water injection well. Pressure data
are from a permanently installed surface-recording
down-hole gauge. Fig. 1 has several bends that might
be interpreted as banks, boundaries, interference
from adjacent injection or production wells, com-
mingled zones, etc. It is not difficult to pick four, five,
or even six different slopes from this particular test.
As a result of the multiple slope changes, there were
great differences of opinion about how to interpret
these data; test interpretation was never satisfactory
to all involved.
Fig. 2 shows injectivity test data for the same well.
This figure also has several pends that might be inter-
preted as banks, boundaries, interference, etc. (The
straight line in Fig. 2 'is used later in an example
calculation.) Detailed analysis of these two figures
shows that· they do not have the same sequence of
slopes and that the slopes do not change at the same
time. There are one or two places where the slopes
do appear to be the same, but these slopes do not
occur at equivalent times. Furthermore, we expect
the general appearance of the injectivity and the fall-
off tests to be the same
1
;clearly, the shapes of these
two curves are quite different. The falloff curve gen-
erally has a small slope and is fairly flat in the period
A case history is used to illustrate that wellbore storage can act differently in injection
well falloff and injectivity tests. This can cause test curves to have shapes characteristic
of mobility banks and thus render some falloff tests useless. Injectivity tests, however,
may be interpretable.
1244 JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY
9oor-------.
I
-------.,--------,
9001,-------.--,-----.,-,-------,
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
,
o
em
,
o
o
o
o
o
o
o 0
:L
CD
P1hr.= 760 psi
m =/05 psi / CYCLE i
STllRT OF CORRECT
c9 S£MILOG STRAIGHT
o LINE
,
o
1200 Pwf= 1216 psi
o
o
00
0'<:t

'% I I I
400
L
, -----:'O=!:O::-O
SHUT-IN TIME, ilt, MIN.
Fig. 3-Pressure falloff test in a water injection well
showing a definite pressure plateau.
2oof-
I-
'u;
a.
; 1000 I-
a.
w
1-
0
a:
::> 0
In
In
w
BOOl-
a:
Q.
w
...J
f- 0
'!'
:::E
0
Goof-
l-
I-
0
CD
I-
'u;
700
..
:l
a.
w
a: 600
::>
In
In
w
a: 0
Q. 5001-
w
...J
o
:J:
::i; 4oof-
o
l-
I;
CD
3001-
300
'iii
a.
.;. 700
iI
a.
, ,
------;'1.0
FLOW TIME, t , HR.
Fig. 2-lnjectivity test for the well of Fig. 1.
o
2001-- pws =/94 psi
BOO
I ,

SHUT-IN TIME, ilt, HR.
Fig. I-Pressure falloff test in water injection
well in the Illinois basin.
-
w
a:
::> 600
In
In
w
a:
Q.
soO
W
...J
o
'!'
4001-
l-
I-
o
CD
0.8 to 2 hours. In contrast, the injectivity curve is
extremely steep from about 0.15 to about 1.3 hours.
The major problem in analyzing these tests, then,
lies in resolving the obvious differences. Our first
reaction was to discount the injectivity test because
of possible rate variations, casing leaks, interference
from other wells, and other well known demons. We
knew, however, that the rate was controlled within a
few percent during the injectivity test. Casing leaks
and interference should affect both the falloff test arid
the injectivity test in the same way, so it is illogical
to discount the injectivity test and not the falloff test
for these reasons. Furthermore, subsequent testing in
this well in other wells indicated that the falloff
and injectivity tests were almost always different,
regardless of formation characteristics and the nature
of the injected fluids. Thus, we concluded that the
difference in these curves must be due to a real phys-
ical phenomenon and should be explainable.
Identification of the Problem
After studying many tests, we realized that the flat
portion of the falloff curve always begins at about
the time the wellhead pressure becomes atmospheric
or goes on vacuum. Fig. 3 shows an extreme example
of this behavior. This falloff test is for a water injec-
tion well completed in a 1,500-ft-deep sand. Note
that the pressure data are essentially constant at about
670 psi from 25 minutes to 92 minutes. The hydro-
static head due to a 1,500-ft column of water is about
670 psi. The falloff curve plateau in Fig. 3 is much
flatter than that in Fig. 1. We shall give the reason
for this later.
The significance of the plateau in the falloff curve
is that the liquid level should begin to fall in the tubing
at this point - about 20 to 40 minutes after shut-in
for Figs. 1 and 3.
This observation indicates that .wellbore storage
changes from fluid compression to falling liquid levelS
during the falloff test. But for an injectivity test, the
pressure starts at a low level and increases, so well,,:
bore storage changes from rising liquid level to fluid
compressions during the test. (Agarwal and Ramey4
explain the theoretical behavior for these two
situations.)
Thus, it is clear that the changing type of wellbore
storage is different for the falloff and injectivity tests.
For falloff, first there is expansion of fluid in the
wellbore, then falling liquid level. For injection, this
sequence is reversed. This results in transient response
curves of different shapes for the two tests. Examina-
tion of the pertinent differential equation shows that,
for a constant wellbore storage, falloff and injectivity
tests (or for that matter, buildup and drawdown tests)
on the same well must look alike and must reveal the
same information.
1
,4 Consideration of changing well-
bore storage type indicates that this is not necessarily
so. The theoretical discussion in the following section
verifies that the behavior in Figs. 1, 2, and 3 is indeed
due to the sequence of changes of wellbore storage.
Changing Wellbore Storage-
Theoretical Discussion
Simple, constant wellbore storage effects were rec-
NOVEMBER, 1973 1245
ognized by van Everdingen and Hurst" in 1949. Little
was done about wellbore storage in the petroleum
literature until the mid-1960's. Agarwal et al
6
estab-
lished that a log-log plot (type curve) of IIp vs Ilt has
a unit slope in the wellbore-storage-clominated period.
Ramey9 has explained the importance and use of the
type-curve approach in test analysis.
