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F.J. Kuchuk, SPE, Schiumberger-Doll Research

Summary. This paper presents the application of convolution and deconvolution interpretation methods. Two well-test field examples, interpreted with these methods, suggest that the downhole flow rate is crucial for system identification and parameter estimation

and that the wellbore volume below the pressure gauge and flowmeter must be taken into account. A new generalized rate-convolution

method is presented to obtain the reservoir pressure. This new method gives better results than both the Homer and modified Homer

methods. A new formula also is presented to determine the vertical permeability for partially penetrated wells.

Introduction

of the system response to a given input. Control of the input, which

has traditionally been a constant flow rate or pressure at the wellhead, is as important as the output measurement to obtain system

parameters. Control of the input has been a difficult problem for

well testing, with the exception of buildup tests at late times.

It has been recognized in the last decade that the measurement

of the input signal (usually flow rate) at the sandface, along with

the output (usually pressure), is needed to r~uce wellbore-storage

effects and to account for rate variations. Furthermore, downhole

flow measurements are necessary to determine producing zones to

estimate permeability and skin from well-test data.

Well-test interpretation is the process of obtaining information

(reservoir parameters) from measurements (output) by use of the

input signal, all other pertinent data available for the system, such

as geological and well-log data, and the past production history.

For most well-test-interpretation problems, system identification

(diagnosis) and estimation of its parameters are done sequentially.

Since the early 1930's,1 many interpretation techniques have

been developed to estimate reservoir parameters from measured

pressure and flow-rate data. The objective of this paper is to analyze measured downhole pressure and flow-rate data from two

different wells with conventional and recently developed interpretation techniques.

Mathematical Preliminaries

The relationship between flow-rate and pressure signals across the

sandface (in the wellbore) can be described as a convolution

operation 1-4 :

Apw(t) = tqSjD(T)Ap ~j(t-T)dT, ..................... (I)

o

where .lpw=wellbore pressure drop and qsjD=normalized sandface flow rate, qsjlq" where qsj =sandface flow rate and q,=a

reference flow rate. For Eq. I, the initial pressure of the formation is assumed to be constant, uniform, and the same as the initial

pressure of the wellbore . .lp ~j(t) in Eq. I is defined as 5

Ap~j(t)=Apf(t)+Apl)(t),

......................... (2)

where o(t) is the Dirac delta function. Apj(t) and Aps are the pressure drops across the formation and the skin region, respectively,

for a constant flow rate q,. The Laplace transform of Eq. I can

be written as

.lP w(s) =sij sfD (s).lP sf (s). . ........................ (3)

For most well tests, the tool (including pressure gauge and flowmeter) is located just above the perforations. However, they could

also be located at any point in the wellbore, including the wellhead. Like the distinction between the surface and downhole flow

rates, a difference also exists between the sandface flow rate, qSj'

and the flow rate at the tool location (measured flow rate, qm) because of storage. This difference can be expressed as 4- 7

Copyright 1990 Society of Petroleum Engineers

volume below the tool. In the first formulation of the wellborestorage effect on the sandface flow rate by van Everdingen and

Hurst,4 qm is assumed to be constant. The substitution of Eq. 4

into Eq. I gives the wellbore pressure in terms of the measured

flow rate and the wellbore storage for a given formation response:

.lPw(t) = J

.......... (5)

q dT

.lPw(s) =sijmD

(S)[

fljisf(s)

], .............. (6)

1+ (CI q)s2 flji sf (s)

there is no additional volume between the sandface and the tool,

Eqs. 5 and 6 reduce to Eqs. I and 3, respectively. Note also that

the term given within brackets in Eq. 6 is the well-known constantrate solution, Apwj' with the wellbore-storage and skin effects. 4-7

If Apw is the wellbore pressure (measured or computed), .lPwj

must be the response of the system, which includes the storage

volume below the measurement point. Thus Eq. 6 can also be written

in terms of .lPwf in the time domain:

.lPw(t) =

..................... (7)

o

For some well-test conditions, the relationship between the sandface and measured flow rates can be expressed as 89

qsj(t)=qm(t)[l-exp(-at), ........................ (8)

.lPw(t) = tqmD (T)[I-exp( -at)Ap ~j(t-T)dT . ......... (9)

o

The Laplace transform of Eq. 9 can be written

.lP w(s)=s[ij mD(s) -ij mD (s+a)).lpsj(s). . ........... (10)

As Eq. 8 shows, if qm(t) is constant, Eq. 9 will become the solution for the exponential-wellbore-flow-rate case presented by van

Everdingen 8 and Hurst. 9 The Laplace transform of Eq. 9 for the

same case, qmD = I, can be written 10

.lp w(s)=a.lpsf (s)/(a+s) . ......................... (11)

The above equations for the wellbore pressure (output) provide

a general framework for the solution of time-dependent internal

boundary conditions (input). They also permit the constant-wellborestorage or exponential-wellbore-flow-rate solutions to be used as

a kernel (influence or unit response). Thus, in this formulation,

the wellbore volume between the measurement point and the sandface can be included as an additional wellbore storage. The additional wellbore-storage volume below the tool is usually more

significant for horizontal wells and wells with fractures and rat holes.

375

4500

18000

4000

14400

3500

7000

10500 14000

12050

10BOO

e:.

III

oj

7200

drawdown (solid)

2500

2000

i!

3600

buildup (SYDlbols)

-,-_--==_......___.....,.__J..

12~00

-L--""F'=-_ _

0.01

10

0.1

tlme,hr

Fig. 1-Pressure and flow rate for Well A drawdown and buildup tests.

12150

Interpretation Methods

In this section, we briefly discuss the convolution, nonlinear-leastsquares-estimation, and deconvolution methods, which will be used

to analyze the well-test examples.

Convolution. Here, logarithmic and generalized rate convolutions,

as well as modified Homer methods, are discussed.

