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Acta Geophysica

vol. 60, no. 1, Feb. 2012, pp. 232-259


DOI: 10.2478/s11600-011-0053-x

Unsteady Inter-Porosity Flow Modeling


for a Multiple Media Reservoir
Ren-Shi NIE1, Ying-Feng MENG1, Yong-Lu JIA1,
Jian-Lin SHANG2, Yong WANG2, and Jian-Guo LI2
1
State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation,
Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
e-mail: nierenshi2000@163.com (corresponding author)
2
Petrochina Xinjiang Oilfield Company, Karamay, China

Abstract
The paper deals with unsteady inter-porosity flow modeling of un-
derground fluid in a multiple media reservoir. Assuming spherical vugs,
symmetrically distributed pressure, negligible inter-porosity flow be-
tween matrix and vug systems and centrifugal flow of the fluid from ma-
trix blocks or vugs to fractures, and treating media directly connected
with wellbore as the fracture system, we establish and solve a model of
unsteady inter-porosity flow for dual and triple porosity media reservoirs.
We provide simulated graphs of pressure and pressure derivative log-log
type curves, and analyze the transient flow process and characteristics of
type curves affected by different parameters. The new type curves of un-
steady inter-porosity flow modeling are evidently different in shape and
characteristics from those of pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow modeling.
The location of dimensionless pressure of unsteady inter-porosity is
lower than that of pseudo-steady inter-porosity, which indicates that un-
steady inter-porosity flow accelerates an energy supplement during pro-
duction. Qualitatively, the unsteady inter-porosity flow modeling reduces
the classical V-shaped response. We also estimated parameters from well
test data in real applications using this model.

Key words: unsteady inter-porosity flow, modeling, multiple media res-


ervoir, type curves.

________________________________________________
2011 Institute of Geophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences
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UNSTEADY INTER-POROSITY FLOW FOR MULTIPLE MEDIA 233

1. INTRODUCTION
Many theoretical models have been proposed to understand the nature of
fluid flow in porous media (Nepf and Ghisalberti 2008, Kumar and Dalal
2010, Shapiro and Fedorovich 2009). In multiple media reservoirs, such as
carbonate reservoir and volcanite reservoir, however, the flow behavior is
still not completely understood (Corbett et al. 2010). Ongoing research in
this area answers important questions in petroleum industry, geosciences,
fluid mechanics and rock mechanics (Bahrami et al. 2008, Gu and Cha-
laturnyk 2010, Popov et al. 2009, Rawnsley et al. 2007, Sarma and Aziz
2006).
Fractures and vugs result in multiple porosity properties of reservoirs.
A reservoir with fractures is known as dual porosity media reservoir and
a reservoir with fractures and vugs as triple porosity media reservoir. The
dual media reservoir includes matrix subsystem and fracture subsystem, and
the two subsystems are relatively independent in physical properties. The
triple media reservoir has matrix subsystem, fracture subsystem and vug
subsystem, and the three subsystems are also relatively independent in phys-
ical properties. The development of fractures and vugs differs across reser-
voirs (Abdassah and Ershaghi 1986, Mai and Kantzas 2007), so each
reservoir has a distinct set of fluid transport behaviors. Well testing analysis
peeks at the black box of flow behaviors in invisible underground reservoir.
Therefore, a vital task of researchers is to establish various well test models
for the industry to evaluate the properties of underground reservoirs. This
paper models the unsteady inter-porosity flow and establishes well test anal-
ysis in dual-porosity and triple-porosity media.
There have been many models specific to oil flow in multiple media
reservoirs. Bourdet and Gringarten (1980) invented a method to determine
the fissure volume and block size in fractured reservoirs by use of type
curves analysis. Lai et al. (1983) established a well test data analysis model
for naturally fractured reservoirs. Braester (1984) studied the influence of
block size on the transition curve for a drawdown test in a naturally fractured
reservoir. Wijesinghe and Culham (1984) studied the single-well pressure
testing solutions for naturally fractured reservoirs with arbitrary fracture
connectivity. Wijesinghe and Kececioglu (1985) proposed a well test analy-
sis model of interference pressure tests in naturally fractured reservoirs.
Jalali and Ershaghi (1987) investigated the pressure transient analysis of
heterogeneous naturally fractured reservoirs, the log curves of pressure ver-
sus time were draw-up. Al-Ghamdi and Ershaghi (1996) examined the pres-
sure transient analysis of dually fractured reservoirs, and plotted the log-log
curves of pressure against time. Bui et al. (2000) made transient pressure
analysis for partially penetrating wells in naturally fractured reservoirs.

