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Determination of hydrocarbon in place, reserves, and production potential requires an accurate physical description of the reservoir. The basic elements of such a description are depicted in Figure 1 .

Figure 1

Areal Extent The area of the reservoir is needed for calculating the hydrocarbon in place, for selecting the proper locations of wells, and as input data for reservoir simulation studies. Physical Properties of the Productive Formation Physical properties include formation thickness, porosity, water saturation, and permeability. These four parameters are needed in practically all aspects of reservoir

engineering calculations. Preparation of contour maps for these properties constitutes the first and most important step in preparing a data base for reservoir engineering calculations. Structural Dip Reservoirs with a high angle of dip are good candidates for gravity drainage production. For secondary recovery projects in such reservoirs, one locates waterinjection wells downdip and gas-injection wells updip for maxi mum recovery. Thus the angle of dip is an important factor in formulating a recovery plan. Continuity of Strata and Stratification Continuity or lack of continuity of the productive zone determines the pattern of depletion. Identification of separate zones or communicating zones, and the degree of communication, is necessary for establishing the optimum number of wells during primary production and EOR operations. Fault Patterns The location of faults and their effects as barriers to flow define the boundaries of the reservoir and help determine the locations of production and injection wells. Fault patterns strongly affect the design of the field development plan. The number and orientation of faults strongly influence the number of wells (and, in the case of offshore, the number of platforms) required for development. Fluid Contacts Determinations of oil-gas, oil-water, or gas-water contacts are needed for a complete description of the reservoir. Without such information, the hydrocarbon in place cannot be determined to a reasonable degree of accuracy and a proper recovery plan cannot be developed. Aquifer Size The size of the aquifer relative to the hydrocarbon reservoir is important in predicting recovery under primary depletion. Furthermore, this measurement has a strong bearing on the planning of a secondary or tertiary operation. Reservoir Models Reservoir engineering calculations require the formation of a mathematical model for the reservoir. This model should be based on the physical model that emerges from data obtained from the geological, geophysical, petrophysical, and log information. It is evident that in the majority of reservoirs the complexity is so great that it is not practical to expect a faithful mathematical description. Furthermore, it is impossible to obtain a physical description of the reservoir that is 100 percent accurate. One knows the physical properties of the reservoir to a high degree of accuracy only at well locations. In between the wells, or in the part of the reservoir for which no subsurface data are available, the physical description can only be deduced. The more drilling, the better the definition of the reservoir.

However, 3-D seismics and cross-well seismic tomography can provide information about the portions of the reservoir that lie between wells. 3-D seismics employs large amounts of closely spaced data and improved migration techniques to provide volumetric reservoir interpretatios, while cross-well tomography applys highfrequency seismic waves, in which both source and recever are located in existing wellbores. These tools give the geophysicist an active role to play in modeling the reservoir. The mathematical representation of the reservoir can range from a very simple model, the tank-type (or zero-dimensional) model, to a highly complex set of equations that require numerical techniques and computers for their solution (the reservoir simulation approach). In the tank-type approach, the engineer assumes that the reservoir can be described with average values for properties such as thickness, porosity, and fluid saturations. While this approach may be satisfactory for simple problems, it may not be sufficient for other purposes. For instance, the tanktype model or a variation of it is normally used in volumetric estimation of the initial oil or gas in place. In some reservoirs it may also be satisfactory for material balance calculations. However, in other reservoirs such a model might be totally unsatisfactory and the engineer would have to resort to reservoir simulation. Generally speaking, as the heterogeneity of the reservoir in creases, so too does the required complexity of the mathematical representation. Reservoir Simulation As the complexity of a reservoir increases, the need for a more complex mathematical representation arises. The engineer must use a reservoir simulator to predict the performance of the reservoir under various development schemes. Modern reservoir simulation is based on the tank type model, which forms the basis of reservoir engineering. However, rather than considering the reservoir as one tank unit, the simulation divides the reservoir into many tank units that interact with each other. The number of tank units, or cells, depends on many factors, including the heterogeneity of the reservoir, the number of wells, and the field development scheme. Heterogeneous reservoirs require a larger number of cells. The basic reservoir engineering equations that have been used to describe the reservoir when represented by one tank unit are used in reservoir simulation. In the single-cell representation, no oil or gas crosses the boundary of the tank (i.e., reservoir). However, in a simulation with many cells, each cell interacts with its neighbors. Fluids may enter a cell from adjacent cells or may leave a cell and go to the cell’s neighbors. This fluid movement is governed by a well established flow equation, known as Darcy’s law. Keeping an inventory of the fluids in each cell is a rigorous bookkeeping operation, well suited to computers. The advent of the modern computer has increased the reservoir engineer’s simulation capabilities. The rock and fluid data required for reservoir studies using the one-tank model representation are required for each unit cell in a simulation study. The effort required to prepare such data and input it to the simulator is a significant part of the cost, which can range from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the size, complexity, and purpose of the model. Reservoir Boundaries and Heterogeneities

Boundaries A reservoir may have closed or open boundaries, or both. If the reservoir is completely bounded by sealing faults or pinchouts, it is closed. Some reservoirs are completely surrounded by an aquifer, thus their boundaries are open to water movement into the hydrocarbon zone. Still other reservoirs may be bounded by faults or pinchouts along part of their boundary and by an aquifer along the remaining part. Most reservoir engineering calculations require an accurate knowledge of the boundary conditions of the reservoir. This knowledge may establish the possible existence and extent of an aquifer activity in the reservoir. Heterogeneities All reservoirs are heterogeneous, varying only in their degree of heterogeneity. This means that the physical properties of the rock change with a change in location. One of the very important heterogeneities that needs to be considered in reservoir engineering calculations is stratification. Many reservoirs contain layers (strata) of productive rock that can be communicating or non communicating. These layers can vary considerably in permeability and in thickness. A good description of the layers and their respective properties is critical in planning many EOR operations. Fault System Another common heterogeneity in reservoirs is the fault system. Faults can be completely or partially sealing. Well locations for both production and injection are affected by the fault pattern and its effect on fluid communication. Faults are normally defined from geological, geophysical, and production data. Permeability Permeability is another directional property. When permeability measurements vary depending on the direction in which they’re measured, we say that the reservoir is anisotropic with respect to permeability. Permeability anisotropy is important in determining well spacing and configuration, as well as in considering the option of horizontal wells.

Reservoir Pressure

Reservoir pressure is one of the most important parameters of reservoir engineering calculations. Whether the calculations involve the tank type model or a more sophisticated reservoir simulator, accurate pressure values are required. However, there is an important difference between the requirements of the two models. The unit tank model relies on material balance equation calculations, and requires the average pressure for the whole reservoir as a function of time or production. In reservoir simulation studies, however, it is strongly desirable to have available buildup pressure values for individual wells as a function of time. These values represent the average pressure for the drainage volumes of the wells, and are needed for the history-matching phase of the simulation study, which is performed to validate the accuracy of the model built to represent the reservoir (Matthews et al. 1954). History matching is an essential step in "tuning" a reservoir model before conducting a predictive study. Reservoir engineering calculations require a value for the pressure in the reservoir, away from the wellbore. To obtain this value, the well must be shut in and the pressure increase with shut-in time must be recorded. We refer to this as a pressure buildup test (Matthews and Russell 1967). From these data the average pressure value is calculated. Another way of obtaining average values is to record the pressure in a well in which Production has been suspended. if such a well exists, and it is not very close to a

producer or an injector, a pressure-measuring device can be used to continuously record the pressure, without interrupting production or injection operations. For the single-tank model, an average value for the whole reservoir is required. This is normally obtained by a volumetric averaging of the pressure values from different wells. The equation for this purpose is

(3) where: = average pressure for reservoir Pi = average pressure for Well i Vi = the drainage volume of Well i Thus, if there are three wells with pressures p1, p2, and p3, and drainage volumes V1, V2, and V3, then Equation 3 becomes:

Matthews et al. (1954) and Matthews and Russell (1967) have shown that the well-drainage volume Vi is proportional to its flow rate, qi Substituting qi for Vi in Equation 3 gives (4) Equation 4 is the more Practical equation because the flow rate is usually available, while it may be more difficult to estimate the drainage volume. A very useful plot is that of the average pressure values obtained on several wells versus the total oil production of an oil reservoir, or total gas production of a gas reservoir. The pressures are plotted on the Y-axis. If there is continuity in the reservoir the Pressures from the various wells should plot close to each other. If the pressures for a well plot are consistently higher or lower than the other values, it may indicate that the well is not in good communication with the reservoir or that it is in a separate reservoir. This may point out the need for more wells to effectively drain the isolated portion of the reservoir. Furthermore, the data from the isolated well should not be lumped in with the data from other wells in material balance engineering calculations. Before comparing the pressure values measured in wells at various depths in a reservoir (very thick and/or steeply dipping reservoirs), they should be referred to a datum depth ( Figure 1 ).

Figure 1

Normally the depth of the volumetric midpoint of the reservoir is taken as the datum depth. This is determined by constructing a plot of depth versus cumulative pore volume ( Figure 2 ).

it is adjusted to the datum by Padj = p + 0. ft Equations 5 and 6 apply when the point at which the Pressure was determined is. H (5) (6) .0.433 Padj = p .Figure 2 The depth corresponding to 50% pore volume is the volumetric midpoint depth.433 H where: p = the pressure at any elevation. psi = specific gravity of fluid H = the vertical distance between the point at which the pressure was measured and the datum depth. above and below the datum depth. respectively. If a particular pressure value is obtained at a different depth than the datum.

but the heat-front pattern can be altered by changes in injection and/or production schedules. reservoir temperatures need to be measured continuously at monitoring wells. Determining fluid properties. obtaining reliable pressure data should be a primary goal of any reservoir management program. The feasibility of these processes must be determined by laboratory tests carried out at reservoir temperature. From an operations standpoint. Therefore. If this is not available. the reservoir temperature is not constant and hydrocarbon recovery is not an isothermal process. such as viscosity. This in turn affects overall recovery and the economic feasibility of the project. Thus. Reservoir temperature is usually measured at the bottom of the well or wells in a reservoir using a wireline temperature gauge. The average reservoir pressure is needed in many reservoir engineering calculations. in mathematical formulations of such processes. The average reservoir temperature is needed for laboratory analyses that are made at reservoir conditions. and thus the recovery. . and gas in solution. for example. These measurements indicate the heat front’s pattern of movement. density. the average reservoir pressure determines whether miscibility will occur when CO2 or other gases are injected. Normally. In EOR processes that employ heat injection. In the case of miscible EOR techniques. formation volume factor. hydrocarbon recovery during this phase is considered to be an isothermal process. This is so because as fluids are Produced any change in temperature due to Production is compensated for by heat from the cap or base rocks.When an aquifer is associated with the reservoir. such as steam or in-situ combustion. one usually uses the average reservoir Pressure and adjusts it to the hydrocarbon-water contact depth. it is necessary to write an energy balance over the entire reservoir. temperature affects the phase behavior of injected and produced fluids. Reservoir Temperature The calculation of primary recovery relies on the reasonable assumption that the reservoir temperature stays constant. requires a value for reservoir temperature. a uniform movement is desired. the Pressure behavior as a function of time at the hydrocarbon-water contact (or as close as possible to it) is needed for water influx calculations. which are considered to be heat sources of infinite capacity. an average value can be used for the constant reservoir temperature. If a variation in temperature is detected across a reservoir after correcting for depth. Reservoir pressure is a topic of significance in reservoir engineering because it is one of the critical pieces of data required by the reservoir engineer for an effective analysis of a reservoir. For EOR techniques such as chemical and miscible processes.

< 1 MMSCF/d gas [30 103 m3/d]). • fluid properties. However. Large diameter tubing (>2 7/8 in. represents a partial list of well parameters. Problems with H2S aggravated by high pressure requiring special tubular steel Flanged. Special artificial lift equipment.000 psi [20-70 MPa] Low Pressure : (< 1000 psi [< 7 MPa] Threaded wellheads may be used. or 73 mm). Design Implications Significant frictional pressure losses. Special high-performance packers/accessories required. Artificial lift required. wellheads required. Given the variety of production conditions around the world.COMPLETION SELECTION AND DESIGN CRITERIA Well completion designs will vary significantly with: • gross production rate. Paraffin buildup problems. 35-140 MMSCF/d gas [1 .000 psi [70-175 MPa] Special stress checks required during completion.000-25. This table. Low Production Rate: (<30 B/D liquid [5 m3/d]. • well location. there are many other variables that figure into a given completion design. of course. • well pressure and depth. definition of the thresholds is naturally somewhat nebulous (a low production rate in a Middle Eastern well would be considered a very respectable rate in many North American fields). Table 1: Completion Design Considerations Well Parameters High Production Rate: (1500-10.000 B/D liquid [16016. Greater risk of damage/fracturing during completion process .000 m3/d]. Erosion control equipment Artificial lift required.4 106 m3/d]). this table gives a general idea of the range of design considerations. Thermal contraction/expansion equipment. rather than threaded. Wellkilling capabilities required High Pressure: (3000-10. Typical ranges for various classes of completions and the design implications are presented in Table 1. or 140 mm). Special attention to operating costs required. Very High Pressure: (10. Highstrength tubulars required. Large diameter casing (>5 1/2 in. • rock properties.

Corrosion inhibitors may be required. Hydraulic piston pumps or gas lift more likely to be used as artificial lift. Difficult to fracture successfully Carbonate Reservoirs: Very Low Permeability (<1 md): Low Permeability (1-50 md): Moderate Permeability ( >50 md): High Permeability ( >1000 md ): Unconsolidated sandstone: Partially consolidated and friable sandstone: (acoustic log reads >100µs/ft [328µs/m]. Minimize drawdown to prevent sand production.05 psia (0. (poor sidewall core recovery Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) present: Special HSE regulations/procedures. Consider backflush requirements Offshore--Special HSE regulations. Moderate pressure drawdown across perforations Lost circulation a problem. Noise and height limits Mountainous areas--Potential for wellhead damage due to landslides Carbon Dioxide (CO2) present: Water production : Water injection : Well location : . External corrosion of tubulars may be a problem due to higher pressure and temperature Acid wash required upon completion. Selective perforation required. Gas usually considered sour if H2S partial pressure is 70. Tubular weight/tension must be considered. Subsurface safety valve requirments. Matrix acidizing may be necessary.Deep Wells: (> 10000 ft [ >3000 m] Problems associated with high pressures. Special artificial lift equipment may be required Consider oxygen corrosion prevention requirements. compressive strength <1000 psi [<7 MPa]. Difficulty identifying water contact--need formation or drillstem tests Fracturing required upon completion May need fracturing upon completion Little benefit from fracturing. Casing size/liner usage must be considered. Sand strength may not be great enough to support high velocity flow. Maximize sand exposed to flow. Easily damaged Sand control (screens or gravel pack) probably required Sand control possibly required. Well servicing and access constraints Urban/populated areas--Special HSE regulations.3 kPa) Consider inhibitor or special steel if CO2 partial pressure is >10 psi (70 kPa) Scaling and/or corrosion may be a problem.

However. as development plans become more clearly defined. Completion Considerations Rates High Moderate w/chokes Low Variable Pressures Importance or Need Completion Design Implications None High Possible Critical favors two small tubing strings High Low None Probable artificial lift required Producing Characteristics Multiple zones Minimize costs Access difficulty Uptime Possible Moderate High High stack completions review costs TFL/new technology minimize difficulty of future workovers .Functional and Well Service Requirements Definition of the functional and well servicing requirements at the outset can considerably simplify selection of preliminary completion concepts and will highlight the key trade-offs needing further evaluation. based on the results of the initial wells or of detailed design or field studies. it is often possible to quantify the requirements. Table 1 is a checklist for identifying the critical concerns for a completion design. it illustrates the use of such a checklist in designing a specific subsea oilwell. The completions engineer relies on experience and judgment to prepare the initial input at the concept stage.

Rate control Rate stability Long life Density of kill fluid Safety during vessel reentry Wellhead damage Critical Critical Unlikely Moderate Critical Possible chokes needed wellhead chokes needed carbon steel sufficient kickoff w/gas lift 2 SSSVs and kill system annular SSSV Monitoring Test frequency High critical choke bean or dedicated flow line Pressure measurement Special BHP surveys Log contacts Production logs Tubing investigation Artificial Lift Moderate Some needed Critical Some needed High TFL access for downhole tools TFL access for downhole tools vertical access required vertical access required TFL access &/or vertical access Intermittent w/maintenance High gas lift is optimal method via TFL and vertical access Continuous Increasing gross rate Pressure depletion Kick-off Possible High Possible .

robust tubing joints Gravel pack SSSV Tubulars New interval Recompletions Critical Probable Low Possible multizone completion design Uphole Deepen Sidetrack Function change Moderate None Possible Moderate large casing preferable limit depth of rathole maximize casing size large CSG preferable . easy access.Initial completion Routine operations Depleted conditions High water cut Critical rate Frequency Gas supply volume Gas supply pressure Repairs Moderate High Possible High High High Moderate Design variable use gas lift system gas compressor supply required GLV maintenance system gas compressor special requirements Cement High future concurrent production and workover operations.

production engineers must not take this argument too far. and operating costs on project economics. with the revenue stream being the most critical. However. . It is important for the completion design engineer to have some appreciation for the relative impact of production revenue.high operations procedure alternate methods Production Problems Sand control Paraffin Emulsions Water cut Scale Corrosion Critical Possible Possible High Possible Moderate gravel pack required TFL access for scraping chemical injection capability artificial lift required TFL access carbon steel & downhole chemical inhibitor injection Erosion Fines GP failure Low Probable Moderate frequent acid jobs required TFL w/annular kill valve Table 1: Subsea oilwell functional requirements. (An exception is the case of competitive production along lease lines. In a high tax environment they are usually in the order of importance listed above. The actual cost of the completion equipment is often relatively insignificant compared to the value of incremental production from improved potential or increased uptime. capital costs. for subsea developments in hostile environments. downtime only results in deferred production. it is reasonable to assume that a premium can be paid for minimizing the frequency of reentry and for equipment reliability and durability. in most cases.) Nevertheless.Well Kill Frequency Difficulty High or low Mod. It is important to remember that. Installation costs are only significant to the extent that special completion requirements have a significant impact on the overall drilling and completion time.

To a large extent, reservoir, geological, and economic considerations will dictate the functional requirements of a completion and the relative significance of major and minor workovers. These requirements have to be anticipated at an early stage since the techniques to be employed (wireline, service rig reentry, TFL, coiled tubing, etc.) are limited by the tubing design and packer/tubing configurations of the completion. The completion design of a well is also influenced by the well service requirements.The general term "well servicing" covers a broad range of activities, which can be broken down into five major functions: 1. routine monitoring (e.g., being able to run production logs, shoot fluid levels, etc.) 2. wellhead and flow line servicing (e.g., designing components for easy isolation) 3. minor workovers (e.g., through-tubing operations, wireline work, TFL) 4. major workovers (e.g., tubing-pulling operations) 5. emergency situations (e.g., well-killing operations) While to some extent these apply to all oil and gas developments, their relative importance, frequency, complexity, and cost are functions of reservoir conditions, governmental regulations, operating philosophy, and geographic and environmental considerations. For example, it should be self-evident that the options for reentry of subsea wells in deep water are limited and are going to be expensive. This is true to a certain extent for any offshore well. The designer must therefore look carefully at the functions that can be built into the completion and wellhead to minimize well service requirements. It is probable that at least three different generic types of systems will be involved in well servicing: those with functions built into the producing facilities; service units; and workover rigs. From a completion design viewpoint, it is also important to appreciate what capabilities are already inherently available. For example, all wells have the potential for "bull-heading" kill or treatment fluids through the tubing, although it becomes more difficult to control the operation and ensure an efficient displacement as the tubing size and deviation increases. Similarly, with relatively shallow dry gas wells, it should be possible to estimate the bottomhole pressure fairly accurately from tubing head pressure measurements, avoiding the need to run bottomhole surveys. Another built-in function in all offshore wells is the ability to achieve a subsurface shut-off using the government-regulation-required subsurface safety valve. As completion designs become more sophisticated, they can provide an increased number of integrated service functions, up to the ultimate multizone, full TFL completion with downhole pressure monitoring capability. The economic and technical justification for this type of completion must be based on a detailed functional analysis of the reservoir, completion lifetime, and well service economics. Moreover, increased sophistication also introduces higher risks of completion problems or subsequent failures, requiring improved quality control and materials selection.

**What Goes Into Reservoir Simulation?
**

The basic tool for conducting a reservoir simulation study is a simulator. The development of this tool requires a good understanding of the physical processes occurring in reservoirs and a high level of sophistication and maturity in advanced mathematics and computer programming. Although simulation engineers generally do not get involved in actual software development, the effective use of reservoir simulators requires that they at least appreciate what goes into this development. Like any tool, a reservoir simulator has its strength and limitations, and it is well to keep in mind the various assumptions that factor into its development. This is not to suggest that all simulation engineers must be expert programmers; rather, they must be intelligent users. Therefore, knowledge and understanding of the simulation process are necessary precursors to a reservoir simulation study. At first, a simulation study might look like a once-and-for-all exercise. In truth, however, it is an evolutionary process, throughout which we continually refine our conceptual understanding of the system. While we cannot overemphasize the importance of accurate reservoir description in a good reservoir simulation study, we must at the same time acknowledge that the data needed for an accurate description is seldom available; invariably, studies start out with less than complete data. However, by carefully analyzing and interpreting the voluminous information generated during the study, we should be able to refine and extend the input data base. Such refinement should lead to a better understanding of the system and, ultimately, to a better reservoir description. Of course, this requires some agility and creativity; there is no such thing as a casual simulation engineer. It is, therefore, apparent that there are three basic interwoven components that go into a simulation study. These are: • The tool: reservoir simulator • The intelligent user: simulation engineer • The pertinent information: reservoir description Figure 1 depicts the necessary interactions among the simulation engineer, the simulator and the reservoir description.

Figure 1

The engineer is clearly the prime mover in conducting the simulation study, and must be in control of other study components. This control involves:

• being cognizant of the simulator’s limitations and the assumptions that go into its development • being able to adequately describe the reservoir • being fully conversant with the analytical techniques involved in interpreting the results.

Based on the initial results, it is not uncommon for the simulation engineer to revisit the appropriateness of the reservoir description through concept refinement.

**Why Do We Need Reservoir Simulation?
**

The information we obtain from a newly discovered field is scanty at best. It is also disjointed to a certain extent, because bits and pieces of information are emanating from different parts of the field. Our first task is to integrate these pieces of information as accurately as possible in order to construct a global picture of the system. A reservoir simulation study is the most effective means of achieving this end. As field development progresses, more information becomes available, enabling us to continually refine the reservoir description. Once we establish a good level of confidence in our reservoir description, we can use the simulator to perform a variety of numerical exercises, with the goal of optimizing

field development and operation strategies. We are often confronted with questions such as

• what is the most efficient well spacing? • what are the optimum production strategies? • where are the external boundaries located? • what are the intrinsic reservoir properties? • what is the predominant recovery mechanism? • when and how should we employ infill drilling? • when and which improved recovery technique should we implement?

These are but a few of the critical questions we may need to answer. A reservoir simulation study is the only practical laboratory in which we can design and conduct tests to adequately address these questions. From this perspective, reservoir simulation is a powerful screening tool.

**What are the Simulation Approaches?
**

The complexity of the problem at hand, the amount of data available, and the study’s objectives invariably dictate the choice of reservoir simulation approach, granted that we have already taken into account the appropriate computational environment (both in terms of hardware and software). Broadly classified, there are two simulation approaches we can take: analytical and numerical.

• The analytical approach, as is the case in classical well test analysis, involves a great deal of assumptions—in essence, it renders an exact solution to an approximate problem. • The numerical approach, on the other hand, attempts to solve the

more realistic problem with less stringent assumptions—in other words, it provides an approximate solution to an exact problem. From here on, we use the term simulation rather loosely to refer only to the numerical approach. The domain of interest can form another level of categorization for simulation approach and model selection. For instance, a study may focus on a single well and its interaction with the reservoir within its drainage area (i.e., single-well simulation in radial-cylindrical coordinate system). The other extreme case may be the study of an entire field (field-scale simulation in rectangular coordinate system) in which the overall performance analysis of the field is called for. In between these two extremes comes the case where only a section of the reservoir is targeted (window-study).

Figure 2

Figure 2 schematically represents these three simulation approaches.

**What are the Basic Steps of a Simulation Study?
**

In general, a reservoir simulation study involves five steps:

• Setting objectives • Selecting the model and approach • Gathering, collecting and preparing the input data • Planning the computer runs, in terms of history matching and/or

performance prediction

**• Analyzing, interpreting and reporting the results
**

A critical step is selecting the model and the approach. We must decide at the outset how many dimensions will be adequate. Such decisions depend on the flow dynamics involved and the amount of detail required. There may be cases when a two-dimensional representation is sufficient to describe a thin reservoir, whereas a three-dimensional model is unavoidable in the case of a thick reservoir. The expected flow structure dictates the choice of the model’s coordinate system. For example, in most single well studies, we may use radial-cylindrical flow geometry. However, if a well is vertically fractured, we should assign an elliptical-cylindrical flow geometry. We also have to decide how best to represent physical phenomena. For instance, if compositional variation is important, we may have to employ a compositional simulator rather

than the more commonly used "black oil" model. Similarly, if we intend to study a coalbed methane reservoir, we must use a specialized model that accounts for the desorption process. One of the most labor-intensive aspects of reservoir simulation study is data gathering, collection and preparation. Oftentimes, this requires collaboration among technical personnel with varying levels of expertise. For instance, geological and geophysical data are extremely crucial and need to be processed in the form that is useful for reservoir description. Data will be often be sparse or incomplete. In such situations, statistics or other tools can prove quite helpful. Because of the large volume of data being processed at this stage, and the likelihood of internal inconsistencies in the data, the engineer must have strong organizational skills and sound judgment. In simulation studies, time (both the engineer’s and the computer’s) is of the essence. A typical simulation study requires a large number of runs, which must be carefully orchestrated to yield the desired information. As we make each run, we must carefully analyze the results, and appropriately label them to avoid confusion and costly duplications. In addition, we must avoid runs that yield no new information. It is pertinent, therefore, to take into account the inferences from the previous runs in planning the next suite of runs. Perhaps the most important step in a simulation study is analyzing and interpreting the results. It is at this stage that our creative and discerning abilities are put to the test. As tempting as it may be to do so, we should not view every number that comes out of the computer as the absolute answer. Instead, we must always be asking questions such as, "what if? what then? why? so what?" In this way, we bring into play our experience, common sense, and perhaps sometimes extraneous knowledge. A simulation study’s ultimate objective is to forecast reservoir performance. If we have selected the correct model, adequately prepared our data, conducted the appropriate computer runs, and made good, informed analyses, we should be confident of our ability to predict performance. Any mistakes we make in the previous steps will have a cumulative impact on performance prediction. We must communicate study results in an appropriate manner to other technical personnel and to management. This should be in the form of a comprehensive technical report with sufficient details for others to assess the study’s quality.

**How are Reservoir Simulators Used?
**

A reservoir simulator can be an effective tool for screening, analysis and design. The thought process that goes into appropriately using a simulator for these purposes, however, is quite involved. Figure 3 illustrates the interactions inherent in this thought process.

neither of these can afford to dominate the other. To reap the full benefits of this powerful tool. For example. loaded with opportunities to learn more about the reservoir. What Does a Simulation Study Require? A simulation study is a challenging and demanding task. field observations and the computer code can highlight the need for improvement in the mathematical formulation. field observations and the computer code. a computer code originated from a robust formulation. In a nutshell. which propagate and interact with each other such that a continuous feedback takes place for the mutual benefit and enhancement of all the parts. but neither should he or she become overly dependent on the simulator. Similarly.Figure 3 The cornerstones of a reservoir simulator are the mathematical model. In a successful study. may shed light on the validity of the experimental approach taken in the laboratory. laboratory investigation. laboratory investigation (laboratory data). these cornerstones generate signals. Steps in a Simulation Study There are five basic steps in conducting a reservoir simulation study: • setting concrete objectives for the study . together with pertinent field observations. This dynamic interaction illustrates the self-enhancing nature of reservoir simulators. the success of a simulation study hinges on a combination of a good engineer and the right simulator. In using reservoir simulators. The engineer should not demand from the simulator what it is not meant to do. it is imperative to recognize the proper roles of the engineer and of the reservoir simulator.

Improperly set objectives can take the study on a long. the required level of detail. The most important of these are data availability. we need to consider three basic factors: • reservoir complexity • fluid type • alcance(scope) of the study . it is unrealistic to attempt threedimensional simulation when the available geological data gives no information about the presence and description of the various formation layers present in the reservoir. being careful to avoid waste on exercises that may not significantly contribute toward the goal. availability of technical support and available resources. In the broadest sense. • Optimization involves developing a number of plausible scenarios for a process (e. Choosing the Simulation Approach In choosing the simulation approach. Clearly defined objectives help us obtain the best information at the lowest cost and in the least amount of time. There are a number of factors that help us define appropriate objectives.. These are sufficiently distinct that they affect the entire planning process of the simulation study. For example. we use all of these factors to determine how to proceed. we will arrive at one of two types of objectives. In setting objectives . roundabout journey which leads to nowhere. while the other is to establish an optimization strategy. a simulation study that matches well test data for the purpose of determining the damaged zone around a wellbore is a fact-finding mission.g. In this case.• selecting the proper simulation approach • preparing the input data planning the computer runs (including the order in which they occur) • analyzing the results Setting the Objectives Setting objectives is the most important step in conducting a simulation study.we must design a suite of numerical exercises. • Fact-finding involves answering questions about a system or process that is already in place. One type of objective is fact-finding. when we consider all these factors. For example. waterflooding) and studying the system response in an attempt to determine the optimum scenario.

. When data inconsistencies are present. For example. However. Because data come from different sources. geophysicist and perhaps the production engineer. the time spent in ensuring that data are properly prepared is worthwhile. input from other supporting personnel is extremely important. If inconsistencies appear in the data. in that it can prevent a great deal of headaches and waste later on in the study. if the reservoir is thin and unlayered. we must account for several factors. However. just as a traveler requires careful mapping out of the route that will get him or her to the destination in the best time possible. In so doing. internal inconsistencies are not uncommon. but in the case of buried inconsistencies. We should resolve inconsistencies during the data input preparation. or even if some data appear doubtful. Carrying out such a study with a three-dimensional compositional simulator will require additional computational resources whose added benefit cannot be justified. The payoff is exceptionally good. we discover data input errors only after a problem surfaces during the run. we must exercise our judgement and ingenuity in selecting the most appropriate simulation approach. and the type of information needed to answer the pertinent questions. can facilitate data preparation. Often. Planning the Computer Runs Planning computer runs is deceptively simple. which wastes both time and computing resources. Pre-processing capability. which are usually problem dependent. we must carefully map out the type and number of computer runs that will achieve the set objectives at a minimum cost. it is imperative to resolve the problem with the help of the geologist. In summary. Furthermore.While reservoir complexity and the scope of the study determine the simulator’s dimensions and coordinate geometry. While data preparation is the simulation engineer’s job. With an ill-posed problem. predicting well performance in a gas condensate reservoir will require a compositional rather than a black oil simulator. particularly for the commercial codes currently available. we only need to imagine a simulation study as a complex road map where the traveler knows the point of origin and the destination (these are clear enough from the objectives of the study). We should consider the number of parameters to be examined. the fluid type (together with the processes involved) dictate whether we should use a black-oil model or a more specialized model. we may be able to find the inconsistency by the failure of the simulator to run. To understand the necessity and the complexity of this planning. the simulator may run and yield erroneous solutions. there is no overemphasizing the importance of adequate data preparation prior to making a simulation study. In any case. It is our responsibility to ensure internal consistency in the data. they can lead to an ill-posed problem. it will be sufficient to use a onedimensional radial flow geometry. Sometimes these processors have internal checks to flag any detected inconsistencies in the data. they could go undetected. preparing the input data can be a laborious task. the duration of prediction. Even worse. Preparing the Input Data Because simulation studies usually require large volumes of information from a wide range of sources.

and its spatial and directional distributions Porosity Porosity is a measure of a rock’s storage capacity. we must not become easy subscribers to our solutions.Careful planning of computer runs includes not only determining their order. it is tempting to become a biased arbiter of the results. It is now not uncommon to display information using three-dimensional graphics. In other words. Effective porosity is a dimensionless quantity. From here on. In addition. This step caps all the efforts previously discussed. we shall understand porosity to mean effective porosity. In reservoir simulation. On the contrary. enhance our interpretation and inferential ability. However. but also establishing a systematic labeling procedure for them. graphics features.and post-depositional processes that have taken place (in addition to non-sphericity of the grains). therefore. The graphics capabilities currently available on most computers makes this process easier and even more inviting. this is the time to ask critical questions and even ponder over the implications of the results. This is particularly important because of the large number of runs usually required and the voluminous amount of information invariably generated for analysis. . Reservoir Rock Properties The essential rock properties in reservoir simulation are those that govern the rock’s storage capacity and spatial distribution. defined as the ratio of interconnected pore volume to the bulk volume. Analyzing the Results When we have analyzed the results of the simulation study and made pertinent inferences from it. and the minimum is 25. In an idealized arrangement of grains of uniform size the maximum porosity value is 47. Their porosity can vary widely. such as image rotation and animation.64% for cubic packing. we are primarily interested in interconnected pore space. The mode of analysis and the presentation of results will depend very largely on the audience for whom they are meant and the post-processing capability available. Considering the amount of effort that we expend on the simulation study up to this point.96% for rhombohedral packing ( Figure 1 ). its ability to conduct fluids. we can evaluate its success. naturally-occurring reservoirs do not conform to these theoretical limits. due to syn.

the permeability of a reservoir could be a function of pressure. the less this pressure decline will be over time. we often assume homogeneity in reservoir calculations. and its practical field unit is darcy or millidarcy.Figure 1 In the flow equations used in reservoir simulation. It does not determine ultimate recovery. The dimension of permeability is length squared [L2]. In the other extreme. Permeability varies widely in naturally occurring reservoirs. This is where numerical reservoir simulation becomes a very . Homogeneous vs. even though many reservoirs are heterogeneous. For a hydrocarbon reservoir to be commerical. As we will discuss later. but rather the rate of this recovery. while heterogeneous systems exhibit non-uniform distribution. this volume is depleted. in such a flow system. and reservoir pressure drops. The special case in which porosity does not appear in the flow equation is the single-phase incompressible flow system. The higher the reservoir’s porosity. One darcy is approximately equal to 10-8cm2. porosity appears as one of the parameters that scales the volume of fluids present in the reservoir at any time. there is neither accumulation nor depletion. For simplicity’s sake. Since it is a measure of resistance to flow. Similar to porosity. Permeability is a key parameter controlling the propagation of transients created by conditions imposed at the well. and so porosity vanishes. there are reservoirs in which porosity changes with pressure. it must not only be porous. Permeability Absolute permeability is a measure of a rock’s ability to transmit fluid. and so appears in the equation as a function of pressure rather than as a constant value. heterogeneous systems Homogeneous systems feature uniform spatial distribution. Permeability is analogous to conductivity in heat flow. a higher permeability reservoir experiences less pressure drop than a corresponding low permeability reservoir. but also permeable. During production. from a fraction of a millidarcy to several darcies.

we specify the property of reference (e. It is important that when we describe a reservoir as homogeneous.. homogeneous and heterogeneous systems for two-dimensional cases. A reservoir exhibits isotropic property distribution if that property has the same value regardless of the direction in which we measure it. such detailed information may be unavailable. In such cases. then the reservoir is anisotropic with respect to that property.g. On the other hand. It utilizes all three dimensions. Isotropic and anisotropic systems Some parameters used in reservoir simulation exhibit directional dependency. if a property’s value does vary with direction. One should be careful to note that only those properties that are not volume-based can exhibit directional dependency. Although reservoir simulation equations can accommodate property variation within the domain of interest in significant detail. we must employ interpolation techniques and history matching exercises. Figure 2 shows all possible permutations of isotropic. because it allows us to incorporate property variation in the system.powerful tool. very sketchy. and therefore has zero degrees of freedom in terms of directional variation. is a volume-based property by definition. or at best. for example. Figure 2 . anisotropic. Permeability. leaving one direction in which it can vary. Porosity. by contrast. has the dimension of area. "this reservoir is homogeneous with respect to porosity but heterogeneous with respect to permeability").

however. it is often necessary in reservoir simulation to estimate these properties using correlations and/or equations of state. so that we may eliminate the six off-diagonal elements of the permeability tensor. fluid properties exhibit significant pressure dependency. reservoir simulators employ orthogonal coordinate systems. The existing anisotropy determines the orientation of a coordinate system’s principal axes. like rock properties. an incorrect representation of the system results. significantly affect fluid flow dynamics in porous media. where all the axes are mutually perpendicular. In most applications. Otherwise. as shown in Figure 3 .to align these axes with the principal flow directions. It is imperative Figure 3 Reservoir Fluid Properties Fluid properties. Unlike rock properties. and be left with three diagonal elements in a three-dimensional system (two for a two-dimensional system). . Therefore.

these oil properties can be treated as constants. compressibility and formation volume factor. compressibility factor. because the compressibility of gas-free oil is very small. However. The properties of interest in the gas flow equation are density. Gas viscosity is also strongly dependent on pressure. we often use the real gas law as our basis. formation volume factor. In the absence of gas. and needs to be calculated as pressure varies spatially and temporally. The compressibility factor introduces an important non-linearity. the presence of dissolved gas in oil necessitates the use of appropriate correlations to determine the variation of these properties with pressure and temperature. compressibility. A recent review of the available correlations has been provided by McCain (1991). Figure 4 Oil properties Oil properties that appear in the governing flow equations for the oil phase are density. compressibility. Density appears in the gravity term. and it is often neglected. Invariably.Gas properties In calculating gas properties such as density. we might use a modern engineering equation of state such as the Peng-Robinson equation of state. formation volume factor and viscosity. We can also use modern equations of state to calculate these properties. viscosity and solubility of gas in oil. . in that it appears in the formation volume factor. these calculations express density as a function of pressure and temperature. Figure 4 summarizes the equations and correlations necessary for determining gas properties. For more rigorous calculations.

compressibility. as is often the case. it is conceivable that there will be no free gas (undersaturated reservoirs). an infinite amount of gas can dissolve in oil. we assume constant values for these properties that come into play in the water flow equation. formation volume factor. because their movement is mutually dependent. When a driving force acts on such systems. if pressure is available. for most practical cases. If pressure is not sufficient some of the gas will exist in the free state (saturated reservoirs). Figure 5 shows the qualitative variation of several of these properties. These interactions become more complicated when. viscosity and gas solubility. Most reservoir simulators implement variable bubble-point algorithms to handle these situations.Theoretically. Reservoir Rock/Fluid Interactions Reservoir fluid flow is governed by complex interactions between the fluids and the reservoir rock. provided that adequate pressure is available. . Figure 5 Water properties McCain (1991) provides correlations for estimating such water properties as density. the fluids compete in motion. A typical simulation calculation may traverse saturated and undersaturated conditions. To appropriately describe the simultaneous flow of two or more fluids in a porous medium requires a good understanding of both the fluid-fluid and rock-fluid interactions. Accordingly. two or more fluids are present in the same pore. Since gas solubility in water is very small compared to oil.

. When these immiscible fluids co-exist in the reservoir pore space. When two immiscible fluids co-exist in the same pore space. They work on the principle that all interfaces existing under equilibrium conditions have some free energy associated with them. The two principal properties used to quantify these interactions are wettability. As a two-phase system approaches equilibrium. which relates to fluid-fluid interactions. and it is directly related to interfacial tension. and interfacial tension. oil and gas. which pertains to rock-fluid interactions. Examples of such interfaces include the junction between water and crude oil and the junction between oil and gas. in that many EOR processes are based on altering the surface energy so as to favor oil recovery. Figure 6 The study of surface energy phenomena is very important in recovery processes. Interfacial tension is a measure of the surface energy per unit area of the interface between two immiscible fluids. since this is the geometrical shape that minimizes surface area and. Examples of this behavior abound in nature. unless otherwise constrained by external forces.Wettability and interfacial tension The principal fluids in a petroleum reservoir are water. Figure 6 depicts an oil-water interface. A rain drop falling in a vacuum assumes a spherical shape. one preferentially adheres to the rock surface. their interactions with one another and with the containing rock control their spatial distribution and movement. When they exist as free phases. The parameter which determines the wettability index is called adhesion tension. This phenomenon is known as wetting. the interface assumes a configuration that tends to minimize the free surface energy. and the fluid that is preferentially attracted is referred to as having a higher wettability index. they are generally immiscible (Note: this discussion does not consider emulsions or dissolved gases).

the contact between the fluid and the solid has a certain value of interfacial tension associated with it. It has units of force per length. the solid/non-wetting phase interfacial tension. Interfacial tension is the surface energy per unit area of a fluid interface. γSN . There is a definite relationship between the solid/wetting phase interfacial tension. relative permeability is the ratio of the effective permeability. this manifests itself in interfacial tensions. the one with the lower interfacial tension is the wetting phase. As previously mentioned. This results on the one hand from interactions between the fluids and the rock. when more than one fluid is present. the lower the surface energy and the higher the tendency for the fluid to wet that surface. except that an external drag force constrains it from doing so. observe the relative ease with which each of the two competing fluids go through the porous medium— that is. Effective permeability is . while the other is the non-wetting phase. and on the other from interactions among the fluids themselves.γSW = γWN(cosθ) (2. it is the accepted quantitative parameter used in reservoir engineering. The lower the solid-fluid interfacial tension. we can measure the relative permeability. Relative permeability appears prominently in the flow equations used in reservoir simulation. to the absolute permeability. and the wetting/non-wetting phase interfacial tension. they compete and do not move at equal velocity.therefore. By definition. What differentiates fluids from one another in terms of relative wettability are their values of fluid/solid interfacial tension. surface energy. We can.1) where γSN = solid/non-wetting phase interfacial tension γSW = solid/wetting phase interfacial tension γWN = wetting/non-wetting phase interfacial tension θ = angle of contact between the fluid and the rock Relative permeability When two or more immiscible fluids flow simultaneously through a porous medium. For two immiscible co-existing fluids in porous media. Interfacial tensions are not transport properties. Although relative permeability is not a fundamental property of fluid dynamics. however. For this reason.1) expresses this relationship. and so we cannot use them directly to qualitatively characterize relative motion. A rain drop falling through the atmosphere would do the same thing. it has a "tear-drop" shape. The Young-Dupres equation (Equation 2. For any fluid having contact with a solid surface.

three-phase relative permeability is often shown on ternary diagrams. Therefore. If a third phase is present. they are all empirically formulated from measured data sets. Because it requires a three-dimensional representation.the measured permeability of a porous medium to one fluid when another is present. The effective permeability depends on the relative proportion of the two fluids present. then each fluid has its own relative permeability. Figure 8 shows a typical relative permeability curve for a three-phase oil/gas/water system. . relative permeability is also a function of fluid saturation. Although there are models for predicting relative permeability. with isoperms displayed at various saturation combinations. Figure 7 shows typical relative permeability curves for an oil-water system. Leverett and Lewis (1941) were one of the first to use this representation. which differs from the corresponding two-phase relative permeability. We therefore refer to it as two-phase relative permeability. or fluid saturation. Figure 7 Figure 7 depicts relative permeability as a function of water saturation for a twophase system.

