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Analytical assessment of horizontal well efciency with reference to improved oil

recovery of the South-East Dragon oil eld southern offshore of Vietnam


N.M. Quy
a
, P.G. Ranjith
b,
, S.K. Choi
c
, P.H. Giao
d
, D. Jasinge
b
a
Technology Research and Development Dept, Vietnam Petroleum Institute, Vietnam
b
Rock Mechanics Division, Monash University, Australia
c
CSIRO Petroleum, Clayton, Australia
d
AIT, Thailand
a b s t r a c t a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history:
Received 31 January 2007
Accepted 25 December 2008
Keywords:
horizontal well
vertical well
oil recovery
production rate
efciency
well length
Nowadays, improved oil recovery (IOR) becomes much needed in eld development planning, and is one of
the main concerns for engineers in many reservoir management projects. Among IOR methods, horizontal
wells have been widely applied in the world, and proved to be a promising technique. However, prudence is
required in order to ensure maximum economic benet in applying the technology.
In this study, the applicability of horizontal well in the South-East Dragon eld, which is a small fractured
basement reservoir in the southern offshore of Vietnam, was assessed. An overview of the SE Dragon
reservoir characteristics was provided. The potential performance of horizontal wells was analyzed using
analytical approaches, and the performance was compared with that predicted for vertical wells. Sensitivity
study was conducted to investigate the effect of horizontal well length on well performance. The results of
this study showed that, instead of a 350 m vertical well, drilling of a 400 m horizontal well at the same
location could produce an additional 3,658,166 bbl of oil after 20 years. The efciency increased
proportionally with horizontal well length. The actual production rate can however be lower than predicted
because of the assumptions used in the analysis.
2009 Published by Elsevier B.V.
1. Introduction
Horizontal wells have been successfully applied to enhance
production from steeply dipping reservoir (Gangle et al., 1995) and
heavy oil reservoirs (Catania, 2000). Horizontal wells can provide
signicant improvement of production over vertical wells (Soliman
and Boonen, 1999). However, success in applying the technology
requires careful consideration of a number of factors. Some of these
factors have been discussed by, for example, Zhang et al. (2006).
Gangle et al. (1995) compared the eld results of horizontal wells
with the conventional wells in a steeply dipping Stevens sand
reservoir in the Elk Hills eld in California. They observed higher
rates, lower draw downs, and lower gas/oil ratio which will extend
the life of the project and result in higher recovery. Catania (2000)
compared the actual cumulative and daily oil production with the
predicted values from the Joshi's equation. According to their results,
shorter wells (b1000 m) showed average daily production closer to
actual values, whereas long wells (N1000 m) showed predicted results
higher than observed. An increase of the percentage difference was
observed in daily production and cumulative productionwith increase
in well length (20% to 40% and 70% to 130% respectively). Predicted
and actual oil production observed showed a signicant divergence
after 24 months of production. The discrepancy between predicted
and observed results could be due to signicant pressure drop along
the well due to the high viscosity of the heavy oil being produced.
Soliman and Boonen (1999) discussed the fracturing in horizontal
wells. With the use of basic rock mechanics principles, reservoir
engineering and operational strategies, transverse and longitudinal
fractures in horizontal wells have been discussed. Also, they outlined
the advantages and disadvantages of each type (transverse and
longitudinal) of fractures.
Stability of boreholes is quite important to gain the advantage of
horizontal wells. Zhang et al. (2006) developed a wellbore model
based on dual-porosity poroelasticity theory taking into account the
impact of solid deformation and uid ow. According to their studies,
the stress concentration and stability of horizontal wells strongly
depend upon the in situ stress regime and direction of drilling.
This work mainly focuses on the analytical assessment of
horizontal well efciency in comparison to conventional wells, with
special reference to potential improvement in oil recovery from the
South-East Dragon oil eld in the southern offshore of Vietnam. The
South-East Dragon eld is a small fractured basement reservoir
located in the Cuu Long Basin, offshore of southern Vietnam, about
20 km to the south of White Tiger eld (Fig. 1). It was put on
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 66 (2009) 7582
Corresponding author.
E-mail address: ranjith.pg@eng.monash.edu.au (P.G. Ranjith).
0920-4105/$ see front matter 2009 Published by Elsevier B.V.
doi:10.1016/j.petrol.2008.12.020
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
j our nal homepage: www. el sevi er. com/ l ocat e/ pet r ol
production in 1996, and it is now at the development phase with six
vertical wells, including ve production and one injection wells
(Vietsovpetro, 1999). A full eld development planning is required to
obtain an optimum production strategy. Horizontal well was
considered because of the many advantages in term of IOR. Horizontal
wells have higher productivity and pay contact per well compared to
vertical wells, thereby reducing the number of wells required to drain
the reservoir. Horizontal wells enable operators to take advantage of
highly heterogeneous reservoirs, especially those with fractures, or
water and gas coning problems (Joshi, 1991). To support the decision
of selection between conventional and horizontal well in the newwell
drilling program, an assessment of horizontal well efciency has to be
conducted. The main objectives of this study include a review of
existing analytical solutions of ow towards a horizontal well and
application of some suitable analytical solutions to the assessment of
horizontal well efciency through the study of the following
parameters: drainage area, productivity and cumulative oil production
of the well.
1.1. Drainage area
1.1.1. Drainage area of the vertical well
The original oil in place (OOIP), based on the drainage area of the
well, can be volumetrically calculated using (in SI unit), (Dake, 1978):
OOIP =
Ah/ 1 S
wi

