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Cllapter

1

Fluid Flow in Porous Media

1.1 Introduction

In this initial

\\'c hcgin

Cqllation~ t hat are u~~d most often to model un-

chapter on nuid now in porous media,

with

a

discussion

of

the

differential

cqllations

now.

are provided

SImple

statements

of

in the text;

the more

these

tedious

oil),

simplifies to

we obtain a partial

differential

 a2p J ap cf>JlC ap a:z+-a= ka' r r r 0.264 t

equation

that

(1.1)

if we assume that compressibility, c, is small and independent of pressure; permeability, k, is constant and isotropic; viscosity, Jl, is independent of

di~cll,~sionof some of the most useful solutions to pressure; porosity, cf>,is constant; and that certain

these equations, with emphasis on the exponential-

intcgral solution describing

now. An appended discussion (Appendix B) of equation is called the diffusivity equation; the term dimcnsionless variables may be useful to some 0.OOO264klcf>Jlcis called the hydraulic diffusivity and

mathcmatical details are given in Appendix A for the in~tructor or student who wishes to develop greater lInderstanding. The equations are followed by a

terms in the basic differential

equation

(involving

pressure gradients squared) are negligible. This

of

sllperposition.

The chapter concludes with

a discussion of the

in

Superposition,

concept and of the principle

illustrated

frequently is given the symbol '7.

Eq. 1.1 is written in terms of field units. Pressure, p, feet; is in porosity, pounds per cf>,is square a fraction; inch (psi); viscosity, distance, Jl, r, is is in in

mlilt i\vell infinite reservoirs, is used to simulate simple reservoir boundaries and to simulate variable rate production histories. An approximate alter-

native to superposition. Horner's "pseudopro- diffusivity, '7,has units of square feet per hour.

dlldiml time," completes this discussion. A similar eqllation can be developed for the.adial now of a nonideal gas:

centipoise; compressibility, c, is in volume per

volume per psi [c=(I/p)

(dpldp)];

permeability, k,

is in millidarcies; time, t, is in hours; and hydraulic

 1.2 The Ideal Reservoir Model I a a cf> a To .dcvelop a~alysis and design techniqu~s fo~ \~ell -a (~ r -£) = 0.000264 k at ( '!), tCStlllg, we first must make several simplifYing r r JlZ Z

(1.2)

a~sumptiOJ1Sabout the well and reservoir that we are

nlOdcling. We Ilaturally

assllillptions thall are absolutely necessary to obtain sitllal simple, ion useful -but solutions we obviously to equations can make describing no fewer our

make no more simplifying

where Zis the gas-law deviation

factor.

For simultaneous now of oil, gas, and water,

I

a

-a(r r

r

 ap cf>c ap a)= r. O-()(X)2~ , at'

(1.3)

assllmptions. These a~sumptions are introduced as

where c, is the total systemcompressibility,

Ilccdcd, to comhine

(I)

the law of ~onservation of

c

(0 =S

c

0

+S

W c M ,+S

mass, (2) Darcy's law, and (3) equations of state to

achieve our objectives. This work is only outlined in and the total mobility ~, is the sum of the mobilities 'his cllapter; detail is provided in Appendix A and the of the individual phases:

g

c

P, +c.

f

(1.4)

~t

,

 Refercnces. k k k Consider radial now toward a well in a circular .~,'= (-.£ + :.:.I.+ ~). (1.5) re~crvoir. If we comhine the law of conservation of P-o Jlp, P-w ma~~ and Darcy's law for thc isothermal now of In Eq. 1.4, So refers to oil-phase saturation, Co to n\lid~ of small alld constant compressibility (a highly oil-phase compressibility, ,,>,M'and c M'to water phasc, satisfactory model for single-phase now of reservoir S" and c" to p,asphase; and c f is the formation

I '"l

h~

dcc,lill

lI.~"

