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1
Radial Flow & Semisteady state flows
Susanne Rudolph
E.S.J.Rudolph@TUDELFT.NL
Radial flow in porous medium:
• derivation
• assumptions
• Transient conditions
• Semi Steady State conditions
• Steady State conditions
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Recap of last classes (general)
In last classes you got accustomed with Darcy’s law to
describe onephase flow through porous medium.
Darcy’s law needs to be combined to mass balance to allow
calculation of flow through porous medium.
So far, only description of flow at low Reynolds numbers
(laminar flow), steadystate and for incompressible fluids
and rock.
Equations for linear and radial flow have been derived.
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What will be done next?
General equation will be derived to describe the flow through
porous medium – in cartesian and radial coordinates.
Discussion of staedy state, semisteady state and transition
conditions.
General description of steady state, semisteady state and
transition conditions.
Detailed description of transient conditions.
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
Derivation in radial form to allow description of flow in porous
medium close to a well.
Equations in radial form create ‘feeling’ for flow through
porous medium.
Cartesian form commonly used in reservoir simulations.
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
Assumptions:
Reservoir is homgenous in all rock properties.
Isotropic behavior of permeability.
Production well is completed over the whole formation
thickness > radial flow can be assumed.
Formation is fully saturated by a single fluid.
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
Radial cell geometry
Volume element for mass balance (accounting for porosity):
dV = 2.t.r.h.m.Ar
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
Mass balance:
Mass flow rate (in) – mass flow rate (out) =
rate of change of mass in volume element
The left hand of the equation can be rewritten by:
( ) ( )
( )
r r r
A r
dm
q q
dt t
m p
p p
+A
c · · A ·
· ÷ · = =
c
( ) ( ) ( )
( )
( )
( )
r r r r r
q
q q q r q
r
q
r
r
p
p p p p
p
+A
c ·  
· ÷ · = · + · A ÷ ·

c
\ .
c ·
= · A
c
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
With this the mass balance simplifies to:
Darcy’s law for radial, horizontal flow is:
Substituting this into the mass balance results in:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
( ) ( )
2
2
q A r q r h r
r r
r t r t
q
r h
r t
p m p p t m p
p m p
t
c · c · · A · c · c · · · · A · ·
· A = ¬ · A =
c c c c
c · c ·
¬ = · · · ·
c c
2
k p
q r h
r
t
u
c
= · · · · ·
c
( )
2
2
k p
r h
r
r h
r t
t p
m p
u
t
  c
c · · · · · ·

c ·
c
\ .
= · · · ·
c c
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
Rearranging the equation leads to:
This equation is generally applicable for horizontal, radial 1D
flow.
( ) 1 k p
r
r r r t
m p
p
u
c ·
  c c
· · · · =

c c c
\ .
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
The density can be expressed by the mass and the volume:
The isothermal compressibility is in terms of the volume is:
In terms of the density:
i
i
m
V
p =
1
i
i
i
T
V
c
V p
  c
÷ ÷

c
\ .
1
1
i
i i i i
i i i
i i
T
T T
m
c c
m p p p
p p p p
p
p
   
c c
 
  c
 
= ÷ · = ÷ · ¬ = ·

c c c
 
\ .
 
\ . \ .
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
This is the general equation to compute the isothermal
compressibility for a component i.
The isothermal compressibility can be incorporated in the
mass balance. First, the mass balance is rewritten:
1
i
i
i
T
c
p
p
p
  c
= ·

c
\ .
( )
( )
1
1
T
k p
r
r
r r t
k p
r
r p
r r p t
p
m p
u
p
m p
u
  c
c · · ·

c ·
c
\ .
· =
c c
  c
c · · ·

c ·  
c c
\ .
¬ · = ·

c c c
\ .
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
Meaning of product of porosity and the density:
Density p describes the mass per volume, here the pore
volume:
Porosity m is the ratio of the pore volume and the total
volume (matrix + pore volume):
Thus the product describes the mass of fluid per total
volume:
? m p · =
i
i
P
m
V
p =
P
total
V
V
m =
i i P
i
P total total
m m V
V V V
p m · = · =
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
In order to describe the compressibility we need to describe
the compressibility of the total volume, meaning of the rock
and of the fluid.
This can also be described by a isothermal compressibility:
i
total
i
m
V
p m
=
·
( )
1
1
i
i
total i
effective
total i
T
T
i
i
T
m
V
c
V p m p
p
p m
p m
p m
p m
 
 
c


·
  c ·
\ .