Several models are available (Honapour.Figure 8 Successful simulation of a multiphase system hinges on adequate relative permeability information. which varies over a reservoir’s life. The simulation engineer must determine which model is appropriate. . Table 1 lists some common relative permeability models. Since relative permeability is a function of saturation. each claiming varying degrees of merit. et al. the best way to get adequate information is to incorporate relative permeability models into the reservoir simulator. 1986).

we cannot take this rule so literally. .Table 1 Capillary pressure In everyday experience. But when it comes to spaces of capillary size (like those we encounter in porous media). consider what happens when a glass tube of capillary size is dipped in a larger container filled with water ( Figure 9 ). To illustrate. water levels in two or more connected containers have the same level if exposed to the same atmosphere.

Figure 9 The water in the capillary tube rises above the water level in the container to a height that depends on the capillary size. the adhesion force allows water to rise up in the capillary tube while gravity opposes it. there is a relationship between capillary pressure. As we might surmise from these observations. In this situation. and the interfacial tension between the two fluids (in the case of Figure 9 . Pc . This force per unit area is the capillary pressure. < where Pc = capillary pressure (2. it does so in such a way as to maintain an overall minimum surface energy.2) γwn = wetting/non-wetting phase interfacial tension R = radius of the tube . The differential force between adhesion and gravity is the capillary force. The water rises until there is a balance between these two opposing forces. the water still finds its level. Although strictly speaking. water and air).

The classic example is oil and mercury in a glass capillary tube. A plot of capillary pressure versus water saturation has a typical shape. there is the pore structure itself to worry about. instead of capillary rise. Figure 10 It is interesting to note the hysteresis between the capillary curves for a drainage process (where wetting phase saturation is decreasing) and an imbibition process (where wetting phase saturation is increasing). which in effect is a huge capillary network. However. Capillary pressure is important in porous media flow description because of the saturation distribution in the capillary-like pore spaces. Then. engineers thrive on approximation.θ = angle of contact between the solid surface and liquid Note that the exact opposite happens if the fluid is the non-wetting phase with respect to the tube material. but also on how the fluids interact with the porous medium. On a scientific level. Microscopic Properties Reservoir fluid flow is a fundamentally complex process. there occurs capillary fall. Fluid movement depends not only on the fluids themselves. understanding these microscopic properties is a must if we are to capture the essence of the system. where. as shown in Figure 10 . and reservoir simulation engineers are no .

Using global properties such as permeability. relative permeability. as engineers. Engineering. porosity. dating back to our high school calculus.exception. to a large extent. we assign fewer dimensions and settle for a lessthan-ideal problem definition. Such compromise may seem drastic. Rectangular flow geometry Rectangular geometry is the one that is most familiar to us. but we may lack the information or the computational overhead needed to assign this many dimensions. In reservoir modeling we often use this familiarity to our advantage. perhaps at different speeds in different directions and locations. we can generate an adequate amount of information even within these limitations. since most field-scale multi-well studies are done in this coordinate system. So. we must learn all we can through approximate models. improvement in the modeling approach is inevitable. In other words. is a marriage between pure science and practical reality. But in reality. Flow Geometries and Dimensions The same factors that dictate our choice of coordinate systems play a dominant role in our deciding how many dimensions to assign to a problem. selecting a higher number of dimensions to represent a system may be scientifically correct. Meanwhile. and capillary pressure. for most engineering problems. one attempts to procure the best information possible. . we can consider the reservoir to be a rectangular box with the fluid particles moving in straight lines. As research progresses into reservoir characterization. As Figure 1 illustrates.

Figure 1

In this case, the streamlines are parallel to the three principal axes (x, y, and z), which are orthogonal. Figure 1 also shows the partition of the box into many smaller boxes, which are rectangular prisms. Each of these rectangular prisms represents a certain portion of the reservoir, about which we can procure information through simulation studies. We use this smaller element of dimensions, (∆x, ∆y, ∆z) as a control volume to set up and discretize the governing equations. We should emphasize that a fluid particle entering an elemental volume in one direction does not necessarily exit in the same direction; by the same token, the fluid particle leaving the elemental volume in one direction did not necessarily enter it in the same direction. Formation characteristics, (such as heterogeneity, permeability contrasts and the force fields imposed by the conditions at the boundaries) dictate the flow path once the element enters the control volume. This is the essence of flow multi-dimensionality. Figure 2 illustrates the concept of one-dimensional flow along the x-direction. Although it is difficult to find real-world examples of truly one-dimensional flow, many types of analyses and systems do lend themselves to description as one-

dimensional.

Figure 2

The flow structure shown in Figure 2 precludes flow in any other direction, which implies there is no property variation along the y and z directions. Therefore, if we take a section perpendicular to the indicated flow direction, there will not be any property variation across the plane. Similarly, any cross section taken in the x-z or x-y planes (parallel to the streamlines) will reveal the uniformity of the flow structure. More explicitly, the pressure profiles of flow paths will be similar. A long, skinny reservoir that is confined between two closely spaced, parallel faults fits this description. The next level of description used in reservoir simulation is two-dimensional flow. Many reservoir simulation studies employ two-dimensional Cartesian coordinate systems. This makes sense when we consider the large lateral extent of most reservoirs compared with their thicknesses. Figure 3 illustrates a two-dimensional flow structure along the x and y directions.

Figure 3

This precludes flow in the z-direction. Therefore, any slice taken parallel to the x-y plane will not show any variation in terms of property and fluid distribution such as porosity, permeability and saturations. The introduction of the second dimension allows us to describe a wide variety of problems. We can, for instance, account for directional permeability variation and lateral well distributions. Moreover, a twodimensional approach allows us to represent a variety of well completion strategies (e.g., vertical wells, horizontal wells, stimulated wells). Thin, blanket sands that tend to display large areal coverage are ideally suited for description by a two-dimensional model. The best representation of flow is the three-dimensional model, because it allows us to procure the most information about the reservoir. Unfortunately, it also requires the largest amount of input information and a higher level of computational power and overhead. Still, incorporating a third dimension gives us the latitude we need to include all the property variations in all three spatial directions. This means that if we take two parallel slices perpendicular to the third dimension, they will exhibit property and flow differences. Figure 4 illustrates a three-dimensional flow structure.

Figure 4

A three-dimensional representation allows us to accommodate a wide variety of problems of practical interest, such as layered reservoirs (with or without crossflow), partially penetrating wells, multi-layered production schemes, and thick reservoirs where gravitational forces could be significant. A three-dimensional model makes it possible for us to come up with more realistic representations of drive mechanisms (or any combination thereof), such as gas cap expansion, bottom water drive, and so forth. In spite of a three-dimensional model’s many advantages, it is less often used in practice than we might expect. This is because we have to weigh such factors as cost, data availability and marginal utility. In many cases a three-dimensional model may be a luxury that we can ill afford. On the other hand, there are certain problems in which it is a technical necessity. Consider, for instance, a thick reservoir with no significant property variation in the vertical direction; while a two-dimensional model would appear adequate based on this description, it may turn out that the gravitational field contribution may be so significant as to require a third dimension.

**Radial-cylindrical flow geometry
**

The radial-cylindrical coordinate system is particularly appealing for describing single-well problems. Figure 5 shows the principal directions of this flow geometry and its elemental volume.

Figure 5

The three principal flow directions are radial (r), vertical (z) and tangential (θ). To visualize this flow structure, imagine a single well located in the center of a circular reservoir, such that the wellbore and the reservoir boundary are two concentric circles. If we assume a reservoir of uniform thickness, then the system becomes two concentric cylinders of the same height. A particle moving in a three-dimensional radial-cylindrical flow geometry can be illustrated as in Figure 6 .

Figure 6

A typical one-dimensional, radial-cylindrical flow model is the classical representation used in well test analysis. In this case, flow is constrained to the r-direction such that streamlines are rays converging towards the center of the well ( Figure 7 ).

Figure 7

Studying the problem along one trajectory is sufficient because of symmetry. Any particle located on any of the trajectories will experience similar forces. By neglecting the flow in angular (q) and axial (z) directions, we introduce a series of assumptions, such as no permeability gradation along the q-direction and no gravitational effect along the z-direction. As we can imagine from looking at Figure 6 , one-dimensional flow representations in the q- and z-directions have no practical significance in reservoir studies. The two-dimensional (r-z) representation is appealing for single-well problems where gravity and/or layering effects are significant ( Figure 8 ). This r-z plane can be taken at any q location without changing the problem because of its axi-symmetric nature.

Figure 8

The three-dimensional flow structure in radial-cylindrical coordinate system admits property variation in all three directions. Figure 9 shows this system.

Figure 9 Elliptical-cylindrical flow geometry We sometimes use elliptical-cylindrical flow geometry in single-well studies when a strong permeability contrast exists in two principal directions on the lateral plane. the normally concentric equipotential contours degenerate into confocal ellipses. Similarly. high-conductivity fracture (theoretically presumed to be of infinite conductivity). . Another common application of this coordinate system is when a vertical well is intercepted by a vertical. Figure 10 depicts this flow structure. the streamlines become distorted into confocal hyperbolas. Under these conditions.

Two examples are partial penetration to a thick formation by a production well. tangential (θ) and azimuthal (φ). and flow around perforations.Figure 10 Spherical flow geometry Although not commonly used for general simulation. The principal flow directions in spherical coordinates are radial (r). the spherical coordinate system provides a good representation of some specific reservoir engineering problems. as shown in Figure 11 . .

Figure 11

**Curvilinear flow geometry
**

The most generalized coordinate system is curvilinear. In fact, all of the coordinate systems previously discussed constitute a subset of the curvilinear system. A curvilinear coordinate system allows a better representation of the flow geometry, as well as the boundary geometry where the latter dictates the former. With the flow geometry more accurately represented, the results obtained with a curvilinear coordinate system do not get distorted by grid orientation effects, as often happens with other coordinate systems. Another advantage is that curvilinear systems may help reduce the number of grid blocks needed for the same level of accuracy. Figure 12 shows the areal implementation of curvilinear coordinates to a five-spot injection/production pattern.

Figure 12

Note that the streamlines and equipotential contours define the curvilinear elemental volume. Although curvilinear coordinate systems offer attractive advantages, their use is limited because of the added mathematical and interpretational complexity they introduce. Choosing the appropriate coordinate system and number of dimensions is not only paramount to a simulation study’s success, but also to its relative simplicity. It is thus essential that we use sound engineering judgment and perform thorough analyses throughout this process. We must answer questions pertaining to the reservoir’s approximate geometry, possible drive mechanisms, well and completion configurations, level of detail required, type and amount of data available, and so on. As far as reservoir simulation is concerned, bigger is not necessarily better. We must exercise good engineering judgment in establishing the scope of our study. We need to avoid overkill, but at the same time, understand that under-representing the needed details is dangerous. Simply put, we must strike a balance.

**Single-Phase Flow Equations
**

Single-phase flow in petroleum reservoirs is rare in practice. There are only a limited number of cases—dry gas reservoirs, for example—where conditions exist for single-

phase flow. But we do apply single-phase flow assumptions (predominantly in well test analysis) as a means of simplifying problems and rendering them analytically tractable. In numerical reservoir simulation, we may relax these types of simplifying constraints because of the more versatile nature of numerical schemes over analytical methods. Moreover, even for single-phase systems, an appropriate description of real problems usually involves considering non-linear phenomena, which are often ignored or approximated for ease of mathematical handling. Again, numerical schemes are not limited by these constraints. Therefore, this discussion on single-phase flow problems has not only a pedagogical basis, but a practical one as well.

**Darcy’s law and the concept of flow potential
**

Darcy’s law is central to describing fluid flow in petroleum reservoirs. It distinguishes flow in porous media from flow in other domains (such as pipes and conduits), and represents a kind of constitutive relationship between the pressure field and the velocity field. Although Henry D’arcy derived this relationship empirically in 1851, it has since been proven that Darcy’s law is a special form of the Navier Stoke’s equation, which is commonly used in fluid mechanics. Simply put, Darcy’s law expresses a functional relationship between the fluid velocity and the porous media and the potential gradient.

(3.1) This law appears in different forms. Table 1 summarizes the forms used in this text, along with their appropriate units.

Table 1

Velocity is the flow rate divided by the cross-sectional area perpendicular to flow. Equation 3.1 expresses the direct proportionality between flow rate and potential gradient, with the proportionality constant reflecting properties of both the flowing fluid and the porous medium. Note that as written, Equation 3.1 is for reservoir conditions. To express flow in surface conditions (or standard conditions), we must incorporate a formation volume factor into the proportionality constant. The flow potential , defined by M. King Hubert and usually referred to as Hubert’s potential, is basically a combination of pressure and gravitational fields, as shown in Table 2 .

Table 2

(3.1) where q : volumetric pressure A : cross-sectional area perpendicular to flow k : permeability µ : viscosity φ / x : potential gradient in the flow direction x α : unit conversion factor

(3.2) where Φ : Hubert’s potential P : pressure ρ : fluid density g : local gravitational constant

gc: universal gravitational constant D : depth with respect to datum, taken as positive downward In practical application, g/gc is set to 1.0 and hence Equation (3.2) as

(3.3) The negative sign in Equation 3.1 shows that the potential gradient is negative in the flow direction. In Equation 3.2, the sign convention is such as to give the appropriate addition or subtraction of gravity from pressure. In this text, we use the positive downward convention for depth, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

This figure shows a sloping reservoir, where the datum is at sea level (the datum could be any fixed elevation, although sea level is the most widely accepted convention).Using the positive downward convention, the depth to point 1 from the datum is positive; the depth to point 2 is negative. We can calculate the potentials at points 1 and 2 as:

(3.4)

(3.5)

. D/z). if we subtract from .7) In resolving Equation 3. then the potential gradient becomes equal to the pressure gradient.7.7 then becomes (3.. (3. Furthermore.6) we obtain a positive ∆Φ .e.7 for the other principal flow directions as well. D/y. yielding depth gradients not only along the x-direction but also along the y.8) Figure 2 shows four reservoirs with varying orientations relative to the datum plane. we obtain (3. we assume that density is constant.Assuming uniform pressure within the reservoir (P1 = P2 ). It is therefore clear that if we take the derivative of Equation 3. note that we can write Equation 3. If the depth gradient along any of the flow directions does not exist. which appears in Darcy’s law (Equation 3. It is the gradient of potential. which reflects the hydrostatic head exerted by the fluid column of density ρ and height D1 + D2.1). Equation 3. rather than the potential itself.and z-directions (i.3.

depth gradient along the y-direction is still non-existent. but not in the y-direction. there is no depth gradient along the x. in which neither the x.and ydirections.nor the y-direction edges are parallel to the datum surface. This means that the depth gradient is non-zero in both the xand y-directions. Thus. • Part (d) of Figure 2 represents the most general case. whereas the depth gradient now exists in the x-direction. except now the edges of the reservoir along the x-direction are parallel to the datum surface. yielding a vanishing depth gradient in the xdirection. but the edges along the y-axis remain parallel. the reservoir is tilted so that the x-y plane is no longer parallel to the datum. • The reservoir in part (c) of Figure 2 is similar to the one in part (b). • In part (b) of Figure 2. In this case.Figure 2 • Part (a) of Figure 2 shows a reservoir where the x-y plan is parallel to the datum surface. .

.[Mass out] = [Net change in mass content] Applying this principle to the system in Figure 3 .In all four of these cases. the reservoir configurations are such that the formation thickness is always measured parallel to the direction that depth is measured. Figure 3 Note that while the control volume will differ according to the coordinate system chosen. This is why. the resulting equation is the mass balance equation or the continuity equation. When the quantity is mass. we obtain the continuity equation shown in Table 3 . Conservation of mass The conservation of mass principle simply says that over a fixed time period. We usually formulate the differential equations governing fluid flow in porous media based on the continuum assumption. the basic strategy is the same . in each of these cases. in which we consider a differential element of the system and take balances over a conserved quantity of interest. the depth gradient along the z-direction is always unity. Figure 3 shows a representative element (control volume) of the reservoir in Cartesian coordinates. [Mass in] .

it takes the form (3. written in terms of velocity as: (3. we must invoke Darcy’s law. if treated as a constant. With appropriately defined terms and parameters. In a rectangular coordinate system. To specialize it to porous media. Substituting Darcy’s law.9). will come out of the differential operator.13) In a radial co-ordinate system. this equation becomes ecuacion de calor o de difucion (3.12) we obtain the flow equation for porous media.9 is general and can be used for any system.Table 3 The porosity term in the right-hand-side of the Equation (3.14) . Equation 3. This is a reasonable assumption for a reservoir with low rock compressibility.

qsc [STB/day]. we follow the convention of treating injection as positive (source) and production as negative (sink). Incompressible flow equation For an incompressible fluid. Therefore.13) does not take into account the existence of wells and possible variations in formation thickness along the flow directions.16 and 3. The following field units apply to Equations 3. k [perms]. ∆z [ft].16 is written for heterogeneous and anisotropic formations. this will come into the picture when we take into account that the reservoir fluid can be treated as incompressible. we treat the well (which could be a producer or injector) as a source or sink within the system. µ [cp]. we have made no assumption about the nature of the fluid. Equation (3. With this in mind. we obtain: ecuacion de continuidad (3. Φ [psi]. Of course. Equation 3. We shall now specialize the continuity equation for these fluid types.13) becomes: (3.17) which is the well-known Laplace Equation.16) Equation 3.17: A [ft2].16 simplifies to: (3. slightly compressible or compressible. ∆x.Equation (3. In practice.15) In formulating these equations. In addition if we assume that porosity does not vary with pressure. injection or production wells are represented in the same fashion in the flow equation. density and viscosity are constant and formation volume factor is equal to unity. ∆y. For such a formation. Slightly compressible flow equation . except for the sign. we must incorporate both of these factors into the equations. and without injection or production (q=0). In this text. In reservoir simulation.

the potential gradients are readily replaceable by the pressure gradients. compressible fluid flow involves additional considerations.18) For slightly compressible fluids the changes in viscosity and formation volume factor with pressure are negligible and they can be treated as constants.18 and 3. qsc [STB/day]. viscosity and formation volume factor exhibit weak dependence on pressure. we assume that the depth gradients are negligible. density.19.18 reduces to a simpler form. ∆z [ft]. and α=5. B [bbl/STB]. ∆x.e. one aspect we do not have to worry about is the gravitational component. Equation 3. density. they introduce non-linearities to the flow equations. formation volume factor and compressibility factor) strongly dependent on pressure. we usually assume that compressibility does not vary within the pressure range of interest. t [day]. Furthermore. Since we cannot assume that these properties are constant.For a slightly(levemente) compressible fluid.19 is not a diffusion process. P [psi].615 Compressible flow equation Compressible fluid flow is the norm for gas reservoirs.19 is analogous to the diffusivity equation in heat and/or mass transfer.19 is the hydraulic diffusivity constant for the reservoir fluid system. φ [dimensionless]. viscosity. Note that the transport phenomenon described by Equation 3. ∆y. Note also that in Equations 3. Field units for these equations are as follows: A [ft2]. Vb [ft3].. Therefore. but a laminar flow problem. k [perms]. While the concepts that apply to incompressible and slightly compressible flow also apply here. However. Furthermore. which is known as the diffusivity equation. (3. if we assume that we are dealing with homogeneous and isotropic porous media with no well. µ [cp]. The numerical handling of the flow equations becomes more challenging as the degree of non-linearity increases. The highly compressible nature of gas makes certain gas properties (i. (3. This is because the low density of gas makes the gravitational contribution negligible in most cases. for a slightly compressible fluid. The governing equations for compressible fluid flow are summarized as follows: . c [psi-1].19) The group in Equation 3. Equation 3.

the sources of non-linearity are the terms P/mZ in the spatial derivatives and 1/Z in the temporal derivative.21) Substituting Equation 3.21 into Equation 3. The pseudo-pressure approach (real gas potential) uses the transformation (3. φ [dimensionless].615 It is sometimes expedient to linearize the non-linear equations of compressible fluid flow in porous media (Equation 3. t [day]. The dependent variable in the resulting equation is now in P2 rather than in P.20. Equation 3.22). c [psi-1]. T [R].(3. P [psi]. and α=5. Vb [ft3]. ∆z [ft].22. m [cp]. Field units for Equations 3. k [perms].22 is linearized and the dependent variable is now P.22) In Equation 3. ∆y. ∆x. (3. The two common approaches are called the P2 method and the pseudo-pressure method.23) By implementing this transformation. Z [dimensionless]. The assumptions made in formulating the approach are not as drastic as we might think when we observe the plot of µgZ versus P ( Figure 4 ).20) where (3.22 are as follows: A [ft2]. In the approach we simply recognize that Pdp = 1/2[d(P2)] and assume that the µgZ product at low pressures is constant. 3. B [bbl/SCF]. qsc [STB/day]. .21 and 3.20 will accentuate the inherent nonlinearity of compressible flow.

Figure 4 At low pressures. and at high pressures. it becomes linear with pressure. it exhibits some non-linearity. P* form: .24) where µgi and Z are calculated at some average pressure P.22 becomes similar to the slightly compressible fluid flow equation. In fact. at high pressures. The linearized forms of the compressible fluid flow equation are summarized as follows: P2 form: (3. because gases do start to behave like liquids at higher pressures. if we treat the P/ µgZ group as constant as depicted in Figure 4 . Equation 3. the µgZ product is essentially constant. This is not surprising. at intermediate pressures (40 to 130 atmospheres).

we adjust the phase accumulation term using phase saturations. µ [cp]. qsc [SCF/day].9. we obtain the flow equation by substituting Darcy’s law into the continuity equation. For multi-phase systems. ∆z [ft]. .24 and 3.25 are as follows: A [ft2]. Field units for Equations 3. This development is summarized in Table 1 . P* [psi2/cp] Multiphase Flow Equations Multi-phase flow equations are based on the same principles that govern singlephase flow. The reader will recall the process of formulating the single-phase flow equations. Vb [ft3]. At the same time. α=5. Basically. ∆x. P [psi]. T [R]. which accounts for the presence of multiple-fluid flux terms (left-hand side of the equation) to characterize the transport part of Equation 3. Z [dimensionless]. c [psi-1]. we write the continuity equation for each of the phases. t [day]. saturations and solution gas-liquid ratios. The number of partial differential equations depends on how many phases are present.615.(3. except that they must account for interactions between simultaneously flowing phases in porous media. Then we use an appropriate form of Darcy’s law. Zi and ci are calculated at the initial pressure. ∆y. The main parameters that we use to characterize these interactions are relative permeabilities. f [dimensionless]. k [perms].25) where µgi .

we have used pressure gradients rather than potential gradients. In these equations. is summarized below. The complete set of equations for two-phase oil-water transport problems.28 for the oil and water phases separately. we have neglected depth gradients. We can do this easily by setting the subscript f first to o for oilphase and then to w for water phase. together with the unknowns to be solved.Table 1 Two-phase (oil-water) equations In reservoirs where two-phase flow of oil and water phases dominates (typically in dead oil reservoirs with no gas). Oil flow equation (f defined as o): . in other words. we need to write Equation 3.

φ [dimensionless]. water and gas). waterphase pressure. µo. qwsc [STB/day]. P [psi]. . Bw [bbl/STB]. kro krw [fraction]. Two-phase (oil-gas) equations In a volumetric reservoir. and water-phase saturation. called the auxiliary equations. Sw.29 through 3. Po .32) With these last two equations.29) Water flow equation (f defined as w): (3.30) In Equations 3.30. there are three phases present (oil. Bo. k [perms]. So . qosc. So.32 are as follows: A [ft2]. t [day]. ∆z [ft]. are Capillary pressure relationship: Pcow (Sw) = Po . oil-phase saturation.615. α=5. we now have a well-posed problem (four equations in four unknowns). ∆y. we need two more equations. In representing flow in this kind of reservoir.(3. ∆x. Field units for Equations 3. These equations.31) Saturation relationship: So + Sw = 1 (3. at irreducible water saturation. there are four unknowns: oil-phase pressure. the dominant flow is oil and gas. µw [cp].Pw (3. Sw [fraction].29 and 3. we must account for both the free gas and the gas dissolved in the oil phase. Vb [ft3]. Pw . To solve the system.

Figure 1 Note that while there is only one flow term for the oil phase. The two gas flow models must also be taken into account in the source and accumulation components of the governing flow equation for the gas phase. Oil Flow Equation (f defined as o): (3. which describe free gas flow and dissolved gas flow. considering flow only along the xdirection for illustrative purposes.Figure 1 depicts a two-phase (oil-gas) system. The final equations for the twophase flow of oil and gas are shown below. the gas phase has two flow terms.33) Gas Flow Equation (f defined as g) .

simultaneous flow of gas and water takes place.36 are A [ft2]. Bg [bbl/SCF]. except that we replace the oil phase with the water phase. φ [dimensionless]. kro. P [psi]. a=5. the second term under the temporal derivative represents the accumulation (depletion) of gas dissolved in oil. t [day]. the solubility of natural gas in water is quite small. Again. where dissolved gas is significant because of the prevailing high pressures. qgsc represents the free gas produced (injected).33 through 3. the second term in each bracket represents the contribution from the gas dissolved in oil. In most practical cases. Bo [bbl/STB].(3. ∆x. One notable exception is the case of geopressured aquifers. while the product Rsoqosc represents the dissolved gas produced along with oil. k [perms]. Sg [fraction]. Finally.36) Field units for Equations 3. Pcow (Sw) = Po . allowing us to neglect the terms of the flow equation that arise from the dissolved gas. ∆z [ft]. µw [cp]. Vb [cf]. Similarly. requiring us to formulate two-phase gas-water equations.35) So + Sw = 1 (3. µo. ∆y. So.34.615. Two-phase (gas-water) equations In an aquifer-driven gas reservoir. krg [fraction].Pw (3. qosc [STB/day].34) In the flow terms of Equation 3. the auxiliary equations necessary to complete this formulation are the capillary pressure and saturation relationships. Rso [SCF/STB]. The formulation is very similar to that of the oil-gas flow equation. Gas flow equation (f defined as g): . qgsc [SCF/day].

Three-phase (oil-water-gas) equations The widest application of reservoir simulation is for three-phase oil-water-gas systems. qw [STB/day]. φ [dimensionless].40) Field units for Equations 3. ∆x. ∆z [ft]. krg [fraction]. t [day]. µg. Vb [cf]. Bw [bbl/STB]. Oil flow equation (f defined as o): .37) Water flow equation (fw): (3. krw.37 through 3. α=5. In fact. qg [SCF/day].40 are A [ft2].(3. a large majority of petroleum reservoirs fall into this category.28 for each of the three phases.39) Sw + Sg = 1 (3. P [psi]. Bg [bbl/SCF]. ∆y. in which all three phases are active in the production process.615. For this class of problems. Sw. Sg [fraction]. k [perms]. µw [cp].Pw (3.38) Auxiliary equations: Pcgw (Sw) = Pg . we need to write Equation 3.

41) Water flow equation (f defined as w): (3.42) Gas flow equation (f defined as g. ignoring the solubility of gas in water): .(3.

Pw and Pg). Vb [ft3].615. the dependent variables (unknowns) are the phase pressures (Po . Sw and Sg). ∆x.41 through 3. t [day].46. P [psi].46) In Equations 3. Bg [bbl/SCF].44) Pcgw (Sg) = Pg . f [dimensionless].43) Auxiliary equations: Pcow (Sw) = Po . krw. etc. their dependence on the principal unknowns introduces non-linearities of varying degrees. are not treated as the problem’s principal unknowns. qgsc [SCF/day].Pw (3. Field units are A [ft2].). Sg [fraction]. and phase saturations (So. µo. We achieve closure of a set of equations by using the capillary pressure and saturation expressions. krw. qosc. Bo. ∆y. µw. µg. However. Rso [SCF/STB]. [cp]. but are specified as part of the data input. α=5. So. In all of the multi-phase formulations summarized in Equations 3. krg [fraction]. The parameters that appear in the coefficients. each phase is characterized by its own pressure. Sw.(3. Bw [bbl/STB]. In the capillary pressure relationships. qwsc [STB/day]. ∆z [ft].45) So + Sw + Sg = 1 (3.46.Po (3.29 through 3. and which are functions of these unknowns (mo. kro. capillary pressure is defined as the difference between the . k [perms].

pressure of the non-wetting phase and that of the wetting phase. and it differs significantly from compositional modeling. In all these cases. The common ones used in the petroleum industry include the Peng-Robinson equation of state (or any of its modifications) and the Soave-Redlich-Kwong equation of state. more complex relationships. and hence the component velocity assumes the value of the phasial velocity. The calculations involved provide such critical information as distribution of components between the phases. we assume bulk transfer such that there is no compositional difference between the dissolved gas and the free gas. Isothermal flow is a special case where existing temperature gradients within a given reservoir are negligible. Changes in the oil phase density and viscosity are handled using PVT data. In modern computations. However. However. there are others in which compositional effects are significant and do affect both the transport mechanisms and bulk transport of the phases involved.46 allows interphase mass transfer. steam injection and so on. Flow Equations Based on Individual Components Until now. Numerical simulators for handling these specialized problems are usually more complicated and require a higher degree of numerical maturity and sophistication. Therefore. The formulation presented in Equations 3. thus allowing us to assign a single pressure for all the phases. in isothermal compositional formulation. we have emphasized the bulk properties of the mobile phases in the porous media without considering their compositions and compositional changes. One of the major considerations in using these equations of state is that by virtue of their cubic form. While this is adequate for many systems.41 through 3. By the same token. we normally assume that there is no self-diffusion of a component within the phase. This is especially significant when we consider the repetitive calculations that are required in reservoir simulation. except the focus is on each component within the control volume rather than the bulk phase. we often obtain these PVT data by using an appropriate equation of state. gas condensate reservoirs and enhanced oil recovery applications such as chemical flooding. Isothermal compositional formulation The strategy for formulating the governing equations of isothermal compositional systems is the same as for the black-oil model. miscible flooding. . procurement of the necessary PVT data is crucial. since the system’s phase behavior plays a dominant role. density variation of each of the phases. they generally require much less computational overhead than other. phase viscosity and other thermo-physical properties. In some cases. As previously mentioned. which take into consideration the amount of gas dissolved in the oil. so that gas can either come out of or go into solution. Examples of such systems include volatile oil reservoirs. This approach is commonly known as black-oil modeling. the composition of the free gas remains unaltered. the system’s phase behavior plays a dominant role in the transport and fluid distribution mechanisms. there are incentives for assuming equality between the phase pressures.

A highly dipping reservoir may be subjected to a substantial geothermal temperature gradient. the additional equation is sufficient to achieve closure in view of the additional dependent variables.temperature distribution does not come into play. the energy balance will play an important role in the flow of fluids and their distribution in the porous media. we can write N equations of the form of Equation 3. Thus. Table 2 Non-isothermal compositional formulation For systems in which either the intrinsic temperature gradient or the externally imposed ones are significant. Hence.47. we use additional equations to account for enthalpy balance in the reservoir. These systems call for consideration of the energy balance. Usually. we will have N equations in (3N+6) unknowns. Reservoirs where such EOR processes as steam flooding and in situ combustion are taking place will definitely experience severe temperature gradients. Needless . all the phase behavior and transport calculations are performed under isothermal conditions. For an N-component system. In any case. Table 2 summarizes the auxiliary equations (2N+6) needed for closure.

Analytical vs. for a reservoir with strong edge-water drive.. Similar to the boundary conditions. Boundary and Initial Conditions Mathematically speaking. pressure specification). The system’s physical boundary is divided into two groups: the inner boundary (usually the location where the well is physically coupled to the reservoir) and the outer boundary (usually the limits of the reservoir). In a Dirichlet type boundary condition.e.. We can obtain this solution by imposing additional constraints known as boundary and initial conditions. Depending on what we know at the wellbore (either flow rate or pressure). Numerical Solution Methods There are two techniques for solving mathematical reservoir models: analytical and numerical. pressure) or Neumann-type (i. The most often used boundary conditions can be grouped into two main categories.. with the additional equations comes increased computational overhead. only one of which will describe a particular problem. we can set the pressure at the boundary to a constant equaling the initial reservoir pressure. The energy equation usually accounts for heat transfer by heat conduction and convection as well as heat storage.e. we impose these conditions as part of the known data about the system under consideration. The existing hydrostatic head distribution determines the initial saturation and pressure distribution. a strong edge water drive enables us to specify the Dirichlet-type boundary condition (i. the formulation of the problem is now complete and ready for solution. In actuality.e. the differential equations that describe flow in porous media have an infinite number of solutions. Similarly. we specify the vanishing Neumann-type boundary condition (i. flow rate). The energy and molar balance equations are related by the various coefficients that appear in both of them. if we have a sealed boundary that allows no flow into or out of the reservoir. The conditions that describe the values of the dependent variables at the pre-set time (such time is usually set to zero) are known as the initial conditions for the problem.e. which implies that the reservoir is in direct communication with an infinitely large aquifer.to say. For instance. whereas it is their gradients that are so specified in the Neumann type. On the other hand. . zero pressure gradient across the boundary).. at the outer boundary—depending on the physical characteristics—we may be able to specify either Neumann or Dirichlet-type boundary conditions. For instance. With the imposition of the boundary and initial conditions. the values of the dependent variables are specified at the boundaries. we can specify the Dirichlet-type boundary condition (i. What we have is a well-posed mathematical problem which guarantees the existence of a unique solution. Dirichlet and Neumann type. it is necessary to describe the original state of the system before the process under consideration begins (for instance. before initiating a production or injection process). Each of these has certain strengths and limitations. Numerical handling of the inner and outer boundary conditions is a crucial component in conducting reservoir studies. The conditions that are specified at these boundaries constitute the boundary conditions.

the discrete points are located at the center of each cell ( Figure 1 ). using a numerical tool such that continuous forms of the partial differential equations are written in a discrete form. · To find analytical solutions for the type of system that "Mother Nature" generally provides. and other such conditions that describe most real reservoirs.g. The clear advantage of the numerical approach is that it allows us to assign representative properties to as many parts of a system as we have information for. the same basic principles apply to other coordinate systems. are very limited. The degree of exactness depends largely on the discretization scheme. however. Numerical Models: Grid Systems Numerical models provide approximate solutions to exact problems. a classical well test analysis model). This means that we divide the physical system into a number of subdomains that are coupled to one another. The net result is that in using a numerical approach. What we end up doing is providing an exact solution to an approximate problem (e. we have to modify the problem— sometimes quite drastically—to make it plausible for handling analytically. · A numerical solution involves discretizing. The types of problems that are amenable to analytical solution. those solutions are continuous throughout the system. Body-centered grids In body-centered (or block-centered) grids. or approximating the mathematical model—that is. we must pay adequate attention to selecting the appropriate grid system. Therefore. .. we must not forget that we inevitably lose some measure of accuracy in discretizing the partial differential equations. non-uniform porosity and permeability. Analytical methods fall short when we start dealing with varying formation thickness. Although this discussion is limited to rectangular coordinate systems. the heart of which is the type and size of the grid. but also on the physical systems. or closed-form techniques offer the advantage of providing exact solutions (when they can be found). We perform this discretization process not only on the partial differential equation. we are providing an approximate solution to an exact problem. However.· Analytical. and changing fluid properties. furthermore.

there are techniques for handling them. Second. First. the well should be located at the center of its host grid block.Figure 1 There are no discrete points at the reservoir’s external boundaries. if it is difficult to locate the wells such that they coincide with the grid center. For example. . we must be especially careful in placing the grid with respect to the wells. Figure 2 shows the same multi-well reservoir in which two wells are combined into one equivalent well (wells W1 and W2) located in the center of a new block. we can mathematically replace them with one well of equivalent strength. we can shift them slightly to satisfy this condition. if we cannot avoid having more than one well in the same grid block. In cases where these conditions are difficult to meet. Also. each grid block should have no more than one well within the same grid block. In setting up the grid system.

The finer the grid. as the number of grid blocks increases. In contrast to body-centered grids. which results in an overall decrease of 6 blocks. the closer the two boundaries will be.and y-directions is decreased by one. . the discrete points are located at the grid line intersections . It is necessary to compromise between how much boundary information needs to be captured (via finite grids) and the amount of computational overhead involved. Mesh-centered grids In mesh-centered (or point-distributed) grids. there are discrete points located on the reservoir boundaries ( Figure 3 ). so do the memory and the CPU time requirements. Note that in using a finite number of grids to develop a numerical model.Figure 2 In doing so. Obviously. the number of blocks along the x. the reservoir’s physical boundary cannot always coincide with a grid-imposed boundary.

a defined reservoir). The finite difference approximations of partial differential equations are independent of the grid system used.e. For systems with constant pressure boundaries.Figure 3 As is true for body-centered grids. there are a number of factors that impose lower and upper bounds on our choice of grid block size. There is no hard and fast rule for selecting the grid size for a simulation study. In any case. whereas the discrete points located on the edges of the grid system represent only 1/2 of a full block. Table 1 summarizes the . the discrete points in a mesh-centered grid are not necessarily located at grid block centers. since the discrete points (at which pressure is specified) exist at the reservoir boundaries. As shown in Figure 3 . Within these limits. The degree of freedom is often limited by the amount of input data available. it is permissible to slightly relocate the wells so that they lie at the intersection of the grid lines. however. and the investment we are willing to make in terms of computational overhead. mesh-centered grids offer better accuracy. a discrete point located on the corner may represent 1/4 or 3/4 of a block. In a fixed system (i. Numerical Models: Grid Systems Size and number of grid blocks Grid size and the number of grid blocks are not independent of each other.. the discrete points that are located at the corners and edges of the grid represent only a certain portion of the block they are associated with. In mesh-centered grid systems. the information we want to gain from the study. we do have some degree of freedom. specifying the grid size determines the number of grid blocks. There are some practical advantages to using a bodycentered grid in the case of no-flow boundaries. For instance. This does not mean that we have unlimited freedom in selecting the grid size.

the only consideration on which we must base our selection is mathematical requirements. A case in point is the simulation of an EOR process. we will need to focus on that area. where we need to track a fluid front in order to better control the outcome. or without property information in the vertical direction. then we must focus attention in that section by using finer grids. Similarly. In some reservoir studies. We must define a priori what this goal is and what questions we need to answer at each phase of the study. By a similar token. if a production well requires stimulation work that involves perforating and/or fracturing. where changes are abrupt and the interactions between the phases are strong. . does not require subdivision into several layers. in terms of areal coverage. For instance. if we need to further develop a certain portion of a producing field. it is unnecessary to divide a reservoir into blocks beyond where information is known. or where there is significant lateral property variation. Each block added to the system demands information in terms of accurate property representation. In instances like steamflooding or miscible flooding. A principal goal of reservoir simulation is to define the level of information or detail desired. which we will discuss later. a fine grid system will help capture the details of the changes taking place. the quality and detail of the information we need may require us to use much finer grid blocks.most salient factors that we need to consider. A 40-foot blanket sand without significant porosity and permeability variation. In these two examples. perhaps by imposing a larger number of blocks to better represent saturation and pressure distributions. Table 1 We must always be aware that the quality of output depends on the quality of input.

But it isn’t that simple. In doing so. We have already noted that ideally. Grid orientation The first step in constructing a numerical model is the placement of the axes.Reservoir geology is often structurally and stratigraphically complex. so do the memory and CPU time requirements. When the two principal flow directions are not orthogonal. one must not lose sight of the fact that more grid blocks means higher computational overhead. it is imperative to align the coordinate axes with the principal flow directions. for obvious practical reasons. it is not possible to construct a grid system for a lenticular sand with several pinch-outs without imposing finer grids that capture peculiar features of this system. We can most easily illustrate the effect of grid orientation by considering an isotropic reservoir in which there is no principal flow direction. We also have to consider that the presence of wells in the reservoir further complicates an already complex system. Representing this complexity with a grid system sometimes requires the use of a large number of grid blocks. Consider the five-spot pattern in this system as shown in Figure 1 . On the other hand. Approximating a partial differential equation using its finite-difference analogue introduces certain errors. we can say that finer grids produce more accurate results and. As a rule. if any · Coordinate orthogonality In anisotropic formations. the more grid blocks we need. Sometimes. in fact. an inexperienced engineer may be tempted to place the axes parallel to the margins of the paper. an infinite number of grid blocks enables a discrete numerical model to collapse to a continuum representation of the problem. the more wells we have in a reservoir. In orienting the grid. The magnitude of these errors and the stability of the numerical algorithm depend on the grid size. In other words. As the number of grid blocks increases. the major flow directions should be aligned with one of the axes. we must ensure that we preserve the coordinate system’s orthogonality. It is the responsibility of the simulation engineer to strike an acceptable balance between these factors. In general. each block should host only one well. since most of the significant activities and rapid changes that take place in the reservoir occur in the near-wellbore region. we have to consider two factors: · Permeability anisotropy. however. . The number of wells in the reservoir plays a dominant role in grid size selection.

Local grid refinement We have emphasized that while grid refinement does yield greater accuracy in numerical reservoir simulation. the two different grid alignments result in two different solutions. One plausible solution to this problem is to use a higher order finite-difference approximation (e. . so that the injection and production wells are on adjacent corners. However. and/or where rapid changes occur. refining the grid diminishes the disparities between solutions. we have the option of placing the grid so that production and injection wells are positioned diagonally with respect to each other. This is called local grid refinement. Note that although we are solving the same problem.. A good compromise—and a way to avoid placing blocks where they are not needed—is to refine the grids around the locality where we require more detailed information. a study’s cost tends to increase in direct proportion to the number of grid blocks it uses. It becomes even further pronounced in the case of unfavorable mobility ratio when finer grid blocks are used.g.Figure 1 In studying this system on a unit basis. Figure 2 shows several refinement strategies that we can use in conducting reservoir simulation studies. The second option is to construct the grid on a larger unit. a 9-point finite-difference scheme in areal studies) which brings in the diagonal interaction between the discrete points. The difference becomes more significant for cases when the mobility ratio is greater than one. for favorable mobility ratio.

· Part (c) of Figure 2 depicts the conventional approach for resolving this problem. . which involves a total of 289 discrete points. is unnecessary. however. · Part (d) of Figure 2 illustrates the best solution. but also outside of the area of interest. We should emphasize that the type of local grid refinement shown in (d) requires specialized handling of the non-continuous grid lines at the interface between the refined and the coarse areas. yielding a total of 169 cells. · We could get this information by performing a global grid refinement as shown in part (b) of Figure 2. This scheme uses a total of 137 grid points. which limits refinement to the area of interest.Figure 2 · Part (a) of Figure 2 shows a coarse grid composed of 81meshcentered grid points. This approach results in the desired level of refinement not only around the wellbore. The shaded area around the well is the section from which we need detailed information. Such refinement over the entire reservoir.

Figure 3 shows a slightly different refinement strategy.

Figure 3

In this scheme, the level of refinement increases as we move toward the well, where the most rapid changes take place. A total of four levels of refinement are shown in conventional local refinement and true local refinement schemes (Parts (a) and (b), respectively). The ultimate refinement strategy involves dynamically changing the grid size as needed. For example, in following a flood front movement, the area being refined continually changes as the front propagates. In this type of adaptive grid refinement scheme, we use a certain set of criteria such as pressure and/or saturation gradients to delineate the region that needs the refinement. We use the same set of criteria to remove the previously refined region as the front moves away from that region. Dynamic grid refinement requires a high level of numerical maturity and sophistication, and so is only available in advanced simulators.