Fortunately, many pressure transient tests exper-
ience a relatively constant wellbore storage. An ex-
ample of such a falloff test, taken from Ref. 7, is
shown in Figs. 4 and 5. Fig. 4 is a semilog plot of
pressure falloff data for a water injection well in a
"dump flood." (By dump flood, we mean that water
was injected at atmospheric or below atmospheric
wellhead pressure.) As a result, this falloff test im-
mediately experienced falling-liquid-Ievel well bore
storage. The type curve that matches the falloff data
in Fig. 5 is from Fig. 1 in the Agarwal et al. paper.
6
We used Ramey's technique
9
to obtain this match.
The match demonstrates that this falloff test acts with
a single, simple wellbore storage coefficient. We indi-
cate where the semilog straight line should start in
Fig. 5. Wellbore storage dominates the falloff be-
havior of this well for about 8 hours. Nevertheless,
this test can be analyzed by normal, semilog methods;
the straight line is shown in Fig. 4. This particular
test has been analyzed by these methods and by a
regression technique that included the effects of well-
bore storage. (See Ref. 7 for a detailed analysis.)
The long period of falling-liquid-Ievel wellbore
storage indicated in Figs. 4 and 5 is easy to see, under-
stand, and account for in test analysis. The problems
of changing wellbore storage are somewhat different.
In the falloff tests of Figs. 1 and 3, we must con-
sider what happens when the fluid level starts to fall
in the middle of the test, after a period of compressive
wellbore storage. This case is specifically excluded by
Hazebroek et al.
8
in their treatment of falloff in water
injection wells.
Fig. 6 shows schematic log-log and semilog graphs
of pressure falloff behavior when the wellbore storage
coefficient increases stepwise from C
l
to C
2
at time
Iltl . This corresponds to wellbore storage changing
from fluid compression to falling liquid level, a com-
mon example of increasing wellbore storage. The
light solid curves in Fig. 6 show pressure falloff for
constant wellbore storage coefficients. The left curve
is for a low wellbore storage coefficient, Cl, such as
fluid compression storage; the right curve is for a high
wellbore storage coefficient, C
2
, as might be caused
by a falling fluid level. The heavy solid curve, going
from Cl to C2 , is the falloff curve that occurs when
wellbore storage changes at time Ilt
l
• Note the dis-
tinct flattening in both the log-log and semilog graphs.
If the test is run long enough, data fall on the semilog
straight line after time Ilt
2
• The dashed curve shows
the location of the correct semilog straight line. In
Fig. 6, where the storage change occurs early, the
semilog straight line is not reached until very late
in the test.
Fig. 7 also shows an increasing wellbore storage
situation. In this case, the semilog straight line is
nearly reached while wellbore storage is still due to
fluid compression. Then, the wellbore storage coeffi-
cient increases to falling liquid level. The falloff curve
(the heavy solid line) nearly reaches the semilog
straight line (the dashed curve), then flattens and
departs from this line as the wellbore storage in-
-'- ----' --'
10°00.0.0"------:o<b-.I-----7,-----.p8>..-----c:!'oo
SHUT'IN TIME,At,HR.
Fig. 4-Semilog plot of a pressure falloff test for a
dump flood; falling-fluid-level wellbore
storage only. (After Ref. 7.)
SEMILOG
r--
CORRECT
STRAIGHT
LINE
c. -
LOG-LOG
pw,=428 psi
;;
...
.
,/400
W
0:
::l
:ll
f 300

o
x
:::i: 200

S
Ol
c.
<I
LOG (At)
Fig. 6--Log-log and semilog theoretical falloff curves for
a step increase in wellbore storage. Storage
changes early in the test.
s= 1.7
o
CO=o
- - - - - /" ilf."!f,.LOG STRAIGHT
LINE BEGINS
'000,-----,----,- -, ----.
.

0.
;}
W
'00
«
:I:
o
W
II:
:>
II>
II>
W
II:
... '°:DO.O'" ----,:!:-O---......,.)'OO
SHUT-IN TIME, At, HR.
Fig. 5-Log-log plot of the falloff test in
Fig. 4. (After Ref. 7.)
1246
JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY
creases at time .6.t
1
• After long enough shut-in time,
the semilog straight line is reached at time .6.t2 •
Certain features in Figs. 6 and 7 are important
and can help us recognize increasing wellbore storage.
The most obvious feature is the flattening of the fall-
off curve. This is clear in both the semilog and log-
log graphs in Fig. 6. However, in Fig. 7, flattening
is easier to see in the semilog graph than in the log-
log graph. When dealing with real data, the flattening
is frequently impossible to see on a log-log graph
under these circumstances. This is because of noise in
the data and because of the insensitivity of the log-log
scale in the vicinity of the semilog straight line (the
dashed curve).
The beginning of the correct semilog straight line
can sometimes be identified on a semilog graph. Figs.
6 and 7 both show that the falloff curve flattens as
storage begins to change, then steepens, and then
bends to a smaller slope. This slope represents the
correct semilog straight line unless boundary or inter-
ference effects, or both, have become important by
this time and are causing the pressure to approach
final static pressure. Unfortunately, we know of no
certain diagnostic method to differentiate between
these situations.
Decreasing wellbore storage behaves quite differ-
ently from increasing wellbore storage. Fig. 8 shows
the theoretical response to an injectivity test in which
wellbore storage decreases from a rising liquid level,
C2, to fluid compression, Cl' As in the previous
figures, the heavy solid curve indicates the observed
pressure response, the dashed line is the semilog
straight line, and the light, solid lines are for the two
constant wellbore storage situations. Storage changes
from rising liquid level to fluid compression at time
t1 ; the semilog straight line is reached at time t
2

The contrast between Fig. 8 and Figs. 6 and 7 is
apparent. The interval from t
1
(when the storage
changes) to t
2
(when the semilog straight line is
reached) is relatively short. The injectivity curve is
steep during this time. This response is apparent in
Fig.2.
It is clear from Figs. 6, 7, and 8 that the semilog
straight line should be reached much earlier when
wellbore storage decreases than when it increases.
Thus, the injectivity test should be superior to the
falloff test when wellbore storage can change during
the test.