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Rasmussen and Civan (2003) researched the full, short-, and long-time ana-
lytical solutions for hindered matrix-fracture transfer models of naturally
fractured reservoirs. Liu et al. (2003) made the analysis of flow behavior in
fractured lithophysal reservoirs. Wu et al. (2004, 2007) studied triple conti-
nuum pressure transient model for a naturally fractured vuggy reservoir.
Camacho-Velzquez et al. (2005) wrote on oil transient flow modeling in
naturally fractured vuggy carbonate reservoirs and analyzed its pressure
transient and decline curve behaviors. Pulido et al. (2006) established a well-
test pressure theory of analysis for naturally fractured reservoirs, considering
transient inter-porosity matrix, micro fractures, vugs, and fractures flow.
Izadi and Yildiz (2007) presented transient flow in discretely fractured por-
ous media. Corbett et al. (2010) studied the numerical well test modeling of
fractured carbonate rocks, and he found that the numerical well test has its
limitations especially in simulating disperse vugs.
The rest of the paper is structured as follows: Section 2 will introduce the
simplifying assumptions on physical properties of the reservoir and flow;
Section 3 establishes the model of pseudo-steady flow, and Section 4 estab-
lishes the model of unsteady inter-porosity flow and provides the solutions to
the inter-porosity flow model. The rest of the paper discusses the type
curves, application of the model to real data and conclusions.

2. PHYSICAL MODELING
2.1 Model assumptions on the properties of the reservoir
The dual porosity media reservoir is composed of fracture and matrix (see
Fig. 1), and the triple porosity media reservoir is composed of fracture and
matrix and vug (see Fig. 2). For dual media systems, there exist two subsys-
tems of fracture and matrix. Triple media consist of fracture, matrix and vug
subsystems.

Fig. 1. Fractured dual media reservoir Fig. 2. Fractured-vuggy triple media


scheme. reservoir scheme.

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The shape of matrix block is arbitrary in real reservoirs (see Fig. 3a).
Matrix block is assumed to have a simple shape in modeling (Bourdet and
Gringarten 1980, Braester 1984, De Swaan 1976, Ertekin and Sung 1989,
Lai et al. 1983, Warren and Root 1963), mainly a slab matrix block, cylin-
drical matrix block, spherical matrix block and cubic matrix block. The same
is assumed for vugs (see Fig. 4).

Fig. 3. Plan view of naturally dual porosity media.

Fig. 4. Plan view of naturally triple porosity media.

2.2 Model assumptions on the flow


Given a single well production at constant rate in dual or triple media reser-
voir, fluid in reservoir flows into wellbore under the pressure drop between
bottom hole and formation pressures.
For most of triple media reservoirs it is usually supposed that the per-
meability relationship between three subsystems is kf > kv > km , so the flow

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pathway directly connected with well is usually considered as a fracture sub-


system (Al-Ghamdi and Ershaghi 1996, Bourdet 2002, Ertekin and Sung
1989, Jalali and Ershaghi 1987, Liu et al. 2003, Wu et al. 2004, 2007, Yang
et al. 2005). There exists the inter-porosity flow from matrix subsystem to
fracture subsystem, and the inter-porosity flow from vug subsystem to frac-
ture subsystem is also considered. Because the fracture subsystem is the
main flow pathway, and the outflow fluid from both the vug and matrix sub-
systems is towards the fracture subsystem, the inter-porosity flow between
the matrix and vug subsystems is assumed negligible.
The flow relationship schemes for dual and triple porosity media reser-
voirs are shown as Figs. 5 and 6, respectively.
Other basic assumptions are as follows:
external boundary of reservoir may be infinite or closed or at constant
pressure;
total compressibility (rock and fluid) is low and constant;
we assume isothermal and Darcy flow, ignoring the impact of gravity and
capillary forces;
we consider wellbore storage effect (in the beginning of opening well, the
fluid stored in wellbore starts to flow, the fluid in the formation does not
flow);
we consider skin effect (near wellbore, formation could be damaged due
to drilling and completion operations; there would be an additional pres-
sure drop from well production, so skin is the reflection of additional
pressure drop);
at time t = 0, pressure is uniformly distributed in reservoir, equal to ini-
tial reservoir pressure, pi.

Fig. 5. Flow scheme for dual media Fig. 6. Flow scheme for triple media
reservoir. reservoir.

