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Tubing Performance

Relation (TPR)

James A. Craig

The pressure drop required to lift reservoir

fluids to the surface at a given rate is one of


the
major
factors
affecting
Well
Deliverability.
Up to 80% of the total pressure loss may occur.
Part

of the loss in the tubing includes


completion equipment, e.g. profile nipples,
sliding sleeves, subsurface flow-control devices,
etc.
Additionally, tubing string may be composed of
multiple tubing diameters.

The pressure drop is a function of the mechanical

configuration of the wellbore, the properties of


the fluids, and the production rates.
Determination of this pressure drop is based on
the mechanical energy equation for flow
between two points in a system:

P1 g
v12
P2 g
v22
Z1
Z2
W El
gc
2 gc gc
2 gc

El

= Irreversible energy losses (viscous &


friction)
Practically:
1
kinetic energy correction,
W
no work done
the fluid,
v 2 by or ondP
g

P g
Z
El

gc
2 gc

v dv f v 2

sin

dL g c
g c dL 2 g c d

Procedure:
We either fix the wellhead or bottomhole flowing

pressure at a given rate.


The pressure drop along the tubing can be
calculated by charts or correlations.
The resulting flowing pressure at the other end
of the tubing can then be determined.
The resulting relationship between bottomhole
flowing pressure and production rate is called
Tubing Performance Relationship (TPR), and
it is valid only for the specified wellhead
pressure.
Other names include:
Vertical Lift Performance
Wellbore Flow Performance

IPR

& TPR curves can be


combined
to
find
the
Stabilized Flow Rate (Point
of Natural Flow).
The tubing shoe reaches the
perforation depth.
Wellbore flowing pressure and
tubing intake pressure are
considered at the same depth.
At a specific rate when these
two pressures are equal, the
flow system is in equilibrium
and flow is stable.

Pressure Loss Estimation in Fluid

Types
Single-Phase Liquid Flow

This type of fluid flow is generally of minor


interest to the petroleum engineer, except for
the cases of water supply or injection wells.
Single-Phase Vapour Flow

For dry gas wells there are several correlations


to calculate pressure drop in single-phase gas
flow. They include:
Average temperature and compressibility method
Original Cullendar and Smith method

simplified method by Katz et al (1959)


assumes an average temperature and average
compressibility over the flow length

SD P e P

qg 200, 000
S
gTZLf M e 1
5

2
in

2
wh

gL
S 0.0375
TZ

3.71
2 log

/ D

fM

0.5

qg gas flow rate, scf/d


D tubing ID, in.
Pin flowing tubing intake pressure, psia
Pwh flowing wellhead pressure, psia

g gas gravity (air = 1)


T average temperature, o R
Z average gas compressibilty factor
L vertical depth, ft
f M Moody friction factor

absolute pipe roughness (0.0006 in. for most commercial pipe)

Multiphase Flow

Pressure drop in multiphase flow is more


complex than that of a single-phase flow
because parameters such as velocity, friction
factor, density, and the fraction of vapour to
liquid change as the fluid flows to the surface.
Pressure drop can be determined either by
correlations or by gradient curves. Some of
the correlations are:
Duns and Ros (1963)
Dukler (1964)
Orkiszewski (1967)
Hageborn and Brown (1965)
Beggs and Brill (1973)
Mukherjee and Brill (1985)

Application

of multiphase flow correlations


requires an iterative, trial-and-error solution to
account for changes in flow parameters as a
function of pressure.
The calculation is intensive and is best
accomplished with computer programs.
Gradient curves (also called Pressure-traverse
curves) are developed as alternatives to the
correlations. They are computer generated.
These curves are developed for series of gasliquid ratios (GLRs) and provide estimates of
pressure as a function of depth.
Recent developed curves are based on the flow
regime correlations, and not on field data as was
originally done.

References
Joe Dunn Clegg (Editor): Petroleum

Engineering Handbook, Vol. IV Production


Operations Engineering, Society of Petroleum
Engineers, 2007.
Michael Golan and Curtis H. Whitson: Well
Performance, Tapir Edition, 1996.
William Lyons: Working Guide to Petroleum
and Natural Gas Production Engineering,
Elsevier Inc., First Edition, 2010.
Schlumberger: Well Performance Manual.