The conventional multirate ll - 14 (Ref. 14 gives more literature

on the subject) and logarithmic (sandface-rate) convolution 10,15,16

methods are the same if the Riemann sum is used for the integration of the convolution integral given by Eq. 1. For both methods,

one also can use other numerical integration techniques. For the

multirate case, however, it does not make any difference which

integration technique is used because the number of the measured

rate data is small for a large time span, making the integration

timestep large. On the other hand, for the sandface-rate convolution, the flow rate can be measured every second. Thus, a variety

of numerical methods lO ,14-20 can be used to integrate Eq. 1.

In terms of testing procedure, flow rates for a multirate test are

measured at the surface, while pressure is measured at the sandface. In other words, a multirate test basically consists of sequential constant-rate drawdowns during which only transient downhole

pressure is continuously measured and flow rates usually are measured intermediately. During each drawdown, the flow rate has to

become constant rapidly; otherwise, the wellbore storage will

strongly affect pressure measurements. Thus, if the flow rates fluctuate rapidly, the test cannot be analyzed with the multirate procedure. For this situation, one has to use a nonlinear least-squares

estimation (automated type curve) with the model given by Eq. 5

if the wellbore storage is constant. Pressure and flow-rate measurements in the same time span and at the same wellbore location

close to the sandface will minimize problems associated with multirate testing.

Ideally, we would like to know the sandface flow rate to interpret the measured wellbore pressure. If wellbore flow rate is not

measured, other indirect met"ods exist to determine the sandface

flow rate. The first method is to measure the movement of the

gas/liquid interface with an acoustic device. 21-23 The second approach is to apply the mass-balance principle to the wellbore

volume. 24 ,25 The third method is to determine the sandface flow

rate from the measured wellbore pressure 26- 28 with Eq. 4, provided that qm is constant or zero and that the wellbore storage remains

constant for the duration of the test.

The logarithmic convolution can be obtained from Eq. 1 by use

of the logarithmic approximation for t:.Pj as ll ,12 (oilfield units)

Jw(t)=!:.pw(t)/qmD(t)=m[jlct(t,qmD)+b], ............ (12)

where J w is the "reciprocal PI"29-31 or "rate-normalized pressure," 10,15,16 ftct(t,qmD)=[I/qmD (t)llM~(r) log (t-r)dr=log376

12200

12250

-3.2275+0.87S.

For radial flow, a linear plot of J w vs. hct should yield a straight

line with a slope m and an intercept mb from which permeability

and skin can be estimated.

The logarithmic convolution method is simple and easy to use

and is similar to semilog methods in many respects. It performs

reasonably well for a fully penetrated well in a homogeneous reservoir with negligible wellbore storage between the tool and sandface. Thus a diagnostic logarithmic convolution derivative 27 ,32

may help determine whether the use of a radial model is valid for

the convolution interpretation.

Other convolution techniques can be developed for different flow

geometries as a diagnostic tool. Next, we consider use of the generalized rate-convolution method to estimate the reservoir pressure

and to verify the model.

For convenience, let us assume that a well is produced at a normalized rate of qmD until shut-in (or another drawdown). At any

time after shut-in, Eq. 7 can be partitioned as

................................... (13)

SPE Fonnation Evaluation, December 1990

.r---.

~Pd

/

:'-E-

1000

::

Method

-Log convolution

Deconvolution

Nonlinear estimation

Horner

Superposition

~P

Test

Drawdown

Drawdown

Drawdown

Buildup

Buildup

kH

kv

(md)

82.7

96.3

110.0

83.8

91.7

(md)

64.5

9.8

10.6

NA

11.4

.2.L. -S

11.5 3.0

12.7

15.9

10.5

12.1

3.0

4.8

NA

3.0

oa

'r:"

<l

100

0.01

0.1

10

time.hr

Eq. 13 can be rearranged as

o

where t=tp +~t and ~t=test time. For buildup tests, the afterflow

rate, qmD' becomes too small to be measured after some time. It

is important, therefore, to write the integral in Eq. 14 in terms of

l-qmD' Like the logarithmic convolution, Eq. 14 can be rewritten

pw(~t)=Pi-mfrct(~t,qmD)'

........................ (15)

where P w = wellbore pressure and fret = the generalized-rateconvolution time function, which depends strictly on the system

and its parameters:

m( 0

-IJ1t[I_qmD(T)~ 'wf(~t-T)dTJ

.................. (16)

If qmD is constant (this may be typical for buildup tests) for the

time interval [O,tp )' Eq. 16 can then be rewritten

frct(~t,qmD)= ~ [ ~wf(~t+tp)

-IJ1t[l-qmD(T)~'wf(~t-T)dTJ

.................. (17)

and an intercept Pi (the initial or extrapolated pressure). Note that

m is a normalization factor that makes fret a time unit. The model

and its parameters have to be known to apply this method for the

determination of the extrapolated pressure.

The modified Horner time function 10, 15,25 can be obtained from

Eq. 17 as

fmHt (~t,qmD) =Iog(tp + ~t) +qmD (~t)[flct (~t,qmD) +b],

................................... (18)

A linear plot of Pw vs. fmHt yields a straight line for a radial flow

with a slope m and an intercept Pi' Note that f mHt is also a function of the skin, S, and diffusivity constant, 1/. Thus, an iterative

SPE FOmIation Evaluation, December 1990

procedure has to be used to estimate the initial pressure, permeability, and skin from a modified Horner plot. The extrapolated pressure obtained from the modified Horner method may be more

accurate than what is obtained from the Horner method.IO,IS However, one has to be cautious when the modified Horner method is

applied to a system with a behavior that cannot be depicted by the

simple logarithmic approximation.

For any interpretation method, graphical or nonlinear least

squares, ensuring the validity of the assumed model is crucial because we cannot guarantee a priori that the selected model will be

valid for the interpretation of the system output. Use of diagnostic

tools, such as semilog and log-log derivative plots, may be required

to recognize the model by its subtle features. Semilog and log-log

plotting and the start of the semilog straight line have been used

as diagnostic tools for the last 30 years. In the early 1980's, loglog derivative plotting,33,34 including derivatives with respect to

superposition time 33 ,34 and logarithmic convolution time, 27 ,32

have become an important diagnostic tool. The derivatives with

respect to the Horner superposition {Iog[(tp +At)/~t]} and modified Horner times 10 UmHt) to determine the start of the semilogstraight-line period as a function of shut-in time, producing time,

skin, and wellbore storage have also been presented. 10 Unlike the

log-log derivative methods, these are postdiagnostic (after-nonlinearestimation) techniques.