= ÷ = ÷ ·


c c
\ .


\ .
c ·  
= ·

· c
\ .
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
With this the rhs of the diffusivity equation can be rewritten:
c
eff
is the efficient isothermal compressibility. Commonly, it is
described as the sum of the isothermal compressibility of the
fluid and of the pores.
The compressibility of the pores can be related to the
compressibility of the matrix.
1
eff
k p p
r c
r r r t
p p m
u
  c c c
· · · · = · · ·

c c c
\ .
eff fluid pores
c c c = +
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
If we assume that the total volume does not change with the
pressure:
And determine the total volume as the sum of the volume of
the matrix and of the pores, a relationship between the pore
volume and the matrix volume changes can be derived:
eff fluid pores
c c c = +
0
total
T
V
p
  c
=

c
\ .
0
total matrix P
total matrix pores
T T T
matrix P
T T
V V V
V V V
p p p
V V
p p
      c c c
= + ¬ = + =
  
c c c
\ . \ . \ .
    c c
¬ = ÷
 
c c
\ . \ .
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Derivation of radial flow equation in
porous medium
With this and the definition of the isothermal compressibility,
we get:
1
1
1
matrix
matrix
matrix
T
P
P matrix matrix P P
P
T
matrix P
T T
matrix total P
P matrix matrix
P P
total
P matrix matri
P
V
c
V p
V
c c V c V
V p
V V
p p
V V V
c c c
V V
V
c c c
V
¹
  c
= ÷ ·
¦

c
\ .
¦
¦
  c
¦
= ÷ · ¬ · = ÷ ·
`

c
\ .
¦
¦
    c c
¦
= ÷
 
c c ¦
\ . \ .
)
÷
¬ = ÷ · = ÷ ·
 
¬ = ÷ · ÷ = ÷

\ .
1
1
x
m
 
· ÷

\ .
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Radial differential for fluid flow
in porous medium
Single Phase
1
eff
k p p
r c
r r r t
p p m
u
  c c c
· · · · = · · ·

c c c
\ .
Equation is basic, partial differential equation for description of
radial flow of any single phase through porous medium.
Equation is nonlinear due to implicit pressure dependence of
the density, the compressibility and the viscosity.
Analytical solutions can only be found if equation is first
linearized.
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Radial differential for fluid flow
in porous medium
Linearization
2
2
1
1
eff
eff
k p p
r c
r r r t
p k k p r
r
r r r r
p
c
r t
k p k p
r r
r r r
p p m
u
p p
u u
p m
p
p
u u
  c c c
· · · · = · · ·

c c c
\ .
  c c c c
· · · + · · ·

c c c c
c
\ .
· = · · ·
c
c c c
+ · · · + · · ·
c c c
The equation can only be linearized if some crude assumptions
are made!
Before the equation can be linearized we extend the equation:
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Introducing the isothermal compressibility for the description of
the derivative of the density with respect to r gives:
For a constant isothermal compressibility, this equation can be
rewritten:
Radial differential for fluid flow
in porous medium
Linearization
1 1 V
c
V p p
p
p
    c c
= ÷ · = ·
 
c c
\ . \ .
1
1
p
c
p r
c
p p r r
r
p
c
r r
p
p
p
p
p p
p
p
c
¹
· · =
¦
c
c c
¦
¬ · · · =
`
c c c c c
¦
= ·
¦
c c c
)
c c
¬ · · =
c c
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Assuming that:
Viscosity is independent of pressure and thus is constant
Pressure gradient cp/cr is small ¬ (cp/cr)
2
~ 0
We get:
If it is assumed that the compressibility is constant, also the
coefficient at the rhs of the equation is constant.
Radial differential for fluid flow
in porous medium
Linearization
2
2
2
2
1
1
eff
eff
c
p p p
r
r r r k t
c
p p p
r r r k t
p m u
p p
m u
· · ·
c c c
· · + · · = ·
c c c
· ·
c c c
· + = ·
c c c
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Linearized equation only valid with made assumptions.
According to Dranchuk and Quon only applicable for:
c
eff
.p << 1
If this condition is not fulfilled equation cannot be linearized but
needs to be solved by more sophisticated methods.
Radial differential for fluid flow
in porous medium
Linearization
2
2
1 1
eff eff
c c
p p p p p
r
r r r k t r r r k t
m u m u · · · ·
c c c c c c
 