Fig. 9, a log-log plot of the data of Figs. 1 and 2,
demonstrates that the material of Figs. 6, 7, and 8
does apply to actual testing situations. The solid lines
in this figure are the theoretical curves for the two
constant wellbore storage cases: fluid compression
(left) and changing liquid level (right). The injectivity
test shows a rapid pressure increase from the rising-
liquid-level storage curve to the semilog straight line.
The falloff test shows a long period of changing stor-
age from the compression storage curve to the falling-
fluid-level storage curve. Only the last few falloff
data points approach the semilog straight line; sig-
nificantly, these points reach the semilog straight line
at a much later time than do the injectivity test points.
Fig. 9 demonstrates that the tests of Figs. 1 and 2
follow the theoretical behavior predicted in Figs. 6,
7, and 8. Our experience with other tests indicates
that this usually happens under these circumstances.
LOG-LOG
Fig. 7-Log-log and semilog theoretical falloff curves
for a step increase in wellbore storage. Storage
changes just before the semilog straigrt
. line is reached.
LOG-LOG
CORRECT
a. STRAIGHT LINE---::::-- - -
a.
<l
LOG (t)
Fig. 8-Theoretical log-log and semilog plots for an
injectivity test showing a step decrease
in wellbore storage.
C)
o
-I
SEM/LOG
SEM/LOG
--
a.
<l
a.
C)
o
-I
CORRECT ~ _
STRAIGHT LINE - - - __
NOVEMBER, 1973
1247
IOOOr----------,------r-------,
method given by Ramey. 3
We calculate the dimensionless wellbore storage
coefficient
6
:
5=+1
CHANGING LlDUIO LEVEL
STORAGE
COMPRESSIVE
STORAGE
CORRECT STRAIGHT LINE
ON SEMILOG GRAPH
';;
Co
Co
...
w
100
J: cO
U
w 0
a:
:::>
Ul
Ul
A FALLOFF,!:i.p =PJoIS- P",f
C. 0 INJEcT/vlrr, t::.p=p",rPws
5.6146 C
CD = --=--=------:-
271"hepC t Tw
2
(5.6146)(0.01)
CD = 271"(16)(0.22)(7 X 10-6)(0.29)2 = 4,310.
On Fig. 9, it is indicated that the falloff data start
with CD = 320. The dimensionless storage coefficient
changes from 320 to 4,310 during the test. At the
start of the falloff, the top 116 ft of the tubing con-
tained gas at a pressure of 457 psi. The combined
effect of trapped gas and liquid-level change caused
the value of CD to be 320. Liquid compression alone
in the tubing would result in CD = 5.2.
In regard to the falloff test, a straight line can be
identified near the end of the test on Fig. 1. How-
ever, it is very short, and to measure the slope with
accuracy would be difficult.
In this case, one normally might not expect stor-
age to be a large factor in the test. The well had only
1,000 ft of 2-in. tubing with a bottom-hole packer!
But a falling liquid level caused wellbore storage to
dominate this test.
Finally, because of the shortage of analyzable data
during the falloff, we note that no mobility bank is
evident in this test.

TESTING TIME, HR,
Fig. 9-Log-log plot of falloff and injectivity
data of Figs. 1 and 2.
Testing and Analysis Method
We consider both constant and changing wellbore
storage situations. Transient tests with constant well-
bore storage are much easier to recognize and inter-
pret than tests with changing wellbore storage.
Constant Wellbore Storage
When only fluid-compression wellbore storage occurs
in a falloff or injectivity test, wellbore storage has
little effect on test results and analysis. This com-
monly happens in injection projects with reservoir
pressure high enough to support a fluid column to
the surface at all times. This situation, essentially the
ideal one normally treated in transient testing theory,
is discussed adequately in the literature. I, 8
When liquid level starts to fall immediately on
qw = 100 STB/D
B
w
= 1.0 RB/STB
Example Calculation
The falloff and injection tests shown in Figs. 1, 2,
and 9 are analyzed in detail to illustrate the analysis
technique. First we inspect the injectivity test on the
log-log type curve (Fig. 9). The early injection data
clearly form a unit slope straight line indicating well-
bore storage is important during the first half hour
of injection. Fig. 9 shows that the injection data reach
the correct semilog straight line at about 1.5 hours of
injection. Thus, the start of the correct straight line
can be identified on Fig. 2. We have used this ap-
proach to draw the straight line shown in Fig. 2.
Fewer data points are plotted on Fig. 9 than on Fig.
2 only to aid clarity of presentation.
Known:
JLw=lcp
h = 16 ft
ep = 0.22
Ct = 7 X 10-
6
psi-
I
T
w
= 0.29 ft
depth = 995 ft
2-in. EUE tubing with packer set at 979 ft.
A conventional analysis of the semilog straight
line from Fig. 2 gives
l
k= 162.6 '::: (1)
_ (100)(1)(1) _
k - 162.2 (105)(16) - 9.7 md
s = 1.151 [(PIhr-Pws) -log ( k )
m epfLCtTw2
+ 3.23] . (2)
s = 1.151
- log CO.22)(1)(7 7
10
-
6
)(0.29)2)
+ 3.23] = 0.9.
Although it is not essential, we can make some
use of data from the storage-controlled region. From
any point on the unit slope straight line in Fig. 9 (for
example, 415 psi at 1.0 hour), we can estimate the
volume of water stored per unit bottom-hole pressure
change, the wellbore storage coefficient:
C = (100 STB/D)(1.0 RB/STB)
(415 psi/1.0 hr)(24 hr/D)
RB
= 0.010- ..
pSI
This corresponds closely to the wellbore storage co-
efficient calculated from completion details using the
1248
JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY
shut-in, as would be the case in a dump flood, well-
bore storage effects can last for a significant period
of time. Commonly, storage effects last several hours;
but in extreme cases they may last up to several days.
In this situation, falloff and injectivity tests will be
equally obscured by wellbore storage. Both tests
usually reqUire a long time to reach the semilog
straight line. This time may be so long that boundary
effects may occur, masking the semilog straight line
and rendering the test useless. In any case, there is
no particular advantage to running one test or the
other, except that falloff tests are usually easier to
control than injectivity tests.