Nonlinear Least-Squares Estimation. Since the early 1930's,

reservoir parameters have been estimated from transient well-test

data with graphical type-curve procedures that consist of matching

the measured pressure or flow-rate data with type curves derived

from analytical solutions. I,6,7,3S-40 Besides the inherent subjectivity present in the graphical methods, it is practically impossible to

extend the method to cases with more than three parameters. Thus,

it is desirable to use nonlinear least-squares estimation (also called

automated type-curve or history matching), which is normally distributed and unbiased, to estimate parameters from well-test data.

In solving the estimation problem, one seeks a model that fits a

given set of output data and knowledge of what features in that model

are acquired by the data. Evaluation of model features can be done

iteratively in the process of estimation and by the diagnostic tools.

If the uncertainties about the model are resolved by the diagnostic

tools, however, the estimation can be carried out with greater confidence at a minimal cost.

Application of nonlinear least-squares estimation to analyze welltest data has gained growing importance since the early

1970's. 14,40-43 More recently, there has been considerable new interest in the nonlinear least-squares estimation 20,44-49 with constant-wellbore-storage, variable-rate-superposition, or convolution

solutions for the response of the system.

For the nonlinear least-squares estimation, an objective function

(the residual sum of squares), J, is minimized to obtain estimates

by ensuring the best fit between the measured pressure (output) and

the model behavior, which includes the flow rate (input). Thus,

the nonlinear estimation refers to minimizing

I Nm

J(x)=-

i=1

given by Eq. I, x=unknown parameter vector (k, S, etc.),

~$'(ti)=measured pressure, Nm:=number of measured data

points, and Wi=positive weight factor.

377

7000

Q

......

5250

III

4i

l!

3500

..

1750

0.2

0.4

0.6

0.8

.--f

0

1000

penetration ratio. b

'

2000

3000

4000

5000

dp/dt, psilhr

flow period for the estimation of vertical permeability.

with respect to time.

rate,49 and/or any processed form of the measured pressure, such

as a derivative, can be used to match the response of the system.

In the nonlinear least-squares estimation with rate, the response of

a selected model is convolved with the measured downhole flow

rate, as in Eq. 1, to obtain reservoir parameters.

tained from the measured downhole rate if the wellbore flow rate

varies exponentially.

the determination of the constant-rate/pressure behavior of the system (unit response of influence function) from measured pressure

(output) and flow rate (input). In other words, deconvolution computes the pressure behavior of a well/reservoir system as if the well

was producing at a constant rate with or without constant-wellborestorage or exponential-flow-rate effects. As discussed above, if the

sandface flow rate differs from the measured flow rate, flp d will

include the effect of the wellbore volume below the ratemeasurement point. Once flpd is computed, conventional interpretation methods, including type-curve matching, can be used to identify the well/reservoir system and to estimate its parameters. The

idea of deconvolution is simple if it is considered as a solution of

the integral equation given by Eq. 1. In other words, for a given

set of pressure, flpw, and flow-rate, qsjD' measurements, deconvolution is the process of computing t:..Psj(flpd if the measured

flow rate is used) from Eq. 1. Using the Riemann sum for the integration of Eq. 1, one can write a simple deconvolution formula:

(flp d)n =

(t:..Pw)n

-E;:/ (qmD)n-i(flpd)i ,

............. (20)

(qmDh

Note that the above deconvolution formula is recursive. In other

words, (flpdh, (t:..Pdh (t:..Pd)n-1 (all previously computed

values) are needed to compute (flpd)n' Small perturbations in the

flow-rate measurements (errors) result in large perturbations in the

solutions (flpd) computed from Eq. 20 because the solution of the

integral equation given by Eq. I is ill-posed. 19 It is well known

that measurements in general, no matter how carefully acquired,

have errors. Thus, the constrained deconvolution method, 19 which

minimizes the instability problem caused by measurement errors,

will be used to analyze the examples.

/i-Deconvolution. For the exponential-wellbore-flow-rate case

(the sandface rate is approximated by Eq. 8), the deconvolved pressure, flpd, from Eq. 11 can be written lO

1 dilPw(t)

flpd(t)=-

ex

dt

measured downhole pressure, its derivative, and ex, which is ob378

a gas well. A brief discussion of pseudovariables, which will be

used for the interpretation of the gas well-test data, is given here

for convenience. The real gas potential (pseudopressure) given by

AI-Hussainy et al. 54 is modified by Meunier et at. 55 as

J.l.iZi

rp

1/;N(p)=2-J

dp ....................... (22)

Pi Ph J.l.(p)z(p)

pseudopressure, 1/;. Unlike the unit (psi2/cp) of the real gas potential, it has the unit of pressure. The pseudovariables given in Eq.

22 partially linearize the diffusivity equation. 56 They are, however, sufficient for the pressure and permeability range of our welltest problems.

Field Example.

The objective of the interpretation of the following tests is not to

produce numbers from each analysis. Instead, we demonstrate certain salient features of each technique and compare them with converttional techniques. The well-test examples given are well-run field

experiments compared with well tests we usually encounter. In many

instances, the infinite-acting radial flow does not occur during a

well test. Cost or operational restrictions can make it impractical

to carry out a test of sufficient duration to attain radial flow. In

these circumstances, convolution and deconvolution techniques may

be the only approach available for the interpretation of short tests.

For example, well-test interpretation for saturated reservoirs is often

confounded by the presence of a gas cap, which often creates at

least two well-known interpretation problems: the allowance of a

large standoff to inhibit gas coning can lead to very low penetration ratios, and if a well is in direct communication with a gas cap,

the infinite-acting radial-flow period will never occur.

thick reservoir and has an "" 1,OOO-ft rathole below the producing,

zones. The geological, log, and core data suggest that the forma-'

tion is mildly layered; i.e., the properties of each zone are not expected to be very different. After a 2-day shut-in period, the tool

was lowered and stationed at thy top of the formation, and the downhole pressure was recorded for about 30 minutes. The well was

then put on production with the expectation that the production rate

would stabilize at a constant rate of 15,000 BID. Within a 20-minute

period, a significant drop in the downhole pressure was noticed.