~

~

 ;.;. FLUID FLOW IN POROUS MEDIA 3 compressibility. In Eq. 1.5, ku i~ the effe\:live per- al1u where Jl and YI are BI.'S~I.'I fun\:tion~. (Total meability to oil in lhe presence of the other phases, ~ompre~sibililY, CI' is used in all equalion5 in lhi5 and 1J.0 is the oil viscosilY; k and p. refer to the gas chapter becau~e even formalions thaI produce a phase; and k wand p.w refer to tte water phase. single-phase oil contain an immobile waler pha5e and Because the formation is considered compre5sible have formatioll compre5~ibility.)
 (i.e., pore volume decreases as pressure decrea~es), The reader unfamiliar with Bessel function5 ~hould porosity is not a constanl in Eq. 1.3 as it was assumed not be alarmed at this equation. It will nor be to be in Eqs. 1.1 and 1.2. necessary to use Eq. 1.6 in its complele form to , ',' " calculate numerical values of Pw/; instead, we will 1,3 Solutions to Dlffu~lvlty Equation use limiting forms of the 50lutlon in mo~t com- This section deals with useful solutions to the dif- putations. The most imporlant facl about Eq. 1.6 i5 fll~ivity equation (Section 1.2) uc~~ribing Ihe Ilow of that, unu\.'r the a5~umptioll~ nwdl.' in il~ dl.'v\.'lopnl\.'lll, a slightly compressible liquid in a porous medium. it i~ an exaci sohllion to Eq. 1.1, It ~ometime~ i~ We also have some comments on solutions to Eqs. called the van Everdingen-Hurst constant-terminal-
 1.2and 1.3. rate solution.2 Appendix C discusses this solution There are four solutions to Eq. 1.1 that are par- more colllpletely. Because it is exacl, it serves a5 a licularly useful in well resting: the solution for a standard wilh which we may compare more useful bounded cylindrical reservoir; the solution for an (but more approximate) solutions. One such ap- infinite reservoir with a well considered to be a line proximate solution follows. sourcestate solution;with zeroand wellthe boresolutionradius;that theincludespseudosteady-well bore Infinite Cylindrical Reservoir With Line-Source W~" storage for a well in an infinite reservoir. Before we Assume that (I) a well produces at a constant rate, discuss these solutions, however, we should sum- qB; (2) the well has zero radius; (3) the reservoir is at marize the assumptions that were neces~ary to uniform pressure. Pi. before prodllction begins; and develop Eq. 1.1: homogeneous and isotropic porous (4) the well drains an infinite area (i.e that P-Pi as medium of uniform thickness; pressure-independent ,- CX». Under those conditions. Ihe solution to Eq. rock and fluid properties; small pressure gradients; 1.1 is ( radial flow; applicability of Darcy's law (sometimes qBp. -'- 948 ~p.CI,2 ) called laminar flow); and negligible gravity forces. P=Pi+70.6~ Ei k (1.7) We will introduce further as~umptions to obtain -I solutions to Eq. 1.1. where the new symbols are p, the pressure (psi) at distance, (feet) from the well at time I (hours). and Bounded Cylindrical Reservoir ~ -u Solution of Eq. 1.1 requires that we specify two Ei( -x) = -~ ~dl', boundary conditions and an initial condition. A x U realistic and practical solution is obtained if we the Ei function or exponential integral. assume that (1) a well produces at constant rate. qB. Before we examine the properties and implications into the well bore (q refers to flow rate in STB/D at of Eq. 1.7, we must answer a logical question: Since surface conditions, and B is the formation volume Eq. 1.6 is an exact solution and Since Eq. 1.7 clearly factor in RB/STB); (2) the well. with wellbore radius is based on idealized boundary conditions, when (if r w' is centered in a cylindrical reservoir of radius, e' ever) are pressures calculated at radius, w from Eq. and that there is no flow across this outer boundary; 1.7 satisfactory approximations to pressures and (3) before production begins, the reservoir is at calculated from Eq. 1.67 Analysis of these solutions uniform pressure. Pi. The most useful form of the shows3 that the Ei-function solution is an accurate. desired solution relates flowing pressure, Pwf' at the approximation to the more exact solution for time sand face to time and to reservoir rock and fluid 3.79x 105 10.9. Ei(-x) can be considered zero for ap- where the an are the roots of plications in well testing.