One possible way to prevent the falling-liquid-level
storage problem is to inject at such a high rate that
a high surface pressure is maintained. Then, com-
pressive liquid wellbore storage occurs, and it may
be possible to interpret an injection or falloff test
under these circumstances. Unfortunately, by increas-
ing the injection pressure in this manner, one runs
the risk of fracturing, or getting into the changing
wellbore storage situation.
Changing WeUbore Storage
If falling-fluid-level wellbore storage commences at
some time after shut-in for falloff, the situations
shown in Figs. 1, 3, 6, 7, and 9 occur. In our experi-
ence, storage can change any time from a few minutes
to more than 4 or 5 hours after a falloff test is started.
A falloff test experiencing increasing wellbore storage
may not be interpretable. This is because of the un-
likely appearance of the semilog straight line during
the compressive wellbore storage period. In some cir-
cumstances the compressive storage lasts long enough
for the semilog straight line to develop; then the test
may be analyzed. If the test is run long enough, the
semilog straight line may eventually appear during
the second storage period. Unfortunately, boundary
effects may appear at about the time the semilog
straight line starts.
In changing wellbore storage situations, the injec-
tivity test usually has more potential than the falloff
test, because storage decreases in this test. Figs. 2,
8, and 9 indicate that the semilog straight line is
reached quite rapidly when wellbore storage de-
creases, so an injectivity test should be analyzable.
The injectivity test, however, is sensitive to injection
rate. If it is not possible to maintain a constant rate,
such a test can still be analyzed by using superposi-
tion techniques after wellbore storage effects have
died out. In extremely difficult situations, it may be
worthwhile to run a two-rate injection test, with the
injection rate either increased or reduced during the
test. 1.2 This procedure may avoid the large, changing-
liquid-level wellbore storage coefficient.
Other Wellbore Storage Effects
Although the preceding material deals mainly with
injection well analysis, in our experience wellbore
effects cause much unusual behavior, in both produc-
tion well testing and injection well testing. Because
there are many similarities between production and
injection well testing, all material in this paper also
applies to buildup (analogous to injectivity) and draw-
NOVEMBER, 1973
down (analogous to falloff) tests. The indicated anal-
ogies apply only to the sequence of storage changes,
not to normal test analysis methods.
We have observed many varieties of unusual well-
bore behavior:
1. Gas may compress in the annulus or tubing.
This results in storage continuously decreasing as
wellbore pressure increases.
2. Gas may expand in the tubing or annulus. This
results in storage continuously increasing as pressure
decreases. The test in Fig. 1 is an example.
3. Falling liquid level is accompanied by a con-
stant pressure on the top of the liquid column. This
pressure may be atmospheric (wellhead open to the
atmosphere) or vacuum (wellhead closed). In the
latter case, the pressure over the liquid column is the
vapor pressure of the liquid in the wellbore at well-
bore temperature.
4. If a well is shut in at a header some distance
from the well, the surface lines can drain into the
well as the fluid level starts to fall. This is actually
what occurred at the plateau in· the test shown in
Fig. 3.
5. If injection starts from a header, surface lead
lines may have to be filled before or as the well-
bore fills.
6. Wellbore storage effect may take the form of
phase segregation in the wellbore. Similar effects are
caused by gas-lift systems, especially by gas-lift sys-
tems with leaky gas-lift valves.
7. Wellbore storage may decrease markedly when
the fluid in the wellbore reaches the bubble-point
pressure during a buildup test. At this point, free gas
goes into solution and the compressibility of the well-
bore system decreases, thus decreasing the wellbore
storage coefficient.
Conclusions
If wellbore storage changes during a test, falloff and
injectivity tests generally appear to be very different.
If they are very different, the injectivity test is the
preferred test. It is· easier to analyze and more reliable
than the falloff test, and is more likely to give usable
results. We recommend that injectivity tests be run if
changing wellbore storage is a problem in injection
well testing.
The material presented here also applies to pro-
duction well testing.
Nomenclature
B
w
= water formation volume factor, RB/STB
Ct = total system compressibility, psi-
1
C = wellbore storage coefficient, RB/psi
CD = dimensionless wellbore storage
ffi
. C 5.6146 C
coe clent, D = 2 h 2
7repCt rw
h = formation thickness, ft
k = formation permeability, md
m = slope of the correct semilog straight line,
psi/cycle
p = pressure, psi
1249
Pw. = bottom-hole shut-in pressure, psi
PWf = bottom-hole flowing pressure, psi
Pl hI' = pressure 1 hour after beginning of test,
taken from the correct semilog straight
line (extrapolated if necessary), psi
Ap = pressure change, psi
q = surface flow rate, STB/D
rw = wellbore radius, ft
s = skin factor
t = time, hours
At = change in time, hours
p'w = water viscosity, cp
cf> = formation porosity, fraction
References
1. Matthews, C. S. and Russell, D. G.: Pressure Buildup
and Flow Tests in Wells, Monograph Series, Society of
Petroleum Engineers of AIME, Dallas (1967) 1.
2. Kazemi, Hossein, Merrill, L. S. and Jargon, J. R.: "Prob-
lems in Interpretation of Pressure Falloff Tests in Reser-
voirs With and Without Fluid Banks," J. Pet. Tech. (Sept.
1972) 1147-1156.
1250
3. Ramey, H. J., Jr.: "Non-Darcy Flow and Wellbore Stor-
age Effects in Pressure Build-Up and Drawdown of Gas
Wells," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1965) 2 2 3 ~ 2 3 3 ; Trans., AIME,
234.
4. Agarwal, Ram G. and Ramey, H.. J., Jr.: "Annulus U!1-
loading Rates as Influenced by Wellbore Storage and Skm
Effect," Soc. Pet. Eng. J. (Oct. 1972) 453-507; Trans.,
AIME,253.
5. van Everdingen, A. F. and Hurst, W.: "The Application
of the Laplace Transformation to Flow Problems in Res-
ervoirs," Trans., AIME (1949) 186, 305-324.