In fact, the pressure fell below the bubblepoint pressure. To avoid

two-phase flow in the wellbore and formation, the production rate

was decreased (Fig. 1). After 7 hours of recording the downhole

SPE Formation Evaluation, December 1990

2500

llpw

1...,- 7.

1000

..

.iii

i i

'<",

let

'"0

........

..

\',

40

2000

dpw/dlntH

';~-,>'\.

wi

~

'.

100

"::~_:Pjtsup

1000

......... \'"

~.

1500

"!.

~

<l

.&;

Q,

;:

100

1000 <l

.. '~~

.t',::::;:>

SOD

measured pressure

dpidf,pt

0.01

0.1

dpidlntH

dp,jdlntH

1

10

time, hr

pressure and flow rate, the data acquisition was halted for 10 hours

because of operational problems.

After 10 hours, the recording of pressure and rate resumed again

and the production rate was found to be stable at 13,256 BID. After '" 1 hour of production, a flow profile survey was conducted,

which is shown in Fig. 2 (this profile is slightly different from the

earlier profile 57 because of reinterpretation of the data). As Fig.

2 shows, a few of the bottom perforations were not contributing

to flow. This was not surprising because this formation, in particuiar the bottom zone, has had scaling problems throughout the fi~ld.

After the survey, the well was shut in for a buildup test.

Drawdown Test. As pointed out by Gringarten et al. ,39 the system identification is the first step of the interpretation. It is already

known from the geophysical information (openho1e logs, cores,

well-to-well correlations, etc.) that the formation is mildly layered

with discontinuous shale streaks embedded throughout. From the

production profile survey (Fig. 2) we know that Well A is a partially penetrated well with the penetration ratio, b=hw/h, of 0.49.

Moreover, the initial production profile survey, which was taken

after well completion, indicated that the lower perforations were

contributing to flow. With the exception of the proftle survey, which

clearly provides the zones that are in direct communication with

the wellbore (open intervals), most of the information mentioned

above will be treated as a priori input for the determination of the

well/reservoir model. The fluid and formation properties for this

well are: <1>=0.21, !L=0.86 cp, ct =0.OOOO21 psi -1, rw=0.355 ft,

h=187.5 ft, producing perforations, hw=91.5 ft, production time,

tp=19.0 hours, initial pressure, pi=4,495.0 psi, pressure, Pw at

tp =3, 160.0 psi, and production rate, q at tp = 13,256 BID.

Without any further assumptions for the system, let us evaluate

the features of the model with diagnostic tools. As Fig. 1 shows,

the pressure data do not exhibit any recognizable features of the

system because of the flow rate variations in the drawdown period. Fig. 3 presents the wellbore pressure change, t:.Pw, deconvolved pressure, !:.pd, and its derivatives with respect to In(t) and

fspt (spherical time,jspt = 1/.Jt), and the derivative of ratenormalized pressure, J w (from the logarithmic convolution), with

respect to flet on a log-log plot. The spherical derivative is also included for this case because of a possible hemispherical flow caused

by partial penetration. Of course, this is not a unique set of diagnostic plots. Depending on a priori information about the system,

many different sets of pressure and/or derivative plots can be used.

Note that the derivative of the measured pressure is excluded in

Fig. 3 because it was very noisy (including negative values) after

0.1 hours because of fluctuations in the flow rate.

The log-log plots of t:.Pd and t:.Pw in Fig. 3 do not show any interesting features, with the exception that a unit slope period is apparent on the t:.Pw curve at early times. On the other hand, the

deconvolution and logarithmic convolution derivatives exhibit a possible hemispherical flow period between 0.08 and 0.3 hours, possibly two radial (the second one is the pseudoradial) flow periods

(as shown in the logarithmic convolution derivative plot) between

SPE Fonnation Evaluation, December 1990

0.01

10

0.1

tlme,hr

Well A drawdown test.

0.002 and 0.08 (this one is not definite) and 2.4 and 7 hours, and

a long transition period between 0.9 and 7 hours during which the

spherical derivative also indicates that at least the system is changing from a hemispherically dominated flow to a radially dominated flow. The second radial (pseudoradial) flow period from the

logarithmic convolution is not verified by the deconvolution derivative. Nevertheless, these features coincide with the certain characteristics of a partially penetrated well in a homogeneous radial

reservoir, except for the disagreement between the late-time deconvolution and logarithmic convolution derivatives.

The a priori information from other sources and the profile survey have influenced our decision to select certain types of plots

and to observe certain features of the system. We continue to perform the interpretation steps with the assumption that we will modify

our model as analysis dictates. A priori information assists us in

making the system identification decisions and saves time, but it

also deters us from examining all possible diagnostic and plotting

tools (although they could be inexhaustible).

As Fig. 3 shows, the derivative of the logarithmic convolution

looks like a derivative of wellbore pressure with the wellbore-storage

effect. This is expected because of the large wellbore volume (a

rathole with a volume of '" 70 bbl) below the tool. Permeability

and skin estimates from the derivative plot of the logarithmic convolution, with the assumption that the flattening is caused by the

second radial-flow period, are given in Table 1. Note that the estimated skin should be the total skin (St =S/b+Sp ) of the system,

where S=damage skin and Sp=skin from partial penetration.

kH.../k; is estimated from the hemispherical flow period (Fig.

3) as 259 md, where kH and kv are the horizontal and vertical permeabilities, respectively. 58 kH is estimated from both radial-flow

regimes (the first caused by the open interval and the second by

the whole formation) of the derivative of the logarithmic convolution as 39 and 82.3 md. The formation thickness of 187.5 ft (see

Fig. 2) obtained from logs is used to estimate permeability. kv

would be 9.8 md from kH.../k; =259 md and k H=82.3 md.

kv also can be estimated with tDsI/h;'D from Fig. 4 and the expression (see Appendix A of Ref. 57 for the derivation):

h;'D

0.000264 tsl

wheretsl is the start of the infinite-acting radial (pseudoradial) flow

period that may be obtained from the derivatives of pressure, normalized pressure (J w), or deconvolved pressure. Thus, kv is estimated as 74.3 md from Eq. 23 with 2.7 hours for the start of the

second radial-flow period observed on the derivative plot (Fig. 3)

of the logarithmic convolution, 1.669 for tDsI/h;'D from Fig. 4 for

b=0.49, and other parameters given above.