Jl(an'eO)Yl(an)-Jl(an)Yl(an'eO)

=0;

In

practice.

permeability

we

find

(damage)

thal

near

most

the

wells

well

have

bore

reduced

resulting

 4 -, ~ '""""" WELL TESTING ~- --

from drilli'tg fracturing. wcll~ arc

its derivation holds the explicit assumption of uniform permeability throughout the drainage area

ofthewelluptothewellbore.

or colttplction opcralion~.

Many otllcr

or

~ti,nt,lalcu

Itydraillic

Eq. I. 7 fail~ to modcl such wcll~ properly;

by acidimtion

Hawkins4 pointed out

that if the damaged or stimulated zone is con~idered eqtlivalent to an altered zone of uniform permeability

(kf)

steady-state drop across radial this zone now (L\IJ.f)can equation (seeFig. be modeled 1.1). by Thus, the

pressure

q/lll. ~/J.f= 141.2'-k-' .f '

-111(rflrlt.)

-141.2~

qBp.

qBp.

'

=141.2~(k

In(rslr".)

k

s

-1)ln(rslrw).

(1.9)

 TABLE 1.1. -VALUES OF THE EXPONENTIAL INTEGRAL, -E/(- x) -EI ( -x), 0.000 < 0.209, interval -0.001 x 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0-:00 -.;:;;; 6:332 5:639 5:235 ~ ~ 4:545 4:m- 4:259 ~ 0.01 4.038 3.944 3.858 3.779 3.705 3.637 3.574 3.514 3.458 3.405 0.02 3.355 3.307 3.261 3.218 3.176 3.137 3.098 3.062 3.026 2.992 0.03 2.959 2.927 2.897 2.867 2.838 2.810 2.783 2.756 2.731 2.706 0.04 2.681 2.658 2.634 2.612 2.590 2.568 2.547 2.527 2.507 2.487 0.05 2.468 2.449 2.431 2.413 2.395 2.377 2.360 2.344 2.327 2.311 0.06 2.295 2.279 2.264 2.249 2.235 2.220 2.206 2.192 2.178 2.164 0.072.151 2.138 2.125 2.112 2.099 2.087 2.074 2.062 2.050 2.039 0.08 2.027 2.015 2.004 1.993 1.982 1.971 1.960 1.950 1.939 1.929~ , 0.09 0.10 1.823 1.919 1.909 1.814 1.899 1.805 1.889 1.796 1.879 1.788 1.869 1.779 1.770 1.860 1.850 1.762 1.841 1.754 1.745 1.832 0.11 1.737 1.729 1.721 1.713 1.705 1.697 1.689 1.682 1.674 1.667 '" 0.12 1.660 1.652 1.645 1.638 1.631 1.623 1.616 1.609 1.603 1.596 0.131.589 1.582 1.576 1.569 1.562 1.556 1.549 1.543 1.537 1.530 0.14 1.524 1.518 1.512 1.506 1.500 1.494 1.488 1.482 1.476 1.470 0.15 1.464 1.459 1.453 1.447 1.442 1.436 1.431 1.425 1.420 1.415 0.16 1.409 1.404 1.399 1.393 1.388 1.383 1.378 1.373 1.368 1.363 -0.17 1.358 1.353 1.348 1.343 1.338 1.333 1.329 1.324 1.319 1.314 0.18 1.310 1.305 1.301 1.296 1.291 1.287 1.282 1.278 1.274 1.269 0.19 1.265 1.261 1.256 1.252 1.248 1.243 1.239 1.235 1.231 1.227 0.20 1.223 1.219 1.215 1.210 1.206 1.202 1.198 1.195 1.191 1.187 -Ei( -x), O.OO
 0.5 0.560 0.548 0.536 0.525 0.514 0.503 0.493 0.483 0.473 0.464 " 0.6 0.454 0.445 0.437 0.428 0.420 0.412 0.404 0.396 0.388 0.381 '.' 0.7 0.374 0.367 0.360 0.353 0.347 0.340 0.334 0.328 0.322 0.316 lc 0.8 0.311 0.305 0.300 0.295 0.289 0.284 0.279 0.274 0.269 0.265 0.9 0.260 0.256 0.251 0.247 0.243 0.239 0.235 0.231 0.227 0.223 1.0 0.219 0.216 0.212 0.209 0.205 0.202 0.198 0.195 0.192 0.189 1.1 0.186 0.183 0.180 0.177 0.174 0.172 0.169 0.166 0.164 0.161 1.2 0.158 0.156 0.153 0.151 0.149 0.146 0.144 0.142 0.140 0.138 1.30.1350.1330.1310.1290.1270.1250.1240.1220.1200.118 1.4 0.116 0.114 0.113 0.111 0.109 0.108 0.106 0.105 0.103 0.102 1.5 0.1000 0.0985 0.0971 0.0957 0.0943 0.0929 0.0915 0.0902 0.0889 0.0876 1.6 0.0863 0.0851 0.0838 0.0826 0.0814 0.0802 0.0791 0.0780 0.0768 0.0757 1.7 0.0747 0.0736 0.0725 0.0715 0.0705 0.0695 0.0685 0.0675 0.0666 0.0656 1.8 0.0647 0.0638 0.0629 0.0620 0.0612 0.0603 0.0595 0.0586 0.0578 0.0570 1.9 0.0562 0.0554 0.0546 0.0539 0.0531 0.0524 0.0517 0.0510 0.0503 0.0496 2.0 0.0489 0.0482 0.0476 0.0469 0.0463 0.0456 0.0450 0.0444 0.0438 0.0432 2.0