6. Agarwal, Ram G., AI-Hussainy, Raft and Ramey, H. J.,
Jr.: "An Investigation of Wellbore Storage and Skin
Effect in Unsteady Liquid Flow: I. Analytical Treatment,"
Soc. Pet. Eng. J. (Sept. 1970) 279-290; Trans., AIME,
249.
7. Earlougher, Robert C., Jr., and Kersch, Keith M.: "Field
Examples of Automatic Transient Test Analysis," I. Pet.
Tech. (Oct. 1972) 1271-1277.
8. Hazebroek, P., Rainbow, H. and Matthews, C. S.: "Pres-
sure Falloff in Water Injection Wells," Trans., AIME
(1958) 213, 250-260.
9. Ramey, H. J., Jr.: "Short-Time Well Test Data Interpre-
tation in the Presence of Skin Effect and Wellbore Stor-
age," J. Pet. Tech. (Jan. 1970) 97-104; Trans., AIME,
249. JPT
Paper (SPE 4371) was presented at SPE-AIME 48th Annual Fall
Meeting, held in Las Vegas, Nev., Sept. 30-0ct. 3, 1973. ©
Copyright 1973 American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and
Petroleum Engineers, Inc.
JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY

I-----~I. Identification of the Problem After studying many tests.J o 4oof- ::i. w In In ::> 1- 0 0 o o 00 w a: BOOlQ. buildup and drawdown tests) on the same well must look alike and must reveal the same information. so it is illogical to discount the injectivity test and not the falloff test for these reasons... 700 iI m = /05 psi / CYCLE :L CD a: a: W a. 1000~..500-ft-deep sand. interference from other wells.p ws =/94 psi 0 o . . w :l 600 . 3-Pressure falloff test in a water injection well showing a definite pressure plateau.. Our first reaction was to discount the injectivity test because of possible rate variations.. t . This results in transient response curves of different shapes for the two tests.. We knew... 3 is much flatter than that in Fig. 1245 ... however.O:::-. The significance of the plateau in the falloff curve is that the liquid level should begin to fall in the tubing at this point .about 20 to 40 minutes after shut-in for Figs. BOO P1hr. and 3 is indeed due to the sequence of changes of wellbore storage. I 'u....o::-o-----:'O=!:O::-O---~'O. .J lI- o 300 o o o o o - o 2001-. and other well known demons. ~ 700 In In ::> a: a: w a. soO o 4001- - o '!' ~ CD .. 1973 L 400 . 3 shows an extreme example of this behavior. falloff and injectivity tests (or for that matter... 1. .J 0 f- O~=OO~ - lI- Goof- I- Changing Wellbore StorageTheoretical Discussion Simple..15 to about 1. 0'<:t '!' :::E 0 0 CD w . 0 Q. ilt.JIO~---.... Note that the pressure data are essentially constant at about 670 psi from 25 minutes to 92 minutes...3 hours..."L. 1 and 3. Examination of the pertinent differential equation shows that. constant wellbore storage effects were recNOVEMBER. (Agarwal and Ramey 4 explain the theoretical behavior for these two situations.l10:---------::!100 SHUT-IN TIME.. 2-lnjectivity test for the well of Fig. We shall give the reason for this later.. 1 . MIN. The theoretical discussion in the following section verifies that the behavior in Figs. .500-ft column of water is about 670 psi. Furthermore. regardless of formation characteristics and the nature of the injected fluids. the pressure starts at a low level and increases. . The falloff curve plateau in Fig. .. I-Pressure falloff test in water injection well in the Illinois basin.0..: bore storage changes from rising liquid level to fluid compressions during the test. Fig... this sequence is reversed... . that the rate was controlled within a few percent during the injectivity test.OOQ SHUT-IN TIME. . 1.. Casing leaks and interference should affect both the falloff test arid the injectivity test in the same way.. lies in resolving the obvious differences. 0 FLOW TIME. 3001- o l- - 2oof- I .= 760 psi 'iii a. 1.. This falloff test is for a water injection well completed in a 1. ' 1 .. . ..wellbore storage changes from fluid compression to falling liquid levelS during the falloff test. 'u. Fig. Fig. subsequent testing in this well ~d in other wells indicated that the falloff and injectivity tests were almost always different.. In contrast. CD I.-. then... for a constant wellbore storage..------1I---------. HR....OO~O. This observation indicates that . 9 o o r . we realized that the flat portion of the falloff curve always begins at about the time the wellhead pressure becomes atmospheric or goes on vacuum..8 to 2 hours.. I I I -------. The major problem in analyzing these tests.. The hydrostatic head due to a 1. casing leaks. 1000 I- a: a. For falloff. so well.. first there is expansion of fluid in the wellbore.4 Consideration of changing wellbore storage type indicates that this is not necessarily so.) Thus... . then falling liquid level. . w c9 o STllRT OF CORRECT S£MILOG STRAIGHT i LINE - In In ::> 600 o em w Q. Thus. I- a. ilt. it is clear that the changing type of wellbore storage is different for the falloff and injectivity tests. 2. the injectivity curve is extremely steep from about 0. ..... ..--------!O!-. 1200 ~ Pwf= 1216 psi ... But for an injectivity test. 5001- w :J: o . 9001 .. HR. For injection. '% - Fig... we concluded that the difference in these curves must be due to a real physical phenomenon and should be explainable..