Note that various methods yield quite different kH and kv estimates. If we did not have the buildup test for Well A, the next interpretation step would be to apply the nonlinear least-squares

estimation to resolve the differences in estimates.

379

4500

4300

~.

?

1.

.,

"

ill

"'"

"""

'" 4100

..

:l.

.;

::I

III

3900

'"

dp./dlnt

3700

Horner

modified Horner

generalized rate convolution

3500

0.01

0.1

10

100

tbne,hr

100

10

108

12

10

time,hr

Buildup Test. Fig. 1 also presents the buildup pressure and aftertlow rate during the buildup test, which was started after about

19 hours of production. As Fig. 1 shows, the measurable afterflow rate period is short ( "" 40 minutes). The missing sandface rate

data could be computed with Eq. 3 as discussed above. As shown

in Fig. 5, however, the wellbore-storage coefficient, C, which is

from the whole wellbore-storage volume and represents the slope

of the linear plot of the sandface rate vs. dp/dt (see Eq. 4), is not

constant. For buildup tests, when the wellbore-storage coefficient

becomes constant, a plot of qm(t) vs. dp/dt should yield a straight

line passing through the origin. Fig. 5 shows that the common

method of obtaining C for the sandface-flow-rate estimation from

the wellbore volume and the compressibility of the wellbore fluid

would not be reliable for this test because of changing wellbore

storage.

The log-log plots of the derivatives of the wellbore pressure with

respect to the Homer superposition time, dpw/d In(tH), and the

multirate superposition time, dpw/dtsup' (with the flow rate measured during the drawdown test) shown in Fig. 6, indicate that after

the wellbore-storage effect, the system slowly approaches a possible radial-flow period. The plot at the upper right shows that the

Homer semilog straight line is not fully developed. This could be

a result of the effect of the short producing time because the multirate superposition indicates a radial-flow period. As explained

above, the time for the start of the radial-flow period from the

derivative of the superposition plot and Eq. 23 can be used to estimate kv= 11.4 md. This value compares favorably with the kv obtained from the spherical derivative plot of the drawdown

deconvolved pressure. The horizontal permeability and skin computed from the same plot are given in Table 1.

The convolution, dJ w/d!lcp and deconvolution, dpd1d In(tH),

derivatives do not show any diagnostic features (Fig. 6). On the

other hand, as in the drawdown case, the derivative of the deconvolution pressure with respect to the spherical time function,

dpd1d!spt, indicates a short hemispherical flow period. The system,

at least, is changing from a hemispherically dominated flow to a

radially dominated flow. Thus the buildup behavior of the system

is similar to the drawdown behavior.

Final Interpretotion and Discussion. So far, we have been concerned mainly with the system-identification problem. At this point,

we have observed from both tests (1) changing wellbore storage,

(2) partial penetration effects, (3) no apparent outer-boundary effects, and (4) a fully developed radial-flow period owing to the entire formation. Moreover, the buildup test without the drawdown

flow-rate measurements (for the superposition) could have given

a misleading interpretation. For this buildup test, the parameters

obtained from the superposition derivative (Fig. 6) are assumed to

be more accurate than those from other techniques because the

radial-flow period is well-defined and the vertical permeability compares well with that from the drawdown deconvolved pressure.

estimation, which will be carried out next.

The nonlinear estimation method (type-curve matching with rate)

is applied to the drawdown test to improve the results obtained previously. In this estimation, the effect of wellbore storage on wellbore pressure is included. In other words, the mathematical model

will be Eq. 1 where qsj is given by Eq. 4 as a function of both

the measured wellbore flow rate and an unknown wellbore-storage

coefficient (caused by the wellbore volume below the flow-ratemeasurement point). It is assumed that the wellbore-storage coefficient from this additional wellbore volume is constant. This assumption is reasonable because the wellbore pressure was kept above

the bubblepoint pressure, with the exception of a short time during

the drawdown. In general, the variation of the wellbore storage is

a result of two-phase flow in the tubing from the wellbore to the

wellhead. The reservoir model, I1p ~j (the impulse response of the

system) in Eq. 1 is the derivative of PD in dimensionless form

given by Eq. A-I57 plus the damage skin S. The horizontal and

vertical permeabilities, skin, and wellbore-storage coefficient will

be estimated by the nonlinear estimation procedure with the known

formation thickness and penetration ratio. The thickness of the open

interval is directly determined from the production profiles. The

formation thickness is detemtined from the geological and openholelog data. Although possible in principle, the estimation of b is more

difficult than the estimation of other parameters. Thus, we will attempt to estimate b only if we do not obtain a satisfactory match

with its present value of 0.49.

Fig. 7 shows a good match between the measured and computed

pressures as log-log and semilog plots. As stated above, the derivatives are not included because they were noisy as a result of the

flow-rate variations. Table 1 gives the final estimates obtained

from this match. C=0.OO56 bbl/psi, which yields CD (5.6146

C/27rf/>ct hrJ)=48, compares well with the additional wellbore

volume below the tool. hwD [the dimensionless wellbore length,

hWD =(hw1rwh/kH1kv] is calculated as 830 from the estimated

kH= 110.0 md and kv= 10.6 md.

