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THE SPE IMAGE LIBRARY

SPE 15537

The Effects of Multiphase Flow on the Interpretation of Pressure-Buildup Tests 15537 Ayan, Cosan SPE Texas A and M U. Lee, W.J. SPE Texas A and M U. June 1988 Summary. A two-dimensional (2D), three-phase, variable-bubblepoint reservoir simulator was developed to simulate pressure-buildup tests involving multiple phases. The simulation indicated that nonuniform saturation distributions throughout the drainage area can cause erroneous interpretations when single liquid-phase techniques, as modified by the Perrine-Martin theory, are used for the analysis. Introduction Pressure-transient tests have proved to be one of the most useful methods to obtain reliable information about a producing formation and the condition of a wellbore. One of the most common well testing techniques used in practice is the pressure-buildup test. Interpretation theory is usually based on analytical solutions of the radial diffusivity equation. The assumptions made to derive the radial diffusivity equation include single-phase liquid flow, small and constant liquid compressibility, constant viscosity, small pressure gradients, constant and isotropic permeability, constant porosity, and negligible gravitational forces. Frequently, more than one phase flows before and during a pressure-buildup test. One of the most common techniques used to analyze multiphase pressure-buildup tests is the method proposed by Perrine. He suggested using single-phase theory to analyze multiphase tests after replacing single-phase mobility and compressibility of the reservoir fluids. Martin later justified Perrine's approach on a theoretical basis. His derivation of multiphase flow equations assumes negligible gravitational forces and neglects terms containing products of pressure and saturation gradients. Studies by Weller and Earlougher et al. indicate that the second-order terms can be neglected. The work performed by Perrine, West et al., and Weller indicate that a gas zone forms around the wellbore in solution-gas-drive reservoirs initially above saturation pressure. Weller referred to the resultant permeability reduction around the wellbore as a pseudoskin. Kazemi, in a study similar to ours, investigated the effect of the gas block on oil productivity and the influence of gas saturation gradients on pressure-buildup curves. Chu et al.

THE SPE IMAGE LIBRARY

SPE 15537

also analyzed the effects of saturation gradients on transient well tests. In their study, they investigated the limitations of the Perrine-Martin theory with a two-phase reservoir simulator. They concluded that if saturation gradients exist, the individual phase mobilities can be computed for only a limited set of conditions. Fetkovich proposed a pseudopressure function similar to the real gas potential defined by Al-Hussainy et al. This pseudopressure function also contains a pressure-dependent relative permeability term. In a later study, Raghavan demonstrated the calculation and use of this pseudopressure function for drawdown and buildup analysis. Aanonsen explained the use of pseudotime for multiphase flow problems. He showed that, during the infinite-acting period, the difference between solution-gas drive and single-phase liquid behavior is small if pseudopressure and pseudotime are used in the analysis. The paper by Raghavan contains an overview of the literature and some examples of the techniques used for analysis of well tests involving multiple phases. In this study, we analyzed pressure-buildup tests in solution-gas-drive reservoirs undergoing gas evolution. We developed a three-phase, 2D, variable-bubblepoint reservoir simulator to simulate the buildup tests. One-dimensional (1D) radial flow was simulated to determine the effects of rate changes and different degrees of damage (improvement) around the well. We analyzed the effects of gravitational forces and producing time in layered reservoirs with crossflow with 2D simulations. The study investigated the consequences of bubblepoint pressure, which changed with production. The study also considered the effects of partial penetration on pressure-buildup tests during multiphase flow. Before pressure-buildup tests in saturated reservoirs were simulated, we simulated tests for the corresponding undersaturated systems. The skin factor values obtained from these tests were considered to be the true values. We compared these values with the skin factor obtained from pressure-buildup tests conducted below the bubblepoint pressure, which we analyzed using the Perrine-Martin approach. Simulation and Analysis of Pressure-Buildup Tests To analyze the effects of multiple phases on pressure-buildup behavior, we developed a 2D, three-phase reservoir simulator. Some formulations of these simulators have severe saturation instabilities near the wellbore. To minimize these instabilities in our simulator, we treated production, interblock transmissibility, and capillary pressure terms implicitly, similar to the formulation of Letkeman and Ridings. The simulator allows bubblepoint pressure to vary throughout the reservoir to simulate the effects of a disappearing gas phase during a shut-in period. The bubblepoint pressure formulation follows the concepts of Thomas et al. The simulator solves the system of difference equations for oil pressure, water, and gas saturations/saturation pressures simultaneously with a band matrix solver. The simulator neglects flow in the tubing. However, the

THE SPE IMAGE LIBRARY

SPE 15537

wellbore is modeled as a part of the reservoir grid system. This simplification allowed us to simulate the effects of backflow during flowing or shut-in periods. We also included wellbore storage by assigning high porosity values to the wellbore cells. The simulator modeled a single well located at the center of a closed cylindrical reservoir throughout our study. The simulator modeled altered zones (damage or stimulation) for individual tests with gradually increasing (decreasing) permeabilities away from the wellbore. In all runs, water saturations were slightly above the irreducible minimum value. We used the same set of fluid and rock properties in all simulated tests. Table 1 summarizes the basic reservoir description. We prepared log-log plots of pws - pwf vs. /( + ) (see Ref. 23) for all tests to identify the beginning of the semilog straight line by matching the type curves presented by Gringarten et al. We used Homer plots (semilog graphs) of shut-in bottomhole pressure (BHP) vs. log[( + )/ ) to analyze each simulated test. Pressures and saturations in each cell were averaged with respect to time during the test and further averaged volumetrically at the end of the test to estimate values of average pressure and phase saturations. These values were then used to calculate total compressibility. From the semilog straight line obtained, skin factor and phase effective permeabilities were calculated with Perrine's approach. SPEFE p. 459