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UNSTEADY INTER-POROSITY FLOW FOR MULTIPLE MEDIA 237

2.3 Inter-porosity flow manner


Pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow
The pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow hypothesizes means equal pressure in
matrix subsystem and/or vug subsystem. That is to say, the pressure in ma-
trix subsystem or vug subsystem is independent of location (coordinate r).
But the pressure in matrix subsystem or vug subsystem is a function of time, t.
For pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow manner, the shape of matrix block
and vug is arbitrary (see Figs. 3a and 4a), and different shapes have different
shape factors, .
At present, many scholars consider the pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow
manner in their modeling (Jalali and Ershaghi 1987, Ertekin and Sung 1989,
Al-Ghamdi and Ershaghi 1996, Bourdet 2002, Liu et al. 2003, Wu et al.
2004, 2007, Yang et al. 2005).
Unsteady inter-porosity flow
The unsteady inter-porosity flow means that the pressures everywhere in ma-
trix subsystem or vug subsystem are not equal. That is to say, the pressure in
the matrix subsystem or vug subsystem is a function of time and coordinate.
For unsteady inter-porosity flow manner, the shape of matrix block and
vug is assumed of some ideal shape (slab, cylindrical, spherical, and cubic)
to facilitate establishing and solving mathematical modeling.
We consider the unsteady inter-porosity flow manner for multiple media
reservoir by assuming that both matrix blocks and vugs are spherical (see
Figs. 3b and 4b).
Now we make the following assumptions:
the radius of spherical matrix block is r1 (see Figs. 5 and 6), and every
matrix block is the same, so the radius r1 is equivalently the average ra-
dius of all matrix blocks;
the radius of spherical vug is r2 (see Fig. 6), and every vug is the same, so
the radius r2 is equivalently the average radius of all vugs;
the pressure distribution in matrix block or vug is spherically symmetric;
fluid flows from the center of matrix block or vug into fracture, and the
pressure at spherical surface is equal to the fracture pressure pf.
The above postulation is a simplification, which is a limitation of the mod-
eling.

3. MATHEMATICAL MODELING OF PSEUDO-STEADY


INTER-POROSITY FLOW
The equations of initial conditions, inner boundary conditions and external
boundary conditions for pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow are the same as

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those for the unsteady inter-porosity flow (see Section 4), so we only show
the governing equations.
Dual porosity media reservoir
The governing differential equations in radial cylindrical system are as fol-
lows (e.g., Al-Ghamdi and Ershaghi 1996, Bourdet 2002, Jalali and Ershaghi
1987):
fracture subsystem
2 pf 1 pf km f Cft pf
2 + + m ( pm pf ) = , (1)
f r rf rf k f kf t

matrix subsystem
m Cmt pm
m ( pm pf ) = . (2)
km t

Triple porosity media reservoir


The governing differential equations in radial cylindrical system are as fol-
lows (e.g., Wu et al. 2004, 2007, Yang et al. 2005):
fracture subsystem
2 pf 1 pf km k C p
+ + m ( pm pf ) + v v ( pv pf ) = f ft f , (3)
rf
2
rf rf kf kf kf t

matrix subsystem
m Cmt pm
m ( pm pf ) = , (4)
km t

vug subsystem
v Cvt pv
v ( pv pf ) = , (5)
kv t

where p is the pressure (in MPa), t the time (in s), the rock porosity, frac-
tion, k the permeability (in m2), the oil viscosity (in mPas), Ct the total
compressibility of rock and oil (in MPa1), r the radial coordinate, is the
geometric shape factor of matrix block or vug (in m2), and the subscripts
m, v, and f represent matrix, vug, and fracture, respectively.
Because of the pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow manner, the governing
differential equations of matrix and vug subsystems (Eqs. (4) and (5)) do not
contain the pressure partial differential terms related to location (coordinate r).
The dimensionless mathematical modeling is shown as Appendix A.

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4. MATHEMATICAL MODELING OF UNSTEADY


INTER-POROSITY FLOW
4.1 Establishment of mathematical model
Governing differential equations
Governing equations of fracture subsystem in radial cylindrical system:
for dual porosity media reservoir
2 pf 1 pf f Cft pf
+ + qm = , (6)
rf 2 rf rf kf kf t

for triple porosity media reservoir


2 pf 1 pf f Cft pf
+ + qm + qv = ; (7)
rf 2
rf rf kf kf kf t

Governing equations of matrix subsystem in a radial spherical coordinate


system
2 pm 2 pm m Cmt pm
+ = (0 < rm < r1 ) ; (8)
rm 2 rm rm km t

Governing equations of vug subsystem in a radial spherical coordinate sys-


tem
2 pv 2 pv v Cvt pv
+ = (0 < rv < r2 ) ; (9)
rv 2 rv rv kv t

where qm is the inter-porosity flow volume in unit time from unit volume
matrix (in 1/s), qv the inter-porosity flow volume in unit time from unit vol-
ume vug (in 1/s), r1 the spherical radius of matrix block (in cm), and r2 is the
spherical radius of vug (in cm).
Inter-porosity flow equations
Fluid flows from the center of matrix block to fracture. By Darcys law, the
flow velocity at a spherical surface (rm = r1) of matrix block is
0.1km pm
v = rm = r1 , (10)
rm

where v is flow velocity (in cm/s).