Now that we know the model and its parameters, let us compute

the derivatives of the wellborepressure for this partially penetrated well (b=0.49 and h wD =830) with (CD =48 and S=4.8) and

without wellbore-storage and skin effects. These derivatives are

compared with the derivative of the deconvolved pressure computed

from the drawdown data. This comparison is important because

both the convolution (nonlinear estimation or logarithmic) and

deconvolution, and their derivatives, may be affected to a certain

degree by the different smoothing processes. This comparison is

shown in Fig. 8 [see dpsjld!spt for CD =0], which indicates that

we do not have a hemispherical flow regime. The derivative of the

sandface pressure without the wellbore-storage effect, dpsjld!spt,

indicates a long transition period, which results from the partial

penetration effect before the flow becomes pseudoradial. Of course,

380

4500

/~

3800

!1

1,;

~ 3100

2400

pseudopressure

o

measured rate

-computed rate

1Il

2500

2000

11000

1500

i

=

1000 ~

1:10

1700

500

l000+-------.-------r-----~~----~---L

0.001

0.01

0.1

10

tlme,hr

oI!I 100

<]

0.01

0.1

10

time, br

there is a single point in this curve that would have the correct

hemispherical slope. In other words, the length of the open interval is too large compared with the distance to the lower no-flow

boundary to have a well-defined hemispherical flow period. The

curve of I(dp4s /dfspt ) I in Fig. 8 (the spherical derivative of the

wellbore pressure including the effects of CD =48 and S=4.8) has

a minimum; this is also true for the curves of I(dp25 /dfspt) I (with

CD =25 and S=4.8) and I(dp lOo/dfspt) I (with CD = 100 and S=4.8)

at different times. The spherical derivative of the deconvolved pressure probably becomes flat for a short time period because of

wellbore-storage effect. It must then be by coincidence that the

derivative at this flattening period becomes approximately equal

to the hemispherical slope. A low or high value of the wellbore

storage would yield an inaccurate hemispherical slope. In general,

the hemispherical slope obtained from this flattening period will

be inaccurate. Nevertheless, the spherical derivative of the deconvolved pressure exhibits the true characteristics of a partially

penetrated well.

Fig. 9 presents the Homer, modified Homer, and generalizedrate-convolution plots where time functions are defined as

(t p +l1t)/l1t for the Homer, 10/mHt (Eq. 18) for the modified

Homer, and 10Irct (Eq. 16) for the generalized rate convolution.

As can be seen from Eq. 18,fmHt is a function of the skin, St, and

diffusivity constant, .". We therefore use the final estimates with

a total skin of 15.9 (St=Slb+Sp )' where Sp=6.0 (from Ref. 14

for b=0.49 and h wD =830). Strictly speaking, the application of

the modified Homer method is not valid because the well is partially penetrated. The generalized-rate-convolution time,frct, is obtained from PD given by Eq. A-I of Ref. 57 and the final estimates

of C, S, kH' and kv. The plots given in Fig. 9 are a convenient

way to display and compare the Homer, modified Homer, and generalized rate convolution together. The generalized-rate-convolution

plot, which is a semilog plot of Pw vs. frct yields a straight line

with a slope m (although it was known) and an intercept p* (the

initial or extrapolated pressure). The slope slightly increases after

fret = 100 ( < 1 hour) possibly because the partially penetrated well

model may not be not exact because all perforated zones are combined as a single-zone model and the afterflow rate could not be

measured at late times during the buildup.

Fig. 9 exaggerates the early-time data; in fact, the time interval

between 0 and 1 hour is about 14 log cycles, and it is onl)' two

log cycles for the time interval between 1 and 24 hours. Like other

semilog plots, it is unfortunate that this type of display relies on

the plotting scale. Of course, we could have looked at the derivatives of these plots, as we did for the Homer plot. They may not

be useful for the determination of the initial pressure, however,

which is the main objective of this type of plotting. Fig. 9 also

presents the late-time enlargement. The extrapolated pressure, p*,

obtained from the generalized rate-convolution curve, is 4,496 psi,

which is 1 psi higher than the initial pressure before the drawdown

test. Note that both the Homer and modified Homer methods depend on the existence of a storage-free, infinite-acting radial flow

can give the extrapolated pressure at any test time. If we were to

use the first straight line betweenfrct = 100 and 10 15 (I1t=0.6 and

0.01 hours), the extrapolated pressure would be "" 30 psi smaller

than its final value.

Finally, in addition to the initial pressure determination, the generalized rate convolution in conjunction with the nonlinear estimation, logarithmic convolution, and deconvolution, allows us to verify

the model and its parameters with the well-test and past production

data. For this test, the drawdown data provided better diagnostic

features and estimates than the buildup data. To estimate the reservoir pressure, however, the buildup data are invaluable.

We also applied nonlinear estimation with a fully penetrated well

model. The match between the measured and computed pressures

is shown in Fig. 7. This match is as good as the one obtained with

the partially penetrated well model, with estimates of k=69.0 md

and S=7.7. When it is compared with the spherical derivative of

the deconvolved pressure, however, the fully penetrated case does

not show similar behavior. The good match obtained with a fully

penetrated well suggests that the nonlinear estimation (type-curve

matching) without an effective system identification (diagnostic)

step may lead to a nonunique model. For this test, the flow profile

and diagnostic tools have provided an invaluable input for the selection of the model.

Parameters obtained from both the drawdown and buildup tests

are presented in Table 1. Note that S values estimated from different methods, with the exception of the nonlinear estimation, are

almost the same, regardless of the estimated vertical and horizontal permeabilities. The estimates from the nonlinear estimation are

the final values that satisfy the well-test data and other information

available for the system.

gas reservoir and was on production for"" 567 hours before shutin. The fluid and formation properties are: 1/>=0.11, 1-'=0.017 cp,

ct =0.OOO31'psi -I, rw=0.365 ft, h= 120 ft, tp =567 hours, pseudopressure, 1/Iw at tp = 1,221.0 psi, and production rate, q=2,450.0

BID. To have better flowmeter response, the continuous production logging tool, which was located just above the tubing shoes

during the test, was used. This well-test example was selected because of its interesting features.

For this gas well, the measured pressure data are converted into

pseudopressure, defined by Eq. 22. The computed pseudopressure

is treated as a pressure data set of an equivalent liquid case (see

Ref. 55).

Fig. 10 presents the measured pseudopressure and flow rate. In

Fig. 10, the afterflow rate is measurable for a few hours, after which

the rate becomes too small to be measured. We notice that the downhole flow rate can be approximated by an exponential function as

qC(t)=2,450e- 5.3t , ............................... (24)

381

4500

')

.~

.-

.............

