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SUMMARY: the psudopressure function is well understood and widely used for analyzing gas well

drawdown and builduo data. The usefulness of the pseudotime function for anayzing buildup data

with drawdown type curses has also been established. Unfortunately, the pseudotime concept is

often incorrectly applied when drawdown data are analyzed by semilog methods. This work provides

information on appropriate definitions of dimensionless time that yield accurate analysis of data

obtained under radial flow conditions. From the practical viewpoint, the most important result is that

two Homer time ratios exist—one based on a normalized shut-in time and one based on shut-in.

pseudotime-that yield an accurate analysis of buildup data, including the correct determination of

average pressure using the liquid Matthews-Brons-Hazebroek (MBH) functions.

INTRODUCCTION

The classic work of A1-Hussainy (et al. 1) established the applicability of the real-gas pseudopressure

function for analyzing gas well drawdown and buildup data. Mathematically, the introduction of the

real-gas pseudopressure may be viewed as an attempt to account for variations in the product of

viscosity and z factor, (uz), which occurs in the nonlinear partial differential equation governing the

flow of a real gas in a porous medium. Thus, conceptually, pressure drawdown or buildup data can

be analyzed accurately with the real-gas pseudopressure function for-cases where large variations in

the (uz) product render the pressure-squared method of analysis tenuous or where the variation in

pressure divided by (uz) is too large to analyze data by the pressure method.

Refs. 1 through 4 examine the analysis of gas well pressure data obtained under radial flow conditions

with the real-gas pseudopressure function. For cases where non-Darcy flow effects are negligible, the

results of Refs. 1 through 4 include the following.

1. Transient drawdown data can be analyzed accurately by plotting Ppwf VS.t .

2. Buildup data can be analyzed accurately by plotting Ppwf vs the standard Horner time ratio

[(t+ At)/At] provided that the producing rate before shut-in is not too high. If the producing rate

before shut-in is high, the semilog slope on a Homer plot of buildup data may be approximately

10% higher than the “correct” slope (see Fig.10 Ref. 2).

3. If the producing time is long, then the standard MBH functions based on Iiquid solutions cannot

be used to obtain a reliable estimate of average pressure.

Here, a long producing time t means t>=tpss, where tpss, is the time at which pseudosteady-state

flow would begin for the corresponding liquid case if production were at a constant rate. A short

producing time means t< tpss. Refs.3, 7, and 8 proposed corrections to the MBH method to render

the method applicable to gas reservoirs. The chief disadvantage of these “corrected MBH methods”

is that they require knowledge of the initial reservoir pressure. For either the liquid or gas case, the

average pressure can be estimated from material-balance calculations if initial pressure is known.

The key advantage the MBH method has over material-balance calculations is that it does not require

knowledge of the initial pressure. Recognizing this fact, Kazemi presented a procedure for obtaining

and estimate of average reservoir pressure from gas well buildup data. His method does not require

knowledge of initial pressure. In essence, Kazemi’s procedure combines a material-balance

calculation with standard semilog analysis to find tpss and uses tpss as the producing time. His

method is predicated on the assumption that standard semilog analysis procedures, in-building the

MBH method, will yield accurate results when t<tpss. For a few simulator examples we have tried, we

have, found that Kazemi’s method yields reliable result. The main disadvantage of his method is that

it requires an iterative procedure.

As is well known, the pseudopressure function removes the nonlinearity in the gas flow equation that

is a result of variations in the (uz) product. When pseudopressure is used in the partial differential

equation representing gas flow, however, the equation is still nonlinear because it involves the

viscosity/compressibility product, (uct) which is a function of pressure. The pseudotime function

introduced by Agarwal is often viewed as an attempt to linearize the gas-flow equation completely by

properly accounting for variations in (uct). Strictly speaking, this viewpoint is incorrect and it leads to

the inference that pseudotime should always be used when pressure data from gas well tests are

analyzed. As shown in this work, pseudotime should not be used when drawdown data are analyzed

by semilog methods. (Finjond has given a theoretical indication of the validity of this result.) It is

important to realize that the preceding conclusion does not contradict the results of either Agarwal or

Lee and Holditch. Agartwal showed that pseudotirne should be used when buildup data from fractured

gas wells are analyzed with fractured-well type curves based on drawdown solutions: Lee and

Holditch established that if wellbore storage effects are significant, then gas well pressure data (either

drawdown - or buildup) can be analyzed accurately with liquid wellbore storage and skin type curves,

provided that data are plotted in terms of pseudopressure and pseudotime.