**Finite-Difference Approximation of Reservoir Flow Equations
**

In addition to converting the spatial and temporal domains (i.e., the reservoir and time) into a set of coupled discrete sub-domains we need to convert the continuous form of the governing differential equations into a discrete form. To do this, we need to utilize some numerical tools. There are a number of tools that we could employ, including finite-difference, finite-element, collocation techniques and so forth. The most widely used numerical technique in reservoir simulation is the finite-difference approach. Además de convertir los dominios espaciales y temporales (es decir, el depósito y el tiempo) en un sistema de secundario-dominios discretos juntados necesitamos convertir la forma continua de las ecuaciones diferenciales que gobiernan en una forma discreta. Para hacer esto,

necesitamos utilizar algunas herramientas numéricas. Hay un número de herramientas que podríamos emplear, incluyendo la diferencia finita, finito-elemento, técnicas de la colocación y así sucesivamente. La técnica numérica lo más extensamente posible usada de la simulación del depósito es el acercamiento de la diferencia finita The finite-difference approach gives us a great deal of flexibility in handling the nonlinear partial differential equation, in addition to the property distribution in heterogeneous systems for which an analytical solution is not feasible. The governing equations, as well as the boundary conditions used for describing flow in porous media, have only first-order and second-order derivatives, and so we will limit our discussion to these.

**First-order derivative
**

First-order derivatives appear in the governing equations on the right-hand side in the form of the time derivative (the accumulation term). In addition, first-order derivatives appear when the gradient is specified across a given boundary. To approximate the first-order derivatives, we use truncated Taylor series expansion. Figure 1 introduces the notation we will use throughout this discussion.

Figure 1

In this figure, we show a hypothetical pressure distribution, P, along the x-direction. The derivative is approximated at the point x (also designated as i) at which the value of pressure is Pi. The two neighboring points to the central point are x - ∆x (also designated as i -1) and x + ∆x (also designated as i - 1). Accordingly, at these two neighboring points, the pressure values are Pi - 1 and P i + 1, respectively.

In general, a Taylor series expansion for evaluating a function f (x) at x + ∆x can be written

(4.1) Using the notation of Figure 1 , we can write Equation 4.1 as:

(4.2) Forward-Difference Approximation: The forward-difference approximation to the first-order derivative at point uses the values of the function at points i and i +1. We can obtain this approximation from Equation 4.2 by truncating all terms after the first-order derivative and rearranging the equation to solve for (P/x)i. Note that in forward differencing, only the + sign in Equation 4.2 is relevant. The result is

(4.3) The second term on the right-hand side of Equation 4.3 denotes the error in the approximation and is read as "order of ." The magnitude of the error is the same as the magnitude of . In practice, the error term is dropped in writing the finitedifference analogues. Thus, we write:

(4.4) which is clearly an approximation. Figure 2 shows the geometrical interpretation of this approximation.

Figure 2

The exact derivative of P at point is the slope of the tangent AB to the curve at point O. Equation 4.4 uses the slope of the secant OC to approximate this derivative. As we can conclude from the figure, the accuracy of this approximation depends on the shape of the curve, as well as the length of the interval between and . In the limit as point is moved progressively closer to the secant OC tends to obtain the same shape as the tangent AB. In reservoir simulation, we use the forward difference approximation in conjunction with the temporal derivative. The two neighboring points in this case represent the old time level and the new time level . When this derivative is written at a point i in the spatial domain it represents the rate of change of pressure with time at point i. In other words,

(4.5) In Equation 4.5, is the unknown that we want to determine, and represents the known value of pressure at the old time level. Remember, we are using a marching scheme in time, where we obtain information at the new time level from what is already known at the old time level. Backward-Difference Approximation:

With the same strategy, but now using the neighboring point , we can obtain the backward-difference approximation to the first-order derivative from Equation 4.2 using the (-) sign:

(4.6) Figure 3 shows the geometrical interpretation of Equation 4.6.

Figure 3

Central-Difference Approximation: The central-difference approximation to the first-order derivative at point i uses the two adjacent neighboring points and . We can obtain this approximation by adding Equations 4.4 and 4.6:

(4.7) Figure 4 shows the geometrical interpretation of Equation 4.7.

Figure 4

It is apparent from Figure 4 that central-difference provides a more accurate approximation to the first-order derivative than either the forward- or backwarddifference approximation does. Note that the secant CE is almost parallel to the desired tangent AB. We can explain this increased accuracy by deriving Equation 4.7 directly from Equation 4.2. In this case, when we write Equation 4.2 two times (once with the (+) sign and once with the (-) sign), and then subtract them from each other, the second-order terms drop out (not truncated) and the truncation starts with the third-order derivative, resulting in

(4.8)

**Second-order derivative
**

The left-hand-side of the flow equation is composed of second-order derivatives representing the flux terms. To approximate these second-order derivatives, we use central-difference approximation. This involves writing Equation 4.2 once with the (+) sign and then with the (-) sign; we then add the two resulting equations together to yield

The subscripts i + 1/2 and i . the dependent variable P is expressed at the nodal points.12 is .11) Note that in Equation 4.10: . Accordingly. Using the finite-difference approximations for these derivatives we can write the finite difference analogue for Equation 4. however.10) For heterogeneous systems where properties vary spatially. the second-order derivatives appear in the form < from Equation 4.(4. we must answer one question: at what time level do we implement the approximation to the spatial derivative? The two most common approaches are to evaluate them at the old time level (time level n) or the new time level (time level n+1). We can illustrate the governing concepts for these schemes using the classical diffusivity equation as it is written in one dimension: (4. whereas the coefficient a is expressed at the block boundaries between nodes i and i + 1 and i and i .1/2 simply indicate that a needs to be calculated using some averaging technique boundaries between blocks i and i + 1 and i and i . and the approximation is different (4. Before we do that. These lead.12.9) Dropping the error term. Finite-difference schemes There are two principal groups of finite-difference schemes: explicit and implicit.1 respectively. Equation 4.12) Equation 4. to explicit and implicit schemes.11.1.9 becomes ESTA ES LA APROXIMACION DE LA ECUACION EN DIFERENCIAS FINITAS (4. respectively.12 has a second-order spatial derivative and a first-order temporal derivative (a is assumed constant). the explicit finite-difference analogue to Equation 4.

(4. In fact. we can now write a . we obtain the characteristic form of the implicit finite-difference scheme to Equation 4. we obtain a system of simultaneous equations.14 is written for every node.12: (4. one unknown at a time.13 to solve for this unknown: (4. we can rearrange Equation 4. Thus. With the explicit scheme (Equation 4. But while the explicit scheme looks more attractive in terms of its simplicity.13 is .15) It is obvious that Equation 4. we must solve all the equations simultaneously. the only unknown in Equation 4.14) When Equation 4.12 is: (4. By collecting all the unknown terms on one side. The implicit finite difference analogue to Equation 4. we only need to solve one equation at a time for the unknown pressure at a particular node.14). we have one unknown in one equation for each node. The solution to this system of equations provides the pressure distribution at the new time level.13) Since pressures at the old time level are known at all locations. Flow equations in the finite-difference form Having studied finite-difference approximations to partial differential equations and the differences between the explicit and the implicit formulations.16) When we write Equation 4.15 has three unknowns < .16 for all the nodes where pressure is unknown. we can solve explicitly.16). For the implicit scheme (Equation 4. it is less often used because of its restrictive stability constraints. for the pressures at the new time level.

j. we will develop this analogue for a single-phase flow equation. In Equation 4. These define the interaction between two neighboring grid blocks. the pressure coefficients on the left-handside are known as the transmissibility. k) whose properties are different.18. Let us consider the flow equation for the slightly compressible single-phase flow problem in three dimensions: (4. and obtain (4.17) To approximate the second-order derivatives that appear in Equation 4.18 in the most explicit form simply because it is conducive to recognizing one of the most important groups in reservoir simulation. .18) We write Equation 4.finite-difference analogue for porous media flow equations. Figure 5 shows two neighboring blocks (i. k and i+1. we invoke Equation 4. For illustrative purposes (and for the sake of brevity). the transmissibility terms. j.17.11. and the transmissibility term.

while the term µB could depend on the pressure. it becomes necessary to use harmonic averaging. we must use averaging procedures.19) The second term (µB) is considered a weak function of pressure. if we consider the two blocks as being connected in series. it exhibits weak non-linearity.Figure 5 at the interface. We calculate this term at the arithmetic average of pressures at the two neighboring blocks: . calculated The term Axkx/∆x is the constant part of the transmissibility group. such as (4. that is. For the constant part of the transmissibility. To calculate these two terms at the interface.

21 yields a first-order approximation.21) A more accurate representation of the relative permeability at the interface is known as two-point upstream weighting.22) We obtain Equations 4. we must impose specific boundary conditions.22 by using a Taylor series expansion to expand the relative permeability function. and can be summarized as (4. we need to establish the flow direction to use the saturation of the upstream block.Note that under multiphase flow conditions.22 is a second-order approximation. k and i+1. j. let us consider the outer boundary.20) We calculate all of the terms in this multiphase transmissibility group as singlephase. In that case. k is (4. k interface. First. • • • The constant component is calculated using harmonic averaging The weakly non-linear component is estimated using arithmetic averaging The strongly non-linear component is obtained using upstream averaging Incorporation of boundary conditions To obtain a particular numerical solution to a flow problem. In expressing this term at the interface of two neighboring blocks. Figure 6 shows a pure . except for the new term (krf). This procedure is known as single-point upstream weighting. While Equation 4. and thus more accurate. similar analyses apply to the other interfaces.21 and 4. and that each is calculated differently. a typical transmissibility term will include relative permeability to the fluid for which the flow equation is being written. Although we have illustrated the transmissibility groups only for the i+1/2. j. Equation 4. and is expressed as (4. In summary. the transmissibility group between the blocks i. The relative permeability term is a strong function of saturation and exhibits a high degree of non-linearity. it is imperative to note that the transmissibility group consists of three components. j.

PD PC ). The implementation of Equation 4. Although at first glance. it does not. when the equation is written for node (2. we do not write the equation for node (1.Dirichlet-type boundary condition with a mesh-centered grid system. Although we use a mesh-centered grid system in this discussion. 1 = PC and PD.23 will result in pressure discontinuity at the corner points (e.g.and ydirections.2). the implementation of the Dirichlet-type boundary conditions for a body-centered grid system follows a . Figure 6 The boundary conditions imposed on the system (as shown in Figure 6 ) translate to the following equations: (4.23) where NX and NY represent the maximum number of blocks along the x..1) or the other corner points. respectively. this may seem to pose a problem. and we simply use the arithmetic average assigned along the two conjoining edges. If we use a 9-point finite-difference scheme. Finite difference equations are only written at the nodes where pressures are not specified. then the corner points come into the picture. In a conventional 5-point finite-difference scheme. P1.

we simply need to treat the boundary as a mirror showing the images of the actual nodes that are adjacent to the boundary. The reflection nodes (which are actually outside of the domain of interest) constitute a practical means of incorporating Neumann-type boundary conditions. the implementation of the Neumann-type boundary conditions for the body-centered and mesh-centered grid systems differ.24) . finite-difference representation of the boundary conditions is as follows: (4. Figure 7 In this case.similar logic. note that these image nodes are assigned the same properties as the actual nodes that they reflect. Figure 7 shows a body-centered grid with Neumann-type boundary conditions. Furthermore. In creating a reflection node. On the other hand. This is because different nodes are reflected with respect to the boundary.

25) Figure 8 shows a similar treatment for the mesh-centered grid system. .The above Equations 4. which we can calculate as (4.24 contain the reflection nodes (imaginary nodes).

we obtain the following sets of equations: (4. pressures at the reflection nodes are equal to those at the corresponding reflected nodes (simply set the constants C1 through C4 equal to zero in Equations 4..25 and 4. To write the finite-difference equations for these nodes. we must obtain values of the pressure at the reflection nodes.27) Note that for Neumann-type boundary conditions. We achieve this by using Equations 4. . pressures are still unknown for the boundary nodes. Finally.26) Again if we solve for the reflection nodes. Having dealt with outer boundary conditions.27. for the special case of no-flow boundary conditions. and so must be computed. we now focus on the inner boundary (i. The implementation of the finite-difference approximation in this case will be as follows: (4. the well). Figure 9 shows a typical grid block hosting a vertical well.25 and 4.27.Figure 8 The important difference is the node being reflected. through which the boundary condition is incorporated. Although introducing the reflection nodes may appear to be adding more unknowns to the problem.e. each reflection node brings with it a new equation.

j.Figure 9 We may express the relationship between the block pressure. the sandface pressure and the flow rate as: qsc = -PI (Pi.k . as defined by Peaceman (1983). The PI of a vertical well. is given in Table 1 .28) where PI is the productivity index. k is the pressure of the block hosting the well and Psf is the sandface pressure.Psf) (4. Pi. . The sign convention is such that a positive q means injection and a negative q indicates production. j.

replacing the qi. After solving for the pressure distribution. we substitute Equation 4.18 (written for the block hosting the well—for blocks with no wells. With the implementation of the inner and outer boundary conditions. thus. for a horizontal well oriented along the xdirection.Table 1 As mentioned earlier.29 with the corresponding terms in the z-direction and vice-versa. kx becomes kz. j. we can then use Equation 4. we replace all the x-direction related terms in Equation 4.28 to obtain the resulting flow rate. we set flow rates equal to zero). One simple approach is to use Equation 4. we can specify either the flow rate at the wellbore or the flowing sandface pressure.g. ∆x becomes ∆z. and h becomes ∆x).. the finitedifference representation is now complete and ready for solution. we come back to Equation 4. There have been a number of formulations proposed for implementing horizontal wells in reservoir simulation. .18. k term.8 with appropriately defined parameters (e.28 to solve for sandface pressure. After solving for the block pressures. When we specify sandface pressure. For flow rate. we substitute the specified value into Equation 4.28 into Equation 4.

Table 2 summarizes the possible . we can write Equation 4.33) Z. D. j.and two-dimensional flows some of the SIP coefficients simply drop out. k with the neighboring blocks. B. Figure 10 The principal advantage of the SIP notation is its inherent flexibility. Figure 10 graphically shows the interaction of block i. for one. while Q includes all the known terms collected on the right-hand side. single-phase flow problems. j. F. E represents the summation of transmissibilities and the accumulation term coefficient. 1968). we commonly employ a shorthand notation such as the Strongly-Implicit-Procedure.18 in rearranged SIP form as follows: (4. having written it for three-dimensional flow. For example. or SIP (Stone. For instance. H and S are the transmissibility terms representing the interaction of block i. k with the surrounding blocks.Shorthand notation for the finite-difference equations Because finite-difference analogues are usually cumbersome. even for relatively simple.

In other words. but one should be aware of them.we shouldkeep in mind that the physical meaning of the solution can be lost if we assign unrealistically large block and time step sizes. Although an unconditional stability implies no restriction on the block and time step sizes.. does the proposed finite-difference analogue collapse to the original partial differential equation in the limit as the block dimensions and time step size approach zero? The .combinations and their corresponding SIP coefficients. When we encounter a conditional stability. the criterion will bring in certain limitations on the block dimensions and time step sizes. Stability analysis is meant to ensure that the round-off error (which arises over time due to the computer’s finite word length as time evolves) does not magnify in such a way as to obscure the solution. compatible) with the original partial differential equation. Note also that for the blocks located at the boundary. which principally pertain to the accuracy of the resulting solution. Stability analyses focus on defining the stability criterion for a given finite-difference scheme. These types of analyses provide results such as conditional stability and unconditional stability or instability. Rarely does the user of a reservoir simulator need to worry about these problems. we must always consider a number of important points. The next important question to answer is whether the proposed scheme is consistent (i. Table 2 Special considerations In writing finite-difference analogues for partial differential equations. consistency and truncation error.e. The specific points of consideration include solution stability. we can easily implement a no-flow boundary by setting the corresponding SIP coefficient equal to zero across that boundary.

A well with a flow rate qs is located in block #2.e.. Figure 1 A no-flow boundary condition is imposed on the left end. In other words.1 represents the characteristic equation for any block in Figure 1 . schemes used in reservoir simulation—at least the ones discussed in this text—meet stability as well as consistency criteria. Single-Phase Flow Equations: Solution Methods One-dimensional flow system Figure 1 shows a simple one-dimensional system composed of five blocks.1 for each of them (i. Pressure is not known in any of these five blocks. 5): . We assume that the flowing fluid is slightly compressible. we have a consistency problem. the engineer need not worry about these types of problems. For a compatible scheme. If these schemes are used.1) Equation 5. we have (5. the proposed scheme produces a solution to a different problem (partial differential equation).. while a non-zero pressure gradient is specified on the right. we should expect that the truncation error will disappear as the block dimensions and the time step size become infinitesimally small..truncation error is the difference between the original partial differential equation and its finite-difference analogue.33 with the appropriate coefficients. i = 1. If this does not happen.. and so we must write Equation 5. Writing Equation 4. It is worth noting that in general..

a no-flow boundary condition exists. we invoke the following definition of Q2: Table 2a and Table 2b summarize the remaining coefficients and present them in matrix form.Notice that although subscripts 0 and 6 (denoting "reflection" blocks 0 and 6. the imposed constant pressure gradient implies that or These manipulations eliminate both unknowns. . implying that or • Moving to block #5. This is done as follows: • At block #1. they will be removed by the proper implementation of the imposed boundary conditions. leaving us with five equations in five In implementing the flow rate specified at the well block. and . respectively) appear in the first and the last equations.

Table 2a .

The objective is to determine if the reservoir under study can support the imposed flow rate at the wellbore. Figure 2 The reservoir under consideration has three no-flow boundaries and one constantpressure boundary. is unrealistic. which. Although the calculation of sandface pressure.2). Two-dimensional flow system Figure 2 is a simple two-dimensional system partitioned into nine blocks. In fact. may appear to be superfluous. it is not impossible for the calculated sandface pressure to assume a negative value.20. at this point a pump (e. A well is located in block (2. of course. what this tells the engineer is that the reservoir can no longer support the desired production rate.Table 2b The 5x5 coefficient matrix in Table 2 is a tri-diagonal coefficient matrix. we obtain the pressure distribution in the system. at which sandface pressure is . it is actually an important parameter in production planning. downhole or sucker rod) may be needed to augment the flow energy. Psf. which is normally written in a more compact form as follows: When we solve this system of equations. For instance. In essence. the sandface pressure for the specified flow rate qs can become too low to support the friction losses in the production tubing and the associated peripheral wellbore devices. We then calculate the sandface pressure in the wellbore using Equation 4.g..

33 for just these six blocks: To implement the boundary conditions (similar to the one-dimensional case). Hence. we can write the following: In implementing the inner boundary condition at the well block (2.1).2) where sandface pressure is specified. Although there are nine blocks in the system. we need to invoke the proper equation for E and Q.1). we need to write Equation 4.specified as Psf. (2. the constant pressure specification on the boundary blocks (1. and (3. Table 3a .1) means that only six blocks have unknown pressures.

unknown vector and the right-hand side vector for the two-dimensional. slightly compressible fluid flow problem. .Table 3a and Table 3b summarize the resulting coefficient matrix.

j. j.Psf) where PI is the productivity index. The final step to calculate of the resulting flow rate (as determined by the computed pressure distribution surface) using the equation qsc = -PI (Pi. and it is normally written in the more compact form shown below: Solving the system of equations will yield the pressure distribution in the system. . The sign convention is such that a positive q means injection and a negative q indicates production. Pi. k .Table 3b The matrix in Table 3 is a penta-diagonal coefficient matrix. k is the pressure of the block hosting the well and Psf is the sandface pressure.

k=1 i=2. j=1. we illustrate logical continuity of this procedure using a threedimensional system.2. Figure 3 shows a three-dimensional reservoir with 18 blocks in which slightly compressible fluid is flowing. We start with the flow equation in its finite difference form: We then write this equation for every block at which the pressure is unknown. and there is a well in the center of the field. i=1. k=2 i=2. k=1 i=1. j=1. j=1. Assume that a constant flow rate of qs is specified.2). j=2. j=1. k=1 i=3. completed through only the top layer (2. k=2 i=3. j=2.e. k=2 i=1.Three-dimensional flow system In this third example. k=1 i=1. Figure 3 The reservoir is volumetric (completely sealed). i. k=2 . j=1.. j=1.

k Si. j=2. j=3.2. 3. j=3.3 To implement the constant flow rate specification at the well block. k=1 i=1. k D1.i=2.3 and k = 1.2. k=1 i=3. j.3 and k = 1. The long-hand notation used here is only for illustrative purposes. j=3.3 and j = 1.2. Again. k=2 i=1. j. a three-dimensional single-phase problem leads to a hepta-diagonal coefficient matrix whose general form is as follows: .2.3 and k = 1. j=2. k=1 i=2. j.2. k=2 i=3. k Hi. we invoke the appropriate equation: As clearly shown. j=3. in implementing the no-flow boundary conditions we should simply observe the following: Zi. k F3.2.3 and j = 1. k=2 i=2. 2 i = 1.2 i = 1. j=2.2 j = 1. j=2. j=3. j=3. k=1 i=3.2 j = 1. j.2 i = 1.3 i = 1.3 and k = 1. ordinarily these equations are automatically generated within the computer model. k=1 i=2. k=2 In this case. k=2 i=3. 1 . there would be a total of 18 equations.2. k Bi.2.

. discretization of irregularly-bounded reservoirs may yield other matrix structures. However. together with the flow rate specification at the wellbore. penta-.When we solve the system of equations with the hepta-diagonal coefficient matrix structure. and hepta-diagonal matrix structures obtained for the three previous examples are quite standard. we obtain the reservoir pressure distribution. Irregularly bounded reservoirs The tri-. We use this pressure distribution. in calculating the flowing sandface pressure at the well. Figure 4 illustrates a simple example.

33): E1 P1 + F1 P2 + H1 P5 = Q1 D2P1 + E2P2 = Q2 E3P3 + F3P4 + H3P6 = Q3 D4P3 + E4P4 + F4P5 + H4P7 = Q4 B5P1 + D5P4 + E5P5 + H5P8 = Q5 B6P3 + E6P6 + F6P7 = Q6 B7P4 + D7P6 + E7P7 + F7P8 + H7P10 = Q7 B7P4 + D7P6 + E7P7 + F7P8 = Q7 D9P8 + E9P9 = Q9 . as shown in Figure 4 . we will adopt a simple block numbering scheme.Figure 4 For the sake of brevity. The ten equations for this reservoir are as follows (cf. Equation 4.

The following material summarizes the most prominent methods used for handling multiphase flow equations. al. we assume capillary pressure to be constant during any time step. we generate a system of linear algebraic equations. Similar to the case of single-phase flow models. we obtain just one partial differential equation. The purpose of this example is show that some problems do not necessarily fit into the standard mode. By so doing. with a phase pressure as the only unknown (this is usually the water-phase pressure). After writing the finite-difference approximation to this partial differential equation. when solution for the phase pressure (e. developing a computer model for these types of systems requires the use of finite-difference approximation to discretize these equations. as would be normally expected from two-dimensional flow problems. The basic strategy of this method is to obtain a single equation in which the sole unknown is the pressure of one of the phases. The coefficients appearing in this system of equations are functions of the pressures and saturations. (1959). At any iteration level. However. Explicit Saturation (IMPES) method back to the works of Sheldon. Furthermore. et. We achieve this by combining the partial differential equations for each phase in such a way as to eliminate the saturation derivatives. they are estimated using the information available at the previous iteration level. Pw) distribution is obtained. therefore.. the next step is to solve explicitly for that phase . and Stone and Gardner (1961). The various solution techniques differ with respect to how we manipulate the governing partial differential equations.B10 + E10P10 = Q10 The resulting 10x10 coefficient matrix is Notice that the above coefficient matrix is hepta-diagonal instead of penta-diagonal. Multi-Phase Flow Equations: Solution Methods Simulating multiphase fluid flow in porous media involves solving a system of coupled non-linear partial differential equations. IMPES method We can trace the origin of the Implicit Pressure.g. When we apply this characteristic equation at the grid nodes. we obtain the appropriate characteristic equation. there are methods for handling such special cases.

we explicitly solve the oil-phase partial differential equation for the oilphase saturation.So Sw).saturation distribution. Figure 1 Simultaneous Solution (SS) method . This completes one iteration. we can easily determine Sg (Sg = 1 . Finally. At this stage. So. we then repeat the whole procedure until we achieve convergence. using the capillary pressure relationship between the oil and gas phases. we obtain the gas phase pressure (Pg) distribution. we know the Pw and Sw distributions. Figure 1 is a flow chart highlighting the major steps involved in the IMPES method. Similar to the determination of Sw. after obtaining the Pw distribution. all the pressure and saturation dependent terms are updated using the most recent information available. With the values of So and Sw calculated. Sw from the partial differential equation describing the flow of that phase. At the beginning of each iteration. This enables us to determine the oil phase pressure distribution using the capillary pressure relationship between the oil and water phases.

However. at each grid node there are three unknowns. Figure 2 summarizes the basic steps of the simultaneous solution procedure. for a three-dimensional system with 10x15x3 blocks. The overall structure of the coefficient matrix is similar to the corresponding single-phase structures. however. In other words. we obtain three partial differential equations. the resulting coefficient matrix becomes significantly larger. because we have three equations to write at each node. Accordingly. the resulting elements of the coefficient matrix are either 2x2 or 3x3 submatrices for two-phase and three-phase flow problems. With three equations for each node. we obtain Sw and Sg. The calculation of So is straightforward when Sw and Sg are available. Figure 2 . for a twodimensional three-phase flow problem. For example. we convert the saturation derivatives that appear on the right-hand-side of the flow equations to pressure derivatives using the capillary pressure relationships.In the simultaneous solution (SS) method. with the principal unknowns being the phase pressures. since more than one partial differential equation is approximated at each block. Once we have constructed the coefficient matrix and obtained the phase pressures. In this manner. using the capillary pressure relationship in an inverse manner. we often refer to the resulting coefficient matrix as a tri-tri-pentadiagonal matrix typifying the aforementioned structure. the size of the coefficient matrix is 1350x1350. This does not pose any problem. respectively.

y) = 0 with (xo. we obtain a system of linear equations in two unknowns. a Taylor series expansion can be written in the neighborhood of (xo.e.Fully Implicit Solution with Newtonian iteration In the Fully Implicit Solution with Newtonian iteration method. Truncating the above series after the first-order terms. a residual function is formed and its derivative calculated with respect to each principal unknown to construct the Jacobian. The salient points of the Newton-Raphson method are highlighted below. . We then use a numerical differentiation scheme to obtain the elements of the Jacobian matrix.yo). Then. Consider a set of non-linear equations in two unknowns. We then use finite-differences to approximate the three partial differential equations that result. such that we can implement a Newtonian iteration. x and y: f (x. we reduce the six principal unknowns of the three-phase flow equations to three linearly independent principal unknowns (most often one phase pressure and two saturations) by using the capillary pressure and saturation relationships.. i. ∆x and ∆y.yo) as an initial guess to the solution. In the solution process. We can linearize these equations using the generalized Newton-Raphson procedure. yo + ∆y) is the exact solution. By treating the coefficients implicitly (at the same level as the principal unknowns) we generate a system of non-linear algebraic equations. y) = 0 g (x. Suppose that (xo + ∆x.

+a1nxn = C1 a21x1 + a22x2 + a23x3 + . adaptive techniques. the coefficient matrix is referred to as the Jacobian (J). But at the same time. For example. which are expressed in the form of a11x1 + a12x2 + a13x3 + .2) . We can express the iterative process in the matrix form as follows: which is followed by: x(k+1) = x(k) + ∆x(k+1) y(k+1) = y(k) + ∆y(k+1) In the above matrix equation. Solution of Matrix Equations The following material summarizes some direct and iterative procedures for numerically solving sets of linear algebraic equations. therefore it is unconditionally stable.. we face the problem of solving a set of n equations relating n unknowns. there are many techniques that are evolving through rigorous testing and validation processes. +a2n xn = C1 (5. The whole area of solution techniques for partial differential equations is a subject of intensive research in many fields.The solution of these two equations for ∆x and ∆y leads to better estimates of the solution of the original non-linear equations. The Simultaneous Solution method treats all primary variables implicitly.. explicit treatment of the coefficients is similar to the IMPES procedure and this does create some stability problems. In setting the computer model. have received a great deal of attention. However. The IMPES procedure is generally the most cost-effective method (although we must qualify this by noting that its explicit treatment of the mobility and capillary terms causes it to suffer some stability limitations).. As a result. We repeat this process in an iterative manner until the improvements in ∆x and ∆y become small enough to satisfy the pre-set convergence criterion. which utilize different degrees of implicitness at different spatial and temporal locations to maximize the stability while minimizing the computational overhead.. it is also the most computationally intensive and costly method. The most stable algorithm is the Fully Implicit procedure.

the irregularity of the external boundaries and the number of dimensions. the order in which the finite difference equations are written).. if we know the coefficient matrix structure that results from a certain numbering scheme. (5. +ann xn = Cn We can put the left-hand members of Equation 5.an1x1 + an2x2 + an3x3 + . we can employ the appropriate direct and/or iterative equation solver. Standard ordering by rows .4) The right-hand members form the right-hand side vector (5. Ordering of grid blocks There is a one-to-one correspondence between the re-ordering of matrix elements and re-numbering of reservoir grid blocks. Therefore. (5. This relates to the way in which the grid blocks are ordered (i. coefficient matrices are sparsely filled and contain a main diagonal and a number of additional diagonals. known as the coefficient matrix..2 into a square array of the coefficients.e..2 in matrix notation as AX = C (5.3) and the unknown vector.5) We can express the set of equations summarized by Equation 5.6) In reservoir simulation problems.

and then add one. The band width for the reservoir of Figure 1 is eleven (there are eleven parallel diagonals between the lowermost and uppermost diagonals. positions. while zero elements are left blank. . and the resulting coefficient matrix. To calculate the band width.) Note that the upper and lower diagonals 3 and 4 have zero elements. in this case. Figure 1 The non-zero elements of the coefficient matrix are indicated by x. The coefficient matrix has a banded structure. its non-zero elements lie on parallel diagonals. we multiply the maximum number of blocks in the direction they are ordered by two. and so is called a band matrix. including the main diagonal).Figure 1 shows standard ordering by rows for grid blocks in a 5x2 model. (5x2)+1=11. Standard ordering by columns Figure 2 shows the standard ordering by columns of the reservoir from Figure 1 .

Checkerboard (Cyclic-2) Ordering Consider a reservoir model numbered in a checkerboard fashion.Figure 2 and the resulting coefficient matrix with its non-zero elements. this ordering scheme will significantly reduce computational requirements. as shown in Figure 3. . If the solution algorithm operates only with the elements located between the uppermost and lowermost diagonals. Here. the band width for the coefficient matrix is five (2x2+1=5).

we number grid blocks along alternate diagonals. The resulting coefficient matrix offers the advantage that. we number the shaded blocks first and then the unshaded blocks. only a small portion of the matrix needs to be worked for triangularization Checkerboard (D-4) Ordering In checkerboard D-4 ordering. . during the forward solution stage of Gaussian elimination (a common method for solving systems of linear algebraic equations). This alternate diagonal ordering leads to substantial savings in computational overhead (CPU time and storage).Figure 3 In ordering the grid blocks. Figure 4 shows a typical coefficient matrix generated from D-4 ordering of a 4x5 matrix.

.Figure 4 (D-2) Ordering The D-2 ordering scheme is also known as diagonal ordering. The resulting coefficient matrix has a relatively small bandwidth ( Figure 5 ).

Figure 5 Table 1 provides a summary of the storage and computational work requirements for different ordering schemes. .

Solution methods One of the more important steps of a numerical simulation study is solving the systems of equations generated by the finite-difference approximation. However. Direct solution methods For a direct solution. there is no round-off error). respectively. they represent 2x2 and 3x3 sub-matrices for twophase and three-phase problems. In the broadest sense. Our goal is always to end up with a system of linear equations. Hence we need to linearize the non-linear equations before proceeding.e. In . Note: All non-zero elements appearing in the coefficient matrices are single elements for one-phase problems. we assume that the machine performing the computations is capable of carrying an infinite number of digits (i.Table 1 A close inspection of Table 1 indicates that the greatest improvement in D-4 ordering is observed when J=I.. regardless of whether the original equations are linear or non-linear. there are two main categories of solution methods for the resulting system of linear algebraic equations: direct and iterative.

every computer carries a finite number of digits. so does the cumulative round-off error. because it lets us test various parts of the code development without having to worry about the efficacy of the solver. a well-written direct-solver subroutine subprogram can be used on a variety of problems. This feature is particularly attractive. For very large systems of equations. As shown in Table 2a . In reality. . it is possible for the round-off errors to grow uncontrollably to the point of generating unrealistic results and even instability. resulting in non-exact solutions.this ideal situation. As the number of operations increases. a direct solution method will yield an exact solution after a finite number of elementary arithmetical operations. round-off errors do occur. Furthermore. Table 2a Table 2b . there are situations in which a direct solution offers distinct advantages. Still. The Gaussian elimination technique is the fundamental algorithm used by direct solvers.

.Table 2b and Table 2c his technique involves a systematic set of elementary row operations that essentially transform the coefficient matrix into an upper triangular matrix.

which is designed for tri-diagonal coefficient matrices. there are direct solution algorithms which take advantage of the structure of the coefficient matrix involved in finite-difference techniques. Matrices associated with the finite difference methods are often sparse. they lend themselves more easily to iterative solutions. With this algorithm. therefore. thereby saving a significant amount of time. whereby the last unknown is directly solved for and the others are obtained by systematic backward substitution. Table 3 summarizes this algorithm. Hence the sparseness of the matrix does not affect the time involved in using direct solvers. However. elementary arithmetic operations involving zeros take the same amount of time. Remember that in computer operations. the backward solution comes into effect. .Table 2c This step of the solution process is known as the forward solution. Once we obtain the upper triangular matrix. One of the most popular techniques is Thomas’ Algorithm. we simply avoid performing any arithmetic operations on the zero elements of the coefficient matrix.

or approximation of the solution vector. . and then improving on this guess by successfully implementing the algorithm. This systematic repetitive application of the algorithm continues until the solution vectors generated between two successive iterations are in agreement within a specified tolerance (assuming that algorithm generates solutions that approach the correct answer by each convergent iteration). there are other direct solvers which utilize the presence of other band structures. the idea is to exploit the sparse nature of the matrix by not carrying out any operations on the zeros that are outside the band. Iterative methods Iterative solution methods involve making an initial guess. In other words. The band matrix solvers can be effectively employed to coefficient matrices with bandwidths up to 15. Again. successive applications of the algorithm lead to better approximations.Table 3 Although Thomas’ algorithm is designed for tri-diagonal coefficient matrices. As the bandwidth becomes larger than 15. the efficacy of the band matrix algorithm starts to decrease because this group of algorithms treats all zeros which are located within the band as non-zeros.

.. consider the following system of equations: a11x1 + a12x2 + ............ ............... +ann xn = Cn In the fixed-point iterative techniques.........Iterative methods offer two important advantages: less storage requirements and less computational work. we similarly rearrange the second equation to solve for x2..... We begin the iteration process by making guess-values for all the variables. +a2n xn = C1 (5... Table 4 summarizes the algorithmic equations for the Point-Jacobi..... The simplest and best-known iterative methods for solving systems of linear algebraic equations are grouped under the name fixed point iterative methods. To illustrate.......... and then the last equation to solve for xn. an1x1 + an2x2 + ............. we rearrange the first equation to solve for x1 in terms of the other variables......11) .. each variable is then updated according to a certain procedure which differs from one method to another. Gauss-Seidel and Pointwise Successive Over-Relaxation methods as they apply to the solution of Equation 5. +a1nxn = C1 a21x1 + a22x2 + ....11.

ωopt. Figure 6 shows a typical variation of the number of converging iterations with values of ω. the Point-Jacobi method is the slowest.14 is to magnify the successive improvements achieved by each converging Gauss-Seidel iteration through the use of a common multiplier. If we set the value of ωopt to one. In other words. The convergence rates are easy to explain: since the Point Gauss-Seidel method uses the most current values as soon as they become available. We refer to this common multiplier as the optimum acceleration parameter. The Point Successive Over-Relaxation method is essentially based on the Gauss-Seidel method.13.Table 4 The algorithms in Table 4 are presented in the order of increasing convergence rates. whereas the Point-Jacobi method relies on the old values until the current iteration level computations are carried out on all the unknowns. . Equation 5. The basic strategy of Equation 5. while the Point-Successive Over-Relaxation method is the fastest. whose value is problem-dependent and always lies between 1 and 2.14 reduces to Equation 5.

ε. We perform the same convergence check on all these three algorithms. The convergence tolerance..g. . The basic convergence criterion is indicated by Equation 5. we should tighten the tolerance and continue iterations.Figure 6 ωopt is that value of which ω yields the minimum number of iterations . If the material balance check signals an unacceptably inaccurate solution. Figure 7 shows a comparison of convergence paths for the three algorithms discussed. All of the variables must satisfy this convergence criterion.22. We must be careful to apply material balance checks in order to ensure that the converged solution preserves material balance. is a pre-selected small number (e. The use of a small tolerance does not always guarantee a solution that is sufficiently close to the actual solution. for pressures ε 10-1 and for saturations ε 10-4).

One note of caution: if the Jacobi method does not converge on a given problem. One easy way of grouping is to group all the points located along the same line. as the problem complexity increases in terms of the number of unknowns and the relationships among these unknowns.Figure 7 Figure 7 reveals two important characteristics. this strategy is referred to as Block Successive Over-Relaxation. the points of the next line are still at the old iteration level. Once we solve the values of the unknowns for the particular line at a given iteration level. conjugate gradient method. In this class of methods one can include alternating direction implicit procedure. neither will the other two. we can immediately apply them when the algorithm is executed on the next line of points. Sometimes we can group more than one line of points together (even possibly all the points on a plane of a three-dimensional system) to form a block of points. Secondly. We then solve for all the unknowns on these points simultaneously. Once we are on the new line. whereas Point Successive Over-Relaxation converges twice as fast as the Gauss-Seidel method. We can considerably enhance the efficiency of point-iterative methods by grouping a number of unknowns together and solving for them simultaneously at a given iteration level. and nested factorization method. we see that for the same problem Gauss-Seidel converges twice as fast as the Point-Jacobi method. strongly implicit procedure. First the solution always uniformly approaches the true solution from one side (no oscillations around the true solution). The complexity of the problem dictates the methods we should use. This approach is called Line Successive Over-Relaxation. we must use more powerful iterative methods. Comparison of direct and iterative methods .

There are three basic checks we should always perform at the end of each time step computation. In the residual check. Table 5 Internal Checks We must always ensure that the numbers coming out of the computer are reasonable. These are the residual check. we should pre-determine the acceptable material imbalance tolerance. We can correct this problem by tightening the tolerance used on equation solvers. Any grid blocks exhibiting unexpectedly large residuals need to be scrutinized and diagnosed for the underlying reasons. however. Table 5 summarizes these features. The difference between these two should equal the mass produced and/or introduced into the reservoir.Although the efficacy and the efficiency of direct and iterative methods are problemdependent. An unacceptable material imbalance may indicate a loose tolerance level imposed on the solution algorithm. we simply substitute the solution back into the original set of equations and observe the departure from the equation by calculating the difference between the left-hand side and the right-hand-side of the equations. This time. we apply conservation of mass at the end of each time step against the original mass content of the reservoir at the initial time. Before we perform this check. there are some general features which distinguish them from one another. This check . The incremental material balance check simply questions whether or not mass is being conserved or not during a time step. realistic and descriptive of the problem at hand. The cumulative material balance check is similar to the incremental material balance check. We then compare this mass content against the mass content calculated at the end of the previous time step. We do this check at the grid block level. we calculate the reservoir’s mass content using the obtained pressure and saturation values. Once we obtain the solution for a given time step. incremental material balance check and cumulative material balance check.

log analysts and engineers. For the sake of completeness. In this way. Geologists study the depositional environment. In this way. we consider data requirements for the three-phase. These data define the fluid properties. data sources and usages. Constructing the Reservoir Model: Data Collection and Preparation Constructing a reservoir model involves physically defining the reservoir and its fluids in terms of a large set of data. Table 1 gives an overall picture of geological data requirements. we will be able to ask the right questions for assessing the validity of the numbers being generated by the computer. we must be quick to recognize "red flags" so that we can exercise prudent engineering judgement. we use a numerical code to study its performance in the form of response to external stimuli. gasoil-water system. This. Data collection There is no overemphasizing the importance of data gathering in a simulation study. coupled with core analysis. A close examination of the governing equation will reveal the type and extent of the data required for building a reservoir model in readiness for a simulation study. the reservoir boundaries and the interactions with the environment.informs us as to the extent of the computational errors accumulated so far into the run. An adequate and appropriate reservoir description hinges delicately on the quality of the data we use. when we report the results of the simulation study. particularly as it relates to data quality. even in the crudest sense. the syn-depositional and post-depositional forces responsible for the productive formation. Geophysical studies define the stratigraphy of the environment as well as the reservoir structure. we will be able to comment on the level of confidence. While not all of us will be involved in actually developing simulators. which encompasses a number of disciplines. A careful logging program provides information about porosity and saturation distribution. . It is imperative. when reporting reservoir performance. requires a team effort between geologists. This realization has led to the development of a new area of research called reservoir characterization. We can only be assured that we’re doing this if we have used the correct data set to construct the reservoir model. produces credible data for constructing isoporosity maps. geophysicists. Summarized below are the various data needed to build a reservoir model. Furthermore. Accurate reservoir description. Geological Information Accurate geological information is paramount to a successful simulation study. Once we put together such a physical description of the model. we still must have a general understanding of what goes into their development. that we measure the actual system performance.