3700

\~

Ul

s::Io

.;

~

III

0.01

0.1

10

"

'\"

2100

10~~~~~~r--r-r~~",--~~~~~~~

.....

..

,.

"...

'\

III

es::Io

measured (symbols)

computed (solid)

"".

".

....

2900

.~

.......

Horner..\.

...

modified Homer

generalized rate convolution

1300

10

1000

lOS

10

10"

lOll

1013

time, hr

tlme.hr

where the exponential constant a=5.3 is determined from the measured flow rate. The constant 2,450 BID is the flow rate before shutin. Fig. 10 also presents the computed (from Eq. 24) flow rates.

Fig. 10 shows that the exponential decline given in Eq. 24 approximates the measured flow rate well up to 1 hour. The flow rate

computed from Eq. 24 is much smaller than the actual values because the flow rate declines very slowly after 1 hour (Fig. 10).

Fig. 11 presents the derivatives of the pseudopressure and normalized pseudopressure with respect to different time functions.

These derivatives indicate that the wellbore pseudopressure is heavily dominated by the wellbore storage and that the system is possibly becoming an infinite-acting radial flow after 10 hours (first

diagnostic observation). The convolution and deconvolution derivatives may not be accurate after 1 hour because the flow rate measurem!!nts or their extrapolation is unreliable. In general, when the

flow rate is undermeasured (less than its true value) or underestimated, its effect will appear as a wellbore storage provided that

the surface flow rate does not fluctuate rapidly. This is apparent

in convolution and deconvolution plots in Fig. 11. Thus, these

derivatives do not indicate any feature of the system earlier than

the Homer derivative. The semilog slope of an infinite-acting radial

flow period from Fig. 11 is 228 psi/cycle, which gives k=0.25 md

and S=ll.l.

The derivative of the deconvolution pseudopressure, with respect

to the spherical time function, dl/ld1dfspt, is also included in Fig.

11 to show whether the pseudopressure might be affected by lost

or plugged perforations. It is known that this well is fully perforated. The spherical derivative also indicates the pronounced effect

of the wellbore storage and possibly the beginning of an infiniteacting radial flow period.

As Fig. 11 shows, with the exception of very few data points

at the beginning, the deconvolved pseudopressures from the constrained deconvolution 19 and {3-deconvolution (Eq. 21) methods

give identical results. The advantage of the {3-deconvolution method

is that it is easy to compute. It can be continued even after the flowmeter data become unreliable below the flowmeter threshold value,

with the assumption that the downhole flow rate declines exponentially during the test. As stated above, this assumption did not work

for this test.

Fig. 12 shows the match of the derivative of the deconvolved

pseudopressure (the constant-rate behavior of the system including the effect of the additional volume) with the constant-welibOrestorage type curves for a fully penetrated well in an infinite reservoir. The parameters obtained from derivatives are used as initial

guesses for this matching. The estimates obtained from this typecurve matching are k=0.26 md, S=11.8, and C=O.OI bbl/psi

( CD = 16). This computed C value is slightly higher than that obtained from the 180-ft wellbore volume below the tool. These parameters compare well with those from derivatives.

Another nonlinear estimation is performed with a fully penetrated well in an infinite radial reservoir for the verification and im-

used in Eq. 19 is given by Eq. 7, where qmD is the normalized

measured flow rate. Unlike the above deconvolved pseudopressure

matching, at each iteration during this nonlinear estimation, the

constant-rate solution with the wellbore-storage and skin effects for

the fully penetrated well model is convolved with the flow rate,

as in Eq. 7. Thus, the nonlinear estimation with rate data requires

more computation time than does the deconvolved pseudopressure,

from which the effect of the flow rate variations are eliminated.

It is therefore desirable for the nonlinear estimation with rate to

have the initial guesses as close as possible to the final solution.

Thus, deconvolution not only indicates diagnostic features of the

system, but also provides satisfactory estimates. Both nonlinear estimations should be carried out, however, because of the smoothing properties of convolution and the ill-posed nature of

deconvolution.

Fig. 12 shows an excellent match between measured and computed pseudopressures and their derivatives. The estimates obtained

from this match are k=0.26 md, S= 12.0, and C=O.OI bbl/psi.

The above analysis, including the diagnostic and estimation step,

has produced a model with parameters except the reservoir pseudopressure. The model fits the observed behavior of the system

very well. To complete the interpretation of this buildup test, we

not only have to estimate the reservoir pseudopressure (extrapolated or initial), but also have to know its effect on other estimates

because, for the convolution, deconvolution, and nonlinear estimation procedure, we have used measured t...jIw=l/Iw(fJ.t)-l/Iw(fJ.t

=0), where l/Iw(fJ.t=;O) is the flowing pseudopressure before shutin and not the initial pseudopressure. In other words, the drawdown solutions are used. This aspect of the problem can be solved

accurately if we use Eq. 16. Unfortunately, it may become a formidable task computationally. Thus the generalized rate-convolution

technique is used to estimate the reservoir pseudopressure.

Fig. 13 presents the Homer, modified Homer, and generalizedrate-convolution plots where time functions are defined as (tp +

fJ.t)/fJ.t for the Homer, 10ImHJ for the modified Homer, and 10lrct

for the generalized rate convolution. It is convenient to display and

compare all of them together. Note that both the Homer and modified Homer methods depend on the existence of a storage-free,

infinite-acting radial flow period. On the other hand, the generalized rate-convolution method can give the extrapolated pseudopressure at any test time. Fig. 13 also presents the late-time enlargement.

As Fig. 13 shows, each curve extrapolates to a different pseudopressure, l/I*, as 4,765.4,4,772.2, and 4,778 psi for generalized rate

convolution, modified Homer, and Homer, respectively. The extrapolated pseudopressure obtained from the generalized rate convolution should be the most accurate one.

382

Conclusions

In this paper we applied convolution and deconvolution interpretation methods to two well tests. It is clear from the interpretation

SPE Formation Evaluation, December 1990

for system identification and parameter estimation. Both measured

downhole pressure and flow rate, however, also can be affected

by the wellbore volume below the pressure gauge and flowmeter.