Scott has also presented a procedure for analyzing buildup data from fractured gas wells.

Conceptually, Scott’s procedure is similar to that of Agarwal’s in that it attempts to account for

variations in PC. However, Scott used a normalized shut-in time as opposed to Agarwal’s pseudotime.

Athough Scott’s work on normalized time and Agarwal’s work on pseudotime appeared in 1979, to

the best of our knowledge no one has presented detailed results regarding the applicability of these

times to drawdown and buildup tests conducted under radial flow conditions. This paper presents

results regarding the analysis of gas well drawdown and buildup tests by use of semilog methods. We

show, how the time scales should be defined to optimize the accuracy of the analysis. Most important,

we show that two Horner time ratios exist that can be used to obtain a highly, accurate analysis of

gas well buildup data, including an accurate determination of average pressure with the liquid MBH

functions.

MATHEMATICAL MODEL:

We consider the single-phase isothermal flow of a real gas to a well located in the center of a

cylindrical reservoir of uniform thickness. The top, bottom, and outer boundaries are closed, no fluid

flows across these boundaries. The well is produced at a constant rate. After the producing period,

the rate is set to zero to simulate pressure buildup. Pressure is initially uniform throughout the

reservoir. The total interval of the well adjacent to the formation is open to flow (perforated). Under

these assumption, plane radial flow occurs and the partial differential equation describing gas flow is

one-dimensional. For the results considered here, non - Darcy flow effects are negligible. Except for

the second example considered, wellbore storage effects are also neglected. A skin zone is simulated

by use of Hawkins’ formula. Except for the variation in permeability as a result of the presence of a

skin zone, the reservoir is assumed to be homogeneous. The results presented here were obtained

by solving the associated initial-boundary-value problem for pressure with a numerical model similar

to the one discussed in Refs, 2 and 4.

DRAWDOWN RESULTS

Here, the pressure response as a red of constant-rate production, is examined. We consider the

response both at early times and at late times. In this work, early time refers to any time such that

taD<1, and late time refers to any time such that taD>=1. Thus, transient flow occurs at early times,

and the wellbore pressure is influenced by the no-flow outer boundary at late times.

Transient FLOW: The semilog analysis of gas well drawdown data is based on the assumption that

the dimensionless gas solution plotted appropriately can be correlated with the dimensionIess liquid

solution. In particular, accurate semilog analysis of drawdown gas well pressure data will be possible

only if the dimensionless gas solution displays a semilog straight line of slope 1.151.

Fig. 1 presents a semilog graph of PpwD vs. three different dimensionless times, tD, tAD, and TnD

for a high-production-rate case, qD =0.1. For the problem considered here, taD=0.1 corresponds co

tD=2 ,83 x 10^6, so the results shown in Fig. 1 are not affected by the outer reservoir boundarv. As

Fig. 1 shows. the slope of the semilog straight line obtained depends on which dimensionless time is

used. When ppwD is plotted vs. tAD or tnD, the semilog slope is approximately 7% higher than the

correct value (1.151) and the semilog straight line is displaced above the corresponding liquid solution,

which is represented by solid circular data points on Fig. 1. The semilog plot of ppwD vs. tD displays

a SemilOg slope of 1.150 and correlates well with the liquid solution. Given field data corresponding

to the solution in Fig. 1, the results indicate that accurate estimates of the flow capacity and the skin

factor can be obtained by plotting ppwf vs. c, whereas if pseudotime or normalized time were used in

the semilog analysis, the flow capacity, kh, would be underestimated by 7% and the estimate of the

skin factor would be about 0.5 above the correct value. While these errors are not great, the important

point is that use of the actual time, t, in the semilog analysis will always yield more accurate results

than pseudotime, tA, or normalized time, tn. This is a general conclusion based on many computations

and is not restricted to the results shown in Fig. 1. [If the variation in uc, during drawdown is negligible

so that t/(pct); = tA = tn, all three times will, of course, yield virtually identical results.]