.Adapl@d'rom Nlsle, RG.: "How ToUseTheExpon@nlialinleoral," Pel Eng.(~uO. 1956)8171.173.

FLUID FLOW IN POROUS

MEDIA

-5-,.:

 t I fonnation the damage extelld~, tll~ larger the numerical value of s. There is no uPI1Crlimit for ~'. P Some newly drilled wells will not flow at all before stimulation; for these wells, ks =0 and s-~. If a well is stimulated (ks >k), s will be negative, and the deeper the stimulation, the greater the numeril.:al ~e value of s. Rarely does a stimulated well have a skin S factor less than -7 or -8, and such skin factors f? arise only for wells with deeply penetrating, highly W I conductive hydraulic fractures. We should notc finally that, if a well is neither damaged nor r ~ stimulated (k=ks)' s;O. We caution the reader that W S Eq. 1.10 is best applied qualitatively; actual wells rarely can be characterized exactly by such a sim- r Before plified model. leaving the discussion of skin factor, we

F' Ig,

1 1

S

h

t'

.-w~II~~r~,'c

0 f pressuredistribution ' , , near

should point out that an altered zone near a par-

ticular well affects only the pressure near that well-

i.c.,

from tile well is 110laffected by the I.'xi~ll.'l1l.:cof till.' altered zone. Said another way, we use Eq. I. II to

away

the pressure in the unaltered formation

Eq. 1.9 simply states that the pressure drop in the calculate pressures at the sandface of a well with an altered zone is inversely proportional to k rather altered zone, but we useEq. 1.7 to calculate pressures

 than to k and that a correction to the pressur: drop in beyond the altered zone in the formation surroun- this region (which assumed the same permeability, k, ding the well. We have presented no simple equations as in the rest of the reservoir) must be made. that can be used to calculate pressures for radiu!i, r,

Combining Eqs. 1.7 and 1.9, we find thalthe pressuredrop at the wellbore is

tolal

pj-Pwf=

-70.6~

qBJJ.