This particular test has been analyzed by these methods and by a regression technique that included the effects of wellbore storage. pw. semilog methods./400 W 0: ::l .) ~ . a common example of increasing wellbore storage. 6. 5 is from Fig.:!:-O---. At. (After Ref. The heavy solid curve. 6 We used Ramey's technique 9 to obtain this match. 4.p8>. Agarwal et al6 established that a log-log plot (type curve) of IIp vs Ilt has a unit slope in the wellbore-storage-clominated period.=428 psi SEMILOG 300 f :ll o x ~ c. 1 and 3. many pressure transient tests experience a relatively constant wellbore storage. Storage changes early in the test. Wellbore storage dominates the falloff behavior of this well for about 8 hours. 5. The match demonstrates that this falloff test acts with a single. we must con5001---~ sider what happens when the fluid level starts to fall in the middle of the test. If the test is run long enough. 1246 JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY . The light solid curves in Fig.0"------:o<b-. 1 in the Agarwal et al. is the falloff curve that occurs when wellbore storage changes at time Ilt l • Note the distinct flattening in both the log-log and semilog graphs. 5-Log-log plot of the falloff test in Fig.- -.-----. 4-Semilog plot of a pressure falloff test for a dump flood. Ramey 9 has explained the importance and use of the type-curve approach in test analysis.. after a period of compressive wellbore storage. is shown in Figs. This corresponds to wellbore storage changing from fluid compression to falling liquid level. In this case. Fig.-----. this test can be analyzed by normal. . Cl.'----+--1 ----... such as fluid compression storage.----. we mean that water was injected at atmospheric or below atmospheric wellhead pressure. the semilog straight line is not reached until very late in the test..At.O'"---"''---rO~.HR. 6--Log-log and semilog theoretical falloff curves for a step increase in wellbore storage. The problems of changing wellbore storage are somewhat different. ~ CORRECT STRAIGHT LINE r-LOG-LOG Fig. where the storage change occurs early. falling-fluid-level wellbore storage only.. . the semilog straight line is nearly reached while wellbore storage is still due to fluid compression.ognized by van Everdingen and Hurst" in 1949. paper. 7 for a detailed analysis. Nevertheless. 4 and 5 is easy to see. Fig. 4. ~ '000.) The long period of falling-liquid-Ievel wellbore storage indicated in Figs. This case is specifically excluded by Hazebroek et al... C 2 . . (See Ref. <I W - - - :> W II: .) LOG (At) Fig.-----c:!'oo 0 SHUT'IN TIME.} ~ '00 « :I: o II> II> CO=o _---~o /" ilf. 4 is a semilog plot of pressure falloff data for a water injection well in a "dump flood. the right curve is for a high wellbore storage coefficient. as might be caused by a falling fluid level. then flattens and departs from this line as the wellbore storage in- -'- ----' --' . '°:DO.I-----7. 6 show pressure falloff for constant wellbore storage coefficients. data fall on the semilog straight line after time Ilt 2 • The dashed curve shows the location of the correct semilog straight line. ----. In the falloff tests of Figs.0. An example of such a falloff test. this falloff test immediately experienced falling-liquid-Ievel wellbore storage. simple wellbore storage coefficient.LOG STRAIGHT LINE BEGINS c.. Fig. Little was done about wellbore storage in the petroleum literature until the mid-1960's. We indicate where the semilog straight line should start in Fig.. Fortunately. 7 also shows an increasing wellbore storage situation.)'OO SHUT-IN TIME. 6 shows schematic log-log and semilog graphs of pressure falloff behavior when the wellbore storage coefficient increases stepwise from C l to C 2 at time Ilt l . In Fig. 7. 7. - :::i: 200 S Ol 10°0. The falloff curve (the heavy solid line) nearly reaches the semilog straight line (the dashed curve). the wellbore storage coefficient increases to falling liquid level.. s= 1. 4 and 5.."!f. HR.. 7. The type curve that matches the falloff data in Fig. the straight line is shown in Fig. understand." (By dump flood. Then. (After Ref.7 0. going from Cl to C2 .) As a result. W II: o Fig. 8 in their treatment of falloff in water injection wells. and account for in test analysis... taken from Ref. The left curve is for a low wellbore storage coefficient.

__ CORRECT STRAIGHT LINE ---::::-. 6. 7. LOG (t) Fig. the semilog straight line is reached at time . or both. However. 8 and Figs. 6. This is clear in both the semilog and loglog graphs in Fig. the flattening is frequently impossible to see on a log-log graph under these circumstances. the heavy solid curve indicates the observed pressure response. 8 shows the theoretical response to an injectivity test in which wellbore storage decreases from a rising liquid level.t2 • Certain features in Figs.. we know of no certain diagnostic method to differentiate between these situations. The solid lines in this figure are the theoretical curves for the two constant wellbore storage cases: fluid compression (left) and changing liquid level (right).6. It is clear from Figs. 6 and 7 is apparent. 1 and 2 follow the theoretical behavior predicted in Figs. Decreasing wellbore storage behaves quite differently from increasing wellbore storage. a. The most obvious feature is the flattening of the falloff curve. Fig. a log-log plot of the data of Figs. This response is apparent in Fig. 1 and 2. 9. This is because of noise in the data and because of the insensitivity of the log-log scale in the vicinity of the semilog straight line (the dashed curve). in Fig. Fig.- -- LOG-LOG LOG-LOG <l a. Storage changes just before the semilog straigrt . and 8 does apply to actual testing situations. SEM/LOG SEM/LOG a. and the light. Fig. to fluid compression. <l a. NOVEMBER. 7-Log-log and semilog theoretical falloff curves for a step increase in wellbore storage. Unfortunately. 1973 1247 .creases at time . The beginning of the correct semilog straight line can sometimes be identified on a semilog graph. significantly. 7. 9 demonstrates that the tests of Figs.t1 • After long enough shut-in time. The falloff test shows a long period of changing storage from the compression storage curve to the fallingfluid-level storage curve. Thus. and 8. 7. 7. Figs. 6 and 7 are important and can help us recognize increasing wellbore storage. Storage changes from rising liquid level to fluid compression at time t 1 .. the dashed line is the semilog straight line. then steepens. The injectivity curve is steep during this time. solid lines are for the two constant wellbore storage situations.. demonstrates that the material of Figs. C 2. and 8 that the semilog straight line should be reached much earlier when wellbore storage decreases than when it increases.6. flattening is easier to see in the semilog graph than in the loglog graph. and then bends to a smaller slope. The interval from t 1 (when the storage changes) to t 2 (when the semilog straight line is reached) is relatively short. 6. have become important by this time and are causing the pressure to approach final static pressure. CORRECT ~_ STRAIGHT LINE . these points reach the semilog straight line at a much later time than do the injectivity test points. 8-Theoretical log-log and semilog plots for an injectivity test showing a step decrease in wellbore storage. Our experience with other tests indicates that this usually happens under these circumstances. the injectivity test should be superior to the falloff test when wellbore storage can change during the test. This slope represents the correct semilog straight line unless boundary or interference effects. the semilog straight line is reached at time t 2 • The contrast between Fig. line is reached. 6. C l ' As in the previous figures.2. o -I C) o -I C) Fig. Only the last few falloff data points approach the semilog straight line. When dealing with real data. The injectivity test shows a rapid pressure increase from the risingliquid-level storage curve to the semilog straight line. 6 and 7 both show that the falloff curve flattens as storage begins to change.