· + = · · · · = ·

c c c c c c
\ .
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Note: The above equation is called diffusivity equation.
Diffusivity equations are known from physics. For example the
description of the temperature distribution is described by the
following diffusivity equation:
With T: absolute temperature; K thermal diffusivity constant
Radial differential for fluid flow
in porous medium
Linearization
1 1 T T
r
r r r K t
c c c
 
· · = ·

c c c
\ .
1
eff
c
p p
r
r r r k t
m u · ·
c c c
 
· · = ·

c c c
\ .
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Conditions of solution
1
eff
k p p
r c
r r r t
p p m
u
  c c c
· · · · = · · ·

c c c
\ .
Most common solution is the constant terminal rate solution:
Initial condition:
At some fixed time at which reservoir is at equilibrium
pressure p
eq
well is produced at constant flow rate at r = r
w
÷Three most common conditions:
Steadystate, semisteady state and transient.
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Transient
Only short period after pressure disturbance in reservoir, e.g.,
by changing production rate at r = r
w
.
No influence on the pressure response due to the outer
boundary (infinite extension of reservoir).
Solution of radial diffusivity equation:
Pressure and its time gradient are functions of position and
time
( , )
( , )
p f r t
p
g r t
t
=
c
=
c
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
Semisteady state condition applicable to reservoirs which
have been producing for sufficiently long time
÷ Effect of outer boundary felt on pressure response
÷ Outer boundary described by a ‘brick wall’
÷ Production with constant flow rate: pressure change with
time constant
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
From the chain rule we know that:
The change of the volume with the pressure can be
described with the compressibility:
0
p
r
q const
c
=
c
=
For r = r
e
For r = r
wc
y y u V V p
q
x u x t p t
c c c c c c
= · ¬ = = ·
c c c c c c
V p p q
V c q V c
p t t V c
c c c
= ÷ · ¬ = ÷ · · ¬ = ÷
c c c ·
p
const
t
c
=
c
For all r & t
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
The volume can be described by:
Giving
Note:
The isothermal compressibility c is not necessarily constant
but changes with the pressure, e.g., for gases.
2
p q
t c h r t m
c
= ÷
c · · · ·
2
V h r t m = · · ·
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
Reservoir depletion under semisteady state conditions:
Once reservoir is producing under semisteady state
conditions, each well will drain from within its own noflow
boundary (Matthews, Brons, Hazebroek)
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
This requires that the pressure gradient with time needs to
be about the same throughout the reservoir.
If pressure gradient is not about the same, then flow over
the boundaries would occur until pressure gradients are
leveled out.
Average reservoir pressure can be determined by:
Problem: volume of each segment difficult to determine; thus
relating to flow rates of each well
i i
i
res
i
i
p V
p
V
·
=
¯
¯
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
According to boundary condition that flow rate of each well is
constant, we obtained:
If the compressibility does not change with pressure, then
the volume can be replaced by:
With this the averaged reservoir pressure can be described
by:
i i
i
res
i
i
p q
p
q
·
=
¯
¯
p q
t V c
c
= ÷
c ·
q
V const q
p
c
t
= ÷ ~ ·
c
·
c
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Steadystate condition
Steadystate conditions apply after transient period.
Describes the drainage of a cell with open boundaries.
Constant production rate.
Production rate is balanced by fluid flow via outer boundary
÷ Pressure maintenance via water influx or injection of
replacing fluid.
0
e
p
t
p p const
c
=
c
= =
for all r & t
for r = r
e
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
Solution technique is given in more detail but is general and
can be applied for variety of radial flow problems.
Geometry and pressure distribution for semisteady state
conditions:
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
We know that:
So that at time t with the average pressure we get:
or more specific
With V the pore volume of the radial cell, q constant
production rate; t total flowing time.
Incorporating
Into the radial distribution equation gives:
p q
t V c
c
= ÷
c ·
( )
i
V c p p q t ÷ · · ÷ = ·
2
eff e
p q
t c h r t m
c
=
c · · · ·
2
1 1
eff
e
c
p p p q
r r
r r r k t r r r k h r
m u
u
t
· ·
c c c c c ·
   