.

E,

(

948 tPlJoCtr~

-kt

) +Aps

;

-70.6

~

q B

JJ.,

[

E,

(

-kt

948.1. c r2 )

'I'll

t

w

-2

(

k

--I ks

) ( r s )]

In

-. r w

For r=rw, the argument of the Ei function is suf- ficiently small after a short time that we can use the

logarithmic approximation;

[

In

thus, the drawdowl1 i!i ( 1,688 tPJJ.ctr~,,)

k

t,

pj-Pwf-

-qBJJ.

-70.6-:-

kh

(

k

k --I

)

In

( r s )J

--. w It is convenient to define a skin factor, s, in terms of the properties of the equivalent altered zone:

- (~ -

\$-

k

)

Iln.

s

( ~ )

r

(1.10)

-2

s

rw

Thus, the drawdown is

pj-Pwf-

-qBJJ.

-70.6-

kh

[

In

(

1,688tPJJ.Ct"~

kl

)

-2s.

]

(1.11)

Eq. 1.10 provides some insight into the physical

If a well is

damaged (ks <k), s will be positive, and the greater

significance of the sign of the skin factor.

the contrast between ks and k and the deeperinto the

rr

~llchthatrw<r<.rs,butthiswilloffernodifficultic!i In well test analysIs.

Example

1.J-Calculation

of Pressures

Beyondthe WellboreUsing the Ei-Function Solution

Problem.

characteristics: The well is producing only oil;

A well and reservoir have the following

it

is

producing

at a constant rate of 20 STB/D.

Data

describing the well and formation are

 Il ; 0.72 cp, .-1 pSI k; 0.1 md'_5 c, ; 1.5 x 10 Pj ; 3,000 psi, r I! ; 3,()()()It, , rw ; 0.5 ft, Bo ; 1.475RB/STB, h ; 150 ft, tP ; 0.23, and s ; o.

--

ft

after 3 hours of production; then, calculate the

pressur~ at radii of 10 and produl.:tlon.

Calculate the reservoir pressure at a radius of

I

100 ft after

3 hours of

Solution. The Ei

toflowequationsuntilt>3.79XI05tPIlCtr~,,/k.Here,

function is not an accurate solution

3

 79x 105tP ~ .IlC t w = [(3.79 x 105)(0.23)(0.72) k .(1.5x 10-5)(0.5)2]/(0.1) ; 235

Thus, we can useEq. 1.7 with satisfactory accuracy if

6

,,":;,

",j""

-WELL

the

rl'~l'rvoir

1/>1(("";1 k.

re~ervoir

will

is

still

act

infinite

a~ an infinite

acting

at this

time.

reservoir

until

1 >

Here,

948 cf>1Lc,r~

k = r (948)(0.23)(0.72)

.(1.5

x

10

-5)(3,000)2

J/0.3

=

211

,900

hours.

Thll~, for

Eq.

1.7.

At

times

~css than

of

1ft,

211,900

hours,

p=p.

+ 70.6--

I

qB1L

kl,

£1 . ( -948cf>1LC,r2

kl

)

we

can

The

948

use

(70.6)(20)(1.475)(0.72)

=3,000+

(0.1)(150)

 .Eil-(948)(0.23)(0.72)(1.5X 10-5)(1)2 (0.1)(3) = 3,()()() + (1()(»Ei(-0.007849) =3,000+ 100 In [(1.781)(0.007849») =3,000+(100)(-4.27) = 2,573 psi. ., -decline At a radius of 10 ft, p = 3,000 + 100 .E, 1 -(948)(0.23)(0.72)(1.5X (0.1 )(3) 10-5)(10)2
 .pressure, = 3,000 + 100 E,( -0.7849) = 3,000 + (100)( -0.318)

]

]

 = 2,968 .drainage pSI. In t!lis calculation, we find the value of the fll11rt ion from Tablc 1.1, Note, a~ indicated in

tablc,

that

it is a negative

of

100 ft,

-

p-,

3

000

+

I 00

quantity.