f C. The early injection data clearly form a unit slope straight line indicating wellbore storage is important during the first half hour of injection. and 9 are analyzed in detail to illustrate the analysis technique. In regard to the falloff test. 8 When liquid level starts to fall immediately on (1) _ (100)(1)(1) _ .. 2 gives l k= 162. 3 We calculate the dimensionless wellbore storage coefficient6: CD CD = --=--=------:271"hepC t Tw 2 5.000 ft of 2-in.010-. w Co COMPRESSIVE STORAGE ~ J: U 100 cO <~~O 0 CHANGING LlDUIO LEVEL STORAGE = (100 STB/D)(1.L--------f~-------L.6 psi.310. From any point on the unit slope straight line in Fig. The well had only 1. Known: qw Bw h method given by Ramey. However.p=p".23] = 0. 2-in.23] . CORRECT STRAIGHT LINE ON SEMILOG GRAPH 5=+1 . This commonly happens in injection projects with reservoir pressure high enough to support a fluid column to the surface at all times.P".rPws = 0. First we inspect the injectivity test on the log-log type curve (Fig. TESTING TIME.0 RB/STB 16 ft 0. 1.22 7 X 10.p =PJoIS.6)(0.162. is discussed adequately in the literature. tubing with a bottom-hole packer! But a falling liquid level caused wellbore storage to dominate this test. we can estimate the volume of water stored per unit bottom-hole pressure change. 2 only to aid clarity of presentation. s (2) = 1.!:i.. This situation.0 hour). it is indicated that the falloff data start with CD = 320.310 during the test. it is very short. We have used this approach to draw the straight line shown in Fig. the wellbore storage coefficient: C '. 2. the top 116 ft of the tubing contained gas at a pressure of 457 psi. we can make some use of data from the storage-controlled region.29 ft 995 ft = = = = = = JLw=lcp ep Ct Tw depth On Fig.-'-.2 (105)(16) Testing and Analysis Method We consider both constant and changing wellbore storage situations. 2. 9). Fewer data points are plotted on Fig. INJEcT/vlrr. Co IOOOr----------. essentially the ideal one normally treated in transient testing theory. The combined effect of trapped gas and liquid-level change caused the value of CD to be 320. 9-Log-log plot of falloff and injectivity data of Figs.0 RB/STB) (415 psi/1. A conventional analysis of the semilog straight line from Fig.29)2 = 4. 9 than on Fig.------r-------.151 . one normally might not expect storage to be a large factor in the test.0 hr)(24 hr/D) RB pSI w a: Ul Ul :::> ~ A 0 FALLOFF.-------J.. HR. we note that no mobility bank is evident in this test. Transient tests with constant wellbore storage are much easier to recognize and interpret than tests with changing wellbore storage. 2. The dimensionless storage coefficient changes from 320 to 4.log CO.I 0. and to measure the slope with accuracy would be difficult. 1. 9. Fig.29)2) + 3.Example Calculation The falloff and injection tests shown in Figs.6 '::: k . JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY . Liquid compression alone in the tubing would result in CD = 5..7 md k epfLCtTw2 s = 1. a straight line can be identified near the end of the test on Fig. EUE tubing with packer set at 979 ft. Although it is not essential.01) 271"(16)(0.22)(1)(7 ~710 .9. In this case.O:.2.O. because of the shortage of analyzable data during the falloff. 9 (for example. = 100 STB/D 1.6146 C = (5.22)(7 X 10-6)(0. Constant Wellbore Storage When only fluid-compression wellbore storage occurs in a falloff or injectivity test. the start of the correct straight line can be identified on Fig. 10~O.. .151 [(PIhr-Pws) -log ( m [(7601~5194) ) + 3. t::. 9 shows that the injection data reach the correct semilog straight line at about 1. Finally. This corresponds closely to the wellbore storage coefficient calculated from completion details using the 1248 Fig.6146)(0. I.9. wellbore storage has little effect on test results and analysis. Thus.5 hours of injection. At the start of the falloff. 1 and 2. 415 psi at 1.

