Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Using Transient Inflow Performance Relationships to Model the Dynamic Interaction Between Reservoir and Wellbore During Pressure Testing

[+] Author and Article Information
Aldo Costantini

 RWE Dea AG, Überseering 40, Hamburg, 22297, Germany

Gioia Falcone

 Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843

Geoffrey F. Hewitt

 Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, SW7 2AZ, London

Claudio Alimonti

 University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Rome, Italy

J. Energy Resour. Technol 130(4), 042901 (Oct 28, 2008) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3000128 History: Received September 12, 2007; Revised August 28, 2008; Published October 28, 2008

The fundamental understanding of the dynamic interactions between multiphase flow in the reservoir and that in the wellbore remains surprisingly weak. The classical way of dealing with these interactions is via inflow performance relationships (IPRs), where the inflow from the reservoir is related to the pressure at the bottom of the well, which is a function of the multiphase flow behavior in the well. A steady-state IPRs are normally adopted, but their use may be erroneous when transient multiphase flow conditions occur. The transient multiphase flow in the wellbore causes problems in well test interpretation when the well is shut-in at the surface and the bottomhole pressure is measured. The pressure buildup (PBU) data recorded during a test can be dominated by transient wellbore effects (e.g., phase change, flow reversal, and re-entry of the denser phase into the producing zone), making it difficult to distinguish between true reservoir features and transient wellbore artifacts. This paper introduces a method to derive the transient IPRs at bottomhole conditions in order to link the wellbore to the reservoir during PBU. A commercial numerical simulator was used to build a simplified reservoir model (single well, radial coordinates, homogeneous rock properties) using published data from a gas condensate field in the North Sea. In order to exclude wellbore effects from the investigation of the transient inflow from the reservoir, the simulation of the wellbore was omitted from the model. Rather than the traditional flow rate at surface conditions, bottomhole pressure was imposed to constrain the simulation. This procedure allowed the flow rate at the sand face to be different from zero during the early times of the PBU, even if the surface flow rate is equal to zero. As a result, a transient IPR at bottomhole conditions was obtained for the given field case and for a specific set of time intervals, time steps, and bottomhole pressure. In order to validate the above simulation approach, a preliminary evaluation of the required experimental setup was carried out. The setup would allow the investigation of the dynamic interaction between the reservoir, the near-wellbore region, and the well, represented by a pressured vessel, a cylindrical porous medium, and a vertical pipe, respectively.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Effect of wellbore storage on pressure tests

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Figure 2

Approach to simulating the PBU cycle

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Figure 3

Configuration of the model

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Figure 4

Profiles of gas rate and bottomhole pressure during the first pass simulation

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Figure 5

Abstract from an input data file of a simulation controlled using the bottomhole pressure

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Figure 6

Profiles of the gas rate, oil rate, and bottomhole pressure during the second simulation

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Figure 7

IPR for gas phase during the early times of PBU

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Figure 8

IPR for liquid phase during the early times of PBU

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Figure 9

Microglass beads used to fill the cylindrical porous medium

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Figure 10

Schematic plant of the proposed LOTUS setup



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