· · = · · · · =
 
c c c c c · · ·
\ . \ .
( )
b eff i
V c p p q t m · · · ÷ = ·
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
Integration leads to:
The integration constant C1 can be determined with the
boundary condition for r = r
e
that cp/cr = 0:
2
2
2
1
2
e
e
p q
d r r dr
r k h r
p q r
r C
r k h r
u
t
u
t
c ·
 
· = · ·

c · · ·
\ .
c ·
¬ · = · +
c · · ·
1 0
2
1
2
q
C
k h
q
C
k h
u
t
u
t
·
+ =
· · ·
·
¬ = ÷
· · ·
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
So that
Further integration gives
Assuming that r
w
2
/r
e
2
negligible simplifies the equation
further:
2
1
2
e
p q r
r k h r r
u
t
 
c ·
= · ÷

c · · ·
\ .
( )
2
2 2
2
1
2
ln
2 2
e
w
r w
e w
q r
dp dr
k h r r
r r
q r
p p
k h r r
u
t
u
t
 
·
= · ÷ ·

· · ·
\ .
 
÷
 
·

¬ ÷ = · ÷


· · · ·
\ .
\ .
2
2
ln
2 2
r w
e w
q r r
p p
k h r r
u
t
 
 
·
÷ = · ÷



· · · ·
\ .
\ .
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
At r = r
e
we obtain the well inflow equation under semisteady state
conditions.
The production index PI is then:
1
ln
2 2
e
e w
w
r q
p p
k h r
u
t
 
 
·
÷ = · ÷



· · ·
\ .
\ .
2
1
ln
2
e w
e
w
q k h
PI
p p
r
r
t
u
· · ·
= =
÷  
 
· ÷


\ .
\ .
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
Often the Everdingen skin factor is included in the equation,
accounting for additional pressure drop due to the presence
of a skin:
1
ln
2 2
e
e w
w
r q
p p S
k h r
u
t
 
 
·
÷ = · ÷ +



· · ·
\ .
\ .
2
1
ln
2
e w
e
w
q k h
PI
p p
r
S
r
t
u
· · ·
= =
÷  
 
· ÷ +


\ .
\ .
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
One disadvantage of this equation is that q and p
w
can be
determined experimentally, but not p
e
.
÷Pressure difference (pressure draw down) is expressed in
terms of the average pressure rather than the pressure at the
outer boundary:
Replacing the volume with:
e
w
e
w
r
r
r
r
p dV
p
dV
·
=
í
í
2 dV r h dr t m = · · · · ·
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
Gives
The pressure is described by:
Allows the computation of the average pressure.
( ) ( )
2 2 2 2
2 2
2
2
e e
e
w w
e
w
w
r r
r
r r
r
r e w e w
r
p r h dr p r dr
p p r dr
r r r r
r h dr
t m
t m
· · · · · · · · ·
= = = · · ·
÷ ÷
· · · · ·
í í
í
í
2
2
ln
2 2
r w
e w
q r r
p p
k h r r
u
t
 
 
·
= · ÷ +



· · · ·
\ .
\ .
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Semisteady state conditions
Derivation of solution analogue for steady state conditions.
For semisteady state conditions:
For steadystate conditions:
2
1 1
eff
e
c
p p p q
r r
r r r k t r r r k h r
m u
u
t
· ·
c c c c c ·
   
· · = · · · · =
 
c c c c c · · ·
\ . \ .
1
0
p
r
r r r
c c
 
· · =

c c
\ .
AES1310: Rock Fluid Interactions  Part 1
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Solution of radial diffusivity equation
Steady state conditions
Radial inflow equations for stabilized flow conditions






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