That is. . The fundamental microscopic properties that affect fluid transport in porous media. As far as the reservoir simulation is concerned. fluid distribution and ability to transmit these fluids. these are the key macroscopic properties that control the flow.Table 1 Rock Properties After procuring the geological information. This is why these properties. we need to obtain information about the reservoir’s internal structure. are not explicitly represented in the flow equations. are all embedded in these key macroscopic properties. wetting affinity. as typified by its fluid storage capacity. Table 2 provides an overall summary of the rock properties used in reservoir simulation. mineralogy. fluid saturation.. respectively. tortuosity. and permeability. we need to determine its porosity. such as pore size and pore size distribution. even though they have the controlling effect. etc. pore throats. which basically defines the reservoir boundaries and structure.

triangularization of the coefficient matrix has to be performed continuously throughout the iteration process. there are certain situations (e. In a typical black oil simulator. One strategy for alleviating this problem is to simply keep the properties fixed for a pre-set number of iterations . thermal recovery operations) which necessitate the use of energy balance equations and consideration of the fluid properties. we express fluid properties as functions of pressure. they are also used to compute reserves in surface units. These nonlinearities make the governing equations even more nonlinear.. There are two broad categories of simulators: black oil simulators and compositional simulators. we may need to update these properties at each iteration level in order to preserve the form of the original partial differential equation. This requires us to update the transmissibility terms at each iteration level. Generally. Apart from the fact that many of these properties appear in the coefficients of the governing equations. to different degrees of nonlinearity. while most simulators assume isothermal reservoir conditions. Depending upon the degree of nonlinearity. a new coefficient matrix is generated as properties are updated. Similarly. thus having a tremendous implication on the computational overhead required--particularly if direct solvers are used. This is because at every iteration level. pressure and composition.g. these properties are functions of the basic thermodynamic variables of temperature. Therefore. compositional models rely on the accurate composition of the fluids. While black oil simulators use the local average properties of the fluids for characterization.Table 2 Fluid Properties Understanding reservoir fluid properties is essential to formulating their overall behavior.

namely relative permeability. and so do not appear explicitly in the governing equations. interfacial tension. Although very commonly used and taken for granted. Table 3 summarizes the relevant fluid properties. in which microscopic properties. in other macroscopic properties such as relative permeability. They manifest themselves. . Table 3 Rock-Fluid and Fluid-Fluid Interaction Properties It is normal to expect that interactions between the fluid and the reservoir rock will affect the system’s dynamic behavior. In the presence of multiple fluids. It is currently the most practical way of distributing these microscopic parameters over the entire reservoir domain.before updating them during a time step. but rather a global property. however. wettability and capillary pressure. (interfacial tension and wettability) are implicitly embedded. relative permeability is not a fundamental property. A heuristic approach is necessary to assess that this strategy will not adversely impact the adequacy of the solution. We quantify these effects in terms of interaction properties. Some of these interaction properties exhibit their influence on a microscopic scale. the dynamic behavior of the individual fluid phases will be likewise affected.

but also for tuning the simulator for future predictions. In this type of situation. making it easy to translate maps and graphical representations to numerical values. we can achieve a well-tuned simulator after the reservoir has produced about 10 percent of its ultimate recovery. the wellbore remains the only true window through which we can glimpse what is happening in the reservoir.We always express relative permeability as a function of fluid saturation. We do this primarily by keeping account of production and pressure data and using this database to refine the model’s descriptive and predictive capabilities. . we can often achieve a better numerical description of the problem by using a numerical weighting scheme where we assign a greater weight to the points upstream than to those downstream. Data preparation Now that we are familiar with the types of data we need for a simulation run. At this point. we should scrutinize the data for consistency and conformity. these procedures are analogous to expanding the relative permeability functions in terms of Taylor series. is essential not only in validating the simulator’s predictive capability. In actuality. we must sort them out in a proper format. The importance of this becomes even more accentuated in a displacement process. Reservoir production history. Pressure data from well test analyses are useful in monitoring the reservoir’s response to certain impulses. where the displacing front is being propagated as a sharp discontinuity. Such data may be used to infer reservoir properties. In making these translations. Production data include not only the production rates of individual phases. Current technology in the areas of image digitization and graphics visualization has considerably enhanced several aspects of this process. and this function is strongly nonlinear. but also the gas-oil ratio (GOR) and the water-oil ratio (WOR). With this level of tuning. we should reject these data. it introduces the same degree of nonlinearity into the transmissibility terms. we can focus on how to put this data into usable formats. Therefore. Figure 1 shows a set of hypothetical data for a variety of property variations. As a rule of thumb. Wellhead pressures taken over a period of time can also be used for this purpose. with typical functions superimposed on each. both in terms of rate and cumulative flow. Production and Pressure History Advances in seismic and other geophysical techniques notwithstanding. The classical examples of this treatment are single-point and two-point upstream weighting procedures for relative permeabilities. If we find an anomaly in some of the data which we cannot substantiate. we can develop the confidence to use the tuned simulator in a predictive mode. we create digitized databases. For these numerical values to be useful.

analysis of variation and regression. which have to be called each time the property value is needed. data scattering is almost always present. We can have data input already expressed in terms of analytical functions. two approaches are commonly taken: approximating functions by least square analysis and interpolating functions such as cubic splines. All of these techniques are a part of preparing the acquired raw data for a reservoir simulation study. These functions are coded as function subprograms. analyzed and smoothed the data. · In obtaining an analytical equation. There are two basic methods of doing this. After we have acquired. we must put them into the form of a simulator input. . We may have to smooth the data using statistical techniques such as least squares analysis.Figure 1 It is unusual for measured data to lie on a smooth continuous curve. Since this involves a great deal of data transfer between the different segments of the code. some measure of inefficiency in terms of time is expected. or in tabular form.

This can save a substantial amount of time. we could argue that these limitations have more or less disappeared. Interblock pseudo functions The purpose of interblock pseudo functions is to describe flow between grid blocks. three-dimensional computations are expensive. and so we must use higher dimensions. We then assign this volume-averaged saturation as the saturation for the grid block. It is not always easy to procure this type of data. there remains even today a strong interest in using pseudo-functions to reduce problem dimensionality and other numerical difficulties (Zagalai and Murphy. Of course. There are two basic kinds of interblock pseudo functions: analytical and dynamic. Since interblock flow is controlled by relative permeability functions. 1991). in calculating pseudo . while others are not so readily conducive. One prominent method involves the use of pseudo functions. Methods have been developed over the years to try to get the best of the two worlds--that is. Analytical pseudo functions involve volumetric averaging of water saturation over the thickness of the interval. based on where they are used in the reservoir simulation: interblock pseudo functions and well pseudo functions. This implies a complete gravity segregation. It developed in response to the need for accommodating a third dimension within the limits of the computers then available. As Figure 1 demonstrates. We need to balance the amount of additional information that an extra dimension could provide (assuming the necessary data are available) against the increased computational overhead it would require. we need to bracket the data points and then use a simple interpolation method (often linear) to obtain the data of interest. In general. or 3D) to adequately represent a reservoir simulation problem calls for prudent engineering judgement. Properties that fall in the latter category are invariably obtained by the table look-up method. however. In a typical table look-up routine. As a result. The concept of pseudo functions dates back to the early 1960s. we neglect capillary forces. to use a smaller number of dimensions and still attain a high degree of detail. usually referred to as the table look-up method. makes the data transparent to the subroutine that needs it. 2D. Thus. For the case of segregated flow. not only in reservoir simulation but in other process simulations as well. particularly in reservoir simulation. Reservoir Simulation and the Use of Pseudo Functions Selecting the number of dimensions (1D. generating interblock pseudo functions involves averaging the saturations in the blocks of interest. which in turn depend on saturation.· A tabular data form. This is true both in terms of computational overhead and the shear amount of data required. Pseudo functions are broadly divided into two categories. Still. we need greater detail. some properties lend themselves to being represented with analytical equations. we should always try to use the least number of dimensions that provide sufficient information for engineering analysis. For some problems.

thereby fixing the vertical saturation distribution. Often.relative permeabilities. The approach for generating the dynamic pseudo functions follows essentially the same procedure as in the case of analytical pseudo functions. we assume that the potential gradient of all the phases in the vertical direction is zero. but the use of well pseudo functions can serve as a good compromise. Ordinarily. fluid movement and pressure distribution. except that areal weighting is used crosssectionally. There are certain reservoir problems in which this application becomes extremely useful. in which multiphase flow in the near-wellbore region plays a dominant role and usually requires more details than usual. which couples the wellbore with a numerical description in the near-wellbore region. Practical examples include water coning and gas cusping. It is imperative to pre-test the applicability of any set of pseudo functions by comparing results obtained from them with models describing detailed vertical segmentation using actual data. gravity and capillary forces attain equilibrium in the vertical direction in every grid block of the reservoir model. the use of appropriate pseudo capillary pressure functions either partially or totally eliminates the need for vertical gridding as long as such functions maintain the integrity of the initial fluid distribution. The end result is that a pseudo function is generated for each vertical column of blocks. Well pseudo functions Well pseudo functions attempt to extend the concept of interblock pseudo functions to describe multiphase flow into the wellbore from adjacent blocks. it is not valid in reservoirs with poor vertical communication. the pseudo functions can be expressed in a field-scale numerical . The most direct way to handle these problems is to use source representation. a three-dimensional model is most appropriate for such problems. is that of vertical equilibrium . This implies that the differences between the phase pressures are totally balanced by capillary pressure. This entails extending the concept of pseudo relative permeability functions to the vertical performance of individual wells. and a two-dimensional cross-sectional problem to a one-dimensional problem. Another concept. As depletion takes place. it is quite adequate for many reservoir problems. Here. we simply need to use the equality of the horizontal flow calculated between the blocks using the pseudo-relative permeability (computed at the volume-averaged saturation) and the actual relative permeability (computed at the actual water saturation in the uninvaded zone). In such cases. but even this approach breaks down in many cases. which is more widely used in analytical pseudo functions. While the vertical equilibrium pseudo function has some inherent error in describing the vertical dimension. the time it takes for any perturbation to dissipate in the vertical direction compared to a mean residence time for any fluid particle moving in the lateral direction causes significant vertical potential gradients. Similarly. this reduces a three-dimensional problem to a two-dimensional areal problem. This is done by partitioning each block into finer grid blocks. thus violating the premise of vertical equilibrium. While the basic assumption of vertical equilibrium is reasonable for many reservoir problems. One suggested procedure is to assume a set of vertical equilibria in time. In effect. Pseudo-relative permeability and pseudo-capillary pressure functions have been found to be satisfactory.

For example. This is because the conventional model does not account for adsorption/desorption phenomena. Neither can a black oil model track the processes that govern miscible flooding in volatile oil and condensate reservoirs. This is why special purpose simulators are a rule rather than an exception. Special Purpose Reservoir Simulators Black oil models encompass as much as 80% of all reservoir simulation applications. Basically. redundant for the problem at hand. even though it is a gas-water (two-phase) system. we have to keep track of significantly more variables than usual and interpret their trends. CPU and storage requirements. But there may be times when we find ourselves dealing with totally different physical environments--environments that (in terms of processes or the type of porous media) are not amenable to black-oil modeling. because pressure and temperature changes have a tremendous impact on the phase behavior involved and hence the fluid properties. This water invades the pore spaces around the perforations inhibits the flow of oil towards the wellbore. assuming an upward concave posture. would be prohibitive. correlations based on numerical models and pseudo functions.model in terms of analytical solutions. our data requirements become more stringent. we cannot adequately represent a coalbed methane reservoir with a conventional gas-water simulator. however. The question often arises as to whether we could develop a general purpose simulator that is capable of handling all the arrays of reservoir problems. becomes distorted near the wellbore. the oil-water contact. Theoretically (considering that every simple problem is a merely a subset of a more complex one) the answer is a resounding yes! In a practical sense. and the numerical solution schemes we employ become more sophisticated. which is normally horizontal. we may resort to special purpose simulators. Figure 1 illustrates these two phenomena. and in most cases. such an all-encompassing model is a virtual impossibility. Water Coning Simulators Water coning. creating a sharp pressure gradient near the wellbore and resulting in excessive water production. along with compilation overhead. Furthermore. . A similar phenomenon often takes place near the gas-oil contact where the gas cap becomes distorted as the gas cusps downward and causes excessive gas production. Coning usually occurs if the well is completed close to the oil-water contact and produced at a high rate. usually occurs in bottom-drive reservoirs. a premature invasion of the wellbore by water. As we encounter increasingly complex reservoir problems. In situations where the governing physical and chemical principles differ from what we see in black-oil reservoirs.

Figure 1 When using a reservoir simulator to study water coning or gas cusping. To enhance the description of these near-wellbore changes. Figure 2 . captures the movement of the saturation front. A radial-cylindrical grid ( Figure 2 ). with smaller grid spacing along the radial-direction and dense spacing along the vertical direction. we resort to single-well modeling most of the time. we must take extra care to capture the rapid changes that take place within the immediate vicinity of the wellbore.

and that implementing these options to existing models can sometimes be extremely demanding. Therefore. This necessitates the use of the smaller time steps to ensure numerical stability While the data requirement for a coning study is the same as for a full field model. This class of simulators is always demanding to develop and to run. if simulators can handle locally refined grids. We generally characterize naturally fractured reservoirs as dual porosity systems because of the presence of two continua: the rock matrix and the fractures. We usually represent these continua using two different sets of porosity and permeability functions. . the permeability of the fracture network is much higher than that of the matrix. it is common to study the problem in two-dimensional radial-cylindrical coordinates (r-z directions only) to decrease the storage requirements and increase the computational speed. Figure 3 In some cases. we superimpose rectangular geometry with a hybrid grid system over the computational domain (part a of Figure 3 ). referring to the matrix porosity as primary and the fracture porosity as secondary. The main difficulty arises from the convergent nature of the flow toward the wellbore. Sometimes. resulting in higher velocities near the well. and transmitted through the fracture network. the grid system is significantly different. a coning study obtains the formation of the cone as axisymmetric with respect to the wellbore. Note that not every simulator has these options. or they can be dynamic such that they move together with the oil-water contact (part c of Figure 3 ). then we can use local refinement techniques effectively. the cross-sectional area perpendicular to the flow direction becomes progressively smaller. We can place these locally refined sections around the wellbore (part b of Figure 3 ). there is a growing interest in simulating such systems. Porosity and permeability are not the only discontinuous functions in a dual-porosity system. As fluid flows toward the wellbore.As shown in Figure 2 . Dual Porosity/Permeability Simulators With more and more reservoirs being identified as naturally fractured. Fluids are stored mainly in the rock matrix.

such as the capillary pressure and relative permeability functions. • In the dual-porosity/single-permeability approach. Studies have shown that there is no significant disparity between results obtained by using any of these geometrical configurations. in part b. we could have shown them as spheres. and solve flow equations within each of these subdomains (matrix blocks). In practice. Again. The main difference usually results from the handling of the matrix/fracture fluid exchange and the types . We account for matrix flow by imposing a source term on the flow equations for the fracture continuum. We calculate this mass transfer term between the matrix blocks and the fractures by using a transfer function. We subdivide matrix blocks into grid blocks. For instance. i. cylinders. natural fractures occur randomly in the porous medium (part a of Figure 4 ).. the fracture network. in simulating the fracture system. Usually. There are two general approaches to simulating dual-porosity systems: dualporosity/single-permeability and dual-porosity/dual-permeability. Figure 4 However. • In the dual-porosity/dual-permeability approach. we calculate the transfer of fluid between the matrix and the fracture using the existing pressure gradients at the interface. a computational block consists of several matrix blocks.Other properties. Although the matrix blocks in the idealized dual-porosity system (part b of Figure 4 ) are shown as cubes. we idealize the system as shown in part b of Figure 4 . also differ as we move from one subdomain of flow to the other.e. each computational block is made up of eight matrix blocks. or slab elements. we write flow equations for only one of the two continua. which is based on either unsteady-state or pseudosteady-state computations. we write flow equations for both continua.

The major difference between thermal recovery simulators and other types of models is the need for the energy balance equation. we should use a compositional steamflood simulator. where injection and production are done sequentially using the same well. The energy equations are usually highly nonlinear and strongly related to the mass balance equations. we must pay special attention to the numerical scheme in order to avoid numerical instability. This is more critical for the overburden and underburden because of the large contact area relative to the adjacent formations in the lateral directions. The behavior of the energy equation depends on which of the two mechanisms dominates. This temperature increase reduces the oil viscosity and hence the flow resistance in the wellbore vicinity. two types of heat transfer mechanisms are accounted for: conduction and convection. In addition. Of all enhanced oil recovery (EOR) processes. The primary differences among various thermal recovery methods are in the heat sources used to raise oil temperature. we consider the reservoir an isolated system with no fluid exchange with the surrounding. and continuous. which involves separate injectors and producers. In this case. the equation exhibits parabolic behavior (diffusivity equation) but if convection dominates. But in cases where we suspect that the distillation of light components significantly affects the stimulation process. Temperature distribution is the main driving factor in thermal recovery. thermal equations allow heat exchange with the surroundings. The two most popular methods are steamflooding and in-situ combustion. it exhibits hyperbolic behavior (shock wave equation). The primary effects being simulated in steam injection are the temperature increase and the resultant decrease in the oil viscosity. Such a simulator requires a phase behavior description for the oil/steam system. There are two basic types of steamflooding simulators: compositional and non-compositional. thereby decreasing its viscosity and enhancing its flow characteristics. steamflooding is among the most successful. There are basically two types of steam injection schemes: cyclic. Steamflooding enhances oil recovery by transferring heat from the steam to increase the temperature of the reservoir section adjacent to the wellbore. This translates to sharp thermal fronts. which leads to a numerical smearing of the front. at least by conduction. If conduction is dominant. Thermal Recovery Simulators Thermal recovery processes are designed to raise the temperature of reservoir oil. . and so must be adequately predicted--especially since viscosity is a strong function of temperature. Whereas in formulating fluid flow equations. An additional complication arises when three-phase relative permeability data are considered temperature-dependent. Non-compositional simulators are simpler and usually adequate for most cases.of the capillary pressure and relative permeability functions used within the fracture network. One other feature of thermal simulators is the need to calculate the heat loss to the surrounding formations.

CPU time requirements increase exponentially as the number of fluid components increases. In-situ combustion uses basically the same principle as steam injection. Excessive computational time is not at all uncommon. we must also ascertain energy balance as part of the internal checks. in which compositional changes are important. is the combustion reaction kinetics. volatile oil reservoirs. using heat to reduce viscosity of oil. apart from all the other factors mentioned in the discussion of steam flooding. These peculiar characteristics manifest themselves in numerical problems such as instability and grid orientation effects. phase saturation and overall composition are computed as a function of time. This implies that at any given time. • Generally.e. The primary consideration in simulating in-situ combustion. i. apart from mass balance checks. We must be aware of possible severe stability problems in in-situ combustion simulators. All the volumetric and thermal properties are computed as being composition-dependent. This requires rigorous testing to ensure that the pseudo-system mimics the original system’s phase behavior within the range of temperature and pressure being simulated. There are certain limitations inherent in using compositional reservoir simulators. At each node. the heat comes from injecting air into the reservoir and igniting part of the oil to start a combustion front. In this case. since it is not unusual for a typical in-situ combustion run to be two orders of magnitude larger than a typical black oil problem applied to the same reservoir. In this case. the discontinuity resulting from phase changes (condensation.The main computational challenges arise from the strong inherent nonlinearities in the energy equations. . and a strong coupling between the fluid movement and the energy transfer. however.. phase pressure. gas cycling processes and in some thermal recovery processes. These strongly temperature-dependent functions introduce a new level of nonlinearity to the energy equations. vaporization). Compositional simulators are particularly useful in describing gas condensate reservoirs. We can alleviate this problem by lumping the system into a few pseudo-components. rigorous flash calculations are performed using either tabular equilibrium ratios or analytical equations of state. The two principal ones are the excessive CPU time requirements and the problem of adequately describing the fluid phase behavior. The temperature dependence for the kinetics equations is usually described by Arrhenius type rate expressions. The distinguishing feature of a compositional simulator is its full coupling of the fluid phase behavior model with the flow equations and perhaps the energy equation. Compositional Simulators Compositional reservoir simulators account for multiphase flow and interfacial mass transfer of each component in a hydrocarbon system. In thermal simulators. the simulator tracks fluid movement and establishes the state of equilibrium of the reservoir fluids at the discrete points.

However. and therefore form several fluid banks. We can represent multi-mechanistic flow by describing the velocity of a component as the sum of the velocities due to different mechanisms. This is simply because the physics involved in a typical chemical flood are much more complex. and require consideration of the extensive microscopic phenomena that are taking place at the fluid-fluid and fluid-rock interfaces. we generally assume single-phase flow. Furthermore. The miscibility between two components can take place in two different ways: first-contact miscibility and multiple-contact miscibility. Miscible Displacement Simulators A miscible displacement process involves two or more fluids that are mutually miscible when they come into contact in all proportions. In the first case. One of the methods of avoiding these problems is to apply the concept of continuous thermodynamics. Examples of miscible displacement processes include chemical flooding (e. polymer flooding. miscible carbon dioxide injection. however. adsorption and desorption of certain chemical agents to and from the rock grains make the problem even more complicated. and its practical use is currently limited. Interfacial phenomena. micellar flooding) and displacement of oil by solvents. Chemical floods employ several different fluids. phase behavior of the complex systems. This type of formulation assumes no volume change upon mixing. we usually consider two components (possibly oil and the solvent). we generally treat petroleum as a mixture of limited discrete components. difficulties often arise from assigning the needed parameters to this pseudo-component.. When complete miscibility takes place. where it is much easier to control process variables. Most chemical flood simulators are developed to study certain phenomena in the laboratory. We calculate phase properties such as viscosity and density using mixing rules. the displacing fluid is immediately miscible with the displaced fluid. Miscible displacement simulators can be multicomponent and multi-mechanistic models. This area is still undergoing research. and emphasize flow by dispersion. The standard method of handling this problem is the use of C7+. it is a continuous mixture.• In compositional simulation. there is no interface formed between components. . In a miscible displacement simulator. in the construction of these simulators. But in fact. miscibility occurs after a series of equilibrium contact stages. This assumption implies the presence of full miscibility and lets us avoid difficult vaporliquid equilibrium computations of multiple-contact miscibility.g. Multi-mechanism indicates that flow is taking place due to convection and dispersion. while in the second. Chemical and Polymer Flooding Simulators Chemical flooding simulators are much more demanding to develop than other special purpose simulators.

In general. and that they contribute the major portion of gas storage in areas in which gas is stored in adsorbed and free states.e. and to analyze the increased production and profitability of a full scale chemical flood under several operating strategies. as a primary porosity matrix. low production costs. water is not allowed to transfer from the water phase to the polymer phase (i. As water is removed from the macropores. . the rock adsorptive capacity limits the maximum polymer adsorption on the rock.Polymer injection is a complex process. the butt cleat is discontinuous and ends at the face cleat. and relatively simple development techniques. characterized by well-defined macropore and micropore structures. Coalbed Reservoir Simulators The petroleum industry classifies methane from coalbed reservoirs as unconventional natural gas. However. Most polymer injection simulators treat the adsorption of polymer on the rock as permanent (i. Thus. the free gas saturation within the fracture network increases. Unconventional resources offer significant potential.. has a size in the order of molecular dimensions to a few Angstroms. most of the time. This process represents a distributed source mechanism over the macropore structure. When the coal seam is in virgin conditions. the anisotropic nature of a coal seam originates from this cleat system in which the permeability in the direction of a face cleat is considerably larger than that in the direction of a butt cleat. like other simulators. gas is desorbed from the micropore surfaces toward the macropore structure. for coal seams in virgin conditions. we assume that the openings are not accessible to water. It involves simultaneous multiphase fluid flow with interphase mass transfer of water between the polymer and water phases when there is adsorption of polymer on the rock of the porous medium. As the desorption process continues. While the face cleat is continuous throughout the reservoir and capable of draining large areas. It is necessary to consider the polymer adsorption on the rock and its effects on the permeability of the rock to the existing phases. there is no desorption). We can use chemical and polymer flood simulators.e. We also need to account for transverse dispersion of the polymer component within the aqueous phase. the polymer and water phases form the aqueous phase. Quantitatively.. However. in terms of large volumes of reserves. as much as 2000 SCF of methane can be stored in a ton of coal by adsorption. Usually water is allowed to transfer from the polymer phase to the water phase as a result of polymer slug deterioration caused by polymer adsorption on rock. both now and in the future. We can also use them to determine optimal slug sizes. and composed of two fracture systems which are almost orthogonal to each other (face and butt cleats). the polymer slug cannot be diluted by water). One of the more important characteristics of coal seams is their dual-porosity nature. as screening tools to select optimal patterns. The micropore system. The natural fracture networks of coal seams are uniformly distributed. Finally. we can use them to predict the effect of fluid and rock properties on the oil recovery and flood performance.we assume that the cleat system is fully saturated with water. the volume of the free gas in the micropores is almost negligible compared to the volume of the gas in the adsorbed state. Again. In a polymer injection simulator.

Along these lines. In studying these types of applications. Similarly. in which the desorption rate is proportional to the difference between the gas concentration at the external matrix surface and the average concentration contained within the matrix. since the adsorbed gas is assumed to instantaneously enter the macro-pore system. • A more realistic approach is the non-equilibrium formulation. enhanced recovery of coalbed methane through nitrogen or carbon dioxide injection is under consideration as a viable process to increase the rate of methane recovery. (i) Consider kx. In some coalbed reservoirs. it will be necessary to use second-generation coalbed reservoir models which use a compositional approach in modeling the selective adsorption/desorption of different gas components. The overall structure of coalbed reservoir simulators is similar to the conventional dualporosity/single-permeability models. (e. • In the equilibrium sorption isotherm approach.Most coalbed simulators use Langmuir sorption isotherms to describe the release of methane from the adsorbed state.. and B as constant properties. components other than methane. Ax. Models based on this approach are essentially single-porosity models altered for coal seams by either the inclusion of a pressure dependent source term or by the modification of the storage term. These models generally predict optimistic results. µ . The non-equilibrium (unsteady-state) formulation takes into account the time lag experienced during transport through the micropores. . With the aid of these models. The first-generation coalbed reservoir models consider the only existence of a single component gas (methane) and water. may play an important role in the coal’s sorption characteristics. PROBLEMAS Write the finite difference analog of the following partial differential equations of fluid flow in porous media: a. A slightly more sophisticated approach involves treating matrix sorption as a quasi-steady state model. we assume that the gas adsorbed onto the micropore walls is in a constant state of equilibrium with the free gas phase in the macropore system. They achieve this by solving a first order kinetic sorption model. such as carbon dioxide). it can be used to predict the methane emission rates into the active mine working area.g. two approaches have been developed: equilibrium sorption isotherms (pressure dependent) and non-equilibrium sorption isotherms (pressure and time dependent). production performances of coalbed reservoirs have been thoroughly examined. If the simulator has the options to accommodate ongoing mining activities.

µ . b. < =0 First. incompressible fluid in one-dimensional rectangular coordinates. (i) Since kx. µ . substitute for the potential gradients. Use the implicit scheme. Ax. then approximate. c. < or < The finite difference approximation will be < or . Ax. SOLUCION a. and B are to be treated as constants.(ii) Consider kx. None of the reservoir properties are constants. < represents the flow of a single-phase. and B as non-constant properties.

< Potential gradient is defined as (D positive downward) .< or < (ii) If kx and Ax distributions are heterogeneous. < b. in more general form. we can write the governing partial differential equations as < or < The finite difference approximation to the above equation will be < or.

Substituting these definitions into the given partial differential equation. we obtain < we can rearrange the above equation as follows: < The finite difference analogue of this equation is < .< Similar definitions will hold along the y and z directions.

< c. < The above equation represents the single-phase flow of a slightly compressible liquid in two dimensional rectangular oordinates. Identify the unknowns of the problem and give the equations that need to be supplied for the solution. Assume that sandface pressures are specified at the well locations. The finite-difference representation using the implicit scheme is < OTRO Consider the mathematical formulation of the two-phase flow of oil and gas. SOL We can express the two-phase flow of oil and gas using the following equations (for onedimensional flow): Oil equation: .

Since sandface pressures are specified. So and Sg. These two auxiliary equations are Saturation relationship: So+Sg=1. we need two more equations.< Gas Equation: < where < Unknowns of the problem are Po.00 Capillary pressure relationship: Pcgo(So) = Pg-Po The two remaining unknowns are the flow rates qo and qg. After examining the . we can use the well equations to calculate the flow rates for each phase: < OTRO The following partial differential equation describes a specific fluid flow problem in a porous medium with kx = 10 md. Therefore. µ = 2 cp and Vb = 10.000 ft3. Pg.

at x = 1 using central difference. k = 10 md. we can write For µ = 2 cp. describe the flow problem and he porous media in the fullest extent. Calculate the value of at x = 1 using forward. Calculate the value of at x = 1. . Thus. q= 300 STB/D (injection rate OTRO You are given the function f(x)=3x2 + 6x + 5. Compare your results against the exact value of b. backward and central difference approximations using a grid spacing of ∆X = 1. a. Vb= 10. For a homogeneous system.given mathematical formulation. or Comparing with the given equation. we can start with the most general form of the single-phase. SOL immediately signals that we are dealing with an incompressible The equation < fluid (note the absence of time dependency). Assuming no depth gradient.000 ft3 and B=1. incompressible fluid flow equation in one dimension.

Compare your result against the exact value of SOL at x = 1 and comment. with ∆x=1: . with ∆x=1: central-difference approximation for at x = 1. forward-difference approximation for at x = 1. we can calculate the exact value of =12 at x = 1 as = 6x+6 a. with ∆x=1: backward-difference approximation for at x = 1. Given the function f(x)=3x2+ 6x-5.

OTRO Give a complete formulation of two-phase (gas-water) flow applicable to a twodimensional domain with no depth gradients. because centraldifference approximation is second-order accurate. and the higher-order derivatives of the given function (which is a quadratic equation) vanish. This is not surprising.b. we can see that the central difference approximation gives the same result as the exact differentiation. SOL Assumptions specified: Rsw=0 Pcgw=0 (Pg=Pw) No depth gradient (Φ=P) 2-D flow (x and y directions only) Homogeneous property distribution Isotropic property distribution (kx=ky=k) Water equation: Gas equation: . there is no error introduced with the central-difference approximation when a second-order function is approximated. Reduce the equations to their simplest forms and identify the principle unknowns and the equations that are necessary to solve the problem. That is. Assume the solubility of gas in water and the capillary pressure between the phases to be negligible. From part (a). isotropic and incompressible. Treat the porous medium as homogeneous. Therefore.

We therefore need one more equation to close the system. If one of the rates is specified. SOL. b. there are three principal unknowns: P.00 For the flow rates. Sw and Sg. Describe the fluid flow problem and the porous media to the fullest extent. .Since we have homogeneous and isotropic property distributions. then the other flow rate will be treated as an unknown. What are the principal unknowns of the problem? Also. which states that pores are always 100% filled with water and gas. provide the necessary auxiliary equations to solve the problem. it will be necessary to use the well equations if sandface pressure is specified. In other words. This last equation will be the saturation equation. Sw+Sg=1. we can further simplify the two equations above: In these two equations. OTRO You are given the formulation below: a.

So and Sw. which is why it is not carried to the front of the derivative as a multiplier.00 The flow rates will be calculated in conjunction with the well equations.. Ax is constant). OTRO Consider the one-dimensional flow of an incompressible fluid in a homogeneous reservoir which is inclined with respect to the datum plane as shown in the figure. We ignore the capillary pressure between the oil and water phases. and therefore we consider the depth gradient in the x-direction. we need to use the saturation relationship So+Sw=1. The two equations represent two-phase (oil and water) flow in a one-dimensional porous medium. . Although the reservoir has uniform thickness and width (i. The problem’s principal unknowns are P. Figure 1 a. b. (Flow direction is indicated as x-direction. Note that flow is taking place in one-dimensional mode parallel to the bedding plane. The formation porosity is a function of pressure. it has heterogeneous permeability distribution.e. The reservoir is inclined.a.). which is why there is no subscript assigned to P. In addition to the two partial differential equations given above.

P=2700 psia. we can simplify this equation as < For this problem. the equation reduces to < . Again at x=300 ft. we obtain P = -x+3000. dD/dx is constant. a. we get < Using boundary conditions C2=3000 and C1=-1. Integrating once. < Assuming that Ax and kx are constant. Therefore. Figure 1 . SOL. integrating a second time. At x=300 ft.Write the partial differential equation which describes the flow problem outlined above. and since m and B are constants. < OTRO Consider the two-dimensional body-centered grid with the boundary conditions as indicated in the following figure. we get P=C1x+C2.

Figure 1 Show all the reflection nodes and their respective equations that you will need to solve this problem. . SOL.

For reflection nodes: 8´x and 12´x. 9´x. 5´x. 11´y . 12´y (no-flow boundary).Figure 1 For reflection nodes: 1’x. 2´x and 4´x (no-flow boundary). 10´y . For reflection nodes: 1´y. . 9´y . 3´x. 2´y .

8 and 2. Figure 1 . Then repeat with PSOR using ω = 1.For reflection nodes: 7’y and 8’y. OTRO Solve < for the two grids shown using zero boundary conditions. 1. use Gauss-Seidel.2. ω = 1 . 1.4. Plot number of iterations versus and determine the ωopt.6.0. First. 1.

we obtain the following results (ε =0.Figure 1 SOL.1): Table 1 . with an initial guess of 100. For configuration a.

we obtain the following results (ε =0.Table 1 Again.1): Table 2 . with an initial guess of 100 and convergence criterion of 0.1.

. Figure 1 a. OTRO Consider the following Dirichlet-type problem given to describe the two-dimensional flow of a single-phase slightly compressible liquid in an isotropic and homogeneous porous medium with no depth gradients or wells.Table 2 Note that an exact solution for both of the systems will entail a zero distribution throughout the systems.

a. we can further simplify the above equation (treating m and B as constants): . and the reservoir has isotropic and homogeneous property distribution. Identify the unknowns of the problem and generate the system of equations. we can express the single-phase. Write the characteristic finite-difference approximation of part (a) (Express the pressures at time level .Write the partial differential equation which describes this problem and simplify it. SOL. Assuming no depth gradients. slightly compressible flow problem in two dimensions as Since there are no wells.) c. b.

j = constant c. using the implicit procedure. The characteristic finite difference approximation to the above partial differential equation. Essentially. is We can rearrange this equation as (note that (∆x)i.j = (∆y)i.b. the problem has two unknowns (shown as 1 and 2 on figure 1 ): figure 1 At node 1: Which we can simplify as .

after simplifying. In matrix form. with a pressure tolerance of 1 psia.At node 2: Again. use the Gauss-Seidel iterative procedure. homogeneous and isotropic system. Figure 1 . In solving the system of equations generated by the finite-difference approximation. we can write the above two equations as follows: OTRO Find the pressure distribution and flow rate into the well for the following 2dimensional. Calculate the percent error by checking the material balance.

Figure 1 The two-dimensional.Figure 1 SOL. incompressible flow equation in its general form is For the homogeneous. single-phase. we can collapse the governing partial differential equation to The finite difference approximation to this simplified partial differential equation is . isotropic reservoir specified above.

Therefore.Since sandface pressure is specified at the well block.186P1 + 2P2 + 2P4 = -712. Then we can calculate the productivity index (PI) for the well as follows: Then. Therefore. 2. we need to calculate the following groups. Block 1 (well-block) is the only one where q _ 0. flow rate is an unknown.35(P1-600) Equation for Block 1: or -5. it will be necessary to incorporate the flow rate equation using Close inspection of the figure reveals that because of the existing symmetry planes. there are actually four different blocks (numbered 1. Therefore. 3 and 4 in the above figure) with unknown pressures. q1=-5. we will only need to write four equations at these four blocks and solve them simultaneously.1 Equation for Block 2: P1+P3-4P2+P3+2000 = 0 .

or P1+4P2+2P3=-2000 Equation for Block 3: P4+P2-4P3+1600+2000 = 0 or P2-4P3+P4 = -3600 Equation for Block 4: P3+P1-4P4+P3+1600 = 0 or P1+2P3-4P4=-1600 We can write these four equations for the Gauss-Seidel procedure as follows: The following table summarizes the progression of the Gauss-Seidel iterations with a convergence criterion of ε =1: k 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 P1 1000 909 1134 1296 1371 1403 1418 1425 1428 1430 1430 P2 1000 1227 1512 1633 1683 1707 1718 1723 1725 1726 1727 P3 1000 1497 1617 1681 1712 1727 1733 1736 1737 1738 1739 P4 1000 1356 1492 1565 1599 1614 1621 1629 1626 1627 1627 (initial guess) .

a. Volume entering well block: Volume leaving well block = 4441 STB/D Material balance error = 0. convergence has been obtained after 10 iterations within a tolerance of 1 psi. then. is q1=-5. Write the partial differential equation which governs the flow problem described above and put it into its simplest form.As we can see from the above iterations.35 [1430-600] = -4441 STB/D ("-" sign indicates production). incompressible fluid flow problem taking place in a onedimensional homogeneous porous medium composed of four uniform blocks as shown below. Material Balance Check: Since this is a steady-state flow problem. Give a finite-difference approximation of the partial differential equation of part (a) and put it into a characteristic form. the volume of fluid entering the well block has to be equal to the volume leaving the block through the wellbore. Can you offer an educated guess for the expected flow rate from the well located in block 1? What is your guess? Figure 1 .3% OTRO Consider the single-phase. Generate the system of equations that need to be solved to determine the pressure distribution in the system. d. c. Assume that g/gc. Do not solve the equations. b. The flow rate into the well.

we have < For a homogeneous reservoir. we can further simplify this relationship: < Assuming g/gc=1.SOL. Starting with the single-phase. a. incompressible fluid flow equation in one dimensional rectangular coordinates. < .

296P1 + P2 = -2886.b. < For the well block (Block 1). we are ready to write the finite-difference equations for each block.10 Block 2: . < For Block 1. we need to use the flow rate equation: < At this stage. we can further simplify the above equation to -3. Block 1: < Since P0=P1 (from the given boundary condition). for Block 4. we implement the no-flow boundary condition Similarly.

Volume entering: < Well production: . P2=1330. we have < The solution vector will be P1=1279.06 psi. and P4=1577.< which simplifies to P1-2P2+P3 = 58. In the matrix form. d.77 Block 4: < which simplifies to P3-P4 = -177.22 Now we can solve the above four equations in four unknowns simultaneously. Since this is a steady-state flow problem.33 Block 3: < which simplifies to P2-2P3+P4 = 7.84.27. the volume entering from the right end of the reservoir should be equal to the flow rate from the well. P3=1439.39.

Calculate the artesian flow rate at the surface. Sandface pressure of the well in block 5 is controlled by the hydrostatic head of the fluid column in the well. OTRO Consider the single-phase. The outer boundaries of the blocks are completely sealed. incompressible fluid flow problem shown in the following figure.06 which checks with the entering volume to within 0. Perform a material balance check. A strong bottom drive keeps blocks 1 and 4 at a constant pressure of 3000 psia and block 3 at a constant pressure of 2000 psia. . wellhead pressure is atmospheric pressure. b.27)+6418. i.(-5. In the solution of equations use Gauss-Seidel iterative procedure with a convergence criterion of 0. Figure 1 a. The reservoir is homogeneous and there are no depth gradients.44 = -203.e.5 psia.1%..176)(1279.

j = (∆y)i.SOL The governing equation is which simplifies to The finite-difference approximation will be Since (∆x)i.j. Finite Difference Equation for Block 2: P2+3000-4P2+2000+P5=0 -3P2+P5=-5000 Finite Difference Equation for Block 5: .

807P5=-4409. Material Balance check: Volume leaving the system= Volume entering the system: % error = 0.53 2485. P5=2456.23 2485.5)+28601.12 2456.71 2485.67 STB/D b.375)(2456.51 P2=2485.51 P5 2500 2401.92 Gauss-Seidel equations will then be With iterations.which can be simplified to P2-2. K 0 1 2 3 4 5 P2 2500 2500 2487.08 2457.5 psia Flow rate calculation: q5=(-16.5 psia.52 2456.51 2456.7=-11623.05 OTRO .

6. The reservoir has homogeneous and isotropic property distribution with no-flow boundaries Both of the wells are stimulated. The governing equation is < For the homogeneous. Figure 1 a. b. and they have a skin factor of -2. Write the partial differential equation which describes the problem and identify the unknown blocks and unknowns of the problem. 7. The shaded blocks are maintained at 3000 psia via strong bottom water encroachment. anisotropic reservoir described in this problem.Consider the incompressible fluid flow through the two-dimensional porous media as shown below. we can write the above equation as . and 12 using the numerical values of the coefficients SOL . Write the finite difference equations for blocks 4.

P12 Other unknowns: Flow rate from well in Block #4. Block #4). .< Unknown pressures: P3. sandface pressure at the well in Block #6. P8. P10.2P6+0. P7. P6.3P6-P6+0. P4.2P10=-30 For the block with the production well. we write the characteristic form of the finite-difference equation: < We can manipulate this equation as follows: < which simplifies further to < For blocks with no wells. b. we will have < For the block with the injection well.3P7+0. P11. we need to calculate re 4 and k4 in the flow rate equation (psf=1000 psia. q = 600 STB/D (Block 6): 0. First. P9.

< Then < Upon substitution into equation for Block 4.3P11.3P6 .0.2P3 + 0. 0.2P11=0 For Block 12. 0. we obtain < For Block 7. Figure 1 .7P12= -600 OTRO Consider the flow of a single-phase incompressible fluid in a reservoir which is represented by the body-centered grid as shown below.P7+0.3 P8 + 0.2P8 + 0.

Figure 1 Solve for the pressure distribution in the reservoir using LSOR procedure with ωopt = 1.00 SOL This equation’s finite-difference approximation is .

which gives qi.j as .In the above equation.

There are two wells in the system producing at the indicated rates.We need to solve the line equations separately and continue with the iterations until we attain convergence. For Line 3. there is again only one equation to be solved separately. we need to solve 3 equations simultaneously. . Calculate the value of the pressure gradient along the unknown boundary indicated in the figure. OTRO Consider the steady-state flow of a single-phase incompressible liquid as shown in the following figure. Line 1 has one equation. For Line 2. In this problem. The permeability and thickness maps are provided.

Figure 1 Figure 1 SOL. Therefore.3 indicates influx. there must be and influx of (-1000+676. At j=4. . δp/δy= 0.2=-323. across the lower boundary. Thus. The total influx from j=4 blocks will be Wells 1 and 2 are producing -1000 STB/D.8 STB/D).

solve for the production rate at the end of 30 and 60 days using the backward difference approximation to the governing partial differential equation. Figure 1 Figure 1 . NOTE: All external boundaries in this reservoir are no-flow boundaries. Assuming that the pressure-dependent fluid properties are constant within the pressure range of the reservoir.OTRO Aki me quede Consider the unsteady-state flow of a slightly compressible fluid in the twodimensional system shown below. Pressure throughout the reservoir is given as 3600 psia before the well is put on production.

14[6002+6002]1/2 k2 = 42 md S2=0 . with re2 = 0. we get The implicit finite-difference approximation will be Rearrangement of this equation gives In the above equation.SOL Simplifying the above equation.

064P1+P2=-228. Now we can write the finite-difference approximations for the five blocks using a time step size of 30 days. P5+P2-4P3+P3+P3+0 = 0.064P3-228.064P4 -228.095P2 + P3 + P4= -1679.81 .064P4+P5 = -228. or P1 .81 or P2-2.064P3+P5 = -228.Therefore.81 For Block 2.4.841 For Block 3. P4 +P4 -4P4 +P5 +P2 + 0 = 0.81 or P2-2. For Block 1.064P1 -(0.064)(3600) or -1. P1+P1 -4P1 +P2+P1 +0=0.81 For Block 4.

07 STB/D (production) For the second time step at t=60 days. P5=2086. -1. The solution of this system of equations generates P1=1994. P3=2039.064P3+P5 = -130.064)(2039.01 psia.07)+858. P4=2039.81 or P3 +P4-2. Note that as expected. P5 +P4 -4P5 +P5 +P3 + 0 = 0.49 .064P4 +P5 = (-0.01) or P2-2. P2=1893.064P4+P5 = -130.49 For Block 4. The flow rate from the well at t=30 days will be q2 = (-0.25 psia.25) or -1.61)(1893. or P1-4. P2+-2. we need to solve the above five equations in five unknowns to find the pressure distribution in the system. P3 = P4 because of the existing symmetry.064)(1994.65 psia.07 psia. P2 -2.064P3+P5 = (-0.81 At the end of the 30 days.For Block 5.064P4+P2=(-0. we generate the following equations: For Block 1.19 For Block 3.01 psia.064P5 = -228.095P2+P3+P4=-1572.064P5 -228.01) or P2-2.064)(2039.7 = -296.63 For Block 2.064P4+P2=-127.