Because the outflow volume in unit time from unit volume matrix block
is qm, the velocity at spherical surface is equal to the result that the surface
area of a spherical matrix block divides the outflow volume of fluid from a
matrix block in unit time, that is

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4 4
v = r13 qm
3
( 4r ) =
1
2

3
r1qm . (11)

Upon combining Eq. (10) with Eq. (11), the inter-porosity flow volume in
unit time from unit volume matrix block becomes
0.3 km pm
qm = rm = r1 . (12)
r1 rm

By the same method, we can get the inter-porosity flow volume in unit time
from unit volume vug:
0.3 k v pv
qv = rv = r2 . (13)
r2 rv

Inner boundary conditions


The well production at a constant rate
0.2kf h pf dp w
rf rf = rw = qB + Cs , (14)
rf dt

where q is the surface oil rate of wellhead (in cm3/s), h the formation thick-
ness (in cm), pw the wellbore pressure (in MPa), Cs the wellbore storage
coefficient (in cm3/MPa), and B is the oil volume factor, dimensionless.
At the center of matrix block
pm
rm = 0 =0 . (15)
rm
At the center of vug
pv
rv = 0 = 0 . (16)
rv

External boundary conditions


Infinite reservoir
lim pf = pi (infinite) . (17)
rf

Constant pressure boundary


pf rf = Re = pi (constant pressure) . (18)

Closed boundary
pf
rf = Re = 0 (closed) . (19)
rf

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UNSTEADY INTER-POROSITY FLOW FOR MULTIPLE MEDIA 241

At spherical surface of matrix block, the matrix pressure is equal to fracture


pressure
pm ( rm , t ) rm = r1 = pf . (20)

At spherical surface of vug, the vug pressure is equal to fracture pressure

pv ( rv , t ) rv = r2 = pf , (21)

where Re is the external boundary radius of reservoir (in cm), and pi is the
initial reservoir pressure (in MPa).
Initial conditions
pf t =0 = pm t =0 = pv t =0 = pi . (22)

4.2 Dimensionless mathematical model


The dimensionless mathematical model is shown as Appendix A, and all
kinds of dimensionless definitions are shown as Appendix B.
We introduce the Laplace transform (Nie-Ding 2010) based on TD, that is

L pD ( rD , TD ) = p ( rD , z ) = p (rD D , TD ) e zTD dTD , (23)
0

TD = tD CD , (24)

where pD is the dimensionless pressure in real space, pD the dimensionless


pressure in Laplace space, tD the dimensionless time in real space, CD the
dimensionless wellbore storage coefficient, and z is the time in Laplace
space.

Governing differential equations


Governing equations of fracture subsystem in radial cylindrical system:
for dual porosity media reservoir

2 pfD 1 pfD m pmD zf


+ 2S rmD =1 = pfD , (25)

fD r 2
rfD rfD 5e rmD CD e 2 S

for triple porosity media reservoir

2 pfD 1 pfD m pmD v pvD zf


+ 2S rmD =1 rvD =1 = pfD . (26)
rfD
2
rfD rfD 5e rmD 5e 2S
rvD CD e 2 S

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Governing equations of matrix subsystem in radial spherical coordinate sys-


tem
2 pmD 2 pmD 15 zm
+ = pmD (0 < rmD < 1) . (27)
rmD 2
rmD rmD m CD

Governing equations of vug subsystem in radial spherical coordinate system


2 pvD 2 pvD 15 zv
+ = p vD (0 < rvD < 1) . (28)
rvD 2
rvD rvD v CD

Inner boundary conditions


Well production at a constant rate
pfD 1
z pfD rfD rfD =1 = . (29)
rfD z

At the center of matrix block


pmD
rmD = 0 = 0 . (30)
rmD

At the center of vug


pvD
rvD = 0 = 0 . (31)
rvD

External boundary conditions


Infinite reservoir
lim pfD = 0 (infinite) . (32)
rfD

Constant pressure boundary


pfD rfD = R eD =0 (constant pressure) . (33)

Closed boundary
pfD
rfD = ReD =0 (closed) . (34)
rfD

At spherical surface of matrix block, the matrix pressure is equal to fracture


pressure
pmD ( rmD , tD ) rmD = r1 D = pfD . (35)

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UNSTEADY INTER-POROSITY FLOW FOR MULTIPLE MEDIA 243

At spherical surface of vug, the vug pressure is equal to fracture pressure


pvD ( rvD , tD ) rvD = r2 D = pfD . (36)

4.3 Solution to dimensionless mathematical model


Firstly, we seek the solution to the partial differential flow equation of ma-
trix subsystem under its definite conditions, Eqs. (27), (30), and (35). The
general solution of Eq. (27) is
(
pmD = Am e m rmD + Bm e m rmD ) rmD , (37)

m = 15m z ( m CD ) . (38)

Substitute the general solution, Eq. (37) into Eqs. (30) and (35), we have
1
Am = pfD , (39)
e m e m