For the solution shown in Fig. 1, (uct) e/(uct)i =2.5, where (uct), denotes uct, evaluated at the wellbore

pressure at tD= 10^6, Thus, the wellbore value of uct varies significantly during the transient flow

period, yet the use of pseudotime and normalized time, which are designed to account for variations

in uct, will yield incorrect estimates of kh, whereas the use of actual time, t, which ignores variations

in uct,will yield the correct value of kh.

The general conclusion illustrated by fig. 1 does not contradict the results of Lee and Holditch, who

showed that pseudotime should be used when wellbore-storage-dominated gas well data are

analyzed with liquid wellbore storage and skin type curves. This can be seen by considering the

results of Fig. 2, which presents a log-log plot of pPwD vs. the three dimensionless times, tD, tnD,

and tAD. The results are for a case where qD =0.1, s=O, reD=6000, and CgD=10^3. CgD represents

the dimensionless wellbore storage coefficient defined by Lee and Holditch for gas wells.

The solid curve in Fig. 2 represents the corresponding liquid solution of Agarwal et al, for s=0 and

cD= 10^3, where cD is the dimensionless wellbore storage coefficient for the liquid case. Note that

for the time range where corresponding field data would be analyzed by type-curve matching (tD

<105), the correlation between the gas and liquid solutions is best when the gas solution is plotted in

terms of dimensionless pseudotime, tAD. At later times (tD > 105), however, the correlation is best

when the gas solution is plotted vs. tD. Thus, we expect that semilog analysis, of these data will be

most accurate when it is based on tD. Fig. 3 presents a dimensionless semilog plot of the data of Fig.

2. As indicated in Fig. 3, the best semilog slope (closest to 1.15 1) is obtained when data are plotted

in terms of tD. The results of Figs. 2 and 3 illustrate our conclusion that pseudotime should be used

when wellbore-storage- dominated drawdown. data are analyzed by type-curve matching, but semilog

analysis should be based on the actual flowing time because the wellbore response is controlled by

the reservoir parameters within the radius of investigation, and the viscosity compressibility product

at the radius of investigation is approximately equal to (uct)i at any time during transient flow. This

interpretation is discussed in more detail later.

Long-Time Response: Here, we briefly consider the time period during which the wellbore pressure

is influenced by the no-flow outer boundary. If ppwD could be correlated with the liquid solution dining

this time period, then pnwD would be given by:

The results of Ref. 1 indicate that for large values of taD, Eq. 26 is incorrect; The results of Fig. 4

indicate that we cannot correct Eq. 26 by replacing taD by tA& or tAaD. In Fig. 4. the solid line

represents the liquid pseudosteady-state solution given by the right side of Eq. 26. The data points

represent a Cartesian plot ppwD vs. taD (circles), tAaD (triangles), and tnaD (squares). Note that the

gas solution correlates best with the liquid solution when pPwD is plotted vs. ta. The behavior of the

ppwD-vs.-tnaD plot (square data points) is interesting because it indicates that eventually tnaD is a

decreasing function of time. This results because the wellbore value of uc, is increasing faster than t

at very late times (see Eq. 8).

A careful examination of the results of Fig. 4 indicates that there is a period of time when the graph

of pPwD vs. taD correlates with the liquid solution–i.e., a period of time when Eq. 26 is satisfied.

Specifically, the numerical results indicate that the error in Eq. 26 is less than 1% for 0.07 <=taD<=0.3.

The preceding time interval may represent many hours of actual time. For example, if taD =0.07

corresponds to t=25 hours, then taD=0.3 correspons to t=107 hours, so there will be a long period of

time when the gas solution exhibits pseudosteady-state flow (Eq. 26). The preceding conclusion is

general; i.e., there is always a period of time when Eq. 26 is valid (see Ref. 22). when Eq. 26 is valid,

a, Cartesian plot of ppwf vs.t (hours) will exhibit a straight line of slope m1= 2.358 qT/[(ctu)ioah] and

the reservoir PV, oah, can be estimated from the slope m1 (see Ref. 21). Thus, our results indicate

that reservoir PV (reserves) can be estimated as in the liquid case by reservoir limit testing. Refs. 23

and 24 suggest different methods for estimating reserves in gas reservoirs.

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