However.85 STB/D (production) As shown by the results of these two time-step calculations. slightly compressible fluid flow dynamics.For Block 5. P2 = 1541. because the well is being produced at a constant sandface pressure of 1400 psia. P3 = 1586. P5 = 1601. . it is concluded that the west boundary of the reservoir is completely sealed. the production rate from the well at 30 days declined by 214.87 psia.36 psia.88)+858.064P5 = (-0. there is a disagreement on the nature of the east boundary. Using the pressure and production data provided. The flow rate from the well at t=60 days will be q2 =(-0. we will find the pressure distribution at t=60 days. OTRO Consider the one-dimensional reservoir with no depth gradients as shown in the following Figure 1. P3 +P4 -2.064)(2086.064P5 = --133.65) or P3 +P4-2.88 psia. From seismic studies. the symmetry between Blocks 3 and 4 are preserved.61)(1541. The solution vector for this time step is P1 = 1569.36 psia. P4 = 1586. Note that pressure values reported are measured downhole at the sandface.2 STB/D by the end of 60 days. Assume the existence of single-phase.09 psia. and flow rates are surface flow rates. Again.55 When we solve the above five equations in five unknowns simultaneously.7= -81. This number is reasonable. answer the following.

Use implicit finitedifference approximation in your answer.Figure 1 a. The governing partial differential equation for this problem is After simplifying. What would you recommend to your manager? Justify your recommendation. we obtain . It is proposed to drill a third well at t=60 days. Determine the nature of the east boundary. Your engineering manager indicates that the third well should only be drilled if pressure at the location of the third well is not less than 50% of the initial formation pressure at 60 days. SOL a. b.

The finite-difference approximation will be or In this equation. We also need to calculate the equivalent well block radius. we can write this equation as . we can calculate the following groups: and therefore. re: At t = 30 days: We can use the well flow equation to find P1 at t = 30 days. For Well #1.

14 psia.63 psia. P3 = 3350. .0478)(4000) P3 = 3350. Now. we conclude that the east boundary is also a no-flow boundary.14)+P3n+1= -(0. 3257. we can solve for P3n+1 at t=30 days.63×10-4 At t =60 days: 0 (for all practical purposes) Since C1 =0.63-(2. P2 = 3320.15 psia Therefore.14 psia. Assume that _P/_x = C1 along the east boundary: Figure 1 Figure 1 Now we can write the characteristic finite-difference equation at t =30 days for Block 3: or C1=-2. we can write the finite-difference equation for Block 2 at t = 30 days. P2 at 30 days is given as P2 = 3320.15 psia.63 psia at t = 30 days. Also. or substituting for P1n+1 and P2n+1. at t = 30 days. block pressures are determined by P1 = 3257.Solving for P1 gives P1 = 3257.0478)(3320.

Use a time step size of 20 days. calculate the well’s production rate. there should be no difficulty in writing these equations as follows: i =1: or i =2: or i =3: or The solution of the above three equations in three unknowns gives the pressure distribution in the reservoir at t =60 days as P1 = 1764.95 psia P3 = 1862. P3 at t = 60 days is less than 2000 psia (i. 50% of the original formation pressure). Pressure at every point in the system is given as 3600 psia before the well is opened to production. Figure 1 . Also.33 psia P2 = 1790. Therefore. Since we have already determined the nature of the east boundary. Calculate the pressure distribution at the end of the 20th day of production. Use backward-difference scheme with a pressure convergence tolerance of 10 psia. the third well should not be drilled.. according to the manager’s criterion.e.The finite-difference approximation needs to be written for each block at t =60 days. OTRO Consider the flow of a compressible fluid in the one-dimensional heterogeneous porous medium shown in the following figure.08 psia Clearly.

∆t = 1day. ∆t = 1day.001 psi b.001 psi d. ∆t = 1day. ε = 0. ∆t = 20 days. ε = 0. ε = 10 psi SOL Results are summarized in the following table: Table 1 .Figure 1 Repeat the solution using an available simulator for the following combinations of time step sizes and pressure convergence tolerance: a. ε = 1 psi c. ∆t = 20 days. ε =1 psi e.

and associated products that can be recovered profitably in the future from subsurface reservoirs. reserves are volumes of crude oil. development. Segments of the industry concerned with oil and gas reserves include · companies and individuals responsible for exploration. Reasons for Reserve Estimates Estimates of oil and gas reserves are required for different purposes by different segments of the industry and at different stages in the life of a particular oil and gas property. reserves are the amount of capital retained to meet probable future demands.ESTIMACION Reserves Estimation: Introduction The term "reserves" means different things to different people. To the oil and gas operator. natural gas. To the banker. and operation of oil and gas properties · buyers and sellers of oil and gas properties .

Probabalistic methods. calculating a single "best" estimate) or probabilistic (i. have received continuing attention in the geologic literature on the evaluation of exploration "plays" (see.e. however. As noted by Arps (1956). While the need for such methods was recognized as being appropriate to situations like the North Sea. development. development. probabilistic methods were applied with increasing frequency to estimate reserves in these fields. calculating a range of estimates reflecting the probability distributions of the basic data). Figure 1 illustrates schematically the relationships between . the World Petroleum Congress recommended adoption of a classification system based on deterministic methods (Martinez et al. probable. and quality of geologic and engineering data available. This led Keith (1986) to propose adoption of a system of reserves classification based on these methods. Methods of Estimating Reserves Methods of estimating reserves may be classified as deterministic (i.. for example. all of which generally will depend on the maturity of development and production of the field or reservoir.· banks and other financial institutions involved in the financing exploration. While it has been recognized that there is always some degree of uncertainty in estimating reserves (see.. for example. Newendorp 1975). Walstrom et al. and possible reserves on prospects being developed · sizing and design of equipment to process reserves and transport them to market · opportunities for additional profit from incremental reserves that might be attributable to stimulation of producing wells. Accordingly. operators of oil and gas properties require reserve estimates at various stages of exploration. amount. With the advent of the North Sea discoveries in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. 1987).e. infill drilling. Of concern are · potential reserves on undrilled prospects · proved. and production. the methods used to estimate reserves — and the accuracy of the result — depend on the type. 1967) most of the published literature on reserve estimating has focused on deterministic methods. equipment modifications or additions or improved recovery projects. or purchase of oil and gas properties · agencies with regulatory or taxation authority over oil and gas operators · investors in oil and gas companies Depending on the scope of their operation. the methodology discussed in this work is based on deterministic methods.

Figure 1 • the general methods used to estimate reserves for the property • the range of uncertainty in the reserve estimate. and • performance (identified by Arps as the "decline-curve period" or Period III). ." or Period II)." or Period I). Methods to estimate reserves are categorized here as • analogy/statistical (identified by Arps as the "barrels-per-acre period. • volumetric (identified by Arps as the "barrels-per-acre-foot period.• the maturity of a property.

the reservoir should have reached semisteady state conditions. The weakness of the method is that this assumption’s validity cannot be determined until the subject field or reservoir has been on sustained production. In addition. and to supplement volumetric methods in a field or reservoir’s early stages of development and production. pressure transients should have affected the entire initial hydrocarbon accumulation. The fraction of oil and gas initially in place that is commercially recoverable may be estimated using a combination of analogy and analytical methods. The curve fitting procedure is based on the assumption that those factors that control the fitted trend will continue in the future. Material Balance Methods Material balance methods may be used to estimate reserves when there are sufficient reservoir pressure and production data to perform reliable calculations of hydrocarbons initially in place and to determine the probable reservoir drive mechanism. reservoir. reservoir. or well. The analysis may involve material balance calculations or it may involve curve fitting trends of oil and/or gas production. Volumetric Methods Volumetric methods are used when subsurface geologic data are sufficient for structural and isopachous mapping of the objective field or reservoir. pressure.. or well has been on sustained production long enough to develop a trend of pressure and/or production data that can be analyzed mathematically. Depending on reservoir fluid and rock properties and on the reservoir drive mechanism. i. For reliable material balance calculations. or combinations of these performance indicators. The methodology is based on the assumption that the analogous field.e.The performance method includes material balance analysis and performance/decline curve analysis.. water/gas ratio (WGR). it may be possible to make a reasonably accurate estimate of oil and gas initially in place with relatively sparse subsurface control. Performance Methods Performance methods may be used after a field. Analogy/Statistical Methods Analogy/statistical methods typically are used for undrilled prospects. or well is comparable to the subject field. .g. in a complex geologic settin (e. In a relatively uncomplicated geologic setting. gas/oil ratio (GOR). water/oil ratio (WOR). reservoir. the method may be used to estimate reserves for undrilled tracts in a partially developed field or reservoir. this could require cumulative production of as much as 5 to 10% of the hydrocarbons initially in place. one characterized by extensive faulting and/or complex stratigraphy) it may not be possible to make accurate maps until the field is almost completely developed. In contrast. One of the objectives of this mapping is to estimate oil and gas initially in place. regarding those aspects that control ultimate recovery of oil or gas.

where reservoir pressure does not exhibit large areal variations. it may be feasible to utilize seismic data to help determine reservoir or field size before there are sufficient well data to prepare reliable geologic maps. the material balance equation usually is combined with gas/oil relative permeability data in one of the prediction methods. accurate historical bottomhole pressure data. "zero-dimensional" or "tank" model material balance calculations usually are acceptable.Reliable application of this method requires accurate historical production data for all fluids (oil. As development continues. oil production from these wells usually can be maintained at more or less constant rates for a period of time. reserves are estimated using a combination of analogy and volumetric methods. Depending on pump capacity. more than one method is used to estimate reserves. the material balance equation may be used to estimate oil and gas initially in place and the probable drive mechanism. either Tamer (1944) or Muskat (1945). and pressure-volume-temperature (PVT) data representative of initial reservoir conditions. in the early stages of development and production of a field or reservoir. Performance/Decline Curve Analysis The term "decline curve analysis" refers to the analysis of declining trends of the production of oil or gas — the principal products of oil wells or gas wells." For example. it may be necessary to use a multidimensional reservoir simulation model. To estimate reserves. For dissolved gas-drive oil reservoirs. respectively — versus time or versus cumulative production to estimate reserves. Reconciliation Between Methods . For volumetric gas reservoirs. reservoirs in the field. reserves for those’ wells may be estimated using performance/decline curve analysis. historical bottomhole pressure data may be required for each well in the reservoir. a graphical form of the material balance equation may be used to estimate gas initially in place and reserves. gas. where reservoir pressure may exhibit large areal variations. In low-permeability reservoirs. or in geologically complex reservoirs. In high-permeability reservoirs. depending on the degree of reservoir complexity and the purpose of the simulation study. and water). Typically. If computer simulation is being considered. in a bottom-water drive oil reservoir. Frequently. Combination Methods Usually. it may be preferable to use a computer simulation model. however. wells generally begin producing water early in life. or similar. In some areas. In partial water drive reservoirs. a semilog plot of the fraction of oil in the total liquid production versus cumulative oil for individual wells is linear. Depending on the reservoir drive mechanism and operating practices. This procedure is called "performance trend analysis. Reserves for undrilled tracts in a developing area may be estimated by analogy with older wells in the same. Extrapolation of the fraction of oil in total liquid to an economic limit may be used to estimate reserves for these wells. and the early wells begin to develop pressure/production trends. it may be possible to estimate reserves before there is a decline in the production rate of the principal product.

Subsequent to initiating production. George 1978).. and five widely spaced appraisal wells. and Van Rijswijk et al. the two methods may not account for the same volume of hydrocarbons. which might lead to significant differences between estimates. pay may not be continuous between wells (Ghauri et al.. production rate . Cronquist (1984). 1977. Nadir and Hay (1978) reported that the first seven development wells encountered reservoir conditions in excellent agreement with conditions predicted by the operator’s predevelopment reservoir model. The material balance method accounts for production and the resulting pressure decline and is based on the assumption that the pressure decline is caused by withdrawals from the same fluid system. then a detailed geologic and engineering review may be warranted. Periodic monitoring of well and reservoir performance throughout reservoir life and reconciliation of differences between static and dynamic reserve estimates are essential elements of good reservoir management. Field case histories have attested to many situations where well and reservoir performance differed significantly from that estimated prior to initiating production. The unperforated intervals may not contribute to the pressure response and may not be accounted for in material balance calculations. geologic modeling. Volumetric Estimates of Intial Oil and Gas in Place .. Differences of this type are commonly reported in complex carbonate reservoirs (Stiles 1976). which are dynamic methods. Reconciliation of Material Balance and Volumetric Estimates The volumetric and material balance methods are independent ways to estimate oil and gas initially in place. Depending on the depositional environment of the reservoir rock and on well spacing. Also. Markum et al. there may be substantial differences between the results of volumetric and material balance estimates of oil and gas initially in place.Analogy and volumetric methods for estimating reserves are static methods and may yield results significantly different from performance methods. In the North Sea Thistle Field. wellhead pressures of wells in the crestal area of the field declined faster than had been anticipated. Because of these and other factors. and "it became obvious that . intervals counted as pay for volumetric calculations — but not perforated for production — may be in reservoirs separate from intervals that have been perforated. Hazeu et al. Such a review may lead to the drilling of additional wells or the perforating of additional intervals for production. If such differences are observed and cannot be reconciled by careful review of the data and computational procedures. for example. Sneider et al. however. Buchanan and Hoogteyling (1979). (1978). (1988). This model had been developed from seismic mapping. (1981). would be significantly below expectation" (Nadir 1980). for example. The volumetric method accounts for net pay observed in wells and generally is based on the assumption that the pay is continuous between wells.. Because the basic assumptions for each method are different. 1974. See.

Oil Reservoirs For an oil reservoir. Porosity and water saturation should be volume-weighted averages in the oil zone.Swg)Aghg/Bgi (3. If there is an oil-water transition zone initially present.3) where: GFi = free gas initially in place (SCF) 43560 = cubic feet in an acre-foot φg = average porosity in the free gas zone (fraction) Swg = average water saturation in the free gas zone (fraction) Ag = area of gas cap or gas reservoir (acres) hg = average net thickness of gas cap or gas reservoir (ft) Bgi = initial formation volume factor (CF/SCF) . we may calculate the oil initially in place as follows: N = 7758φo(l . Gas Reservoirs For a nonassociated gas reservoir. the average water saturation may be weighted accordingly for use in Equation 3. or for the oil column of an oil reservoir with a gas cap. free gas initially in place may be calculated as follows: GFi = 43560φg(l .2) where: Gsi = solution gas initially in place (SCF) Rsi = initial solution gas/oil ratio (SCF/STB) For most practical applications.1) where: N = oil initially in place (STB) 7758 = barrels in an acre-foot φo = average porosity in the oil zone (fraction) Swo = average water saturation in the oil zone (fraction) Ao = area of the oil zone (acres) ho = average net thickness of oil zone (ft) Boi = initial formation volume factor (RB/STB) For most practical applications.1. If the transition zone occupies a significant portion of the reservoir. it may be preferable to calculate oil initially in place in the transition zone separately. oil initially in place usually is rounded to the nearest thousand stock tank barrels (MSTB). solution gas initially in place usually is rounded to the nearest thousand standard cubic feet (MSCF). Solution gas dissolved in the oil at initial reservoir conditions may be calculated as follows: Gsi = NRsi (3.Swo)Aoho/Boi (3. or for a gas cap.

for example. Log analysis methodology is discussed in several publications.For most practical applications. fluid data and volumetric data. In situations where data are not available.1 through 3.) These data may be obtained from laboratory analysis of fluid samples representative of the reservoir being studied. Keelan (1977). . and others.1 and 3. Dewan (1983). Core analysis procedures are discussed by Muskat (1949).4) where: Ci = condensate.4 require three types of information: petrophysical data. Condensate. Jorden and Campbell (1986).1 through 3. and Tixier (1987). and Whiting (1960) and Keelan (1977). Sources of Data Equations 3. Porosity may be determined from core and/or log analysis. capillary pressure data. respectively. (The latter two parameters are called GOR and CGR. Water saturation may be estimated from log analysis. Porosity and water saturation should be volume weighted averages in the gas cap or gas reservoir. Sources of these data are noted briefly below. or distillate. Fluid Data The fluid data needed for Equations 3. in subsequent discussion. Measurement and interpretation of capillary pressure data are discussed by Amyx. Ellis (1987). condensate initially in place usually is rounded to the nearest thousand stock tank barrels (MSTB). Hilchie (1982). or distillate. Petrophysical Data The petrophysical data needed for Equations 3. or analysis of cores taken using oil-base mud. Schlumberger (1987). Timur (1987).3 include average water saturation (Sw) and porosity (). among others. initially in place (STB) Cvi = initial condensate/gas ratio (STB/MMSCF) GFi = free gas initially in place (SCF) For most practical applications. Bass. free gas initially in place usually is rounded to the nearest million standard cubic feet (MMSCF). Asquith (1982). in the vapor phase at initial reservoir conditions may be calculated as follows: Ci = GFiCvi (3. and initial solution gas/oil ratio (Rsi) or initial condensate/gas ratio (Cvi). reference may be made to tabulations of reservoir data published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (Jenkins 1987).4 include initial formation volume factor (Boi or Bgi). Dresser Atlas (1982).

Standing (1962). . Analysis of Data Raw data from field and laboratory sources should be analyzed carefully and crosschecked for reasonableness and consistency before being used for engineering calculations. in the form of reservoir limit tests. Volumetric Data The volumetric data needed for Equations 3. Glas (1980). the variance exhibited by the permeability tends to be progressively larger.3 include reservoir area and net pay. and Sutton and Farshad (1990) have commented on the reliability of various PVT correlations. Drainage volume usually is calculated as estimated drainage area times the true vertical net pay logged in the well or some fraction of the net pay. Amyx. Vasquez and Beggs (1980). the logarithm of the permeabilities tends to be normally distributed. Pressure transient tests.1 through 3.3 becomes drainage area for the well or wells in question. these sources may be useful in deciding which correlation to use. parameters needed for Equations 3. Muskat (1949). Reservoir area in Equation 3. As development proceeds.4 may be estimated from empirical correlations that have been published by Standing (1952). distribution. Statistical Analysis Law (1944) and Bulnes (1946) were among the earliest investigators to note that porosity and permeability of reservoir rocks tend to display certain statistical distributions. 1988) If laboratory PVT data are not available. can also be useful in determining the drainage area. Beggs (1987). and sufficient subsurface geologic data become available. or Gaussian. Bass. and Whiting (1960). and AlMarhoun (1988).1 or 3. For example. porosity in both sandstones and carbonates tends to exhibit a normal. structure and isopachous maps should be made. Drainage area usually is estimated by analogy with wells with similar rock-fluid properties and producing with the same reservoir mechanism.Caution should be exercised in sampling reservoirs with fluids near critical conditions. Arps (1962). Determination of the statistical distribution of porosity and permeability is key to the characterization of the reservoir in question and to the proper treatment of other reservoir properties with which porosity and permeability may be correlated. and Havlena (1966 and 1968) provide comprehensive discussions of data analysis for reservoir engineering. before there are enough subsurface geologic data for mapping.1 and 3. reserves usually are estimated on a per-well basis. because cases have been reported where fluid composition varied from undersaturated oil near the base of the accumulation to gas condensate at the top (Neveux et al. Early in the development of a field or reservoir. In rocks with a progressively lower porosity. Permeability tends to exhibit a log-normal distribution — i.. depending on circumstances.e.

Depending on rock texture. shaly sands. (b) permeability. or (c) the square root of permeability divided by porosity. one solution is to select the capillary pressure curve from a rock sample that has porosity and permeability approximately equal to the arithmetic average porosity and median permeability for the reservoir. Havlena (1966).3). Due to the wide variations in rock texture. Adjustment/Correlation of Data Petrophysical and fluid data from all sources should be compared and cross-checked for consistency. Keelan (1977) . and well-test data are discussed in the following paragraphs. Miocene-sand gas reservoir by using the geometric mean average water saturation. Bass. there may not be a statistically valid correlation between capillary pressure behavior and porosity and permeability for the reservoir in question. wellbore conditions. indirect methods using core analysis might have to be used. and correlation of core porosity with log response may be poor. as discussed by Bennion and Griffiths (1966). which can have an important bearing on estimating reserves. The problem is especially severe in loosely consolidated sands. Cronquist (1984) has reported that there was better agreement between volumetric and material balance estimates of gas initially in place in a very heterogenous. there might be statistically valid correlations between Swi and one of several different rock parameters. Core recovery frequently is incomplete. If porosity is normally distributed.In addition. In this situation.1 and 3. If there is not a significant oil-water transition zone. the best value to use for these correlations is the arithmetic average porosity. In other reservoirs it may be necessary to use capillary pressure curves to estimate irreducible water saturation. Core depths. and Muskat (1949) Porosity Depending on lithology. reported getting better agreement with well-test rates by using arithmetic average permeability. and . Richardson (1987). seldom agree with wireline log depths. PVT. Testerman (1962). porosities indicated by wireline logs may or may not agree with those determined from core analysis. which are determined from drillpipe measurements. the best value to use for some applications may be the median permeability (Warren and Price 1961). vugular carbonates. statistical analysis may reveal the presence of more than one type of depositional unit in the reservoir. and others. and fractured. If permeability is log-normally distributed. however. In some reservoirs it might not be possible to determine Swi directly from in-situ log measurements. Average water saturation (Sw) is one of the parameters needed for volumetric calculations of oil and gas initially in place (Equations 3. water saturation. Stanley (1973) and others have provided guidelines for testing the statistical validity of various correlations. Complete discussions have been provided by Amyx. Several aspects of this process for porosity. and Whiting (1960). the average water saturation in the reservoir may be approximately equal to the irreducible water saturation (Swi). including (a) porosity. and logging device. rather than the arithmetic average water saturation.

e. and a least-squares fit is used to determine the relation between log and core porosity. even though the cores are taken with a rubber sleeve and compacted before the analysis (Elkins 1972). (b) porosity. where Sw = Swi. before being used in Equations 3.appropriate adjustments must be made before direct comparison is possible. Frequently. In highly fractured or vugular carbonates. caution should be exercised in utilizing any core data from such sediments. The procedure for making these adjustments has been discussed by Amyx. and Whiting (1960) and by Moses (1986). not necessarily dependent on log or core depth. core analysis of loose. If there is reasonable agreement. the initial GORs determined from well tests — those at initial reservoir pressure — usually are in reasonable agreement with those determined from laboratory flash liberation tests (the so-called separator tests). for the same rock texture — there should be a reasonable correlation between logdetermined water saturation and (a) permeability. the laboratory formation volume factor at initial reservoir pressure (Boi).. should be adjusted to compensate for separator conditions in the field. Usually. Accepted procedure is to correct core depths to wireline log depths and attempt to correlate log response with core porosity at the log-adjusted depth. porosity from full-diameter cores is considered the standard against which log response is calibrated. An alternate procedure to improve the correlation between log response and core porosity has been discussed by Havlena (1966). . which integrate formation response over several feet. this results in a poor correlation. The procedure used to develop a running average of core data should be compatible with the logging tool zone of investigation. This procedure is called a forced fit. In addition. Bass.2. For each well. especially in laminated sandstones and very heterogeneous carbonates. Comparable procedures should be followed for gas reservoirs.1 and 3. which is important because such units may have a significant influence on well and reservoir performance. One procedure that may improve the correlation is to develop a running average of core porosity over several feet. 1977). and the corresponding GOR (Rsi). An averaging process may come closer to the averaging process inherent in most porosity logging tools. neither core nor log data may provide representative porosity data. however. however. regardless of the core or log depth. A coregamma log usually facilitates correlation between core depths and log depths. core porosity and log porosity are ordered separately in ascending order. or (c) square root of [permeability divided by porosity]. Water Saturation For reservoir zones at irreducible water saturation — i. Mattax et al. double weighting the central values. this type of correlation may help identify different depositional units within a reservoir (Sneider et al. and treats core porosity and log response as two sets ‘of spatially random variables. Reference to logging company technical brochures is recommended. The sets of values — in ascending order — are plotted. (1975) have discussed methods for core analyses of friable and unconsolidated sands. Frequently. unconsolidated sands may result in abnormally high porosity values. Well Test and PVT Data If recombination samples have been taken for PVT analysis.

the PVT data always should be smoothed using the Y and the _V functions. for an oil reservoir. and Whiting (1960). When material balance or reservoir simulation calculations are made. the presence of free gas in the reservoir — possibly undetected during development drilling — should be suspected.1 and 3.2. Accurate determination of initial reservoir pressure is especially important in geopressured gas reservoirs. comparison of initial pressure with bubble-point pressure can provide useful information regarding whether an initial gas cap is a reasonable possibility.1 through 3. or less than. The Y function is used to smooth the total relative volume data (Bt). . If GORs from initial well tests are significantly greater than those indicated by valid PVT data. Bass. initial reservoir pressure. Reliable application of the material balance method mandates historical bottomhole pressure data in addition to accurate initial pressure. Initial Reservoir Conditions The PVT terms in Equations 3. there is a possibility of nonrepresentative sampling. This could have a significant effect on volumetric calculations of oil initially in place. pending availability of representative samples or adjustment of the sample data to reflect the correct initial bubble-point pressure. The recommended procedure uses empirical correlations to estimate the parameters needed in Equations 3. Although highly accurate determination of reservoir temperature and initial reservoir pressure may not be critical for volumetric calculations — given the uncertainties in other factors — such determination is essential for PVT data because of its influence on other calculations usually made later in the life of the reservoir. In this event.If bottomhole samples were used for PVT analysis.4 should represent fluid properties at reservoir temperature and initial reservoir pressure. Initial reservoir pressure should be checked against local pressure gradient information. the initial GOR from well tests should be checked against empirical correlations of bubble-point pressure and formation volume factor. the _V function. GORs from initial well tests usually are significantly greater than those determined from laboratory separator tests. In addition. Pressure Accurate determination of initial reservoir pressure is critical if material balance methods are to be used to estimate oil or free gas initially in place. as discussed by Amyx. especially if the reservoir has low permeability and was at or below the initial bubble-point pressure at the time of sampling. the relative oil volume data (Bo). Subnormal initial pressure might be indicative of partial drainage from other wells or reservoirs producing from the same formation and may establish a need for early pressure maintenance. If PVT analyses are not available. The test data used in these correlations to estimate initial formation volume factor should indicate a bubble-point pressure equal to.

5f) (3. accurate reservoir temperature is necessary for calculations of the performance of gas reservoirs.465Dss Texas Gulf Coast (hydropressure zone) pi = 0. detailed discussion of these procedures is beyond the scope of this work. It is good practice to determine the initial temperature-depth profile in each producing well in a field using a continuous recording thermometer of the type described by Plisga (1987) Caution should be exercised in using bottomhole temperatures observed during openhole logging. and Colorado pi = 0.5h) . Reservoir temperature and initial pressure estimated using these correlations should be considered preliminary and not a substitute for actual measurements.133 (3.5d) (3.5e) (3. Utah.47lDss + 1120 Alberta Lower Cretaceous pi = 0. because these temperatures will have been reduced to belownormal formation temperature by circulation of the drilling fluid. North Dakota.439Dss + 1250 Illinois. Initial Reservoir Pressure The following correlations have been developed for initial pressure in oil and gas reservoirs in North America: Louisiana Gulf Coast (hydropressure zone) pi = 0. In this case.45Dss West Texas pi = 0.5b) (3. Regional Correlations In the early stages of development and production of a field or reservoir. measured bottom-hole pressure and temperature data may be too sparse to provide a reliable estimate of initial conditions. Hitchon 1984).427Dss + 210 Kansas pi = 0. In addition.Wyoming. and Michigan pi = 0.5c) Montana. Listed below are correlations for initial reservoir pressure and formation temperature for several regions in North America (Scientific Software 1975.439Dss + 310 (3.36D .475Dss + 375 Oklahoma pi = 0. regional correlations may be helpful.Kentucky.5g) (3.The methodology of measuring and interpreting bottomhole pressure data has been discussed by Plisga (1987). Temperature Accurate determination of reservoir temperature is important if laboratory PVT data are to be measured under reservoir conditions. Indiana.5a) (3.

.39D .000 ft) Tf = 66 + 0.73 Alberta Bashaw carbonate complex pi = 702 + 0. using the equation: .527Dss (3.466Dss Alberta Windfall-Swan Hills carbonate complex pi = 947 + 0.0187D Alberta Rimbey-Meadowbrook carbonate complex Tf = 49 + 0.51) (3. formation temperature in the hydropressure zone may be estimated from thermal gradient maps published by the USGS and the AAPG (1976).6g) (3.0201D (3.Alberta Devonian D-2 pi = 0.6b) Oklahoma Anadarko Basin Tf = 66 + 0.358D .6h) (3.5k) (3.0167D Alberta Windfall-Swan Hills carbonate complex Tf = 32 + 0.6d) (3.5m) pi = initial pressure (psi) D = depth (ft) Dss = depth subsea (ft) Note: The hydropressure zone is that portion of the geologic column in which initial reservoir fluid pressure is hydrostatic — i.6a) Nichols (1947) has published an iso-temperature gradient map of the TexasLouisiana Gulf Coast region.0125Dss North Texas Tf = 60 + 0.014D Alberta Tf = 35 + 0. the initial pressure can be attributed to the weight of the overlying static column of formation water in the zone of saturation (Gary et al. In general.6e) Alberta Bashaw carbonate complex Tf = 32 + 0.0111D Oklahoma deep Anadarko Basin (below 21. Formation Temperature The following correlations have been developed for oil and gas reservoirs in North America: Louisiana Gulf Coast (hydropressure zone) Tf = 74 + 0.e.01675D (3.200 Alberta Devonian D-3 pi = 0. 1972).5i) (3.6c) (3.6f) (3.0193D (3.491Dss where: (3.5j) Alberta Rimbey-Meadowbrook carbonate complex pi = 536 + 0.

and (3) those controlled by a combination of structure and stratigraphy. well testing. regarding the Leman Field in the North Sea — one of the world’s largest gas fields — Craig et al. and improved recovery techniques. reserve estimates. three broad categories of reservoirs may be identified: (1) those controlled by structure. however. In general. we are in a better position to understand structurally complex reservoirs.S. Reservoir geology impacts all phases of reservoir management. Volumetric Mapping of Reservoirs After a discovery well and one or more confirmation wells have been drilled on a prospect. including drilling and completion techniques. As the field or reservoir is . At the other extreme are stratigraphically complex reservoirs on highly folded and faulted structures. (2) those controlled by stratigraphy. The Santa Fe Springs Field in California and the Abqaiq Pool in Saudi Arabia are examples of simple structural traps. For example. Levorsen (1967) and Lowell (1985). among others. western overthrust belt and the Maloosa Field in Italy are examples of complex structural traps that pose substantial difficulties in estimating reserves.7) Tf = formation temperature (°F) Tsa = average surface temperature (°F) gG = geothermal gradient (°F/ft) D = depth (ft) Volumetric Mapping Types of Traps The degree of uncertainty in a volumetric estimate of oil and gas reserves is influenced more by the degree of geologic complexity of the reservoir — and by the amount and quality of geophysical and subsurface geologic data — than by almost any other combination of factors. have provided treatments of petroleum geology that are recommended reading.. that with the progress that has been made in 3-D seismic techniques in recent years. It is very important throughout the life of a reservoir that the engineers involved in estimating reserves become familiar with the geologic setting in which the reserves occur and the possible geologic complications associated with that setting. seismic control (if available) should be integrated with subsurface geologic data in the preparation of structure maps on key horizons. (1977) have commented that "an accurate volumetric determination of the gas in place is impossible because of seismic interpretation problems and the limited well control that results from the cluster-type development . well and reservoir performance. Reservoirs on simple anticlinal closures uncomplicated by faulting and containing laterally continuous porosity are among the easiest to estimate reserves and are subject to the least uncertainty. drainage areas.. It is worth noting.where: Tf = Tsa + gG D (3. the situation is aggravated further by a complex fault system. The Painter Reservoir Field in the U.

For example: · When a well log is being evaluated to select an interval for completion. as applicable. and Whiting (1960) have provided an extensive discussion on volumetric mapping. or oilwater contacts on each reservoir. Amyx. the 50% and 100% water levels may not be planar. the oil-water contact may be tilted. including · the 50% water level — defined as the depth below which the reservoir will produce in excess of 50% water — which may be delineated by testing. Snyder (1971) observed that net pay in a given reservoir may be determined for one of several different purposes.e. Depending on the purpose for mapping. different oil-water contacts may be defined. The procedure to determine net pay — and the results — may be different for each purpose. and well-test information should be integrated into the mapping process to delineate gas-oil.developed. In a typical reservoir. the free water level should be planar (Knutsen. capillary pressure. In the following discussion. logged net pay thickness corrected for borehole inclination. In low-porosity heterogeneous rocks. There are several possibilities. log. Fluid-fluid contacts should be transferred to the net sand isopach for each reservoir and net hydrocarbon isopachs should be prepared. or on the anticipated reservoir drive mechanism. to corroborate material balance calculations — net pay usually includes all hydrocarbon-bearing intervals likely to contribute to the energy balance. as discussed by Hubbert (1953).. the term "net pay" refers to "true vertical net pay1. Bass. — i. net pay generally includes only those intervals judged likely to contribute to well inflow at commercial rates. · When a reservoir is being evaluated to determine total hydrocarbons in place — for example. For sandstone reservoirs. Bank-head (1962) has provided additional discussion on volumetric mapping of oil and gas reservoirs. and water-oil relative permeability data · the 100% water level (analogous to the 50 water level) · the free water level (the datum of zero capillary pressure) below which there frequently are no "shows" in the cores In hydrodynamic traps. gross and net sand isopach maps should be made for each productive horizon. 1954). however. core. Determining Net Pay Determination of net pay is one of the most important steps in volumetric mapping to determine oil and gas initially in place. gas-water. . net pay determined for this purpose usually is greater than that determined for the first purpose. but are controlled by the local capillary properties of the reservoir rock-fluid system.

log. Net pay determined for this purpose may be less than that determined for either of the first two purposes. it may involve using one or more of the porosity curves to establish a minimum porosity or "porosity cutoff. determine gross interval by establishing the top and bottom of the zone of interest. thereby avoiding the need to remap the entire reservoir. In this situation it may be desirable to map gross pay and apply an average net-to-gross ratio to account for nonproductive rock. exclude "nonpay" intervals within the gross interval. as above. In sand-shale sequences. In general. except that the contoured data are the product of the following equation: . however. this may be done by excluding intervals below a specified porosity cutoff." which may result in determining net pay unrelated to any of the considerations noted above. A net pay isopach made under this type of uncertainty may be subject to frequent correction as interpretive procedures are revised or new data become available. and well-test information available and on the lithology of the reservoir. George and Stiles (1978). In carbonates.· If a waterflood is being considered. Depending on the purpose. or by excluding intervals where there is a specified degree of reversal in either the SP or the gamma-ray curve. and Wilhite (1986) have provided additional discussions regarding net pay. the following steps are involved: · First. in sandshale sequences this may be done by using a shale cutoff. the determination of net pay may be subject to arbitrary rules to ensure "uniformity. (1977). In some cases — for example. Sneider et al. laminated-sand reservoirs. shaly. Porosity-Feet-Saturation Mapping (Isovols) In reservoirs where there are wide variations in porosity and/or water saturation. Havlena (1966). the inflection point of the SP curve or midway point of the gamma-ray curve usually is considered to be a zone boundary." or it may involve using a combination of logs to determine lithologic top and bottom." The methods used to define floodable intervals are subjective and may exclude intervals that could contribute to · recovery by imbibition. The net-to-gross factor may be revised as warranted. An isovol map is similar to an isopachous map. methods for determining net pay also depend on the type of core. · Then. In carbonates. net pay typically includes only those intervals considered "floodable. and many carbonate reservoirs — it may be difficult to determine net pay with an acceptable degree of confidence. · If a reservoir is to be unitized and net pay is part of the unitization formula. it may be preferable to map these variations rather than attempt to apply average porosity or average water saturation over the entire reservoir.

only that volume down to the LKO may be classified as "proved" (SPE 1987).. In stratigraphically controlled reservoirs. probable. the volume up to HKO may be classified as proved oil.. Amyx. gas-oil. however. Situations also may occur in which wells have not penetrated the gas-oil contact. and classify as possible the remaining volume to HKW. . oil-water. Depending on the horizontal distance between LKO and HKW. Others might assign the entire volume to gas.(porosity) (net pay) (hydrocarbon saturation) Planimetered volume is hydrocarbon pore volume (HCPV). diapiric salt or shale). Assuming continuity of reservoir facies. and the subsurface information may be limited to lowest known oil (LKO) and highest known water (HKW). and the volume down to LKG may be classified as proved gas. for example. There is no consensus on the fluid type assigned to the interval between LKG and HKO. gas-water. it is difficult to determine these limits within acceptable confidence levels.e. In this case. Analogous treatment would be afforded situations where only lowest known gas (LKG) and HKW had been defined. Bass. Undeveloped reserves — proved. In many cases." Typically. up to half the volume between LKO and HKW might be classified as "probable. Some engineers might assign probable reserves downdip from an LKO a vertical distance equivalent to two gross pay thicknesses. depending on the volumes involved. wells may not have penetrated an oil-water contact.g. no consensus on this matter. porosity or permeability pinchouts and unconformities and other truncations (e." There is. and Whiting (1960) have provided a discussion of various methods to determine the volume from isopachous maps. areas involving more than two anticipated development locations beyond LKO would be classified as "possible. and subsurface information is limited to highest known oil (HKO) and LKG. The undrilled area between commercial wells and dry holes will define a "band of uncertainty" around the accumulation which may be one or more locations wide. some engineers might assign half the volume to gas and half to oil. faults. In this case. Reservoir Limits Reservoir limits include fluid contacts (i. depending on the following: · the quality of reservoir rock observed in the commercial wells around the periphery · the depositional environment of the reservoir rock · the distance to the nearest dry hole · the apparent rate of thinning of reservoir rock · the minimum thickness of reservoir rock needed to support a commercial well. the porosity or permeability limit may be only approximately delineated by dry holes around the periphery of the accumulation. especially early in the drilling and production stages of reservoir life. or possible — might be assigned to locations in this area. In structurally controlled reservoirs.

Capillary Transition Zones If a reservoir includes a significant oil-water transition zone. recovery efficiency of oil attributable to rock and fluid expansion caused by a pressure drop from initial reservoir pressure (pi) to the bubble-point pressure (pb) may be calculated as follows: [ERo]xp = ce(pi .e.. Gas-oil and gas-water transition zones are negligibly small. even at the crest of the structure. Arps (1964) has provided a discussion of the geologic and engineering aspects of capillary transition zones.8) where: [ERo]xp = recovery efficiency of oil attributable to expansion of the rock-fluid system from initial to bubble-point pressure . the entire reservoir may be in the oil-water transition zone. Undersaturated Stage Hawkins (1955) has shown that. and (b) the saturated stage — i. reservoir pressure between initial pressure and bubblepoint pressure. but contained only 10% of the ultimate recovery. it may be preferable to calculate oil initially in place separately for (a) the volume above the transition zone and (b) the volume within the transition zone. In heavy-oil reservoirs. Depending on the reservoir drive mechanism. some of the oil in the transition zone may be commercially recoverable.pb)Boi/Bob (3. in general.e.. On low-relief structures. Significant transition zones may be expected in heavy-oil reservoirs. or in any oil reservoir with low permeability. and it might not be possible to make a water-free completion. Pressure Depletion — No Initial Gas Cap Two stages are recognized in the pressure depletion of oil reservoirs: (a) the undersaturated stage. The transition zone occupied 18% of the initial reservoir volume (NAF). Cronquist (1984) has provided an example of an estimate of waterflood reserves from an oil-water transition zone in a light-oil reservoir (39° API). i. Arps (1964) reported a structure in the Tensleep (Pennsylvanian) Sandstone in Wyoming containing 19° API oil where there was insufficient vertical closure for a commercial accumulation. It has been noted that the "best" capillary pressure curve to use for saturation calculations is from a rock sample that has arithmetic-average porosity and median permeability. reservoir pressure less than the bubble-point pressure. The vertical distribution of reservoir rock above the 100% water level may be determined using a vertical distribution curve. a significant portion of the oil initially in place may be in the oil-water transition zone. Volumetric Recovery Estimates for Oil Reservoirs Black Oil Reservoirs Methods are presented to estimate recovery of oil and gas from pressure depletion reservoirs (We = 0) — with and without an initial gas cap — and from reservoirs with water influx (We > 0).

10) and other terms are as previously defined. co may be estimated using methods developed by Trube (1957) or Vasquez and Beggs (1980). or Newman (1973). Reiss (1980) has noted that effective compressibility can be expressed as: < where: φ m = matrix porosity (fraction) φ f = fracture porosity (fraction) cpm = matrix pore compressibility (1/psi) cpf = fracture pore compressibility (1/psi) Swm = matrix water saturation (fraction) (3. and ce may be equated to co. pore and water compressibilities are negligibly small. Dobrynin (1962). Pore compressibility should be determined in the laboratory.ce = effective compressibility of the rock-fluid system between pi and p. If fracture porosity is significantly less than matrix porosity.8 becomes: . For naturally fractured reservoirs. In certain cases. If laboratory data are not available. defined as: (Soco + Swcw + cp)/So where: So = oil saturation (fraction) co = oil compressibility (1/psi) Sw = water saturation (fraction) cw = water compressibility (1/psi) cp = pore compressibility (1/psi) (3. placing samples under uniaxial stress (Andersen (1988). or by Osif (1988). Equation 3. Water compressibility may be estimated using data published by Dodson and Standing (1945). fracture compressibility may be ignored (Reiss 1980). pore compressibility may be estimated — with caution — from data published by Fatt (1958).9) Boi = oil formation volume factor at initial pressure (RB/STB) Bob = oil formation volume factor at bubble-point pressure (RB/STB) If PVT data are not available for subject reservoir oil or a similar reservoir oil.

the recovery efficiency of oil and gas will be governed by several factors.11. .11) Comparing Equations 3. The gas-oil relative permeability curves.Boi)/Bob (3. Arps and Roberts (1955). They used 6 different gas-oil relative permeability curves — three to represent sandstones and three to represent carbonates. several investigators. However. for example. the recovery efficiency of solution gas should be the same as that for oil. Saturated Stage After reservoir pressure decreases below the bubble-point pressure and the critical gas saturation is exceeded. it may be observed that: co = (Bob . Arps and Roberts (1955) used PVT correlations to simulate 12 different reservoir oils. have published the results o stepwise calculations to estimate oil recovery efficiency by this mechanism in which they used the Muskat (1945) form of the differential material balance equation.8 and 3. and minimum recovery. identified as maximum. There are no simple analytical equations available to estimate recovery efficiency of oil and solution gas attributable to dissolved gas drive. average.Boi)/Bob(pi . are shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2 .[ERo]xp = (Bob . including the gas-oil relative permeability characteristics of the reservoir rock and the gravity/viscous force ratio.12) Because there is no free gas evolved in the reservoir during this stage of pressure depletion.pb) (3.

.Figure 1 As noted by the authors.

. • Recovery efficiencies in parentheses were estimated from calculations discontinued before abandonment pressure. • Connate water saturation was assumed to be 25% in the sandstones and 15% in the carbonates. • The methodology assumes complete dispersion of the liberated solution gas (no gravity segregation) with relative production of gas and oil at each stage controlled by relative mobilities of gas and oil as determined by the kg/ko curve and fluid viscosities. In addition. the computational procedure used by the authors does not account for additional stock tank liquids recovered from rich solution gas produced from volatile oil reservoirs.Figure 2 the following conditions prevail: • Recovery efficiencies were calculated from bubble-point pressure to an abandonment pressure which was 10% of the bubble-point pressure.