1
Bm = pfD . (40)
e m e m

So the solution of Eq. (27) in Laplace space is


pfD e m rmD e m rmD
pmD = . (41)
rmD e m e m

Take the derivative to rmD in Eq. (41):


d pmD
rmD =1 = m cth ( m ) 1 pfD , (42)
d rmD

where hyperbolic cotangent function is cth( m ) = (e + e ) (e e ) .


m m m m

By the same method, the derivative to rvD of vug in Laplace space is


d pvD
rvD =1 = v cth ( v ) 1 pfD , (43)
d rvD
v = 15v z ( v CD ) . (44)

Substitute Eq. (42) into Eq. (25), and substitute Eqs. (42) and (43) into
Eq. (26). The governing differential equations of fracture subsystem,
Eqs. (25) and (26), can be unified by
d 2 pfD 1 dpfD
2
+ f ( z ) pfD = 0 . (45)
d rfD rfD drfD

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For dual media reservoir


m zf
f ( z) = m cth ( m ) 1 + . (46)
5e 2 S CD e 2 S

For triple media reservoir


m zf
f ( z) = 2S
m cth ( m ) 1 + v2 S [ v cth( v ) 1] + . (47)
5e 5e CD e 2 S

The general solution of Eq. (45) is


pfD = Af I 0 rfD ( )
f ( z ) + Bf K 0 rfD ( )
f ( z) . (48)

At the wellbore bottom, r = rw, rfD = 1, pf = pw, pfD = pwD, so Eq. (48)
becomes
I0 ( )
f ( z ) Af + K0 ( )
f ( z ) Bf pwD = 0 . (49)

Substitute the general solution, Eq. (48), into the constant rate well produc-
tion condition, Eq. (29):

f ( z ) I1 ( )
f ( z ) Af f ( z ) K1 ( )
f ( z ) Bf z pwD =
1
z
. (50)

Substitute the general solution, Eq. (48), into the external boundary condi-
tions, Eqs. (32)-(34):
lim I 0 rfD
rfD
( )
f ( z ) Af + lim K 0 rfD
rfD
( )
f ( z ) Bf = 0 , (51)

( )
I 0 ReD f ( z ) Af + K 0 ReD ( )
f ( z ) Bf = 0 , (52)

I (R
1 eD f ( z) ) A f K (R 1 eD f ( z) ) B f =0 , (53)

where Am, Af, Bm, Bf are the undetermined coefficients, I0( ) is the modified
Bessel function of the first kind, zero order, I1( ) the modified Bessel func-
tion of the first kind, first order, K0( ) the modified Bessel function of the
second kind, zero order, and K1( ) is the modified Bessel function of the sec-
ond kind, first order.
From Eqs. (49)-(53), there are 3 unknown numbers (Af, Bf, pwD ) and
3 equations, so the solutions in Laplace space can be easily obtained by use
of linear algebra to Eqs. (49)-(53), such as GaussJordan reduction. In real
space, the dimensionless wellbore pressure (pwD) and pressure derivative
(dpwD/dTD) can be obtained using Stehfest numerical inversion (Stehfest

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UNSTEADY INTER-POROSITY FLOW FOR MULTIPLE MEDIA 245

1970) to convert pwD back to pwD. Accordingly, the standard bi-logarithmic


type curves of pressure, pwD , and pressure derivative ( pw D tD / CD ) are ob-
tained.

5. TYPE CURVES
5.1 Type curves of dual media reservoir
Type curves reflect properties of underground reservoirs. Intuitively, type
curves graphically show the process and characteristics of fluid flow in res-
ervoirs.
Figures 7-9 show the type curves of transient well test analysis for mul-
tiple media reservoir. It can be seen from the figures that different parame-
ters (inter-porosity flow factor, external boundary conditions, and fluid
capacitance coefficient, etc.) have different influences on type curves.
Figure 7 shows the whole transient flow process of well production at con-
stant rate in dual media reservoir; it can be divided into six flow stages:
Stage I. Pure wellbore storage stage. The pressure and pressure deriva-
tive assume unit slope. There is no difference between unsteady inter-
porosity modeling and pseudo-steady inter-porosity modeling.
Stage II. Skin effect stage. The shape of derivative curve is just like
a hump. The location of dimensionless pressure of unsteady inter-porosity
is lower than that of pseudo-steady inter-porosity, which indicates that
unsteady inter-porosity flow accelerates the energy supplement during pro-
duction.
Stage III. Fracture subsystem radial flow stage. The slope of pressure
derivative curve is zero, and the pressure derivative converges to 0.5 line,
which means the logarithmic value of pressure derivative is 0.5. This stage
usually does not appear for a big vm (e.g., vm = 108 in Figs. 8 and 9).
Stage IV. Inter-porosity flow stage of matrix subsystem to fracture sub-
system. The pressure derivative curve is concave, which is the reflection of
the inter-porosity flow of matrix to fracture. Compared with the classical
matrix-fracture dual porosity modeling (Al-Ghamdi and Ershaghi 1996,
Corbett et al. 2010, Warren and Root 1963), the V-shaped type curves are
flattened due to the unsteady inter-porosity flow manner (see curve and
in Fig. 7). It can be said that the unsteady inter-porosity flow manner for
flow from matrix subsystem reduces the classical matrix-fracture (V-shaped)
response.
Stage V. Whole radial flow stage of fracture and matrix subsystems. The
inter-porosity flow of matrix to fracture has stopped. The pressures between
matrix system and fracture system have gone up to a state of dynamic bal-
ance. The derivative curve also converges to 0.5 line.