.£)-(948)(0.23)(0.72)(1.5XIO-5)(IOO)2

t.

= 3,000

+

100 Ei(

(0.1)(3)

-78.49)

]

Ei

tIle

= 3,()()() psi.

Ilcrc

function

next

wc

notc

tllat

for

an

argul1lcnt

We

diffusivity

is essentially

to

the

zero.

Solution.

~olution

of

now

7R.49,

tile

discuss

equation

Ei

the

that

we will

analysi~.

~tate~olution)isnotnew.ltissimplyalimitingform

use extensively

Actually,

in this

introduction

(the

this

solution

to well

test

TESTING-

 of Eq. 1.6, which de~cribes pressure behavior with time for a well centered in a cylindrical reservoir of radius r (" The limiting form of interest is that which is valid for large times, so that the summation in- volving exponentials and Bessel functions is negligible; after this time (I >948 cf>1(C,r~/k), -qB1L (21 D 3

P,vf-Pi-141.2-

or

= .-141.2~

P1vf

P,

kl,

r y+lnrl'n--, l'D

l 0.000527kl

kh

cf>1Lc,r~

4

)

 +In ( r (' ) 3 1 (1.12) r II' 4 Note !h~t during thi~ time period we find, by dif- ferentlatlng Eq. 1.12, a ~ al =--~-=-Li-.0 0744 B ct>c,hr(' Since the liquid-filled pore volume of the reservoir, V p (cubic feet), is V p = ?I,-I. "(' ,#" then ~ --0.234qB -c,Vp. ot (1.13) Thus, during is this inversely time period, proportional the to rate the of pressure liquid-filled pore volume V p. This result leads to a form of well te~ting sometimes called reservoir limits testing, which seeks to determine reservoir size from the rate of pressure decline in a wellbore with time. Another form of Eq. 1.12 is useful for some ap- plications. It i~volves replacing origi!,al !es.ervoir Pi' with average pressure, P, within the drainage volume of the well.

The

material

resulting

!lours

ft]

is

Pi-P=

 volumetric average pressure within the volume of the well can be found from balance. The pressure decrease (Pi -p)

from

[a total

-~V

-=

c, V

 removal of qB RB/D of fluid for t volume removed of 5.615 qB (1124) cu 5.615 qB(1124) 2

c, ( 7rr(' I,cf>)

=~~~~j~.

cf>c,hr('

Substituting

in

Eq.

1.12,

or

Pwf=P+

qBt

0.0744

1.-

1.-2

h

4>c, r~

-141.2-ln

qBp. l

kh

P-P

B

1=141.2~ln(~)--.

kh

w

~

-

0.0744

qBt

L-

ct>c,h 1.-2 r~

( r ('

---,

r w

)

3

4

J

rH,

3

4

]

(1.14)

(1.15)

I

FLUID FLOW IN POROUS

MEDIA

7

Eqs. 1.12 and 1.15 become more useful in practice if

formation

volume factor is 1.5RI3/STB.

 they include a skin factor to account for the fact that 1. Estimate the productivity index for the tl:~tl:d most wells are either damaged or stimulated. For well. example, in Eq. 1.15, 2. Estimate formation permeability from thl:~1:

i

B

P-Pwj=141.2~111(-!.)- kh

~

r

r w

3 ]

4

-+(Ap)

I 31

re

rw

4

B IJ.

-q

P-Pwj=141.2-ln(-)--+s,

kh

d

an

-qBIJ.

P;-Pwj-141.2-

.I.

[0.000527 kt

kh

cPlJ.c,re 2