5 to 10 centipoise. If laboratory kg/ko data are not available.l74l where: [ERo]sg = recovery efficiency of oil attributable to solution gas drive (fraction) φ = porosity (fraction) Sw = water saturation (fraction) Bob = formation volume factor at the bubble-point (RB/ STB) k = arithmetic average absolute permeability (darcies) µob = oil viscosity at the bubble-point (cp) pb = bubble-point pressure (psi) pa = abandonment pressure (psi) The regression coefficient is 0. The results were presented as graphical functions of bubble-point pressure (pb) formation volume factor (Bob). The standard error of the estimate is 22% — i. The data for this equation came from 67 sandstone reservoirs and 13 carbonate reservoirs.Sw)/Bob]0. Sgc was determined by the kg/ko curve.1611 x [k/µob]0.13) .3722[pb/pa]0. The assumptions in this work are the same as those in the Arps and Roberts (1955) work.932. The correlation is: [ERo]sg = 0. The nine nomographs cover combinations of three different kg/ko curves and three different residual oil viscosities which range from 0. The range of rock and fluid properties for the 80 reservoirs is as follows: (3. Use of either of these studies requires knowledge of the gas/oil relative permeability characteristics of the reservoir in question.Using a calculation procedure similar to that used by Arps and Roberts (1955).41815 [φ(l . reference may be made to correlations developed by Corey (1954) and Felsenthal (1959). Mullins. • Equilibrium gas saturation (Sgc) was fixed at 5% — in the Arps and • Interstitial water saturation was varied from 10 to 50% — in the Arps and Roberts (1955) work. 1967). and solution gas/oil ratio (Rsb). there is a 68% probability the correct value is within 22% of the estimated value.. Wylie (1962) and Rose (1987) have provided comprehensive discussions on relative permeability. Wahl. and Elfrink (1958) developed a set of nine nomographs to estimate recovery efficiency of oil attributable to solution gas drive. it was fixed at 25% for the sandstones. except for the following: • Recovery efficiency was calculated assuming abandonment at atmospheric pressure — the Arps and Roberts (1955) calculations assumed abandonment at 10% of the bubble-point pressure. They used kg/ko relations calculated from empirical correlations of sandstone relative permeability data. Roberts (1955) work. API Correlation In 1967 the American Petroleum Institute (API) published the results of a regression analysis of oil recovery efficiency from 80 reservoirs in the USA that had produced by solution gas drive — no initial gas cap (Arps et al.0979[Sw]0.e.

Figure 3 is an example of one of these graphs. with the increasing application of pressure maintenance techniques. Roberts and Ellis (1962).115 0.163 0. prudent asset management mandates a reasonable estimate of these reserves. In the absence of significant gravity segregation. fewer oil reservoirs are produced to depletion by solution gas drive.032 302 1280 0.155 max 0. about 75% of the gas initially in solution can reasonably be expected to be produced if the reservoir is produced to an abandonment pressure approaching atmospheric.940 0.150 20 60 639 0.207 °API Rsb (SCF/STB) pb (psig) [ERo]sg (fr) This work was updated in 1984.Sandstones min k (darcies) φ (fraction) Sw (fraction) 0.006 0. using calculational procedures similar to those used by Arps and Roberts (1955).200 0.001 0.350 50 1867 3578 0. and position of impermeable streaks relative to well completion intervals.042 0.252 0. Also.460 Carbonates min 0.500 49 1680 4403 0. This is especially so when an evaluation is required to compare economics of operation by solution gas drive versus operation under waterflood. Solution Gas There is little historical data available on the recovery efficiency of solution gas from solution gas drive oil reservoirs.299 0. and the section titled API 1984 Study should be reviewed before using Equation 3. In an oil reservoir produced at pressures below the bubblepoint pressure — so that solution gas is evolved in the reservoir and becomes mobile — the producing GOR will be determined by the /ko characteristics of the reservoir. developed a set of correlations of gas/oil ratio history versus bottomhole pressure and cumulative oil recovery. In part.13. Nevertheless. . the degree of gravity segregation.095 max 0. this is due to the historically low economic value of this product compared to crude oil.

Tabulated below is calculated oil recovery efficiency down to a reservoir abandonment pressure of 100 .Figure 3 These correlations are subject to the same limitations discussed previously. They can be used to make a reasonable initial volumetric estimate of solution gas recovery. 1949). However. There are no simple analytical equations or correlations available to estimate oil recovery efficiency in this type of reservoir. industry publications of case histories of the performance of gas cap oil reservoirs provide some guidance. pending development of individual well or reservoir performance or history matching by computer simulation. Pressure Depletion — Initial Gas Cap As observed by Muskat (1945. No Gravity Segregation The case of no gravity segregation-the least favorable case — was studied analytically by Muskat (1945) for an oil reservoir with a bubble-point solution GOR of 534 Scf/STB and a bubble-point oil viscosity of about 1 cp. the recovery efficiency of oil by pressure depletion of an oil reservoir with an initial gas cap will be governed mainly by the size of the initial gas cap and the degree of gravity segregation.

7 1.0 Oil Recovery Efficiency(% STBIP) 21.2 25.1 Gravity Segregation In actuality.1 30.1 33. where gas cap size (m) is expressed as the ratio of initial gas cap volume to initial oil column volume: Initial Gas Cap Size. m(fraction) 0. Table 1 — compiled from published studies of actual reservoirs — may be useful. The relative importance of gravity segregation may be expressed by a gravity number (NG) of the form (Smith 1953): NG = ko ∆ρ(sina)/µo where notation is consistent with SPE (1987) standard and units are: ko = effective oil permeability (millidarcies) µo = oil viscosity (centipoises) ∆ρ = difference in specific gravity between reservoir oil and gas (gms/cc) a = dip angle (degrees) For guidance in making a preliminary estimate of recovery efficiency of oil.4 0.3 28.0 0.2 0.psi for various initial gas cap sizes. . there is always some degree of gravity segregation of free gas and oil during production from a gas cap oil reservoir.

Water Drive Water drive may vary from complete to partial. If the volume of water encroaching into the initial hydrocarbon bearing pore space completely replaces the reservoir voidage of oil and gas — or maintains reservoir pressure above the bubble-point over reservoir life (pa > ps) — water drive is considered "complete. a gas cap of at least 0. Richardson (1989) observed that." If the volume of water is insufficient to maintain reservoir pressure above the bubble-point — and . the term "minj" indicates the volume injected as a multiple of initial gas cap volume. in the absence fo an active aquifer. gas cap injection has the same effect -as a large initial gas cap. In the presence of gravity segregation.Table 1 Note that gas was injected into some of these reservoirs. In an oil reservoir with a gravity number greater than about 10. effective gravity segregation is a reasonable expectation (Smith 1953).6 times the oil-zone volume is necessary for a major part of the reservoir to produce by gas cap expansion drive. Richardson and Blackwell (1971) have published guidelines for simple computational procedures to estimate reserves from oil reservoirs subject to gas cap encroachment.

052 15 0. The data for this regression came from 70 sandstone reservoirs with the following range of rock and fluid properties: min k (darcies) φ(fr) Sw (fr) °API µoi (cp) [ERo]wd (fr) 0. In bottomwater drive reservoirs.111 0.reservoir pressure continues to decline over life (pa < ps) — water drive is considered "partial.. The standard error of the estimate is 18% — i.350 0.Sw)/Boi]0.1903[pi/pa]0. Note that the API results are for recovery efficiency from the entire reservoir. The regression coefficient is 0. among other factors.0 0.958. there is a 68% probability the correct value is within 18% of the estimated value. API Correlation The API (1967) published the results of a regression analysis of the oil recovery efficiency from 70 water drive reservoirs in the USA. and several studies of bottomwater drive reservoirs are discussed in the following paragraphs." Richardson (1989) observed that an aquifer pore volume of at least 100 times the initial hydrocarbon pore volume is required for a strong water drive.2 0. recovery efficiency from individual wells may vary substantially. The nature of the water encroachment is an important factor in estimating reserves.278 max 4.470 50 500 0.54898[φ(l .867 The validity of this correlation is discussed later in this section under the subtitle API 1984 Study. depending on well spacing and the ratio of horizontal to vertical permeability.011 0.14) where: [ERo]wd = oil recovery efficiency attributable to water drive (fr) µwi = initial water viscosity (cp) µoi = initial oil viscosity (cp) pi = initial reservoir pressure and other notation is as previously defined. . as follows: [ERo]wd = 0. Bottomwater Drive.077[Sw]0.e.2159 (3.0422 x [kµwi/µoi]0. There is no indication in the API (1967) work as to how many of the reservoirs produced with bottomwater drive and how many produced with edge water drive.

Muskat’s (1947) analytical treatment of bottomwater drive reservoirs was. analytical studies of bottomwater drive published by Hutchinson and Kemp (1956) and model studies published by Henley et al. Figure 4 . there is a minimum production rate at which water is not produced — the so-called "critical rate. (1961) paper are reproduced in Figure 4 . (1966) provide a basis for a preliminary volumetric estimate of recovery efficiency from this type of reservoir. In the latter case. limited to the assumptions of (a) unit mobility ratio and (b) zero density contrast between oil and water." In the case of a bottomwater drive reservoir. he made a clear distinction between encroachment of bottomwater due to an active aquifer and "coning" of underlying static water in a pressure depletion reservoir. Unfortunately. the "critical rate" has no meaning. Figure 4 from the Hutchinson and Kemp (1956) paper and Figures 2. as water is eventually produced by individual wells as the encroaching aquifer rises into the well completion interval. and 5 from the Henley et al. In that work. (1961) and by Ciucci et al. For conditions other than unit mobility ratio and zero density contrast. however. 4. this may cause confusion. of necessity at the time.Muskat (1947) established the theoretical foundation to estimate the performance of bottomwater drive oil reservoirs. in much of the published literature the term "coning" is used to describe bottomwater encroachment.

Figure 5 Figure 6 . .Figure 5 . and Figure 7 .

Figure 7 .

where dimensionless well penetration was defined in the same manner as in the Muskat work — i. aD = (a/h)(kv/kh)1/2 where: a = well spacing (ft) h = initial oil zone thickness (ft) kv = vertical permeability kh = horizontal permeability Other parameters investigated in this study included dimensionless well penetration (bD) and mobility ratio (Mwo). 6 and 12. bD = b/h .Figure 6 Reserve estimates from these figures should be considered preliminary.e. pending development of performance trends in individual wells. The Hutchinson and Kemp (1956) work involved analytical studies using dimensionless well spacing (aD) -of 2..e..25. or history matching by computer simulation. where dimensionless well spacing was defined in the same manner as in the Muskat work — i.

it may be observed that. the mobility of water at residual oil saturation divided by the mobility of oil at initial oil saturation.where "b" was defined as the vertical distance the completion interval extends into the initial oil zone. at this spacing.25 indicate volumetric sweep efficiency (at a WOR of 20 to 1) of about 90% for mobility ratios of 1 and 2. i. which was calculated for aD = 6. . From Figure 4 . the parameter having the greatest influence on volumetric sweep efficiency is mobility ratio.e. Calculations made for aD = 12 indicate volumetric sweep efficiency (at a WOR of 20 to 1) may be expected to vary from about 10 to 25% for the same variation in mobility ratio as shown in Figure 4 . Figure 4 These results indicate that.. at a water/oil ratio (WOR) of 20 to 1. Calculations for aD = 2. the volumetric sweep efficiency may be expected to vary from about 40% (for a mobility ratio of 2) to about 80% (for a mobility ratio of 1/3). Mobility ratio was defined consistent with the current SPE (1987) definition.

as the range of parameters used by Ciucci et al. which covers oils in the medium to high API gravity range (approximately 20 to 40° API.l)]/[M . Fluvial point bars typically have lower average permeabilities toward the top. Of particular significance is the observation by Ciucci et al. are qualitatively consistent with those of the earlier authors. their Figure 2. All other factors being the same. (1966) reported on a model study of bottomwater drive using a dimensionless well spacing (aD) of 1. 4. 1978). however. these authors observed that "gravity effects must be considered in estimating 6i1 recovery because they can be a major influence on performance.15) . Regarding this assumption.fwa(M . they developed an equation of the form: Npu = Swi + B[M . In actuality. Again.. respectively). (1961) scaled model study included water/oil mobility ratios in the range 10 to 0. Additional insight into estimating oil reserves in water-drive heavy-oil reservoirs is provided by Van Meurs and van der Poel (1958). However. All of the published studies cover models with the ratio of horizontal to vertical permeability constant throughout the model. but in most cases any significant improvement .1)]2 (3. The parameter "R3". (1961). This mobility ratio would be applicable to about 15° API crude. direct comparison of these results with those of earlier studies is not possible. The results of the latter authors. was defined as the gravity to viscous force ratio: R3 = kg ∆ρA/q o The Henley et al. and 5 are reproduced in Figure 5 . Viscous Oils From examination of the viscosity range included in the API (1967) correlation for water drive recovery efficiency Equation 3. The model parameters in their study were defined in the same manner as in the Henley et al. with the tacit assumption that the permeability level also is constant. (1966) does not -overlap that used by Henley et al.6 and a mobility ratio of 200. (1961) results are in reasonable agreement with those reported by Hutchinson and Kemp (1956) for the case where R3 = 0." The Henley et al. in contrast. (1961). Thus. the Henley et al. Figure 6 .fwa2(M . However. (1961) study. and Figure 7 .(1966) that "the sweep efficiency increases remarkably as the flow rate is lowered. (1961) results for R3 > 0 indicate progressively larger volumetric sweep efficiencies for larger values of R3.The above results were calculated assuming negligible gravity effects. it can be expected that wells with higher average permeabilities toward the top of the oil column will exhibit higher ultimate oil recovery efficiencies due to bottomwater drive than wells with lower average permeabilities toward the top.1. it may be noted that viscous oils are included. this type of permeability distribution is rare." Ciucci et al.. respectively. the authors observed that "gravity forces can affect the performance.14. Based on model experiments. will be realizable only at very low rates of oil production." which corroborates the work of Henley et al. offshore barrier bars and beach sands typically have higher average permeabilities toward the top (Sneider et al.

in many cases. API 1984 Study As noted previously. there are no simple analytical expressions available to calculate recovery efficiency of gas and condensate from retrograde gas-condensate reservoirs.Sor . it should not be expected that they will provide acceptable estimates in every case. Eaton and Jacoby (1965) published a correlation that may be used to estimate recovery of condensate from a depletion drive gas-condensate reservoir. as discussed by Jacoby. Because these equations are empirical correlations of large amounts of data." The API cautioned "against continued use of the (1967) correlations . where the displacement is not gravity stable. however." In addition. one time. it was concluded that "no statistically valid correlation has been found between oil recovery and definable reservoir parameters. Timmerman (1982) has published graphs that may be used to make preliminary estimates of the recovery efficiency from viscous oil reservoirs producing by edgewater drive. edgewaterdrive reservoirs." Regarding the above "caution. These graphs are based on experiments with scaled models and cover oil/water mobility ratios (Mwo) from 1 to approximately 500. In reviewing the 1967 work. If usage is tempered with good judgment and results are cross-checked with other data. the statistical reliability of the correlations decreased significantly. When — in the course of the 1984 review — the reservoirs were not weighted for data quality.. which is in the form: . A reservoir considered to have good data was counted three times. the API (1984) observed that the reservoir data sets were weighted in accordance with the quality of the data. but is dominated by "viscous fingering. and Berry (1959) and others. Given a PVT analysis.where: Npu = ultimate recovery (pore volumes) Swi = irreducible water saturation (fr) B = 1 ." in the writer’s experience the API (1967) correlations — both Equations 3. In further discussion of the 1984 work. are in reasonable agreement with observed recovery efficiency. Koeller. Frequently. it was noted that "calculated average recoveries in a single geologic trend Volumetric Recovery Estimates: Retrograde Gas-Condensate Reservoirs As with depletion drive oil reservoirs below the bubble-point.Swi fwa = economic limit water cut (fr) M = oil/water viscosity ratio (not SPE "M") This work is applicable to reasonably homogeneous. Regarding the 1984 study. one with poor data. the usual procedure is to make a series of flash calculations to determine recovery to an assumed abandonment pressure.14 — provide estimates which. a PVT analysis is not available. to predict recovery or recovery efficiency for any one reservoir.13 and 3.. in an update to the 1967 work the API (1984) studied an expanded data base which included 376 solution gas drive and 244 natural water drive oil reservoirs in 6 states in the United States. there is no reason to reject the 1967 API work.

In reservoirs with initial pressures in the range indicated. unless there are factors that would warrant a different recovery efficiency. it is suggested that. the standard error of the estimate is 14. ultimate gas recovery efficiency may be calculated as follows: [ERg]pd = 1 .17) where: [ERg]pd = recovery efficiency of gas attributable to pressure depletion (fraction) pi = initial reservoir pressure (psia) pa = abandonment reservoir pressure (psia) .500 to 60.3921 ln(p). and if interstitial water and pore volume compressibility effects may be ignored.0.paZi/piZa (3. Accordingly. well deliverability at the economic limit may be used as a basis to estimate bottomhole pressure at abandonment.243 (3. After such a reservoir has been producing for a time sufficient to establish stabilized well performance curves.000 Scf/STB Tf: 160 to 290 °F Calculated gas recovery efficiency (to an abandonment pressure of 500 psi) ranged from 88 to 97%.814. 500 psi abandonment pressure may be too optimistic.16) GLu = ultimate recovery of condensate at 500 psi abandonment pressure (bbl/bbl hydrocarbon pore space) °API = stock tank gravity of condensate p = initial reservoir pressure (psi) Rt = aggregate GOR from entire separator train (SCF/STB) The regression coefficient is 0. gas recovery efficiency be estimated at 85%. This correlation was developed using 27 different reservoir-fluid systems with the following range of properties: °API: 45 to 65 p: 4.6%.000 psi Rt: 2.7958 ln(°API) + l. and (b) water influx.1%.20.65314 ln(Rt) .where: lnGLu = 2.000 to 12. two gas recovery cases are discussed: (a) no water influx. No Water Influx If there is no water influx. with an average of 92. Volumetric Recovery Estimates: Nonretrograde Gas Reservoirs For nonretrograde gas reservoirs (those where reservoir temperature is above the cricondentherm). for an initial volumetric estimate.

gas reservoirs in Canada. the recovery efficiency of condensate should. Recovery efficiencies calculated from data in these papers are plotted on Figure 1 .) Lamont (1963).9%. however. (While the natural gas liquids not recovered on the lease might be recovered by a gas plant. Thus.1%. In their study of 158 pressure-depleted. reported volume-weighted average recovery efficiency of gas to be 84. Although not reported. This is indicated with the notation. Gulf Coast. some types of lease separation equipment — for example low-temperature separators — become less effective. with permeabilities of several hundred millidarcies. in a study of 37 pressure depletion gas reservoirs on the U. as flowing wellhead pressure declines.) These reservoirs generally are moderately consolidated sand. average recovery efficiency of gas was estimated to be about 85%. Lamont's study is consistent with results published by Stoian and Telford (1966). Under these conditions. or nearly pressure-depleted. [ERc]pd = [Erg]pd In actuality. Hale (1981). in theory.S. the producing condensate/gas ratio (CGR) may decrease gradually over life.zi = gas deviation factor at initial conditions (dimensionless) za = gas deviation factor at abandonment conditions (dimensionless) Because reservoir temperature in these reservoirs is greater than the cricondentherm. . well spacing probably was about 160 acres. in separate papers on gas wells in low-permeability reservoirs in central United States. there is no retrograde loss of condensate as reservoir pressure decreases. be the same as the recovery efficiency of gas. consideration should be given to possible different ownership between lease and plant in assigning reserves. unless the lease separation equipment is modified. and Stewart (1970). (Reservoir average was 82. reported data that indicate significantly lower recovery efficiency of gas as the transmissibility (kgh) decreases below about 100 millidarcy-feet. Harlan (1966).

Cronquist (1980).RpZ] is the portion of the recovery efficiency attributable to pressure depletion.. 1966): Sgr = 0. or pazi/piza EV = fraction of the initially gas-bearing volume swept by the aquifer ED = microscopic disp1acementefficiency. it may be noted that the term [1 .) The term [RpZEVED] is the portion of the recovery efficiency attributable to water influx. high production rates may cause irregular water encroachment.to high-permeability sand reservoirs. and the recovery efficiency is the product of the volumetric sweep (EV) and microscopic displacement (ED) efficiencies. From examination of Equation 3.18. for example. In low permeability reservoirs. In moderate. it may be estimated as (Katz et al. it may be desirable to use a gas reservoir simulator to estimate reserves.18 is EV.1. in the absence of laboratory kw/kg data. However.Sgr)/(l . typical of those encountered in clastic Tertiary basins. 18a) where Sgr is the residual gas saturation in the flooded portion of. depending on the ratio of viscous to gravity forces and the degree and nature of permeability heterogeneity. it is unlikely an accurate estimate can be made of the ultimate volumetric sweep efficiency.reservoir.18) where: [ERg]wd = gas recovery efficiency (fr) RpZ = ratio of abandonment p/z to initial p/Z. which could result in less ultimate recovery than if the reservoir were produced at a lower rate (Cronquist 1980). The most difficult parameter to estimate in Equation 3.Figure 1 Water Influx The recovery efficiency of gas from a gas reservoir subject to partial water drive can be expressed analytically with an equation of the form (Agarwal et al.e. (1965) advocated that these reservoirs be produced at high rates to maximize gas recovery. Depending on reservoir dynamics. it is assumed that gas is trapped in the flooded portion of the reservoir — and is abandoned — at the same average pressure as the gas in the unflooded portion of the reservoir at abandonment (pa). Even with considerable experience in a given area. 1965. Cronquist 1980): [ERg]wd = [1 .18. where this may not be a reasonable assumption. Cronquist 1980). 1965. See. in the absence of well performance data for the reservoir in question. previously defined. an initial volumetric . (1 .62 . gas in the downdip areas of the reservoir may be flooded out at pressures higher or lower than reservoir abandonment pressure. (It is equal to the term [ERg]pd. 18b) In the development of Equation 3. i. Agarwal et al.RpZ] becomes zero. Gas recovery from partial water drive gas reservoirs is rate sensitive (Agarwal et al.Swi .RpZ] + [RpZEVED) (3.34 φ (3.Swi) (3. If there is complete pressure maintenance by the aquifer — such that pa = pi — the term [1 .

Natural fractures may be either favorable or unfavorable. Shale stringers or low-permeability layers near a gas-oil contact may retard gas coning. In a study of a nearly depleted major gas field in the U. . Reservoir Heterogeneity Reservoir heterogeneity refers to the nonuniform spatial distribution of a reservoir’s physical and chemical properties. log analysis. low-permeability layers near the bottom of a hydrocarbon column underlain by water may retard bottomwater coning (Wellings 1975). including seismic stratigraphy • rapid advances in computer technology that have enhanced capabilities for geophysical processing. which have spurred research on reservoir characterization • use of multidisciplinary "teams" for coordinated geophysical. the same natural fractures that enhanced primary recovery from the Spraberry trend were detrimental to waterflooding this reservoir. Two examples of favorable heterogeneities are thin. Richardson et al. Natural fractures. geologic. During the last 20 years or so. Variations between individual reservoirs were attributed to differences in aquifer strength. cause major problems in waterflooding. lowpermeability layers and natural fractures. actual recovery efficiencies of gas from partial water drive gas reservoirs were observed to be in the range 40 to 75%. reservoir heterogeneity. especially of the carbonate waterfloods in the Permian Basin of West Texas-New Mexico • development of better downhole logging devices (both open-and cased-hole). Gulf Coast. Heterogeneities range from microscopic to megascopic scale and may be either favorable or unfavorable to recovery processes. and engineering studies of developing fields. examples include the Spraberry (a siltstone) and the Austin Chalk trends in Texas. 1984). and reservoir simulation • development and application of enhanced recovery processes. Several developments have contributed to a growing knowledge of reservoir heterogeneity: • increasing scrutiny and infill drilling of major waterfloods in the United States. and of better interpretation techniques • advances in geophysical technology and interpretation techniques.estimate of 60% recovery efficiency of gas would be reasonable for reservoirs in which water drive was anticipated. however.S. Shale stringers or thin. and operating practices (Cronquist. many low permeability oil and gas reservoirs would be noncommercial. depending on reservoir drive mechanism. Without natural fractures. there has been increasing recognition that reservoir heterogeneity has a major influence on the recovery of oil and gas from subsurface reservoirs. (1978) discuss other examples and provide guidelines for calculating the effect of discontinuous shales on oil recovery.

For detailed discussions of monitoring techniques in various reservoir settings. relative permeability. It is seldom possible to characterize an oil or gas reservoir adequately from static data alone. Weimer et al.1979. and fluid saturations. Lateral discontinuities and multiple reservoirs in apparently "blanket" sands (Knutsen et al. (1988). see. Finegrained sediments.. fractures. impermeable shale breaks that are not always detectable by wireline logs. and other physical/chemical properties relevant to commercial oil and gas recovery. high-permeability zones tend to be swept by water before low-permeability zones.1971. If these separate sand bodies are not included in well-completion intervals. fluid saturation. 1977). Although sands deposited in these subenvironments often are interconnected. a deltaic environment includes many sub-environments. Haugen et al. Typically. In addition. in many cases they are separated by thin. Monitoring reservoir performance involves observation of spatial and temporal changes in pressure. In addition. in solution gas drive reservoirs. . Denny and HeusserMaskell (1984). highpermeability zones tend to pressure deplete before low-permeability zones.. oil and gas properties. individual well bottomhole pressure. monitoring reservoir performance may involve periodic material balance or reservoir simulation studies.1982). which is controlled by depositional environment. permeability. fine-grained sediments tend to have lower permeability than coarse-grained sediments. rock texture and mineralogy. 1977). tend to have high irreducible water and high residual hydrocarbon saturations. net and gross thickness. oil and gas saturation.These two examples notwithstanding. for example. and they tend to cause nonuniform recovery of oil and gas. Heterogeneities in carbonate reservoirs tend to be controlled by original environment of deposition and by postdepositional diagenesis (Jardine et al.g.1982. Characterization of a reservoir involves determining the spatial distribution of porosity. usually characteristic of low-energy depositional environments. Hartman and Paynter. Posten (1983). Heterogeneities in sandstone reservoirs tend to be controlled primarily by the original environment of deposition (Le Blanc 1977). Reservoir characterization and monitoring methodology (and the degree of reliability of the techniques used) are strongly influenced by the nature and degree of reservoir heterogeneity.. McCubbin. In water-drive reservoirs. Seal and Gilreath. Harpole (1979). most reservoir heterogeneities tend to be unfavorable to oil and gas recovery.e. Sandstone Reservoirs Heterogeneities of concern in sandstone reservoirs include the following: • Different depositional units in the same reservoir (Sneider et al. Heterogeneities cause two general types of problems: they make it difficult to characterize and monitor reservoir performance of reservoirs. Both irreducible water and residual hydrocarbon saturations are strongly influenced by rock texture. and Talash (1988).. coarsegrained sediments. the periodic procurement of dynamic reservoir data. LaChance and Winston (1987). Adequate characterization almost always requires ongoing monitoring of dynamic data — e. dip.characteristic of high-energy environments. and fluid phase as the reservoir is produced — i. significant volumes of oil and gas may be left undrained. tend to have low irredicible water saturation and low residual hydrocarbon saturation. well performance.1975.

The original depositional fabric of most carbonates is quite heterogeneous because of the wide variety of material comprising these sediments. Recovery efficiency in shelf carbonates in other areas of the world may exhibit similar spacing dependency. Hazeu et al. The subject warrants an entire monograph. Permian Basin typically contain numerous thin pay zones over a gross interval of several hundred feet. carbonates are highly susceptible to postdepositional diagenesis. frequently vugular. The reader is referred to specific field case histories — for example. In addition. 1977). • Very erratic. McCaleb and Willingham (1967). many of these pay zones are not laterally continuous between 40-acre spaced wells. Highly vugular sections frequently are difficult to core to evaluate with logs. Wu et al.S. 1974. Wayhan and McCaleb (1969). which may have a major influence on fluid flow. heterogeneities of concern in carbonate reservoirs include the following: • Lateral discontinuities in pay zones (Ghauri et al. 1977. 1988. Horsfield 1958). This section is not intended to be a complete treatment of difficulties in exploitation and reserve estimation caused by reservoir heterogeneities. Barbe and Schnobelen 1987. 1983. Barber et al. Recovery efficiency from this type of rock sequence has been shown to be dependent on well spacing (Driscoll 1974. The shelf carbonates of the U. In "expanded" form. which includes water influx. Reserves Estimation: Material Balance Methods Expanded Material Balance Equation Principles The so-called Schilthuis (1936) material balance equation is one of the fundamental relations in reservoir engineering. porosity (Jardine et al. Stiles 1976). the equation may be written: . Richardson and Blackwell 1971) Carbonate Reservoirs In addition to problems similar to those discussed for sandstone reservoirs.• Shale "breaks" of indeterminate areal extent. for more comprehensive discussions. depending on reservoir drive mechanism and spatial orientation of the shale breaks (Begg et al. Godec and Tyler 1989). 1989. it may be stated: Production of oil and gas = Expansion of oil and gas initially in place + Water influx Assuming an initial gas cap and — at this time — ignoring compressibility of pore volume and interstitial water. which often leads to more complex pore networks (Jardine et al. and Lelek (1983) — and to the bibliography provided by Le Blanc (1977). 1988.

In application. mainly because of errors in measuring.Bgi)/Bgi] + We (1) where the left-side terms account for the reservoir volume of oil.) Equation 1 is consistent with the formulation of Schilthuis. and problems in interpreting and averaging. it may be desirable to include rock-fluid compressibility for oil material balance calculations below the bubble-point. plus the water influx. it is assumed that the reservoir can be treated as a "tank. However. Theoretically. both flash and differential liberation of gas may occur at various times and places between the reservoir and the ." with spatial variations in PVT properties and reservoir pressure being averaged. • size of the initial gas cap as a fraction of initial oil zone volume (m) . who ignored compressibility. In Equation 1. generally quarterly. and • cumulative water influx (We). (All notation in this section is SPE standard. As discussed by Dodson (1953) and others. bottomhole pressures. • The assumption that the PVT data. it should be possible to solve for all three unknowns. Theoretical limitations are imposed by assumptions necessary for a tractable methodology. this is rarely possible. using the cumulative production data at the end of each period and PVT properties evaluated at the average static reservoir pressure at the end of the period. given enough pressure-production history and repetitive solutions of Equation 1. and water production. efforts should be made to determine initial gas cap size using volumetric methods. Equation 1 is solved at the end of successive time periods. There are three unknowns in Equation 1: • STB oil initially in place (N). which are • The assumption that oil and free gas in the reservoir are in thermodynamic equilibrium. Limitations Limitations to reliable application of the material balance equation are both theoretical and practical.Bti) + mBti(Bg . replicates the liberation process in the field. compressibility effects should be considered for material balance calculations involving oil reservoirs above the bubble-point. obtained from differential liberation. and the right side terms account for the expansion of the oil and free gas initially in place.Np[Bt + Bg(Rp . In practice. Depending on the magnitude of rock-fluid compressibility compared to overall system compressibility. If both a significant initial gas cap and water influx are a possibility. Wieland and Kennedy (1957) report about 20 psi supersaturation in experiments conducted using East Texas and Slaughter field cores. gas.Rsi)] + WpBw = N[(Bt .

With progressively more volatile oils. usually pressure deplete more slowly than the highpermeability zones. Data required for reliable application of the material balance equation include PVT analyses of representative fluid samples. It may help in identifying wells that are in separate reservoirs. or the fractures. Generally. as expressed by the gas formation volume factor. Under these conditions the material balance equation generally does not yield stable solutions. model. or highly fractured reservoirs. Some of these limitations may be overcome by using a multidimensional reservoir simulator. and it is practically impossible to determine volumetrically weighted average reservoir pressure. free gas in the reservoir contains progressively more liquids in the vapor phase that are recovered as stock tank liquids but are not accounted for by the differential liberation process. • Very heterogeneous reservoirs with zones of high permeability . accurate static bottomhole pressure history of key wells in the reservoir and accurate monthly production data for oil. differing only in volume. or the matrix blocks. this leads to wide variations in gas saturation and reservoir pressure that cannot readily be "averaged. and water. Practical limitations are imposed by data requirements and reservoir conditions. gas. Irrespective of the material balance method used — tank model or multidimensional simulator — it is good practice to plot all of the bottomhole pressure data versus time on the same graph for all the wells suspected of being in a common reservoir. The accuracy requirements usually exceed the routine needs for many field operations. Such a plot usually provides valuable insight of the degree of communication between wells. • A really extensive reservoirs with different areas at different stages of development and production. rather than a zero-dimensional material balance. or tank.stock tank. These conditions make it difficult to determine the static bottom-hole pressure reliably and often cause large areal variations in pressure that are difficult to average. contrary to the current geologic interpretation. interbedded with zones of low permeability." • A really extensive reservoirs with low values of kh/µ. • The assumption that free gas in the reservoir has the same composition as free gas on the surface. with the differences in PVT properties between the two processes increasing with more volatile oils. Reservoir conditions that may limit the reliability of a material balance estimate include: • Strong water drive and/or a large gas cap which maintain reservoir pressure at nearly initial pressure. Under these conditions the lowpermeability zones. because the small pressure drops in the reservoir are frequently of the same magnitude as the errors in the measurements.

Equation 4. No Water Influx • Oil Reservoirs: Initial Gas cap of Unknown Size. we consider six cases: • Oil Reservoirs: No Initial Gas Cap.4) • Substituting these new terms. Initial Gas Cap • Nonassociated Gas Reservoirs: Water Influx • Nonassociated Gas Reservoirs: No Water Influx Oil Reservoirs: No Initial Gas Cap.6) FpR = NEo A plot of FpR versus Eo should be a straight line passing through the origin. In this section.3) • Define Eg as the expansion of the initial gas cap: Eg = (Bg .Reserves Estimation: Material Balance Methods Havlena-Odeh Applications Havlena and Odeh (1963.Rsi)] + WpBw (4.Bgi)/Bgi] + We may be written as an equation of a straight line by making the following simplifications: (4.Bti) (4. 1964) have shown that the material balance equation Np[Bt + Bg(Rp .Bti) + mBti(Bg . No Water Influx • Oil Reservoirs: Water Influx. and water production: FpR = Np[Bt + Bg(Rp . after dropping We.2) • Define Eo as the expansion of a unit volume of the oil (and initially dissolved gas) initially in place: Eo = (Bt . Equation 4.2.Rsi)] + NpBw = N[(Bt .Bgi) (4. this equation may be used in various forms to determine the amount of oil and gas initially in place and the probable reservoir drive mechanism.5) Depending on whether there is an initial gas cap or water drive. or both. and. No Water Influx If there is no initial gas cap and no water influx. WpBw is dropped from Equation 4. gas.1 becomes: FpR = N[Eo + mBtiEg/Bgi] + We (4. No Initial Gas Cap • Oil Reservoirs: Water Influx. To estimate reserves. . as shown by Figure 1 . one of the predictive forms of the material balance equation must be used.5 reduces to (4.1) • Define FpR as the reservoir volume of oil.

7. If the reservoir oil is saturated at initial reservoir pressure.6. . one has a fixed point to guide the straight line plot. if it is too large.5 becomes (4. As shown by Figure 2 ." STBOIP. As indicated by Equation 4.e. No Water Influx If there was an initial gas cap or water influx.7) FpR = N[Eo + mBtiEg/Bgi] and a plot of FpR versus [Eo + mBtiEg/Bgi] for the correct assumed "m" value is a straight line passing through the origin. downward. STB oil initially in place (STBOIP).. the slope of the line is "N" — i. the slope is "N. If there is no water influx. if the assumed value for "m" is too small. the plot curves upward." The first few points may be erratic and may be ignored in constructing the straight line. or both. Oil Reservoirs: Initial Gas cap of Unknown Size. "the origin is a must point. Equation 4. a plot of FpR versus Eo will curve upward. an initial gas cap might reasonably be suspected. As indicated by Equation 4. even though free gas may not have been encountered in drilling.Figure 1 As noted by Havlena and Odeh (1963). thus.

a plot of FpR/Eo versus Eg/Eo should be linear with the slope equal to mBti/Bgi — which equals G — and a y intercept equal to N. Oil Reservoirs: Water Influx.8) where the water influx term. regardless of the "m" value used.Figure 2 If there is significant water influx. . it may be noted that. WpBw is retained in Equation 4. and Equation 4. the plot curves upward. From examination of Equation 4. Fetkovich 1971. a plot of FpR/Eo versus Σ∆pQ(∆tD)/Eo should be a straight line for the correct assumed water influx parameters (tD and re/ri). Havlena and Odeh (1963) observed that the former plot is more powerful. as it must pass through the origin.7. but there is reason to suspect water influx. Use of the Hurst-van Everdingen formulation is not mandatory.5 can be rearranged and written as follows: FpR/Eo = N + C[Σ∆pQ(_tD)]/Eo (4. has been written in terms of the water influx constant. and the van Everdingen and Hurst (1949) solution to the diffusivity equation for unsteady-state dimensionless water influx Q(∆tD).) As shown by Figure 3 . if there is no water influx. No Initial Gas Cap If the oil initially in place is undersaturated. (See. We. but that both plots should be used in every case. C. for example. and other methods to compute We may be used.2.

Initial Gas Cap If there is both an aquifer and a gas cap. Reportedly. he was able to obtain an acceptable straight line fit after only six months of production history. downward. the method proposed by McEwen (1962) may work better.5 may be written as < (4. and C is the slope. In this event. Havlena and Odeh 1964. if it is too large.4 billion STB — was within 10% of the volumetric estimate. Oil Reservoirs: Water Influx. however. the material balance estimate — 1. If the water influx term is too small. the plot usually curves upward. the Havlena-Odeh (1963) methodology may not be sensitive enough to define a linear trend from which oil initially in place can be determined. Equation 4.Figure 3 N is the y-intercept.) Stewart (1980) discussed an application of this methodology to the Piper Field (North Sea). In the presence of uncertainties in reservoir pressure. (See.9) .

Nonassociated Gas Reservoirs: Water Influx For a nonassociated gas reservoir (or one with a negligibly small oil rim).9 versus the second rightside term should be linear. FpR (from Equation 4.2) may be redefined as FpR = GpBg + WpBw Equation 4.10) Figure 4 if the aquifer is characterized correctly (correct tD and re/ri).11) (4. and re/ri). (4.5 then may be written as FpR = GEg + C[Σ∆pQ(∆tD)] As shown by Figure 4 ." ∆tD. a plot of F/Eg versus . then a plot of the left-side term in Equation 4.If the gas cap and the aquifer have been characterized correctly (correct "m. with the y-intercept being N (STBOIP) and the slope being C (the water influx constant).

Bgi)/Bgi] + We may be written as an equation of a straight line by making the following simplifications: (4.3) • Define Eg as the expansion of the initial gas cap: Eg = (Bg . and slope equal to C. In this section.Bgi) (4. one of the predictive forms of the material balance equation must be used. No Initial Gas Cap • Oil Reservoirs: Water Influx.Bti) + mBti(Bg . gas initially in place. 1964) have shown that the material balance equation Np[Bt + Bg(Rp . Nonassociated Gas Reservoirs: No Water Influx In this case a plot of GpBg versus Eg should be a straight line through thze origin with slope equal to G. or both.1 becomes: FpR = N[Eo + mBtiEg/Bgi] + We (4. however.Bti) (4. it is easier to use another form of the material balance equation.4) • Substituting these new terms.2) • Define Eo as the expansion of a unit volume of the oil (and initially dissolved gas) initially in place: Eo = (Bt . No Water Influx • Oil Reservoirs: Initial Gas cap of Unknown Size. Usually. this equation may be used in various forms to determine the amount of oil and gas initially in place and the probable reservoir drive mechanism. and water production: FpR = Np[Bt + Bg(Rp . No Water Influx .5) Depending on whether there is an initial gas cap or water drive. No Water Influx • Oil Reservoirs: Water Influx. Initial Gas Cap • Nonassociated Gas Reservoirs: Water Influx • Nonassociated Gas Reservoirs: No Water Influx Oil Reservoirs: No Initial Gas Cap.[Σ∆pQ(∆tD)]/Eg should be a straight line with the y-intercept equal to G.1) • Define FpR as the reservoir volume of oil. Equation 4.Rsi)] + WpBw (4.Rsi)] + NpBw = N[(Bt . Reserves Estimation: Material Balance Methods Havlena-Odeh Applications Havlena and Odeh (1963. gas. To estimate reserves. we consider six cases: • Oil Reservoirs: No Initial Gas Cap.

7. an initial gas cap might reasonably be suspected. one has a fixed point to guide the straight line plot. . Equation 4.e. Equation 4. after dropping We. "the origin is a must point.7) FpR = N[Eo + mBtiEg/Bgi] and a plot of FpR versus [Eo + mBtiEg/Bgi] for the correct assumed "m" value is a straight line passing through the origin. the slope is "N. Figure 1 As noted by Havlena and Odeh (1963). as shown by Figure 1 . if the assumed value for "m" is too small. even though free gas may not have been encountered in drilling. As shown by Figure 2 .6." The first few points may be erratic and may be ignored in constructing the straight line. As indicated by Equation 4. the plot curves upward. a plot of FpR versus Eo will curve upward. thus. and. No Water Influx If there was an initial gas cap or water influx. or both. If the reservoir oil is saturated at initial reservoir pressure.If there is no initial gas cap and no water influx. Oil Reservoirs: Initial Gas cap of Unknown Size. the slope of the line is "N" — i. WpBw is dropped from Equation 4." STBOIP..5 becomes (4. If there is no water influx. if it is too large.5 reduces to (4.6) FpR = NEo A plot of FpR versus Eo should be a straight line passing through the origin. STB oil initially in place (STBOIP). As indicated by Equation 4.2.

Use of the Hurst-van Everdingen formulation is not mandatory.2. a plot of FpR/Eo versus Σ∆pQ(∆tD)/Eo should be a straight line for the correct . but that both plots should be used in every case.5 can be rearranged and written as follows: (4. and other methods to compute We may be used. and the van Everdingen and Hurst (1949) solution to the diffusivity equation for unsteady-state dimensionless water influx Q(∆tD). and Equation 4. Havlena and Odeh (1963) observed that the former plot is more powerful.8) FpR/Eo = N + C[Σ∆pQ(_tD)]/Eo where the water influx term. as it must pass through the origin.7. Fetkovich 1971. (See. if there is no water influx.) As shown by Figure 3 . C. Figure 2 If there is significant water influx. No Initial Gas Cap If the oil initially in place is undersaturated. We. it may be noted that. a plot of FpR/Eo versus Eg/Eo should be linear with the slope equal to mBti/Bgi — which equals G — and a y intercept equal to N. the plot curves upward. but there is reason to suspect water influx. for example. regardless of the "m" value used. WpBw is retained in Equation 4. Oil Reservoirs: Water Influx. has been written in terms of the water influx constant. From examination of Equation 4.downward.

however. In this event. the method proposed by McEwen (1962) may work better.4 billion STB — was within 10% of the volumetric estimate. (See. Equation 4. downward. the plot usually curves upward. and C is the slope. if it is too large. he was able to obtain an acceptable straight line fit after only six months of production history. Oil Reservoirs: Water Influx. Havlena and Odeh 1964.5 may be written as . In the presence of uncertainties in reservoir pressure. the Havlena-Odeh (1963) methodology may not be sensitive enough to define a linear trend from which oil initially in place can be determined. Figure 3 N is the y-intercept. Reportedly. the material balance estimate — 1. Initial Gas Cap If there is both an aquifer and a gas cap.assumed water influx parameters (tD and re/ri). If the water influx term is too small.) Stewart (1980) discussed an application of this methodology to the Piper Field (North Sea).