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Stage VI. External boundary response stage. The pressure derivative


curve goes down for constant pressure boundary and tilts up for closed
boundary. For a constant pressure boundary the transient flow would
ultimately become steady state flow. For closed boundary the transient flow

Fig. 7. Type curves of dual media reservoir under different boundaries.

Fig. 8. Type curves affected by inter-porosity flow factor of matrix to fracture.

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UNSTEADY INTER-POROSITY FLOW FOR MULTIPLE MEDIA 247

Fig. 9. Type curves affected by fluid capacitance coefficient of fracture subsystem.

would ultimately become pseudo-steady state flow, in which the type curves
converge to a straight line with unit slope.
According to definition of m = 1.5 ( rw r1 ) ( km kf ) , the matrix permea-
2

bility, fracture permeability and the radius of spherical matrix block, r1, are
contained in m, so we analyze the influence of m upon type curves and do
not analyze the influence of r1, km , and kf. Figure 8 reflects the shape charac-
teristics of type curves affected by m. Because m represents the starting
time of inter-porosity flow of matrix subsystem to fracture subsystem, so the
bigger the m , the earlier the time of inter-porosity.
Fluid capacitance coefficient of fracture subsystem, f, represents the
fluid storage capacitance of fracture subsystem. A bigger f is the response
of relatively more reserves in fracture subsystem. Figure 9 displays the shape
characteristics of type curves affected by f ; a greater f leads to shallower
concave.
Varying parameters can have significant influence on the shape of type
curves. This possibility is due to the fact that well testing analysis, an inverse
problem, has multiple solutions. In addition, the shape rendered from real
data may be distorted by noises, which makes it necessary to establish the
stylized shapes under different parameter conditions. Therefore in Figs. 8
and 9 we showed type curves of a control group, whose parameters are
fixed. We later vary parameters to show how the shape of the type curves
may be changed. Such an exercise is important to both theoretical research-
ers and empiricists.

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5.2 Type curves of triple media reservoir


Figure 10 shows the standard type curves of triple media reservoir under in-
finite boundary; the flow can be divided into four main stages:
Stage I. Pure wellbore storage and skin effect stage.
Stage II. Inter-porosity flow stage of vug subsystem to fracture subsys-
tem. Because the vug permeability is better than the matrix permeability, the
inter-porosity flow of vug subsystem to fracture subsystem takes place
firstly. The pressure derivative curve is concave (the first concave on the
left). The unsteady inter-porosity flow manner for flow from vug subsystem
reduces the classical vug-fracutre (V-shaped) response.
Stage III. Inter-porosity flow stage of matrix subsystem to fracture sub-
system. The inter-porosity flow of vug subsystem to fracture subsystem has
stopped. The pressure derivative curve is also concave (the second concave
on the right).
Stage IV. Whole radial flow stage of fracture, vug and matrix subsys-
tems. The inter-porosity flow of matrix to fracture has stopped. The pres-
sures between the three subsystems have gone up to a state of dynamic
balance. The derivative curve converges to 0.5 line.
In a word, the differences between unsteady inter-porosity modeling and
pseudo-steady inter-porosity modeling are mainly showed in inter-porosity
flow stages. The unsteady inter-porosity flow manner reduces the classical
matrix-fracture (V-shaped) response for dual media reservoir and reduces the
classical matrix-vug-fracture (W-shaped) response for triple media reservoir.

Fig. 10. Type curves of triple media reservoir under infinite boundary.

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UNSTEADY INTER-POROSITY FLOW FOR MULTIPLE MEDIA 249

Fig. 11. Type curves of triple media reservoir affected by fluid capacitance coeffi-
cient.

Figure 11 shows the shape characteristics affected by fluid capacitance


coefficient of vug subsystem, v , and fluid capacitance coefficient of matrix
subsystem, m . The bigger the v , the deeper the first concave on the left.
The bigger the m , the deeper the second concave on the right.
The calculated new type curves can be applied to well testing analysis by
use of type curves matching method (Bourdet 2002, Zheng et al. 2003) to
judge flow characteristics in real reservoir and obtain reservoir property pa-
rameters, such as permeability, skin factor.