psi 1249 . This results in storage continuously decreasing as wellbore pressure increases. one runs the risk of fracturing. Unfortunately. is sensitive to injection rate. and it may be possible to interpret an injection or falloff test under these circumstances. In some circumstances the compressive storage lasts long enough for the semilog straight line to develop. In this situation. Wellbore storage effect may take the form of phase segregation in the wellbore. Nomenclature Bw = water formation volume factor. RB/STB Ct = total system compressibility. in both production well testing and injection well testing. masking the semilog straight line and rendering the test useless. The indicated analogies apply only to the sequence of storage changes. ft k = formation permeability. If the test is run long enough. This pressure may be atmospheric (wellhead open to the atmosphere) or vacuum (wellhead closed). storage can change any time from a few minutes to more than 4 or 5 hours after a falloff test is started. This is because of the unlikely appearance of the semilog straight line during the compressive wellbore storage period. In changing wellbore storage situations. Gas may expand in the tubing or annulus. not to normal test analysis methods. as would be the case in a dump flood. If it is not possible to maintain a constant rate. Both tests usually reqUire a long time to reach the semilog straight line. psiC = wellbore storage coefficient. If injection starts from a header. At this point. the injectivity test usually has more potential than the falloff test. One possible way to prevent the falling-liquid-level storage problem is to inject at such a high rate that a high surface pressure is maintained. D = 5.shut-in. 1. 3. free gas goes into solution and the compressibility of the wellbore system decreases. This is actually what occurred at the plateau in· the test shown in Fig.6146 C 2 h 2 7repCt rw h = formation thickness. md m p = slope of the correct semilog straight line. We recommend that injectivity tests be run if changing wellbore storage is a problem in injection well testing. because storage decreases in this test. and 9 indicate that the semilog straight line is reached quite rapidly when wellbore storage decreases. This results in storage continuously increasing as pressure decreases. RB/psi CD = dimensionless wellbore storage 1 Other Wellbore Storage Effects Although the preceding material deals mainly with injection well analysis. falloff and injectivity tests will be equally obscured by wellbore storage. 2. 3. but in extreme cases they may last up to several days. Conclusions If wellbore storage changes during a test. falloff and injectivity tests generally appear to be very different. C coeffi clent. with the injection rate either increased or reduced during the test. 6. the situations shown in Figs. If they are very different. it may be worthwhile to run a two-rate injection test. The injectivity test. 1 is an example. 6.2 This procedure may avoid the large. = psi/cycle pressure. 1973 . Commonly. 4. especially by gas-lift systems with leaky gas-lift valves. Figs. Because there are many similarities between production and injection well testing. and is more likely to give usable results. thus decreasing the wellbore storage coefficient. 2. and 9 occur. 7. The material presented here also applies to production well testing. by increasing the injection pressure in this manner. the surface lines can drain into the well as the fluid level starts to fall. changingliquid-level wellbore storage coefficient. In extremely difficult situations. wellbore storage effects can last for a significant period of time. compressive liquid wellbore storage occurs. 5. Then. however. In the latter case. 8. all material in this paper also applies to buildup (analogous to injectivity) and drawNOVEMBER. the pressure over the liquid column is the vapor pressure of the liquid in the wellbore at wellbore temperature. Gas may compress in the annulus or tubing. In any case. If a well is shut in at a header some distance from the well. surface lead lines may have to be filled before or as the wellbore fills. so an injectivity test should be analyzable. It is· easier to analyze and more reliable than the falloff test. or getting into the changing wellbore storage situation. Unfortunately. Wellbore storage may decrease markedly when the fluid in the wellbore reaches the bubble-point pressure during a buildup test. storage effects last several hours. Falling liquid level is accompanied by a constant pressure on the top of the liquid column. We have observed many varieties of unusual wellbore behavior: 1. Similar effects are caused by gas-lift systems. the injectivity test is the preferred test. This time may be so long that boundary effects may occur. The test in Fig. Changing WeUbore Storage If falling-fluid-level wellbore storage commences at some time after shut-in for falloff. In our experience. such a test can still be analyzed by using superposition techniques after wellbore storage effects have died out. 1. the semilog straight line may eventually appear during the second storage period. down (analogous to falloff) tests. A falloff test experiencing increasing wellbore storage may not be interpretable. boundary effects may appear at about the time the semilog straight line starts. 7. except that falloff tests are usually easier to control than injectivity tests. there is no particular advantage to running one test or the other. in our experience wellbore effects cause much unusual behavior. 3. then the test may be analyzed.

Nev. J. 7. 2. H ." Soc. Hazebroek.. Agarwal.. van Everdingen. Tech. ft = skin factor = time. Pet. 1250 JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY . Pet.: "An Investigation of Wellbore Storage and Skin Effect in Unsteady Liquid Flow: I.. Analytical Treatment..: "Annulus U!1loading Rates as Influenced by Wellbore Storage and Skm Effect.. Robert C. J. and Hurst. JPT Paper (SPE 4371) was presented at SPE-AIME 48th Annual Fall Meeting. AI-Hussainy. Earlougher.: Pressure Buildup and Flow Tests in Wells.. Trans. W. AIME (1949) 186." Trans. Ramey. AIME. Kazemi.: "Field Examples of Automatic Transient Test Analysis. J. AIME (1958) 213.Pw. Jr." Trans. held in Las Vegas. D." J. Jr. Matthews. Ram G." J. (Sept. A.. Eng.. 305-324." J. Trans. Sept. S.. (Oct. Jr. taken from the correct semilog straight line (extrapolated if necessary). Pet. STB/D = wellbore radius." I. hours = = water viscosity. H. L. Pet. hours = change in time. 4. AIME. 1972) 453-507. Pet. Raft and Ramey...: "The Application of the Laplace Transformation to Flow Problems in Reservoirs. PWf Pl hI' Ap q rw s t At p'w bottom-hole shut-in pressure. Ramey. Eng. 1970) 97-104. Trans. 1972) 1147-1156. 250-260. Trans. 234. H.. Jr.. AIME.: "Short-Time Well Test Data Interpretation in the Presence of Skin Effect and Wellbore Storage. Metallurgical. C. (Sept. 5. 1973. 249. J. cp cf> = formation porosity. Pet. 3.. Inc. and Kersch. R. Jr. psi = pressure 1 hour after beginning of test. 249. Tech. H. Rainbow.: "Pressure Falloff in Water Injection Wells. (Oct. 9. and Matthews. and Petroleum Engineers. J. Tech. H. S. C. psi = bottom-hole flowing pressure. Monograph Series. 1970) 279-290. G. fraction References 1. 1972) 1271-1277. F. P. 8. and Jargon. 3. 6. J. psi = surface flow rate. Keith M. Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME. Dallas (1967) 1. Agarwal. © Copyright 1973 American Institute of Mining. AIME..: "Non-Darcy Flow and Wellbore Storage Effects in Pressure Build-Up and Drawdown of Gas Wells. (Feb. J.. (Jan.: "Problems in Interpretation of Pressure Falloff Tests in Reservoirs With and Without Fluid Banks. and Russell. psi = pressure change. S. 1965) 223~233. and Ramey.253. Merrill. Hossein. Tech." Soc. 30-0ct. Ram G.