" ∆tD. FpR (from Equation 4.11) (4.10) .< (4. then a plot of the left-side term in Equation 4. and re/ri).9) If the gas cap and the aquifer have been characterized correctly (correct "m.9 versus the second rightside term should be linear. with the y-intercept being N (STBOIP) and the slope being C (the water influx constant). Nonassociated Gas Reservoirs: Water Influx For a nonassociated gas reservoir (or one with a negligibly small oil rim). (4.5 then may be written as FpR = GEg + C[Σ∆pQ(∆tD)] As shown by Figure 4 .2) may be redefined as FpR = GpBg + WpBw Equation 4.

the other. These predictive methods. and slope equal to C.13) (4. Reserves Estimation: Material Balance Methods Prediction Methods The Havlena-Odeh (1963) methodology provides an estimate of oil and gas initially in place and an indication of the probable drive mechanism. To estimate reserves.Rs)Bg Bti = Boi Gp = NpRp (4. The development of these two classical methods. are limited to solution gas drive reservoirs (no gas cap — no water influx — no gravity segregation) and generally have been replaced by computer simulation. is presented for completeness. gas initially in place. The material balance equation for a depletion drive oil reservoir with no initial gas cap is < (4. it is easier to use another form of the material balance equation. Tarner’s Method Tarner’s method (1944) involves a series of stepwise calculations to estimate future gas and oil production from a dissolved gas drive oil reservoir (no gas cap — no water influx). Nonassociated Gas Reservoirs: No Water Influx In this case a plot of GpBg versus Eg should be a straight line through thze origin with slope equal to G. one is attributed to Tarner (1944). however. Usually. to Muskat (1945).12) and the following substitutions are made: Bt = Bo + (Rsi . a plot of F/Eg versus [Σ∆pQ(∆tD)]/Eg should be a straight line with the y-intercept equal to G. however.14) .Figure 4 if the aquifer is characterized correctly (correct tD and re/ri). however. Each stepwise calculation involves a trial and error solution of the instantaneous producing gas/oil ratio (GOR) equation and the material balance equation. Two such methods are available for desktop calculation. this methodology must be followed by one of the predictive forms of the material balance equation.15) (4.

16 becomes: N = Np φ n + Gp φ g = 1 (4. repeat the procedure for the next pressure decrement. Rk.Equation 4. Stock tank barrels of oil remaining in the reservoir at any pressure are . make a new estimate of Rk and repeat the calculations for this pressure decrement. pk 1.12 then becomes < (4.If this value of Rk agrees (to within about 1%) with the value of Rk estimated at the beginning of this method.18) Substituting these pressure functions and setting N equal to 1.Solving the above equation for ∆Np.To determine the average oil production over this pressure decrement. Npk becomes Npk = Npj + ∆Np (4. The average instantaneous producing GOR between pj and pk is Rav = (pj + pk)/2 (4. Tarner’s method has been superceded by Muskat’s method.Npk) (1 . which are functions of pressure: < (4.19 is written: 1 = (Npj +∆Np) φ nk + (Gpj + Rav∆Np) φ gk (4. Starting from the current reservoir pressure.23) 6. estimate the instantaneous producing GOR. Equation 4. pj .16) Tracy (1955) developed the following equations. otherwise. read kg/ko from the gas/oil relative permeability ratio curve applicable to this reservoir and determine Rk from the instantaneous GOR equation: Rk = Bokgµo/Bgkoµg + Rsk (4. Equation 4.17) < (4. Nuskat’s Method The following development of Muskat’s method is taken from Craft and Hawkins (1959).At Sok. which is amenable to computer solution.20) 3. at 2.Sw)Bo/Boi (4. Originally designed for desktop calculation.22) 5.19) Tarner’s method involves the following steps: a slightly lower pressure.The reservoir oil saturation at Pk is: Sok = (1 .24) 7.21) 4.

Differentiating with respect to pressure.31) Equating Equation 4.30) < + Rs (4.28) The current instantaneous GOR can be written as (4. is Gr = Vp [RsSo/Bo + (1 .28. and solving for dSo/dp: < (4.32) .31. Equation 4. both free and dissolved.30 and 4.29) R = ∆Gp/∆Np .27) Differentiating with respect to pressure.So . Equation 4.Sw)/Bg] (4. Equation 4.< Substituting Equation 4.27 becomes < (4.< (4.25) where Vp is reservoir pore volume in barrels.26) < Gas remaining in the reservoir.25 becomes (4.29 becomes < The instantaneous producing GOR may also be written: (4.26 and 4.

Provided necessary and sufficient data are available.36) 1. 6.30. however. using the groups defined above: < Use these equations as follows: (4.36.36.Evaluate the derivatives d/dp of Rs.35) Equation 4.33) < (4. 2.34) < (4. and small pressure decrements should be used. and (1/Bg )at the midpoint of the selected pressure decrement — to ensure stability in solving Equation 4.Evaluate kg/ko at the midpoint of the saturation decrement and calculate the instantaneous GOR from Equation 4.Select a new pressure decrement and repeat.32 may be written in incremental form. Yp.Calculate ∆So from Equation 4. 4. Muskat’s method does not require trial calculations and may be programmed for computer solution. or zerodimensional material balance. multidimensional reservoir simulation would be preferable for the following situations: . 3. the terms that are functions of pressure are grouped and defined as follows: < (4.Determine ∆Np =∆SoN/Soi. Reservoir Simulation There are several scenarios that preclude reliable use of a tank model.Solve the pressure functions Xp.To simplify handling Equation 4. otherwise large material balance errors will occur.32. Bo. 5. and Zp at the midpoint of the selected pressure decrement. It is not self-checking like Tarner’s method. to estimate oil and gas initially in place. use of numerical methods is recommended.

reservoir simulation has become an almost indispensable aid for the development planning of major oil and gas fields. (1978) for the Forties Field. •Oil reservoirs with substantial vertical relief. extensive reservoir simulation studies were used to assist in the selection of the operating scheme for the Brent Field (North Sea). (b) interbedding. or large areal variance in. or (d) diagenesis. As discussed by Kingston and Niko (1975). the drive mechanism usually has been identified with a reasonable degree of certainty. Material balance methods — including multidimensional reservoir simulation — utilize reservoir engineering equations to calculate future production (reserves). among other factors. These conditions often lead to large areal variations in bottomhole pressure that are difficult to "average" for use in a tank model. and by Till et al. . These conditions are impossible to handle with a tank model.•A really extensive reservoirs with low values of. (c) variations in depositional environment. with the nature and degree of uncertainty depending on. which control the relative production rate of the driving and the driven fluids and the abandonment saturations of oil and gas. Reservoir heterogeneity is manifested in material balance predictions in several ways: •Reservoir heterogeneity affects the relative permeability terms. •Very heterogeneous reservoirs with large spatial variations in permeability due to any combination of (a) natural fractures. by Valenti and Buckles (1986) for the Fulmar Field. the method. The reliability of material balance calculations depends on the accuracy with which the mathematical model and the available data simulate the reservoir under study. The reservoir "parameter" usually subject to the largest uncertainty and usually having the most influence on recovery efficiency (aside from economics) is reservoir heterogeneity. kh/m. In addition. but by the time there are sufficient performance data for a material balance estimate of oil and gas initially in place. •A really extensive reservoirs at different stages of development and/or production where there are large areal variations in reservoir pressure that may range from initial pressure to below the bubblepoint pressure. by Hillier et al. Similar applications have been reported for other North Sea fields by McMichael (1978) for the Statfjord Field. Reservoir drive mechanism also is important. especially those with large gas caps or significant vertical variations in oil properties. Uncertainties All methods to estimate reserves are subject to varying degrees of uncertainty. (1986) for the Heidrun Field.

•In multidimensional simulation. This may occur if.•Reservoir heterogeneity permeability stratification or natural fractures. for example. the material balance equation may be stated as Gas production = Expansion of gas initially in place or GpBg = G[Bg . calculations of future production are made in an edge water drive reservoir in which the kw/ko relations had been matched in only a few downdip wells. for example — usually makes it difficult to interpret bottomhole pressure surveys.38) < Using the real gas law for Bg and Bgi. mistakenly.Bgi] (4. •Actual relative permeability relations different from those used. Equation 4. if the pressure sink has not reached a boundary during the "history match" period. on an infinite aquifer. In addition. may be expressed in terms of the real gas law: (4.mx (4. Reserves Estimation: Material Balance Methods Volumetric Gas Reservoirs For gas reservoirs where the volume of the initial hydrocarbon pore space remains constant over life.37 may be written: < solving for p/Z: (4.40) (4. Bg.37) The gas formation volume factor.39) < which is in the form: y = b . uncertainties may be caused by •Insufficient history for a reliable material balance. In the case of a water drive reservoir with a limited aquifer. which controls the cumulative calculated recovery from the block at abandonment. calculations may be based.41) . for example. reservoir heterogeneity is manifested in the permeability level of each grid block. Errors in bottomhole pressure (both measurement and interpretation) are among the major contributors to errors in material balance calculations.

Figure 1 The term Gp is the "gas equivalent" of produced gas. ignoring this correction would result in a negligible error. The vapor equivalent of fresh water is approximately 7390 standard cubic feet per barrel (Craft and Hawkins 1959). is "equivalent" to approximately 680 standard cubic feet of gas: 65° API. Water of vaporization. From these data. Both Craft and Hawkins (1959) and Smith (1962) have provided tables to estimate the gas equivalent of condensate for a range of condensate gravities. for example.Thus. and water of vaporization. for rich gas condensates. condensate. as shown by Figure 1 . generally is only a few barrels per million cubic feet of gas. a plot of p/Z versus Gp will be linear with the y intercept (at Gp = 0) equal to pi/zi and the x-intercept (at p/z = 0) equal to G. for a volumetric gas reservoir. Thus. it is apparent that. failure to include the gas equivalent of produced condensate in the term could result in significant errors in estimates of gas reserves. approximately 900 standard cubic feet. however. A stock tank barrel of 45° API condensate. Moderate to High Permeability Reservoirs .

. Apparently linear plots could be generated by limited aquifers. Under these conditions. Their work showed it is theoretically possible for plots of p/Z versus to vary from concave upward to concave downward. (1967) corroborated the Bruns et al. It has been shown that. (1954) have provided guidelines for estimating average bottomhole pressure in volumetric reservoirs. Water Influx If water influx is suspected. p/Z versus Gp plots should be constructed for each reservoir being analyzed.In moderate to high permeability gas reservoirs. Under the new semisteady state conditions. where there generally is good pressure communication between wells. Under such conditions in a gas reservoir. the production rate of a well is increased relative to the production rate of other wells in the same reservoir. the p/Z versus Gp plot of the well deviates from the previously established trend. the drainage volume of each well in a multiwell reservoir is proportional to its production rate (Matthews et al. proportional to the new rate (Stewart 1966). it may be necessary to estimate reserves for individual wells in a large reservoir. the individual p/Z versus Gp plots of the other wells in the reservoir also deviate from previously established trends. These reservoirs were being invaded by water. a gas well drainage area. in which case p/Z versus Gp plots would be needed for individual wells. If. 1954). as revealed in subsequent discussion (Hurst 1967). after a period of semisteady state production. under semisteady state conditions. these plots exhibited small inflections at the origin which often are ignored. indicating proportionally smaller drainage volumes. indicating a larger drainage volume. In some cases. (1965) have shown that an apparently linear plot of p/Z versus Gp does not necessarily mean that there is no water influx. Gruy and Crichton (1950) advocated plotting cumulative pressure (p/Z) drop versus cumulative gas on log-log paper to determine if there is water influx into. Dietz (1965) and Matthews et al. Chierici et al. but exhibited apparently linear plots of p/Z versus Gp. the p/Z versus plot for each well should indicate the gas volume being drained by that well. the drainage volume of that well will increase relative to the drainage volume of other wells in the reservoir. (1965) work with examples of several gas reservoirs in the Po Valley (Italy). where pa is the estimated average reservoir abandonment pressure at the economic limit. depending on the size and permeability of the aquifer. Bruns et al. using reservoir average static bottomhole pressure and aggregate reservoir production. As a check on reserves estimated using this procedure. caution should be exercised in using p/Z versus Gp plots to estimate gas initially in place and reserves. or drainage from. it may be desirable to use the back pressure test curves to estimate the abandonment bottomhole pressure for each well at the economic limit producing rate for the field. In gas reservoirs where there is good interwell pressure communication p/Z versus Gp plots for individual wells may deviate from linearity and lead to erroneous conclusions about reservoir drive mechanism and well drainage volume. Initial reserves for a volumetric reservoir may be estimated by extrapolating the p/Z versus Gp plot to pa/za.

There are. reservoir. several cautions regarding this methodology.Low-Permeability Reservoirs In low-permeability gas reservoirs developed on wide spacing. some portion of the difference between GIP estimated volumetrically and that estimated from the p/Z versus Gp plot might be considered undeveloped reserves. assuming a drainage area equal to the well spacing. in-fill drilling may be warranted to increase recovery efficiency. where reservoir pressure is being maintained by water injection. Estimates of gas initially in place (GIP) for each well — not reserves — should be made using volumetric methods. may be recognized in performance/ decline trend analysis: • The period before there is a decline in production of the principal product — oil in oil wells or gas in gas wells. These estimates should be compared with estimates of GIP made by extrapolating the p/Z versus Gp plot to zero pressure.. If there is a continuing decrease in the rate of total fluid . it may be possible to extrapolate these trends to the economic limit to estimate reserves. In many cases it may be observed that the volumetric estimate of GIP is substantially larger than the p/Z versus G estimate. the rate of total fluid production (oil plus water) should remain approximately constant. however. • The period during which the production of the principal product develops a decline trend that can be extrapolated to the economic limit production rate. If infill drilling can be justified. extrapolation of these trends may lead to estimates of reserves that have no relationship to reservoir performance. In many cases. it is advisable to maintain a p/Z versus Gp plot for each well. In such cases. the transmissibility of the reservoir may be too low to determine bottomhole pressure after a reasonable shut-in period. or periods. Reservoir Performance versus Wellbore/Mechanical Problems If performance/decline trends in wells are used to estimate reserves. Otherwise. There are trends in "performance indicators" such as gas/oil ratio. or well has been on sustained production long enough for the producing characteristics to develop clearly defined trends. etc. It is good practice to use the back pressure test curve for each well to estimate the abandonment bottomhole pressure at the economic limit flow rate. water/oil ratio. the trends should be related to reservoir drive mechanism. Two stages. pending successful infill drilling. for example. that may be extrapolated to economic limit conditions. Performance/Decline Trend Analysis After a field. In pumping oil wells. in which case reliable p/Z versus Gp plots cannot be made. where there usually is no apparent pressure communication between wells.

some may be gas. On leases where development drilling is ongoing. if at all. Conversely. Frequently. then it would be reasonable to expect a trend of declining production rates versus time or versus cumulative gas. and equipment changes that are not generally available elsewhere. Depending on circumstances. it also would be reasonable to expect a trend of declining flowing tubing pressures versus time or versus cumulative gas. for example. Before attempting to estimate reserves from production trends on large. imposed by sales line or compressor intake pressure. declining trends in wellhead pressure or production rate might be indicative of wellbore plugging or buildup of liquids in the wellbore. In contrast. it would be reasonable to expect a trend of declining shut-in tubing pressures versus time or versus cumulative gas. the engineer responsible for reserve estimates should consider an onsite visit with field personnel to determine the nature of field operations and the possible influence of those operations on production rate. pumpers or lease fore-men maintain records of well tests. If the wells are being produced at approximately constant rates. Curtailed Wells or Leases . current. there may be several different reservoirs being produced. on leases where the high rate wells are declining more rapidly than the low rate wells — which is the usual case in an aggregate of depletion-drive reservoirs — extrapolation of the aggregate lease trend might lead to a pessimistic estimate of reserves. and anticipated future operations. others may be oil. Lease Curves versus Individual Well Curves Frequently. Each reservoir may have a different drive mechanism and each may be at a different stage of depletion. on leases where the high-rate wells are declining less rapidly than the low-rate wells (which might be observed if there were water-drive reservoirs). and reserve estimates must be made using production data from leases that contain more than one well. For example. on multiwell leases the decline characteristics of the high rate wells dominate the aggregate lease decline. a meaningful trend may be observed from a plot of barrels of oil (or cubic feet of gas) per month per producing well. Routine lease operations that affect well performance may be reported only informally. In a gas reservoir producing by pressure depletion.production from such a well. extrapolation of the aggregate lease trend might lead to an optimistic estimate of reserves. gradual wellbore plugging or pump wear should be suspected. pressures. Brons (1963) has shown that. multiwell leases. the engineer should become familiar with past. If the wells were being produced against a constant back pressure. Remedial operations. It may be necessary to use well-test data to construct individual well decline curves to help interpret aggregate lease production trends where there are large variations in rate between wells on the lease. production data on individual wells are not available. if reservoir pressure is being maintained by strong water drive. On multiwell leases. drilling new wells. and modifications to production equipment may influence the production history.

Out-of-pocket costs would include labor only if that cost would be saved by shutting in the well or facility. • Pending determination of the reason for the difference in ultimate recovery estimated using the two methods. if any. including pipeline limitations. such as power and materials. the engineer should determine whether the lease or well in question has been curtailed. and transportation and treating expense. ad valorem taxes. before attempting to analyze production trends. limited market. Economic Limit The term economic limit may refer to a single well or to a production facility involving many wells with processing equipment that must be operated as a unit. only those reserves demonstrated recoverable from performance methods should be classified as "proved. ultimate recovery estimated using volumetric methods should be compared to ultimate recovery estimated using performance methods. royalties. or inability to handle all produced water. If there is a significant difference between the two estimates. Performance Estimates Compared to Volumetric Estimates For each well or reservoir.) Net revenue is gross revenue less production taxes." • If the ultimate recovery estimated using volumetric methods is significantly less then that estimated using performance methods: . Thus. assuming each method was applied correctly. The economic limit generally is defined as the production rate at which the total net revenue attributable to production from the well or facility equals the "out-of-pocket" cost to operate the well or facility. Examples of the latter include offshore production platforms and fluid injection projects. • The wells may need to be stimulated or equipped with highercapacity equipment. which usually is more representative of well performance. • Infilling wells may be needed. (State and Federal income tax and corporate overhead generally are excluded in determining these costs. the following possibilities should be considered: • If the ultimate recovery estimated using volumetric methods is significantly greater than that estimated using performance methods: • The performance data may be representative of only the transient period (when the pressure sink around wells is still expanding) and not of semi steady state conditions (when the drainage area has stabilized).Production of oil or gas from leases or wells may be curtailed for several reasons. Out-of-pocket costs are costs that would be saved if the well or facility is shut-in.

• The mapped area or volume may be too small. provided gravity segregation is not significant. In a fully developed reservoir. Performance Trends Frequently. the logarithm of cumulative gas production from the reservoir often becomes an approximately linear function of cumulative reservoir oil production (Np) as the reservoir enters an advanced stage of depletion. Continuous monitoring of well performance is an essential element of good reservoir management. Extrapolation of the trend of the logarithm of cumulative gas production (Gp) to the logarithm of solution gas initially in place (Gsi) should provide . Depending on reservoir type and drive mechanism. and additional development may be warranted. Reservoir heterogeneities often have an adverse effect on the recovery of oil and gas. one or more of the "performance indicators" of a well or reservoir exhibits a trend before the production rate of the principal product begins to decline. these performance indicators include • water/oil ratio (WOR) • water/gas ratio (WGR) • gas/oil ratio (GOR) • condensate/gas ratio (CGR) • bottomhole pressure (BHP) • flowing tubing pressure (FTP) • shut-in tubing pressure (SITP).• The volumetric parameters may not be representative of the reservoir. the solution gas initially in place may be estimated with reasonable confidence by volumetric methods. A significant difference between ultimate recovery estimated using volumetric methods and that estimated using performance methods may be an indication of inefficient drainage caused by reservoir heterogeneities. Oil Reservoirs Typical performance indicators for solution gas drive and water drive (or waterflood) oil reservoirs are discussed below. Solution Gas Drive In a solution gas drive reservoir.

extrapolation to the logarithm of Gsi — rather than to a value slightly less — would introduce negligible error. Water Drive Several methods have been used to estimate oil reserves from wells in water drive (or water flood) reservoirs. as shown in Figure 1 . Figure 1 This extrapolation is based on the assumption that the abandonment reservoir pressure can be reduced to very nearly atmospheric pressure by pumping. after breakthrough of water in individual wells the logarithm of fo frequently will be an approximately linear function .a reasonable estimate of maximum ultimate oil recovery (Npu). Under these conditions. gas remaining in the reservoir would be a very small fraction of the gas in the reservoir at initial conditions. One of the most widely used procedures involves plotting fractional oil flow (fo) versus cumulative oil (Np). This and other methods are discussed briefly in the following paragraphs. fo versus Np In water drive (or waterflood) reservoirs.

Figure 2 Brons (1963). Usually. has noted that in many cases the apparently linear trend of fo versus Np turns down as fo approaches small values. to estimate reserves. the trend may be extrapolated to an "economic limit. The downturn reportedly occurs at smaller values of fo for heavy (viscous) oils than for light oils ( Figure 3 ). however. ." fo.of Np for the well ( Figure 2 ).

.Figure 3 In bottomwater drive reservoirs. if the completion interval extends across a "shale break" the decreasing trend in fo may stabilize before resuming a decline ( Figure 4 ).

. as discussed below. After the zone below the shale break has watered out ( Figure 5 ).Figure 4 The rate of decline of fo after the stabilization period may be greater or less than the rate of decline before the stabilization period.

Figure 5 the decline in fo usually stabilizes until the water encroaches around the end of the shale break (period "b-c" in Figure 4 ). after breakthrough of water the logarithm of total liquid production rate tends to increase linearly with time. Figure 6 ). For wells being produced at an approximately constant oil rate ( . the rate of decline in fo after the stabilization period usually is less than the rate of decline before the stabilization period. and vice versa.1) kw /µw = mobility of water in the lower zone h2 = net thickness of the lower zone If h1 > h2. During period "b-c" the fractional flow of oil (fo) should be approximately: < where: ko/µo = mobility of oil in the upper zone h1 = net thickness of upper zone (5.

once this capacity has been reached. Plots like Figures 2 and 6 should be prepared for oil wells producing significant water. for water drive or waterflood wells. Other Methods Subject to the simplifying assumption that the log of (krw/kro) is a linear function of Sw. which should yield better results at low water cuts than the Ershagi and Abdassah (1984) method.1)] . which may be the case if wells are being produced with rod pumps. a plot of (-){ln[(l/fw . Liu (1989) proposed plotting: {ln(Np/Wp) . Estimates of reserves using each of the two plots may differ slightly. In subsequent discussions (Startzman and Wu 1984). the logarithm of total liquid production rate will tend to increase linearly versus cumulative oil.1/fw} versus {fractional oil recovery} should be linear. Generally. it was observed that this procedure should be compared with the "conventional" plot of log (WOR) versus Np. Oil reserves may be estimated by extrapolating the total liquid production rate to the maximum two phase flow capacity of the tubing (or to pump capacity). In continuing discussion of the ErshagiAbdassah paper. the oil production rate decreases at a rate commensurate with the rate of increase in total liquid production. Ershagi (1984) proposed that. If the oil production rate is not approximately constant.Figure 6 This behavior is typical for oil wells in water drive reservoirs being produced by gas lift.Np/Wp} versus Np .

a plot of SITP versus Gp is slightly concave up. the trend is approximately linear. In cases where it is not practical to obtain periodic SITP data. and wells usually become incapable of flow before they reach the economic limit gas flow rate. consideration might be given to using a procedure proposed by Lewis (1985). In this case. It should be kept in mind. it seems apparent that developing the "correct" performance plot to estimate reserves in water drive — or waterflood — reservoirs is highly empirical. that the "best" plot at low water cuts might not be the "best" plot at high water cuts. after water breakthrough in individual wells the logarithm of the producing water/gas ratio (WGR) usually is a linear function of cumulative gas from the well. Water Drive In gas reservoirs subject to water influx. with the "best" plot being determined by regression analysis. . The abandonment point usually is the economic limit flow rate. Accordingly. which involves using adjusted performance data from individual well back-pressure curves. Typically in such wells. these data also may be used to estimate reserves. different types of plots should be considered. the abandonment point is governed by the two-phase flow characteristics of the tubing string. Gas Reservoirs Performance indicators are discussed briefly for pressure depletion reservoirs and for water drive reservoirs. If back pressure test data representative of well performance approaching economic limit conditions are available. which is a function of — among other factors — the costs of compressor operation and handling produced water. each well may have a different abandonment WGR ( Figure 7 ). reserves may be estimated by extrapolating the trend of flowing tubing pressure versus cumulative gas to the sales line pressure. After it is adjusted downward to approximate the economic limit flow rate. late in life. In some areas. In this case. Timmerman (1982) has provided additional discussion of the analysis of performance trends in waterflood reservoirs. However. periodic shut-in tubing pressure (SITP) data on individual wells can be used to estimate shut-in bottomhole pressure which can be used to develop p/Z versus Gp plots to estimate reserves. however. flow from such wells may be maintained with multistage compression. the FTP plot may be extrapolated to sales line or compressor intake pressure to estimate reserves. Under constant terminal rate conditions a plot of flowing tubing pressure (FTP) should be approximately parallel to the SITP plot. however.From these papers. Over life. Pressure Depletion In nonretrograde gas reservoirs with moderate to high permeability.

with the WGR for the facility generally having a trend ( Figure 7 ). Cummings and Gentry (1986). three types of decline curves are commonly used: hyperbolic.) Production Decline Equations Background Lewis and Beal (1918) and Cutler (1924) were among the earliest to publish on the analysis of production decline curves in oil wells. and exponential. . With certain exceptions.Figure 7 Reserves for each well may be determined by extrapolating a plot of q versus WGR for the well to the economic limit WGR for the facility. As noted by Arps (1945). and others. decline curves are empirical fits to observed trends of production. Unless the observed trends are related to reservoir mechanics. Fetkovich (1980). extrapolation of these trends to estimate reserves may lead to significant error. (A similar procedure to determine the economic limit may be appropriate for water drive oil wells. harmonic. Gentry and McCray (1978). as discussed by Lefkovits and Matthews (1958). The harmonic and exponential curves are special cases of the hyperbolic curve.

the development follows Arps (1945). Equation 5. which may be either Np or Gp. This notation is. which was used in the Petroleum Production Handbook (SPE 1962).b] (5. gas wells producing early in life under constant terminal pressure conditions — and cylindrical flow — should exhibit hyperbolic production declines with b equal to approximately 0. or: a = (-) d(ln q)/dt (5. . however. Mathematics Arps (1945) proposed a hyperbolic equation of the form: < (5." which defines h as the hyperbolic decline exponent.5. in theory.5 becomes: Q = qib[qi(1-b) . After integration.6) which is the rate-cumulative equation for hyperbolic declines.5 may be solved to determine the time for the production rate to decline from q1 to the economic limit rate qe1: < Applications (5.q(1-b)]/ai[1 . Note that b = 1/h. (1966) observed that.5. Note that b is equivalent to n. and others. After a second integration with respect to time. Russell et al. however. wells without a gas cap should exhibit an exponential decline (b = 0). Equation 5. in a homogeneous oil reservoir producing by gravity drainage. This notation is not consistent with SPE (1987) "standard.1 to 2. Q is a general term to denote cumulative production. consistent with the original usage by Arps (1945) and with recent usage by Gentry and McCray (1978). the notation. In investigations of actual reservoirs producing by gravity drainage they observed wells exhibited hyperbolic declines with b ranging from less than 0. Equation 5. wells with a gas cap should exhibit a hyperbolic decline with b = 0.2 becomes: q = qi(l + bait)-1/b (5.3) and where C is a constant which is defined under initial conditions as: C = ai/qib (5.7) Lefkovits and Matthews (1958) observed that.Hyperbolic Declines In the following sections.5.2) where a is the nominal (or instantaneous) decline rate and is defined as the negative slope of the natural logarithm of the production rate versus time. in theory. has been modified to reflect SPE (1987) standard.4) The term b is called the hyperbolic decline exponent.5) which is the rate-time equation for hyperbolic declines.

Examples include the Cotton Valley Formation in East Texas and the Green River Formation in the Piceance Basin of Colorado. this becomes: q = qie-at (5. extrapolation of the exponential. Gentry and Mccray (1978) have demonstrated mathematically that b should be expected to be larger than 1 in very heterogeneous reservoirs.4. In this case. In his original paper. b values greater than 1.10) which is the rate-cumulative equation for exponential declines. decline curve is the most widely used technique to estimate reserves using the performance method.9) which is the rate-time equation for exponential declines. Fetkovich (1980) observed that "rate data existing only in the transient period .9 may be solved to determine the time for the production rate to decline from q1 to the economic limit rate qel: tel = ln(ql/qel)/a (5. or constant percentage." Exponential Declines Because of relative ease of use.. or low-permeability reservoirs that are naturally — or hydraulically — fractured (Bailey 1982.8) after integration. Mathematics The exponential decline curve is a special case of the hyperbolic decline curve. Equation 5.9 becomes: < (5.5 millidarcy — Cretaceous sandstones in the Green River basin of the western United States exhibited hyperbolic declines with widely varying exponents. this technique may lead to significant underestimating of reserves if applied using data measured during transient flow conditions in fractured or low-Permeability reservoirs.Stewart (1970) observed that.. however. Equation 5.11) Arps (1945) noted that the nominal dedline rate a is often confused with the effective decline rate D. where b = 0. gas wells completed in the very heterogenous. These are reservoirs with low permeability.0 have been reported in many reservoirs. with the majority between 0 and 0. Arps (1945) observed that "most decline curves seem to be characterized by ‘b’ values between 0 and 1. however. which he defined as . Long and Davis 1988). would require values of ‘b’ much greater than 1 to fit the data.2 becomes: dq/dt < (5. Equation 5. low permeability — approximately 0. during the semisteady state period. After a second integration." Since that time. As noted in the applications section. In addition.

Below the bubble-point. Equation 5.14 becomes Q = qiln(qi/q)/ai (5. Also. production trends from such wells may exhibit decreasing decline rates. Mathematics When b = 1.15) .14) which is the rate-time equation for harmonic declines. Applications Transient flow in fractured or very heterogeneous.2 becomes: < (5. for example. extrapolation of these trends to estimate reserves may result in significant underestimates. however. Equation 5. Later in life. Blasingame and Lee (1986) have presented a method. based on exponential declines. have observed that the gas flow rate from gas wells producing late in life at constant terminal pressure conditions generally exhibits an exponential decline. such wells tend to exhibit hyperbolic declines. After a second integration. becoming exponential with relatively low a values compared to initial a values. The term C is defined under initial conditions as: C = ai/qi (5. Equation 5.D).< For exponential declines. Brons (1963) and Stewart (1970). however. stratified reservoirs usually is characterized initially by a relatively steep decline in production rate versus time. These early decline trends may appear to be exponential.12) in which the decline rate is proportional to the production rate. oil wells producing at constant pressure by fluid expansion above the bubble-point pressure tend to exhibit an exponential decline (Brons 1963). to determine well drainage area and shape factor for homogeneous and naturally — or hydraulically — fractured reservoirs that are producing with constant bottom-hole pressure. a = (-)ln(l .13) After integration.12 becomes: < (5. Harmonic Declines The harmonic decline is a special case of the hyperbolic decline where the decline rate is proportional to the production rate (b = 1).

For additional details. please refer to Thompson and Wright (1984) In many areas. and demonstrated that "any data existing before a tD of 0. for the well or facility being evaluated. For example. 2." 3.16) Methodology To estimate reserves.1)/a1 Applications It has been observed that. the following general procedure is recommended: 1. given a declining trend in gas or oil production rate. Estimate the economic limit producing rate. and project production using an exponential curve after this minimum decline rate has been reached.g. seasonal market curtailment. Examine the historical data.14 may be solved to determine the time for the production rate to decline from q1 to the economic limit rate tel = (qi/qel . From examination of Equation 5. A statistical or leastsquares approach could calculate any value of b between 0 and 1. e. plot as a straight line on semilog paper. after breakthrough of water in wells producing from water drive oil reservoirs. to qel. Use caution with hyperbolic or harmonic fits. rejecting apparently "anomalous" values. Calculate reserves to be produced as the production rate trend declines from q1. the logarithm of fovs Np for individual wells tends to be approximately linear—with limitations as discussed. It is good practice to set a minimum decline rate. "Fit" the remaining data with the rate-time equation that results in the minimum standard deviation. special methods have been developed to estimate reserves from analysis of production trends using plots other than rate-versus-time. thus. consistent with experience in the area.* *Fetkovich (1980) has defined "decline curve dimensionless time" as tD = ait. production data during extended periods when wells were off production for mechanical reasons. (5.15.3 will appear to be an exponential decline regardless of the true value of b and. because the calculated decline rate may become unrealistically low and result in projection of reserves that exceeds a reasonable volumetric estimate. 4.. Equation 5. the rate at the effective date of the evaluation. qel. it may be observed that Figure 2 represents a harmonic decline. Gurley (1963) discussed a method to analyze Clinton Sand gas wells (Ohio) by . etc.which is the rate-cumulative equation for harmonic declines. the economic limit.

In cases of extended or periodic shut-in. presented type curves that may be used to analyze production trends from wells in dual porosity (naturally fractured) reservoirs for both finite and infinite systems. decline curve analysis has been considered to be an empirical fit to observed data.. including those that involve • Remote/Frontier Areas and Harsh Operating Conditions • Heavy and Extra Heavy Crude Oil • Fractured/Vugular Reservoirs .... Type Curve Analysis With few exceptions. Fetkovich (1980) demonstrated that decline curves can be related to reservoir properties and drive mechanism. The method involves plotting production rate versus time on log-log tracing paper with the same scales as Fetkovich’s type curves. Using a technique similar to that of Fetkovich (1980). Mannon and Porter (1989). Special Problems in Estimating Reserves Reserves Estimation involves special considerations under certain conditions.plotting "percent of best month" capacity versus time. a different type curve would be required for different values of these parameters. which is similar to type curve analysis used to analyze bottomhole pressure transient data. (1981). they recommended that w and 1 be estimated using transient pressure analysis so that the correct type curve (qD versus tD) could be used to estimate reserves. rather than rate versus time. they noted that both dimensionless production (qD) and dimensionless time (tD) are controlled by the dimensionless fracture storage (w) and by the ratio of matrix to fracture permeability (1). in discussing application of a computer program to implement Fetkovich’s method. it may be preferable to analyze the trend of rate versus cumulative. called advanced decline curve analysis. if the system is considered homogeneous. low permeability gas wells in the Piceance Basin (United States). 1987)." In addition. Stricht and Gordon (1983) developed special procedures to analyze the performance of fractured. They observed that "he initial decline in production rate often is not representative of the final state of depletion . type curve matching based only on the initial decline can lead to erroneous values for . Fetkovich (1980) developed a methodology. then overlaying this plot to determine the best fit to one of the type curves.. (the drainage volume) . (1985. Examples of the application of this method have been discussed by Fetkovich et al. however. Da Prat et al. noted that the ability to discern transient and depletion conditions is one of the strengths of this approach. In 1973.. Their analysis was based on the Warren and Root (1963) model for fractured reservoirs. thus. which were noted previously. Accordingly.

Harsh operating conditions are defined as environmental conditions that require extraordinary provisions to ensure safety and comfort of personnel and integrity of equipment. Resource assessment in remote and/or frontier areas poses special problems because of two factors: (a) there usually is a high degree of geologic uncertainty and (b) the economics of developing. Under conditions of substantial uncertainty — as noted previously — reserves estimated and classified by deterministic methods may differ substantially from reserves estimated and classified by probabilistic methods. proposed a reserve classification system based on results from Monte Carlo analyses of reservoir data.• Geopressured Reservoirs • Partial Water Drive (Rate Sensitive) Gas Reservoirs • Thin Oil Columns (Between Gas and Water) • Tight Gas Reservoirs Remote/Frontier Areas and Harsh Operating Conditions Remote/frontier areas are defined as areas that are so isolated from the existing oil field infrastructure that provision of supplies and support services represents major cost and logistical problems. off the northwestern coast of Australia. discussing reserve estimating procedures used in the North Sea. caution should be exercised in comparing results of the two methodologies. Keith (1986). Dome Petroleum indicated they considered minimum reserves for a commercial field to be 400 million barrels. for example. Heavy and Extra Heavy Crude Oil . Other than the SPE (1987) definitions. degree of risk. Newendorp (1975). there are no industry-wide standards regarding reserve estimation and classification. Thus. Harsh operating conditions impose extraordinary costs which are difficult to quantify during the early assessment phase. Such methods have been discussed by Walstrom (1967). might be considered such an area. Under such conditions. that "proved" reserves estimated by deterministic methods are approximately equal to the sum of "proved plus probable" reserves estimated by probabilistic methods. It has been observed. and transporting oil and gas to market are highly speculative. The Timor Sea. and others. for example. The Canadian Beaufort Sea might be considered such an area. the minimum size of potentially economic accumulations may be so large as to preclude development of all but giant fields. During their exploration in the Canadian Beaufort Sea. it may be appropriate to use probabilistic — rather than deterministic — methods to help determine reserve volume. processing. Under conditions of substantial uncertainty in accumulation size and exploitation cost. producing. and reserve classification.

which causes problems in evaluating resistivity logs. Comparable data are not available on the Orinoco area.. Estimating Reserves Difficulties in estimating reserves from these resources may be attributed to (a) problems in characterizing the accumulations. which is approximately 20* of the oil initially in place. (1988) estimate of the discovered resource initially in place. Estimated primary recovery efficiency from the Orinoco area of Venezuela — where stock tank gravities range from 8 to 13° API — ranges from 8 to 12* (Martinez 1987) Additional recovery attributable to waterflooding in the Lloydminster area typically does not exceed 1 to 2* (Adams 1982). Published data on recovery efficiency from this resource by primary drive mechanisms are sparse. Well spacing for these projects generally is on the order of one to two acres per well. • Analysis of pressure transient tests is hampered by the long times required to reach semi-steady state in the viscous — i.e. These projects ranged in depth from 535 to 2600 feet and had reservoir oil viscosities ranging from 85 to 6400 centipoise. and (c) generally marginal economics. Fiorillo (1987) estimated ultimate recovery from the Orinico oil belt to be approximately 245 billion barrels. Projects were in California. causing problems in retrieval and analysis of cores. substantially less than what might be considered "normal" spacing. Problems in characterizing these accumulations include the following: • They are associated with relatively shallow reservoirs. and Venezuela. For 12 mature steam flood projects. . Matthews (1984) noted estimated recovery efficiencies were in the range from 39 to 68* of oil initially in place. two thirds of which are in Canada and Venezuela (Briggs et al. usually containing brackish interstitial water. which is 10* of the Briggs et al. Bitumen and tar sands are excluded from this estimate. low-mobility — oil.Background Discovered world resources of heavy and extra heavy crude oil are estimated to be approximately 4600 billion barrels. • Most of the resource is contained in friable sandstones. (b) uncertainties in quantifying the response to steam injection. The Netherlands. Estimated primary recovery efficiency from the Lloydminster area of western Canada-where stock tank gravities range from 13 to 17° API — ranges from 3 to 8% (Adams 1982). Thermal recovery methods — generally steam flooding — are required to develop significant reserves from this resource. 1988). Meyer and Mitchell (1987) estimated worldwide ultimate recovery from heavy and extra heavy crude oils to be approximately 476 billion barrels.

in both sandstone and carbonate reservoirs. fractured shales. porosity. which causes substantial uncertainties in estimates of hydrocarbons initially in place and . the Big Sandy gas field (Kentucky).• Because of the small density contrast between the reservoir oil and the interstitial water. In the former category. When they occur in carbonates. and asphaltic crudes • the frequent presence of heavy metals in the oil. fractures tend to facilitate extensive leaching. Reiss (1980) and others have identified two broad categories of fractured reservoirs: (a) those with a porous matrix and (b) those with a nonporous matrix. Reservoir Engineering Aspects This type of accumulation poses formidable difficulties in estimating reserves. the viscosity of the oil usually exhibits substantial spatial variation. • The highly empirical nature of response to steam injection makes it difficult to develop a reliable prediction model. which may result in the development of vugular. Ekofisk (North Sea). and the Santa Maria basin fields (California). the fractures serve as the principal flow conduits. Examples include many of the Iranian fields. significant fractions of these accumulations may be in oil-water transition zones. and Spraberry (United States). These difficulties are attributable to the extreme heterogeneity of the reservoir rock. less-common category are reservoirs in fractured metamorphic rocks. Uncertainties in quantifying the response to steam injection are caused by the following: • Within a single reservoir. Examples include the Albion-Scipio trend (Michigan) and the Rospo Mare field (offshore Italy). which is the most common. In the latter. most of the hydrocarbons are stored in the matrix porosity. Examples include the Edison field (California). causing problems in refining. sulfurous. sometimes karstic. Marginal economics are caused by: • extra costs for complying with local air pollution requirements • high energy needs to generate steam • additional costs to handle these bituminous. Fractured/Vugular Reservoirs Background Fractured reservoirs have been observed in most producing provinces of the world. and fractured cherts.

• While transient pressure analysis may provide useful data. which is caused by transient pressure behavior. geochemical and/or diagenetic processes (Parker 1972). Hydrostatic pressure depends on the local fluid gradient and varies from 0. Not until wells have passed through the transient pressure period and settled into semi steady state conditions can reserves be estimated with a reasonable degree of confidence using the performance method. .recovery efficiency. The early performance of wells in these reservoirs usually is characterized by a relatively rapid decline in production rate. refers to reservoir fluid pressure that exceeds hydrostatic pressure and may approach overburden pressure. Overburden pressure usually is estimated to be about 1. such estimates should be compared with observed recovery in analogous reservoirs. While the behavior of an "average" well might be used to estimate reserves. wide variation in performance between wells should be expected. including tectonic stress (Berry 1973). analysis of results may not provide unique answers. • The rate-time performance of wells typically is hyperbolic. When feasible.5 psi per foot of depth. to facilitate application of modern interpretation techniques the surveys must be conducted with highly accurate quartz pressure transducers.4 to 0. Geopressured Reservoirs Geologic Overview The term geopressure. problems are caused by the following: • Boreholes are frequently severely washed out. at best. In general. • Core recovery frequently is fragmental. and PVT effects in sealed. first used by Charles Stuart of the Shell Oil Company. detection of fractures and measurement of fracture porosity using logging devices is highly empirical. Abnormally high reservoir pressures have been attributed to several causes. under-compaction (Dickinson 1953). • Even in good-quality boreholes. • Well performance frequently is strongly influenced by proximity to major fractures and by completion technique.0 psi per foot of depth. making log interpretation difficult or impossible. subsiding gas reservoirs (Stuart and Kozik 1977). Estimates of reserves using volumetric methods are subject to considerable uncertainty.