6. APPLICATION
There is a pressure buildup testing well of carbonate reservoir. The testing
time is 19 June through 3August 2008. The curve of wellbore flow pressure,
pwf, with shutting-down time, t, is shown as Fig. 12. Formation and well
parameters are shown in Table 1. The matching curves of well testing inter-
pretation are shown as Fig. 13. Well test interpretation parameters are shown
in Table 2. Three main flow stages can be observed: (i) Stage I, wellbore
storage and skin effect stage; (ii) Stage II, inter-porosity flow stage of vug
subsystem to fracture subsystem; and (iii) Stage III, inter-porosity flow stage
of matrix subsystem to fracture subsystem. The curve of the field data is flat
concave. We graphed the well testing interpretation using unsteady inter-
porosity flow modeling of triple media reservoir. The theoretical predictions
and the real data match well (see curve in Fig. 13). However, the classical
pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow modeling of triple media reservoir deviates

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250 R.-S. NIE et al.

35

30

25
pwf(MPa)

20

15

10
0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400
t(h)
Fig. 12. Curve of buildup pressure with shutting-down time.

Fig. 13. Matching curves of well test interpretation.

from the real data substantially (see curve in Fig. 13). This new modeling
and estimation strategy is a new tool to petroleum engineers for evaluating
reservoir properties and will predict the engineering condition more accu-
rately. Therefore, for a reservoir that yields flat concave curves like real data
used in our example, we recommend using the unsteady inter-porosity flow
modeling. On the other hand, for very distinct V-shaped or W-shaped con-
cave of real data like the examples in Wu et al. (2004, 2007), we should
choose the pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow modeling.

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UNSTEADY INTER-POROSITY FLOW FOR MULTIPLE MEDIA 251

Table 1
Formation and well parameters

h Ct rw q tp
e B
[m] [MPa1] [m] [mPas] [m3/d] [h]
50.32 0.0366 0.00021 0.08 1.58 1.03 12.94 15 840

Explanations: h formation thickness, e effective porosity, Ct total compres-


sibility, rw well radius, oil viscosity, B oil volume factor, q average oil rate
before shutting-in, tp production time before shutting-in.

Table 2
Well testing interpretation parameters
kf Cs
modeling S f v m v m
[103m2] [m3/MPa]
unsteady 23.74 0.0053 1.6 0.01 0.16 0.83 0.00014 0.000003
pseudo-
23.82 0.0053 0.9 0.22 0.33 0.45 0.00023 0.000006
steady
Explanations: kf permeability, Cs wellbore storage coefficient, S skin factor,
f fluid capacitance coefficient of fracture subsystem, v fluid capacitance coef-
ficient of vug subsystem, m fluid capacitance coefficient of matrix subsystem,
v inter-porosity flow factor of vug subsystem to fracture subsystem, m inter-
porosity flow factor of matrix subsystem to fracture subsystem.

7. CONCLUSIONS
We established and solved a model of unsteady inter-porosity flow and
applied it to a set of real data. We summarize the findings in the following:
Ideal spherical shape in matrix blocks and vugs and centrifugal flow are
assumed in our new modeling, so the fluid flow has an unsteady inter-
porosity flow behavior.
Type curves are dominated by inter-porosity flow factor, external bound-
ary conditions and fluid capacitance coefficient, etc. Different parameters
have different influences on type curves.
The V-shaped type curves are flattened due to the unsteady inter-porosity
flow manner, unlike the V-shaped convex curves in the classical multiple
media reservoir modeling.
Successful field data application reveals the unsteady inter-porosity flow
modeling would be better than the classical pseudo-steady inter-porosity
flow modeling when we encounter a flat concave of real data like the ex-
ample in this paper.

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252 R.-S. NIE et al.

A c k n o w l e d g m e n t s . The authors would like to thank anonymous re-


viewers and editors. They thoroughly reviewed the manuscript and their crit-
ical comments were very helpful in preparing this paper.
The authors would like to especially thank the Dr. Chen-Yu Yang from
Economics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA. He tho-
roughly checked the writing and polished the English.

