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SEMILOG ANALYSIS OF GAS WELL DRAWDOWN AND BUILD UP DATA

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.