. Geopressured Gas Reservoirs If gas production is attributed to gas expansion only.. Gary et al. Gulf Coast — generally are attributed to undercompaction of thick sequences of marine shales.. Geopressured reservoirs in this type of depositional sequence tend to be geologically complex and exhibit producing mechanisms that are not well understood. It has been observed that p/Z versus Gp plots for many geopressured reservoirs initially appear to be linear but exhibit downward curvature as reservoir pressure . wells completed in geopressured reservoirs produce substantial amounts of water. and operating geopressured reservoirs. 1972) defines shale as an "indurated (hardened) . and volumetric mapping subject to considerable uncertainty.. the U. for example. the water may be attributable to expulsion of water from shale* zones interbedded with the productive sands. even though the wells may be considerable distances from any obvious water source. it is especially important to reconcile such differences to ensure cost-effective exploitation of this resource. especially in shaley sands. Poorly understood producing mechanisms may cause uncertainty in estimates based on pressure-production performance. which may make correlation. Given the geologic complexity of the geopressure environment. sedimentary rock formed by the consolidation . In view of the high costs usually associated with drilling. Both of these factors may cause considerable uncertainty in reserve estimates. Geologic complexity may cause uncertainty in estimates based on volumetric mapping. Frequently. structural interpretation. While this was observed to be true in many cases — see. a plot of p/Z versus Gp will be a straight line. the relatively fresh waters frequently encountered in geopressured sections complicate interpretation of resistivity logs.S. Wallace (1969) and Prasad and Rogers (l987) — it soon became apparent it is not universally true." Because geopressures in Tertiary basins generally are attributed to undercompaction.g. Geopressured reservoirs in Tertiary sand-shale sequences frequently are associated with substantial faulting and complex stratigraphy. In addition. such differences are quite likely. completing. of clay. the term "proto-shale" might be more appropriate. during the early years of exploitation it was assumed that geopressured gas reservoirs would exhibit linear plots of p/Z versus Gp. *The American Geological Institute (ed.. which may suppress the spontaneous potential (SP) log. The resistivity of interstitial water in geopressured sections may approach that of fresh water. Because geologists considered them to be "closed" accumulations.Geopressures in sand-shale sequences in Tertiary basins — e. If mechanical problems can be ruled out. Under these conditions it may be difficult to estimate net pay unless a gamma-ray log also has been run. Reservoir Overview There may be a substantial difference between the volumetric estimate and the material balance estimate of oil and gas initially in place in a given reservoir.

Extrapolation of the initial part of the plot may result in an estimate of gas initially in place approximately twice that estimated using volumetric methods. Duggan 1972. which was attributed to "decrease in shale porosity because some shale water . several different empirical methods have been developed to adjust the p/Z versus Gp plot. Ramagost and Farshad (1981) proposed the following equation to adjust the p/Z versus Gp plot: p/Z[l -∆p(cwSw + cp)/(l . As there is no generally accepted methodology. *Fertl and Timko (1972) reported a case of an "overpressured section in the Louisiana Gulf Coast area" where a replacement well was drilled approximately 50 feet away from a well that had produced for about 22 years. including depletion of a limited "shale water" aquifer (Duggan 1972) and rock collapse (Harville and Hawkins 1969). The anomalously low initial slope of the p/Z versus Gp plot has been attributed to several factors. There is disagreement regarding the relative importance of these mechanisms." which is the left-side term in brackets. 1972. Bourgoyne et al. of these mechanisms may be active in a given geopressured gas reservoir. or all. Hammerlindl proposed adjusting the "apparent gas in place" (AGIP) — estimated by extrapolation of the initial part of the p/Z versus Gp plot — by multiplying AGIP by the ratio: [gas compressibility]/[effective compressibility]. a brief discussion of work to date follows. the producing mechanisms in geopressured gas reservoirs may include • gas expansion • compressibility of the reservoir pore volume • expansion of the interstitial water • water influx due to water expansion from a contiguous aquifer • water influx due to dewatering of interbedded "shale. 1978). In general. Chierici et al. The downward curvature of the p/Z versus Gp plot has been attributed to other factors. As a result. (1965) have demonstrated that downward curving plots of p/Z versus Gp can be generated by partial water drive gas reservoirs. including pore volume compression (Hammerlindl 1971). Production mechanisms in geopressured gas reservoirs may vary from strong water drive to pressure depletion...Gppi/GZi (6. connate water expansion.." Both Hammerlindl (1971) and Ramagost and Farshad (1981) developed methods to account for pore volume compressibility and expansion of interstitial water.approaches hydrostatic pressure. especially compressibility of reservoir pore volume (Bernard 1987) and water influx from interbedded shale* (Wallace 1969. with the actual shape of the plot depending on the size and the permeability of the aquifer. . moved into adjacent . sands. The log in the new well measured increased resistivity in the shale section immediately above and below the producing sand.Sw)] = pi/zi .1) This equation differs from Equation 4..40 by inclusion of a "p/Z adjustment factor. and partial water drive." Any one. Bruns et al.

Sw) + We define: FpR = GpBg + WpBw (6. In addition.1 may be written for a gas reservoir as: GpBg + WpBw = G(Bg . there is no provision in these methods to account for possible water encroachment.Sw) + We = G[Eg + Bgi_p(cp + cwSw)/(l .Bgi (6. A general methodology to analyze these reservoirs has yet to be published.6) Dividing by the gas expansion and rock-fluid compression term in square brackets: (6. Thus. Reportedly. net overburden pressure will increase.5) Substituting Equation 6." which was determined by extrapolation of the early part of the p/Z versus Gp plot for each reservoir examined. C ranged from 1.5 in Equation 6. Incorporating Bernard’s proposed C in Equation 4.3 leads to: FpR = GEg + GBgi_p(cp + cwSw)/(l . Bernard’s (1987) correction factor ranged from about 0.3) .2) Using performance data from volumetric. The C factor was used to calculate a correction to the initial slope of the p/Z versus Gp plot so extrapolation of the early part of the plot would intersect the "known" GIP on the x-axis. Van der Knaap (1959). to account for the effects of rock and water compressibility. not remain constant. The following methodology is Proposed. In addition to gas expansion. The assumption of constant pore volume compressibility is contrary to work by Fatt (1958). geopressured gas reservoirs in the U.5 to 46.96 to about 0. The factor appeared to correlate reasonably well with the inverse of "apparent gas initially in place.40 would yield: p/z[l . The correlation. Considering the factors discussed above. expansion of interstitial water.Both methods. geopressured reservoirs. which parallels the methodology of Havlena and Odeh (1963). Gulf Coast in which gas initially in place (GIP) is "known. a small steady-state acting aquifer. however.85 < internal fluid pressure]) (Fatt 1958). If reservoir fluid pressure is reduced by production.C∆p] = pi/zi + Gppi/GZi (6. and water influx also may be significant drive mechanisms in geopressured gas reservoirs.S.5 microsip and did not correlate with either depth or initial pressure gradient.Sw)] + We (6. C.Bgi) + GBgi∆p(cp + cwSw)/(l . Gulf Coast and may not be valid generally. is based on only 13 geopressured gas reservoirs in the U. Net overburden pressure has been defined as: ([external pressure] -[0. and shale water influx.4) Eg = Bg . assume that pore volume compressibility remains constant over the life of the reservoir being evaluated.S." Bernard (1987) calculated the C factor for each of 13 different reservoirs. however. Dobrynin (1962). who reported that pore volume compressibility is an inverse function of net overburden pressure.4 and 6. it seems apparent that pore volume compressibility. and others. pore volume compressibility will decrease. if reservoir fluid pressure decreases over reservoir life. Bernard (1987) noted several discrepancies in publications discussing drive mechanisms in apparently volumetric. He proposed use of a catch-all approximation term. Equation 4.45.

We may be calculated using a limited linear aquifer model or a limited cylindrical aquifer model." which may lead to a rapid decline in well productivity. and a small contiguous aquifer. the reservoir rock may be compressed due to the increase in net overburden pressure. Opposite conditions would favor aquifer influx. condensation of liquids in the reservoir pore space may cause development of a severe "skin.7 would be a straight line. In addition. This results in a change in the PVT properties of the reservoir hydrocarbon fluid from a single-phase to a two-phase system. Geopressured Oil Reservoirs Oil reservoirs are encountered less frequently than gas reservoirs in the geopressured section and rarely are discussed in the literature. the gas initially in place. liquids condense in the reservoir pore space. Geopressured gas reservoirs may exhibit retrograde behavior. the two-phase Z factor should be used for reservoir pressures below the dewpoint pressure. When reservoir pressure decreases below the dewpoint pressure. a limited linear aquifer model may be used.7) If the water influx term and the rock-fluid expansion-compression terms are "correct. If expanded material balance calculations are made. The water influx term is usually the most difficult term to evaluate." regarding drive mechanism in geopressured oil reservoirs. as water influx in a given reservoir may be attributable to expansion from a contiguous aquifer. the two-phase Bg should be used below the dewpoint pressure. If a p/Z versus Gp plot is used to estimate gas reserves from retrograde gas condensate reservoirs. with the y-intercept equal to G. Comments similar to those for geopressured gas reservoirs are made *If reservoir pressure decreases significantly during production. considerable interbedding of shale with the gas-bearing sandstone. Conditions favoring shale water influx include high initial pore pressure gradient. dewatering of interbedded shales. or both.< (6. The expanded material balance may be written: . which also may be manifested by a severe "skin.* In such cases. it may be extremely difficult to estimate average reservoir abandonment pressure and reserves may have to be determined by extrapolation of trends of declining well productivity to the economic limit. Depending on the size and shape of the contiguous aquifer." a plot of the left-side term versus the second right-side term of Equation 6. Compression of the reservoir rock may cause a substantial decrease in permeability. If shale dewatering is suspected. as discussed previously.

Hammerlindl’s general relation is consistent with earlier published data that indicate compressibility increases as net overburden pressure decreases. the correlation between compressibility and porosity published by Hall (1953) may not.8) Most geopressured oil accumulations are undersaturated.. with the compressibility increasing as the stress decreases. the net overburden pressure decreases as depth increases.e. observed that "pore volume compressibilities far a given porosity can vary widely according to rock type .11) Dividing by the expansion-compression term in square brackets yields: < (6. However.Np[Bt + Bg(Rp ." Thus.9) Eo = Bt . Geertsma (1957). It generally has been recognized that the pore volume compressibility of friable and unconsolidated sandstones is dependent on the stress conditions in the reservoir. Van der Knaap (1959).Rsi)] + WpBw (6. thus. for example. In geopressured sections where the initial pressure gradient increases with depth. Newman (1973). define the following: FpR = Np[Bt + Bg(Rp . in general. Pore Volume Compressibility There have been several studies published on the influence of reservoir pressure on pore volume compressibility. .12) If the water influx term and the rock-fluid expansion compression terms are "correct.Rsi)] + WpBw = N[(Bt .Bti) + Bti∆p(cp + cwSw)/(1 . and its influence has not been established in work published to date.12 would be a straight line.. the term for gas cap expansion is excluded from Equation 6. the data are too widely scattered for correlations to be reliable. it is apparent that sandstone texture also is a controlling factor. As done previously. for example. with the y-intercept equal to N — i. Thus.. and Dobrynin (1962). stock tank barrels of oil initially in place.8.8 may be restated as: FpR = N[Eo + Bti∆p(cp + cwSw)/(l . and should be used with caution.Sw)) + We (6. Fatt (1958). Comments regarding the water influx term for geopressured gas reservoirs are appropriate for geopressured oil reservoirs.Bti (6. Hammerlindl (1971) published a correlation that showed that pore volume compressibility in geopressured reservoirs increases with reservoir depth and with increases in initial pressure gradient." a plot of the left-side term versus the second right-side term of Equation 6. be valid.Sw)] + We (6.10) Equation 6.

apparently were measured on rock samples taken from geopressured aquifers. however.000 psi). In the absence of laboratory data. Dobrynin (1962) .14) Van der Knaap (1962) reported pore volume compressibility data for a variety of porous media and observed an approximately linear log-log relation between pore volume compressibility and net overburden pressure. Four papers are discussed briefly: Fatt (1958). it is recommended that compressibility measurements be made on samples taken from the hydrocarbon-bearing zone and not on samples from the aquifer. some geopressured sandstones have compressibilities substantially lower than those indicated by Hammerlindl’s (1971) correlation.Reportedly. which can result in a geologically "young" rock becoming tightly cemented. with compressibilities approaching those usually associated with consolidated rock (Bernard 1987). the relation between pore (volume) compressibility and logarithm of pressure can be approximated by a straight line".B log (pon) where A and B are constants for each sample. pore volume compressibility varied from approximately 10 to 2 microsip over a comparable range of net overburden pressure. In the high temperatures usually associated with geopressured environments. (6. or rocks that have comparable porosity and permeability. Fatt (1958) suggested the data could be fitted with a relation of the form: cp = A . than in hydrocarbon reservoirs. for poorly sorted sandstones. where the interstitial water is mobile. the relation between pore volume compressibility and net overburden pressure (pon) for Fatt’s (1958) data would be approximately: cp = 100 . however. "between a certain minimum (net overburden) pressure and a certain maximum (net overburden) pressure. industry publications may provide guidance regarding the relation between reservoir stress and pore volume compressibility. Compressibilities reported by Van der Knaap (1962).13) For poorly sorted sandstones. These tightly cemented sandstones are generally less compressible than relatively uncemented sands. appear to be substantially less than those reported by Fatt (1958) over a comparable range of net overburden pressure. however. (6. In view of the foregoing observations. These data. Data reported by Dobrynin (1962) appear to be consistent with those reported by Fatt (1958). Van der Knaap (1959). the pore volume compressibility varied from a maximum of approximately 35 microsip (at a net overburden pressure of 1000 psi) to a minimum of approximately 5 microsip (at a net overburden pressure of 12. Extreme caution should be exercised in using compressibility data from rocks that appear to be similar to the zone of interest. sandstones undergo rapid diagenesis. where the interstitial water is immobile. and Newman (1973) From limited data reported by Fatt (l958) — seven sandstones with porosity in the range 10 to l5* — it may be observed that. For well-sorted sandstones. rather than from hydrocarbon reservoirs.10 ln(pon) where cp units are microsip. or: . Such diagenesis is more likely to occur in aquifers. Dobrynin (1962) reported that.

.15) cpx = pore volume compressibility at minimum net overburden pressure (1/psi) px = maximum net overburden pressure (psi) pn = minimum net overburden pressure (psi) This relationship is consistent with one proposed by Fatt (1958).12 is being evaluated. above. maximum pore volume compressibility. published a paper in which they demonstrated theoretically that.7 or 6. This may result in a significant increase in gas reserves by lowering the abandonment pressure. "gas recovery from certain .e. the field should be produced at as high a rate as possible." Their calculations suggested that lower-permeability reservoirs were more sensitive to gas production rate than higher-permeability reservoirs. Equation 6.S.where: cp = cpxln(px/p)/ln(px/pn) cp = pore volume compressibility (1/psi) (6. reservoirs may be very sensitive to gas production rate. a "quartzite" cpx (microsip)* 50 10 * At pn = 200 psi and with px = 20. or Equation 6.13. compressibilities for unconsolidated and friable sandstones ranged from approximately 5 to 80 microsip. in a mathematically isotropic gas reservoir subject to edgewater encroachment.13 is integrated between initial net overburden pressure in the reservoir and the net overburden pressure at which Equation 6. Based on the foregoing discussion. Agarwal et al. Gulf Coast "graywacke" Well-sorted." . For unstressed porosity in the range 20 to 30*. a U. They concluded by stating: "If practical.. well-rounded grains with up to about 15% intergranular detritus — i.15: Rock texture Loosely consolidated to friable. poorly sorted.e. for substitution in Equation 6. Newman’s (1973) compressibility data were reported at a common pressure of 75* of initial overburden pressure.000 psi Partial Water Drive (Rate Sensitive) Gas Reservoirs In 1965. and field curtailment should be avoided... with 20 to 45* intergranular detritus — i. it is suggested that — in the absence of laboratory data — the following be used to estimate cpx. To determine the effective compressibility over a pressure range of interest in the reservoir.

it might be easier to test . In addition to aquifer strength.The recovery efficiency of gas from partial water drive gas reservoirs may be estimated with Equation 3. or both. From examination of Equation 3. As a practical matter. (1964). Chaney et al. as discussed by Earlougher (1977). Others. Thin Oil Columns (Between Gas and Water) Oil columns less than about 20 feet in gross thickness generally are considered "thin. depending on the depositional environment of the reservoir rock and the degree of lateral heterogeneity. should be used with extreme caution to establish production policy or to estimate gas reserves from this type of reservoir.18: (3. the underlying water.18 it is apparent that these two terms are of comparable significance in the determination of gas recovery efficiency from partial water drive reservoirs. below which — in theory — coning should not occur. (1989). This usually results in rapidly increasing GOR — or WOR — and relatively short economic life. estimating recovery efficiency of oil using volumetric methods can be subject to substantial uncertainty. another critical parameter needed to apply these correlations is the ratio of horizontal to vertical permeability over each well’s drainage area. However. theoretical calculations for recovery efficiency of gas of the type used by Agarwal et al. Chierici et al. Another possible approach is reservoir simulation of wells exhibiting coning to establish the ratio of horizontal to vertical permeability that results in an acceptable match to observed behavior. See. Cronquist 1984). Some authors. It seems apparent that. However. analogous to the classic coning problem first discussed by Muskat and Wyckoff (1935). wells completed in this type of oil accumulation are subject to coning of the overlying gas. Richardson and Blackwell (1971). From a critical review of this literature — which spans an interval of over 50 years — it is apparent the industry has yet to develop a general treatment of coning that includes the influence of aquifer influx and other relevant parameters. have investigated the problem of coning in the presence of an inactive aquifer. in the presence of an active aquifer. however.RpZ] + [RpZEV] where EV is the volumetric sweep efficiency and RpZ is the ratio of abandonment to initial p/Z. other factors being the same. Bournazel and Jeanson (1971). an expense many operators might be reluctant to incur. Muskat and Wyckoff (1935). for example. the critical rate to avoid water coning would be less that the critical rate in the presence of an inactive aquifer. Typically. Since the Agarwal and Ramey publication. the test procedure involves two sets of perforations separated by a packer. Thus. it is unlikely that results from one such test would be applicable to all wells in the reservoir. Kuo and DesBrisay (1983). Kuo (1989). and Hyland et al. In theory. this parameter can be determined by vertical interference testing or vertical pulse testing. have investigated the problem in the presence of an active aquifer. for example." When such an accumulation is over-lain by a significant gas cap and underlain by an active aquifer. (1956).18) [ERg]wd = [1 . Several correlations have been developed to estimate "critical rates" to produce these wells. it has become increasingly apparent that seemingly minor variations in permeability can have a major influence on volumetric sweep efficiency in reservoirs subject to water influx (Hartmann and Paynter 1979.

Depending on the size of the initial gas cap and the degree to which gas cap voidage occurs. or less. In many cases. the geologic setting of these reservoirs is characterized by • • • • a high degree of permeability heterogeneity lateral discontinuities in apparently "blanket" sands stratigraphic. lowpermeability gas reservoirs are those with an average in-situ permeability of 0. resulting in usually irrecoverable losses of oil. In general. traps complex mineralogy. significant volumes of oil may be lost. The problems can be attributed to (a) the geologic setting in which these reservoirs occur and (b) the completion methods required to make them commercial. In the presence of a strong aquifer and a gas cap. thereby maintaining its size constant. Finley (1984) and the AAPG (1986) have provided a description of the geologic and engineering characteristics of the major tight gas reservoirs in the United States. recovery efficiency of oil from this type of reservoir depends on • well spacing and completion method • the ratio of horizontal to vertical permeability • the size of the initial gas cap • the thickness of the initial oil column • whether or not produced free gas is injected into the gas cap to maintain the size constant • the strength of the aquifer.. the combination of water encroachment and gas cap coning may result in displacement of part of the oil column into the gas cap.to high-permeability reservoirs are not reliable in very low-permeability reservoirs. this loss may be avoided by injection of the produced free gas into the gas cap.1 md.wells at gradually increasing rates to determine a maximum rate at which each well can be produced without coning. Assuming acceptable operating practices. With the increasing activity in develdping and producing these reservoirs came the realization that methods to estimate gas reserves in moderate. Tight Gas Reservoirs As defined by the United States Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). rather than structural. frequently with high grain density minerals randomly dispersed throughout the section .

S. based on fracture mechanisms or origins: • • • • Tectonic fractures are those whose genesis can be attributed to tectonic events. We can identify tectonic fracture systems based on their clear relationship to faulting. however. These attributes make it very difficult to determine porosity and interstitial water saturation by conventional log and core analysis (Brown et al. These problems. However. Spencer 1983. B values generally are greater than 1. U. and massive hydraulic fracturing (MHF) usually is required to obtain commercial flow rates. Kukal et al. Veatch 1983) It generally is recognized that. 1983). 1983. Figure 1 shows the trend of regional fractures observed in oriented cores of the Devonian shale wells in the Appalachian Basin. plus the high degree of lateral discontinuity.• water-sensitive clays. it is not possible to distinguish between commercial and noncommercial intervals from log analysis alone. Drillstem tests rarely provide any useful information. Regional fractures are those covering extensive areas with relatively constant orientation. Contractional fractures can form from various processes that cause a reduction in bulk volume.A. These processes are related to internal or body forces such as dehydration. In many cases. Brown et al. . Surface-related fractures develop from weathering and unloading of stored stress. 1981. groups naturally fractured reservoirs into four categories. Witherbee et al. In most cases. For example. RESERVOIR CLASSIFICATION Various classification criteria have been proposed for defining fractured reservoirs. over life. despite over 35 years of experience with fracturing technology. thermal contraction and diagenesis. folding and piercements. 1981). Hale (1981) has demonstrated that elliptical flow equations provide a good approximation to well behavior in these reservoirs. including plate tectonics. the exact cause of regional fractures may not be clear. Regional fracture systems exhibit large spacing among fractures and little change in fracture orientation. the gas production rate from wells completed in these reservoirs typically exhibits a hyperbolic decline (Stewart 1970. These fractures have shears attributed to various causes. lead to substantial uncertainties in volumetric estimates of gas initially in place. Nelson (1985) modifying the classification scheme of Stearns and Friedman (1972). the industry is unable to design a treatment and predict the results with a high degree of confidence (Kazemi 1982. as formations often are damaged during drilling.

perpendicular or parallel to bedding and at angles to bedding. From the standpoint of productivity.Figure 1 Stearns (1968) describes fractures associated with folding based on the fracture direction. 1945). 1956) and Amal in Libya. may exhibit sharp production decline (in the case of pressure depletion reservoirs) and can develop early water or gas coning. perpendicular to dip. Examples include the Ellenburger Fields in Texas (Bulnes and Fitting. Nelson (1985) divides naturally fractured reservoirs into four general types: Type 1 In these reservoirs. La PazMara in Venezuela (Smith. Type 2 . fractures account for the bulk of porosity and permeability. Because faults are caused by shearing. These include fractures parallel to dip. These reservoirs contain high fracture density. most fault-related fractures are zero-shear fractures.

we need a way to express the fracture quality.These reservoirs consist of systems in which the fractures provide the essential reservoir conductivity. Factors such as matrix porosity. fractures serve as the cause of anisotropy without providing any noticeable contribution to porosity and permeability. as a minimum. we need a porosity model that includes historical changes related to diagenetic effects such as dissolution and dolomitization. VARIOUS CONCEPTUAL MODELS Reviewing a reservoir’s geologic history from the time of its deposition to the time of its discovery is essential to understanding the dynamics of fracture opening and closing. establishing a maximum efficient rate of production and selecting an appropriate. RESERVOIR CHARACTERIZATLON AND MODELING Because of the importance of a simulation-based approach to reservoir management. Therefore. the main purpose of reservoir characterization is to define and assign spatially varying parameters to a reservoir simulator. Furthermore. distribution and pattern. Examples include Gachsaran in Iran. improved oil recovery process. Mineralization of fracture voids can. In some reservoirs. The above categories are important because early recognition of fracture types and fracture control during productivity can help in planning well locations. Type 4 In these reservoirs. For these reservoirs. the nature of interporosity flow must be identified for infill drilling or implementation of improved recovery processes. permeability and the nature of matrix-fracture interaction influence the recovery of fluids from the matrix. . however seriously impede the fracture conductivity. The storativity of the matrix does not indicate the total accessible hydrocarbon in place. As indicated in earlier sections. Nelson lists Agha Jari and Haft Kel in Iran and the Rangely Field in Colorado. Among these types of reservoirs. Core studies and well log analyses. Many decisions especially at the early stages of development depend on being able to make rough estimates of fracture and matrix storativity and interporosity flow. can help us characterize fluid types and fluid accessibility in the matrix. unusual responses during pressure support by gas or water injections can be observed because of permeability trends. Fractured rocks that are subjected to solution processes can end up with enlarged caverns. Type 3 These reservoirs have both adequate permeability to flow and fractures that enhance overall permeability. Lacg in France and Kirkuk in Iraq. the evidence of fractures is not clear in the early life of the field. Most times. core studies can further hint at the hydraulic conductivity of the fractures. fracture storativity constitutes a major portion of the overall storage capacity. Once we recognize that fractures are present.

These models fall into two broad categories: ordered and disordered fracture distribution. Four categories of fractures have been observed in field studies: • • • • Large fault zones recognized by seismic surveys Tectonic faults below seismic resolution Small fractures bounded by strata Microfractures Conceptual models should include various categories of fractures and their interrelationships.incorporating these changes requires sequence modeling that matches the entire geologic history of the sedimentation. dual permeability. alteration and compaction of the reservoir rock. or (being even more pragmatic) apply an extremely simplistic deterministic image for rough estimation purposes. such as the dual porosity. But there is certainly room for more efforts to develop geologic modeling of fractured reservoirs. triple porosity and multi-permeability models Another approach to defining fractured rocks consist of defining an equivalent porous media from discrete fracture models. Many bulk reservoir testing procedures which were developed primarily for homogeneous reservoirs. the industry has used some simple conceptual equivalents to handle routine interpretation of well tests and to conduct performance predictions. Numerous conceptual models of fractured reservoirs have been proposed. we have to make numerous assumptions about the reservoir. • Disordered models consider some random distribution of fractures. Naturally fractured reservoirs are among the best examples of extremely heterogeneous systems. Much progress has been made in this regard for sandstones with conventional pore structures. In the absence of such models. Non-Euclidean models have also been recognized and are a subject of active research. In the following sections. . we need to either represent this complex system with a series of stochastic images. To estimate lumped fracture parameters from such field tests. • Ordered models include those which follow Euclidean geometry. It is unrealistic to assume we can get a deterministic image of a naturally fractured reservoir from a limited number of sampling sites. have been field tested in fractured reservoirs. Yet to assess the hydrocarbon in place and its relative distribution in fractures and matrix. and to use these parameters in conceptual models. Developments in stochastic modeling for fractured reservoirs are also expected to improve the prediction capabilities of reservoir models. we review these approaches. while calling attention to the fact that the models in use are transitional and can be substantially improved with more data and more analytical reasoning.

time plot. Figure 1 shows several idealized Euclidean models proposed in the literature for modeling of fractured reservoirs. In 1963.EUCLIDEAN MODELS Because near-wellbore measurements are inherently limited in their investigative capabilities. we can estimate the interporosity coefficient and the fracture storativity ratio. The response of the "sugar cube" model that they developed to represent dual porosity did fit actual pressure buildup tests. This model indicated that if we can assume such a simple representation based on interpreting various segments of a pressure vs.y Warren and Root presented a technique for analyzing pressure buildup data from naturally fractured reservoirs. . producing bulk images of a reservoir requires tools with deeper investigative ranges. the industry has used this model and other similar representations to) describe and manage reservoirs. In fact.

. there is no pressure gradient between any two points within a given matrix block. Figure 2 shows the geometrical configuration of this model. and the difference between average matrix pressure and fracture pressure controls the interporosity flow. Dual Porosity — Pseudo Steady State Flow The Warren and Root model assumes that interporosity flow takes place under pseudo steady-state conditions.Figure 1 These models are expressed in terms of fracture density (AfD) and direction of flow. In other words.

λ and ω .2) DaPrat et al.Figure 2 The two bulk parameters.1-0. Aguilera (1985) presented a summary of ω values obtained by various authors. (1984) reported on the application of Warren and Root’s dual porosity model to well tests in Venezuela and obtained ω values in the range of 0.1) (3. Dual porosity gradient flow . define this reservoir configuration: (3.5 and values from 10-6 to 10-7.

g. and αt is a dimensionless time function. (1984) and Streltsova (1983)) developed the concept for other flow geometries. This conceptual model is designed to represent reservoirs with equivalent large matrix blocks. Figure 3 shows the pressure distribution in matrix blocks under gradient flow conditions. Later. a pressure gradient develops in matrix blocks. z’ is the dimensionless vertical coordinate within the matrix block. Chen et al. and the pressure within the matrix becomes space-dependent.The gradient flow model was originally proposed by Kazemi (1969) for a "layer cake" representation of fractured reservoirs. Figure 3 The quantity ∆pm/∆p refers to the dimensionless pressure distribution. DeSwaan (1976).. researchers (e. . In the gradient flow model.

fits the description of the theoretical model of a triple porosity reservoir. which may exhibit fracture support after a very long period. in fact. Figure 4 Figure 5 shows an example of an observed pressure response that. and a somewhat more permeable matrix. . the matrix contribution emanates from two distinct ranges of matrix properties as shown in Figure 4 : a very tight set of matrix blocks. which responds earlier. In their model.Triple porosity model Abdassah and Ershaghi (1986) proposed an extension of the dual porosity model to explain anomalies observed in pressure transient tests of some fractured reservoirs.

matrix blocks are discretized into a sequence of nested volume elements. These elements are defined with respect to the distance from the block surface ( Figure 6 ). From the standpoint of reservoir modeling.Figure 5 MINC model (Multiple Interacting Continuous) This model was originally proposed by Pruess and Narasimhan (1985). .

which control the inter-porosity flow.Figure 6 A proximity function is defined to represent the fraction of matrix material present within a distance x from the fracture. The model has been used by Gilman (1983) to study fractured hydrocarbon reservoirs. NON-EUCLIDEAN MODELS Euclidean models have proven useful tools for interpreting well tests and historymatching fractured reservoirs. temperature and saturation gradient. Primary grid blocks are subdivided into a sequence of secondary nested volume elements. The double porosity approximation is a special case of the MINC method. they have an obvious drawback: their significant dissimilarity to observed patterns of naturally occurring fractures. however. For simulation purposes. To overcome the inevitable frustrations of . This function allows consideration of pressure. the MINC representation involves partitioning the fractured reservoir into primary volume elements. When it comes to using them for reservoir modeling.

Turcotte (1986) indicated that the fragmentation mechanism is scale invariant and. repeated themselves over a wide range of scale. several investigators have proposed fractal geometry. In 1989. thus. Figure 7 Pavement 1000 is shown in Figure 8 . Nevada. Barton and Hsieh demonstrated that fracture patterns in Yucca Mountain. fractal.trying to apply Euclidean geometry to seemingly random arrays of fractures. Figure 7 shows the fractal plot for a number of Yucca Mountain pavements. . The term fractal was introduced by Mandlebrot (1983) to describe the concept of self-similarity at all scales. Brown and Scholz (1985) showed that the geometry of fractured rock surfaces is a fractal.

. (1992) made similar observations of observed fracture patterns on the outcrops around the Geysers geothermal field in northern California. Figure 9 shows the fractal nature of fracture patterns as examined on different scales.Figure 8 Sammis et al.

when randomly distributed. we observe a power law relationship between the probability of fragmentation in a given interval and the interval spacing. Figure 10 shows the box counting procedure and the plotting method to obtain the fractal dimension. can result in the formation of fractures.3) where N represents the number of occupied cells and r is the corresponding scale. We express the box fractal dimension (D) as shown in the following equation: N(r) = r-D (3. With an increase in the number of fragments. We can verify this power law relationship from a method referred to as box counting). .Figure 9 Imperfections in rocks.

Long and Shimo (1985). one can generate a statistical framework for fracture patterns. permeability can be zero. The measured permeabilities can be conditioned by fracture frequencies observed at control points and other available data. To develop hydraulic conductivity. Long and Witherspoon (1985) studied two-dimensional fracture networks. This reaction was attributed to the flow restrictions in the large conductors by the smaller fractures. Figure 11 . fracture length must increase while there is a decrease in fracture density. The results indicated that hydraulic conductivity decreased with an increase in the coefficient of variation of aperture. using a methodology similar to the one described and given a statistical parameter set. They also predicted an opposite effect for correlation between length and aperture. verified the coefficient of variation of hydraulic aperture and the correlation between fracture length and aperture. In a subsequent study. Their study showed that for small values of fracture length and large fracture densities. using the cubic law for a fixed network of fractures.Figure 10 FRACTURE PATTERNS Using numerical studies of fracture systems. assuming constant apertures and lengths. In brief.

Davey et al. there may be substantial discontinuities. Figure 11 Geostatistical methods have been used to generate conceptual models of reservoir heterogeneity. and direct application of geostatistical methods may be insufficient to generate flow models. Inverse modeling such as simulated annealing and iterated function systems (IFS) have been under study and development by several researchers. conditioned to match local measurements and inferred spatial correlations. Their procedure involves subjecting a partially filled lattice of 1-D conductors to simulated annealing. For fracture systems. and during several iterations. such conceptual models fitting the geometry of fractures may be inadequate to predict performance. These models then constitute the basis for stochastic flow modeling and prediction.shows examples of fracture patterns generated by a statistical approach (p = fracture frquency). The difference between the model behavior and field response is expressed as E = Σ[ln(ho) .4) . changing the configuration of lattice elements to observe field test data. This involves generating various realizations.ln(hc)] 2 (3. (1988) used simulated annealing to find an equivalent discontinuum model. As indicated by Long (1991).

110 and 140 iterations. For an initial set of points and a set of iterative functions. The IFS system originally proposed by Barnsley (1988) has been used by Acuna and Yortsos (1991) and Long et al. a fractal-like object is generated. Figure 12 Figure 13 shows the development of fracture patterns after 0. Figure 12 shows attractors generated by Long using several functions.Random changes in the elements are made. These iterated functions can be deterministic or stochastic. . (1991) to generate fracture patterns. and the E of the new configuration is changed with the previous estimate. The new configuration is maintained and subjected to further modification as long as the E is on a declining trend. This is referred to as an attractor.

Figure 13 Figure 14 shows well test data compared to model predictions. Further research is needed to extend the process to three-dimensional systems. .

Figure 14 Gale et al. . based on outcrop data. They noted that the trace length for each set of fractures. They used these fracture statistics to generate stochastic images of the fracture network in two and three dimensions. Figure 15 shows examples of histograms obtained on fracture trace length and fracture spacing. (1991) presented results of fracture studies on the Monterey formation. as well as spacing values. follow a log-normal distribution.

is assigned. After eliminating all intersections that cannot assist the flow. fracture elements between any two nodes are assigned an aperture either a fixed or a random value from log-normal distribution. procedure consists of generating a number of random points within the 2-D or 3-D space. . The process continues until a prescribed fracture density is generated. characterized by statistical parameters of orientation and length. In brief. a line length. At each point. a fracture network code is employed to generate 2-D and 3-D stochastic images of the fracture network.Figure 15 With these data. Gale et al’s. Figure 16 is an example of a 3-D pattern generated using fracture statistics as described here.

Additionally. Figure 17 shows an example of pressure transient data from a naturally fractured reservoir exhibiting linear flow. .Figure 16 Work presented by Chang and Yortsos (1990) and Acuna and Yortsos (1991) predicts the pressure transient response of fractal networks. They show that when pressure transient test data for a naturally fractured reservoir resemble the expected pattern for a well with a hydraulic fracture. (1992) demonstrates that the pressure transient tests from actual wells in the Geysers field can be explained with the predictions made for fractal patterns. Acuna et al. these data may also indicate a fractal network of fractures.

It is clear that fracture connectivity plays an important role in overall fracture conductivity. For one thing. there are uncertainties with respect to defining an effective fracture aperture that represents aperture variations within the fracture. The effect of overburden on fracture closure is not deterministic and must be considered in modeling work. Furthermore. fracture apertures measured on cores and logs do not necessarily represent the aperture variation within the fracture network. Lithology also affects the density and the irregularity of fractures. Also. .Figure 17 NEED FOR FURTHER RESEARCH Many of the conceptual models and early assumptions about the nature of subsurface fractures have essentially oversimplified very complex systems. the relationship between the fracture aperture and permeability needs some re-examination. Recent applications of downhole tools for fracture detection have shed light on some important characteristics of natural fractures.

They point out the importance of incorporating solid deformation as a part of overall fluid flow modeling. BULK CHARACTERIZATION PARAMETERS If we base a bulk representation of a naturally fractured reservoir on a dual porosity model of the type described by Warren and Root. (1993) discuss the deformation-dependent flow models of various hypothetical and conceptual fractured reservoir models. The shape factor a is related to the dimensions of the matrix blocks. (1976) proposed the following expression for σ: . other values have been proposed as follows: System 1-D 2-D 3-D Warren and Root 12 32 60 Coats (1989) 8 24 24 The shape factor a defines the matrix block surface area per unit volume. The relationship σd2 is equivalent to 12. 32 and 60 for 1-D. 2-D and 3-D systems. For uniformly distributed blocks. Based on simulation studies. respectively.7) (3.6) (3. b and c. (3. we need to define an effective matrix block size Warren and Root introduced the parameters ω (the ratio of the fracture storativity to the total system storativity) and λ (the interporosity flow coefficient) to represent bulk characterization of idealized fractured reservoirs. A continuously changing fracture permeability pattern requires innovative approaches in compiling fracture closure with spatial variations in pore pressures.8) where n is the number of normal sets of fractures.5) For blocks with dimensions of a. we may compute the effective block dimension d as shown below: n=3: d=(3abc)/(ab+bc+ac) n=2: d=(2ab)/(a+b) n=1: d=a (3. Kazemi et al.Bai et al.

fluid entry surveys and drilling logs of intervals causing lost circulation can generate alternative measures of fracture spacing and matrix block sizes.6. In reality. Some issues of concern in physical modeling are: • the characteristics of fluid-fluid interfaces in fractures • the nature of multiphase relative permeability • the mode of multiphase flow structure in fractures • the nature of capillary continuity between matrix blocks • the factors affecting countercurrent imbibition. fracture studies are a matter of describing flow through irregularly sized and spaced 3-D channels. Ly2 and Lz2 correspond to a. have addressed flow modeling. Understanding multiphase flow in fractures and the interaction between matrix and fractures for various recovery processes is essential to accurately predicting reservoir behavior. These studies.(3. can aid in characterizing block size distribution. Researchers have reported a limited number of physical models describing single and multiphase flow through fracture systems. block sizes and shapes need not be the same. PHYSICAL MODELING From the standpoint of fluid mechanics. complex films and drop flow) exist that make the process similar to two-phase flow in pipes. Fourar et al. which have generally been conducted on a single block basis.) The above parameters help significantly during the history matching of reservoir simulation studies that employ simple sugar-cube conceptual models.9) (Lx2. several approaches may be employed to estimate effective block size. This information. effective transport parameter determination and small scale micromodels. (1992) studied the nature of two-phase flow in fractures and concluded that several flow structures (such as bubble flow. gravity drainage and diffusion effects . The effective matrix block size is only meaningful in reservoirs that are not intensely fractured. b and c in Equation 3. Downhole data from fracture identification jogs. when confirmed by incorporating outcrop maps. For fractured reservoirs with sparse fractures.

Gradually. Both the block size and block permeability affect the oil recovery from blocks. fractures may be natural or manmade. high-pressure gas cap eventually forms around the matrix blocks. which results in oil draining from the blocks. In conducting core-level flow experiments. . Several mechanisms contribute to the productivity of oil from matrix blocks: • Lowering of fracture pressures causes a pressure gradient between matrix blocks and fractures. Factors affecting the rate of counter-current imbibition have been studied by physical experimentation as well as numerical modeling. the gas liberated in the blocks generates a solution gas drive process. • Diffusion between the gas in the fracture and the gas in the matrix expels the light fraction of oil from the matrix and conveys it to the fracture. Figure 18 shows their observed correlation of recovery versus the dimensionless parameter Verifying the nature of these physical processes. synthetic fractures have been cut to model the transport in the composite fracture/matrix system. Imbibition in fractured reservoirs is a crucial factor in controlling recovery from a water wet matrix.Depending on the experiment’s purpose. • For blocks close to the water-oil contact. oil is recovered under counter-current imbibition. Using cores with natural fractures introduces another level of complexity. Various laboratory and analytical techniques have been proposed to study the geometry of rough fracture surfaces. in that the geometry of fracture channels needs to be characterized. A secondary. fluid viscosities and rock petrophysical properties. In general. there are two reasons for making physical measurements: (1) to determine fracture and or matrix petrophysical properties. Mattax and Kyte (1962) related imbibition recovery to block size. and the resulting oil expansion expels the oil. and/or (2) to measure interporosity flow.

the following equation must also be satisfied: (3. the main concern is how well small-scale. however.Figure 18 as well as their effectiveness for a particular reservoir. Mattax and Kyte (1962) related coreflood recoveries to reservoir scale as follows: (3. requires conducting physical measurements on the fractured rocks. In any case.10) Mattax and Kyte showed that Equation 3. A number of investigators have studied flow in fractured cores. The problem of scale-up is an area for further research and development. For the time being. For example. But when effects of gravity are important.11) . A major consideration is how to up-scale study results from laboratory scale tests to field predictions. we present a brief review of how these measurements are made. laboratory-based experiments can simulate large-scale field conditions.10 applies where horizontal imbibition is the recovery process.

matrix capillary pressure and matrix permeability. The question of proper scaling still requires much additional work. Also. Their . Gas-liquid transmissibility in fractured reservoirs has not been fully studied on physical models. both combustion and steam experiments have been reported: • Schulte and De Vries (1985) conducted combustion experiments on a stack of vertically positioned. capillary continuity exists between matrix blocks in naturally fractured reservoirs. Regarding the physical modeling of fractured reservoirs containing heavy oil. They observed that steam tends to stimulate the recovery of matrix oil through imbibition. he concludes that. constitute the recovery process from the matrix. oil-saturated cores. They found that the burning process is controlled by diffusion of oxygen from the fractures into the matrix. Parsons and Chaney (1966) showed that the rate of interface rise with time (I= dz/dt) can be related between the model and the prototype: (3.12) Babadagli and Ershaghi (1992) showed that the capillary imbibition process under fracture flow is a strong function of flow rate in fractures. (1992) reported on steam injections into laboratory-scaled fractured systems. followed by condensation of the oil from the matrix. Additional experimental modeling of re-infiltration and capillary contact has been reported. Firoozabadi and Markeset(1992) presented experimental data on gas-liquid flow in fractured systems and on the nature of capillary continuity. internal gas drive and differential thermal expansion. • Reis (1990) and Briggs et al. (1990) reported strong capillary continuity across horizontal fractures for a stack of matrix blocks.From these relationships. They concluded that fracture transmissivity is insensitive to the contact area between the matrix blocks but is a strong function of fracture aperture. matrix permeability and subvertical fractures affect the oil recovery. in general. (1986) conducted laboratory experiments for hot water and steam flooding in laboratory-scale fractured carbonate rocks. Thompson and Mungan(1969) conducted a series of gravity drainage experiments on Berea cores containing synthetic fractures and concluded that the displacement rate. Kyte (1970) suggested the use of a centrifuge test to scale the effect of both gravity and capillarity. They derived an effective relative permeability curve for the composite fracture-matrix system and indicated its dependence on flow rate. Horie et al. Labastie (1990) examined the issue of capillary continuity between matrix blocks. From experiments. • Dreher et al. Both thermal expansion and evaporation.

.observations indicated low matrix oil recovery when either hot water or steam are injected into the fractures.

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