APPENDIXES
A. Dimensionless mathematical modeling

For unsteady inter-porosity flow modeling


Governing differential equations
Governing equations of fracture subsystem in radial cylindrical system:
for dual porosity media reservoir
2 pfD 1 pfD m pmD f pfD
+ 2S rmD =1 = ,
rfD rfD rfD 5e rmD TD
2 2S
CD e

TD = tD CD ,

for triple porosity media reservoir

2 pfD 1 pfD m pmD v pvD f pfD


+ 2S rmD =1 rvD =1 = .
rfD rfD rfD 5e rmD rvD TD
2 2S 2S
5e CD e

Governing equations of matrix subsystem in radial spherical coordinate sys-


tem:
2 pmD 2 pmD 15m pmD
+ = (0 < rmD < 1) .
rmD 2
rmD rmD m CD TD

Governing equations of vug subsystem in radial spherical coordinate system:

2 pvD 2 pvD 15v pvD


+ = (0 < rvD < 1) .
rvD 2 rvD rvD v CD TD

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UNSTEADY INTER-POROSITY FLOW FOR MULTIPLE MEDIA 253

Inner boundary conditions


Well production at a constant rate
dpfD p
rfD fD rfD =1 =1 .
dTD rfD

At the center of matrix block


pmD
rmD = 0 = 0 .
rmD

At the center of vug


pvD
rvD = 0 = 0 .
rvD

External boundary conditions


Infinite reservoir
lim pfD = 0 (infinite) .
rfD

Constant pressure boundary


pfD rfD = ReD = 0 (constant pressure) .

Closed boundary
pfD
rfD = ReD = 0 (closed) .
rfD

At spherical surface of matrix block, the matrix pressure is equal to the frac-
ture pressure
pmD ( rmD , tD ) rmD = r1 D = pfD .

At spherical surface of vug, the vug pressure is equal to the fracture pressure
pvD ( rvD , tD ) rvD = r2 D = pfD .

Initial conditions
pfD TD = 0 = p mD TD = 0 = pvD TD = 0 = 0 .

For pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow modeling


The governing differential equations in radial cylindrical system:

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254 R.-S. NIE et al.

Dual porosity media reservoir


2 pfD 1 pfD p
+ + m e 2 S ( pmD pfD ) = f e 2 S fD ,
rD 2
rD rD t D

pmD
m e 2 S ( pmD pfD ) = m e 2 S .
t D

Triple porosity media reservoir


2 pfD 1 pfD 1 2 pfD p
+ + 2 + m e2 S ( pmD pfD ) + v e2 S ( pvD pfD ) = f e2 S fD ,
rD 2
rD rD hD zD 2
tD

pmD
m e 2 S ( pmD pfD ) = m e 2 S ,
t D

pvD
v e 2 S ( pvD pfD ) = v e 2 S .
t D

B. Dimensionless definitions

For unsteady inter-porosity flow modeling


The dimensionless definitions are as follows:
dimensionless fracture pressure
pfD = 0.2kf h ( pi pf ) (qB ) ,

dimensionless matrix pressure


pmD = 0.2kf h ( pi pm ) (qB ) ,

the skin factor


S = 0.2kf hps (qB ) ,

here ps is the additional pressure drop,


dimensionless radius based on effective radius

rD = rf (rw e S ) ,

spherical geometric shape factor (De Swaan 1976, Rangel-German et al.


2005)
m = 15 / r12 ;

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UNSTEADY INTER-POROSITY FLOW FOR MULTIPLE MEDIA 255

inter-porosity flow factor of matrix subsystem to fracture subsystem


2
km r k
m = 0.1 m rw 2
= 1.5 w m .
kf r1 kf
Dual porosity media reservoir
dimensionless wellbore storage coefficient

CD = Cs 0.21hrw 2 (f Cft + m Cmt ) ,

dimensionless time for dual media reservoir

tD = kf t rw 2 (f Cft + m Cmt ) ,

fluid capacitance coefficient of fracture subsystem


f = f Cft (f Cft + m Cmt ) ,

fluid capacitance coefficient of matrix subsystem


m = m Cmt (f Cft + m Cmt ) .

Triple porosity media reservoir


dimensionless wellbore storage coefficient for triple media reservoir

CD = Cs 0.21hrw 2 (f Cft + m Cmt + v Cvt ) ,

dimensionless time for triple media reservoir

tD = kf t rw 2 (f Cft + m Cmt + v Cvt ) ,

inter-porosity flow factor of vug subsystem to fracture subsystem


2
rw k v
v = 1.5 ,
r2 kf

fluid capacitance coefficient of fracture subsystem


f = f Cft (f Cft + m Cmt + v Cvt ) ,

fluid capacitance coefficient of matrix subsystem


m = m Cmt (f Cft + m Cmt + v Cvt ) ,

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fluid capacitance coefficient of vug subsystem


v = v Cvt (f Cft + m Cmt + v Cvt ) .

For pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow modeling


All dimensionless definitions of pseudo-steady inter-porosity flow modeling
are the same as those of unsteady inter-porosity flow modeling, except:
inter-porosity flow factor of matrix subsystem to fracture subsystem
km
m = 0.1 m rw 2 ,
kf

inter-porosity flow factor of vug subsystem to fracture subsystem


kv
v = 0.1 v rw 2 .
kf

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Received 5 January 2011


Received in revised form 5 July 2011
Accepted 15 July 2011

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