Thus, this must be taken into account for the interpretation.

It is shown that the deconvolved pressure and its derivative are

an effective system identification tool and also can provide initial

estimates for nonlinear estimation. Without diagnostic steps, relying solely on nonlinear estimation may lead to an erroneous model

and estimates.

A new interpretation method, called generalized rate convolution, is introduced to obtain ~he reseI'voir pressure and the final

verification of the model and its estimated parameters. It is shown

that this new method works better than the Horner and modified

Horner methods.

fj-deconvolution provides a simple technique for obtaining deconvolved pressure that can be used for system identification and

parameter estimation, if the flow rate varies exponentially.

A new method is presented to determine the vertical permeability for partially penetrated wells. The method uses the onset of the

radial flow period, if it evolves during the test.

It is shown that an integrated interpretation approach reduces a

possible inaccurate interpretation and harmonizes features of the

system with the well-test data.

V = vertical

w = well, wellbore, or perforated

wellbore flowing

wi =

Superscripts

e = model or computed

m = measured

- = Laplace transform of

I = derivative

* = interpreted

Acknowledgments

I thank Schlumberger-Doll Research for permission to publish this

paper and Christine Ehlig-Econornides of Schlumberger Well Services for providing helpful discussions.

References

d = deconvolved

D = dimensionless

f = formation

H = horizontal

H = Horner time

i = initial

let = logarithmic convolution time

mHt = modified Horner time

N = normalized

p = perforated

r = reference

ret = rate convolution time

s = skin

sf = sandface

sl = sernilog

spt = spherical time

the East Texas Field," Trans., AIME (1935) 114, 164-76.

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383

Nomenclature

b =

e =

C =

f =

h =

J =

Jw =

k =

m =

N =

p =

q=

r =

s =

S =

t =

W =

x=

=

[, =

0/

1/ =

J.I. =

T =

c/> =

1/; =

total system compressibility, psi - 1

wellbore-storage constant, bbllpsi

time function

formation thickness, ft

positive scalar objective function for minimization

reciprocal PI or rate-normalized pressure

permeability, rod

slope

number of measured data points

pressure, psi

flow rate, BID

radius, ft

Laplace image space variable

damage skin

time, hours

positive weight factor

parameter vector

positive constant

Dirac delta function

pressure diffusivity, ft 2 /hr

oil viscosity, cp

dummy integration variable

system porosity

pseudopressure, psi

Subscripts

Author

FIIot .I. Kuchuk is a senior scientist and

program leader at Schiumberger-Doll Research Center In Ridgefield, CT. He

researches fluid dynamics in porous me

dla and performs reservoir testing.

Kuchuk holds an MS degree from the

Technical U. of Istanbul and MS and PhD

degrees from Stanford U., all In petroleum engineering.

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384

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46. Barua, J. et al.: "Improved Estimation Algorithms for Automated TypeCurve Analysis of Well Tests," SPEFE (March 1988) 186-96; Trans.,

AIME,285.

47. Guillot, A.Y. and Home, R.N.: "Using Simultaneous Downhole FlowRate and Pressure Measurements To Improve Analysis of Well Tests,"

SPEFE (June 1986) 217-26.

48. Kucuk,F., Karakas, M., and Ayestaran, L.: "Well Testing and Analysis Techniques for Layered Reservoirs," SPEFE (Aug. 1986) 342-54.

49. Shah, P.C. et al.: "Estimation of the Permeabilities and Skin Factors

in Layered Reservoirs With Downhole Rate and Pressure Data," SPEFE

(Sept. 1988) 555-66.

50. Coats, K.H. et af.: "Determination of Aquifer Influence Functions From

Field Data," JPT (Dec. 1964) 1417-24; Trans., AIME, 231.

51. Jargon, J.R. and van Poollen, H.K.: "Unit Response Function From

Varying-Rate Data," JPT (Aug. 1965) 965-69; Trans., AIME, 234.

52. Bostic, J.N., Agarwal, R.G., and Carter, R.D.: "Combined Analysis

of Postfracturing Performance and Pressure Buildup Data for Evaluating an MHF Gas Well," JPT(Oct. 1980) 1711-19.

53. Pascal, H.: "Advances in Evaluating Gas Well Deliverability Using

Variable Rate Tests Under Non-Darcy Flow, " paper SPE 9841 presented

at the 1981 SPE/DOE Low Permeability Gas Recovery Symposium,

Denver, May 27-29.

54. Al-Hussainy, R., Ramey, H.J. Jr., and Crawford, P.B.: "The Flow

of Real Gases Through Porous Media," JPT (May 1966) 624-36;

Trans., AIME, 237.

55. Meunier, D.F., Kabir, C.S., and Wittmann, M.J.: "Gas Well Test Analysis: Use of Normalized Pseudovariables," SPEFE (Dec. 1987) 629-36.

56. Lee, W.J. and Holditch, S.A.: "Application of Pseudotime to Buildup

Test Analysis of Low-Permeability Gas Wells With Long-Duration Wellbore Storage Distortion," JPT(Dec. 1982) 2877-87.

57. Kuchuk, F.J.: "New Methods for Estimating Parameters of Low Permeability Reservoirs," paper SPE 16394 presented at the 1987

SPEIDOE Low Permeability Reservoirs Symposium, Denver, May

18-19.

58. Raghavan, R. and Clark, K.K.: "Vertical Permeability From Limited

Entry Flow Tests in Thick Formations," SPEJ (Feb. 1975) 65-73;

Trans., AIME, 259.

bbl x 1.589873

E-Ol

E-03

cp x 1.0*

E-Ol

ft x 3.048*

E-04

md x 9.869233

psi x 6.894757

E+OO

psi -I x 1.450377

E-Ol

Conversion factor is exact.

m3

Pa's

m

p.m 2

kPa

kPa- 1

SPEFE

Original SPE manuscript received for review May 18, 1987. Paper accepted for publica

tion March 28, 1990. Revised manuscript received Jan. 19, 1990. Paper (SPE 16394) first

presented at the 1987 SPEIDOE Low Permeability Reservoirs Symposium held in Denver,

May 18-19.

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