B
o
1
where A is the drainage area (m
2
), h is the reservoir thickness (m), is
the porosity (fraction), S
wi
is the initial water saturation (fraction) and
B
0
is the oil formation volume factor (m
3
/m
3
).
For single-phase ow, another form of the material balance
equation that can be used to calculate OOIP is (Reisz, 1992):
OOIP =
N
t
P
1
Q
t
Q
i
_ _
R
F
2
where N
t
P
is the cumulative oil production (m
3
) at time t, Q
t
is the oil
rate (m
3
/day) at time t, Q
i
is the initial oil rate (m
3
/day) and R
F
is the
recovery factor (fraction).
From Eqs. (1) and (2), the drainage area of an existing vertical well
can be obtained:
A =
N
t
P
B
o
1
Q
t
Q
i
_ _
R
F
/h 1 S
wi

: 3
1.1.2. Drainage area of a horizontal well
If assuming the horizontal well drainage area is rectangular and in
a horizontal plane, then (Reisz, 1992):
(1) Rectangular width, a
h
, is equal to the width of the drainage area
of the vertical well, a
v
(2) The drainage length, b
h
, is equal to the horizontal well length, L,
plus drainage radius of the vertical well, r
ev
, at each end of the
horizontal wells.
Thus,
a
h
= a
v
b
h
= 2r
ev
+ L
:
_
4
Fig. 1. Location of the Dragon eld.
76 N.M. Quy et al. / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 66 (2009) 7582
1.2. Productivity of the wells
In this study, the reservoir is assumed to be producing under
pseudo-steady state condition, i.e. the average reservoir pressure will
decrease with time. The pseudo-steady state solution was used to
calculate the productivity of the vertical and horizontal wells.
1.2.1. Pseudo-steady state productivity of a vertical well
The pseudo-steady state productivity of a vertical well in oil eld
unit can be calculated using Eq. (5), (Dake, 1978):
J
v
=
7:08410
3
4h

k
x
k
y
_

o
B
o
ln
0:565

ab
p
r
w
0:75
_ _ 5
where J
v
is vertical well productivity (bbl/day/psi), k
x
is the
horizontal permeability (mD) in x direction, k
y
is the horizontal
permeability (mD) in y direction,
o
is the oil viscosity (cP), a and b
are drainage width and length (ft) and r
w
is the wellbore radius (ft).
1.2.2. Pseudo-steady state productivity of a horizontal well
For a horizontal well, there are several solutions available in the
literature to calculate the pseudo-steady state productivity such as:
Babu and Odeh's method (Babu and Odeh, 1988), Mutalik's method
(Mutalik et al., 1988), and Kuchuk's method (Kuchuk et al., 1988). Eqs.
(6)(18) were taken from the book Horizontal Well Technology by
Joshi (1991).
Kuchuk et al. (1988) expressed the horizontal well productivity by
Eq. (6), using approximate innite conductivity solution. Average
pressure value of the uniformux solution along the length of the well
was used to obtain the constant wellbore pressure.
J
h
=
k
h
h= 70:6
o

F + h= 0:5L

k
h
= k
v
_
s
x
6
where J
h
is horizontal well productivity (bbl/day/psi), F is a
dimensionless parameter which is a function of y
w
/2y
e
, x
w
/2x
e
, L/
4x
e
and (y
e
/x
e
)

k
x
= k
y
_
, x
w
is the distance from the horizontal well
mid-point to the closest boundary in the x direction, y
w
denotes the
distance from the horizontal well to the closest boundary in the y
direction, x
e
is half length of side of square drainage area in x direction
and y
e
is the half length of side of square drainage area in y direction,
k
h
is the horizontal permeability (mD) and k
v
is the vertical
permeability. Value s
x
can be calculated as follows:
s
x
= ln
r
w
h
_ _
1+

k
v
k
h
_ _
sin
z
w
h
_ _
_ _

k
h
k
v

2h
L
_ _
1
3

z
w
h
_ _
+
z
w
h
_ _
2
_ _
where L is the length of horizontal well (ft) and z
w
is the vertical
distance between the horizontal well and the bottom boundary.
Mutalik et al. (1988) expressed the horizontal well productivity by
Eq. (7). According to Mutalik et al. (1988), when the drainage area
ratio (2x
e
/2y
e
) is between 1 and 20, the shape factors and the
corresponding equivalent skin factors s
CA,h
for a horizontal well
should be used.
j
h
=
0:007078kh=
o
B
o

ln

AV=
p
r
w
_ _
A
0
+ s
f
+ s
m
+ s
CA;h
c
0
+ Dq
7
where s
m
is the mechanical skin factor (dimensionless), s
f
is the skin
factor of an innite conductivity fully penetrating fracture of length L,
s
f
=ln[L/(4r
w
)], s
CA,h
is the shape related skin factor, c' is the shape
factor conversion constant (1.386) and A' is the drainage area factor. A'
equals 0.75 for circular area and 0.738 for square (and rectangular)
drainage area.
Babu and Odeh (1988) used the method of separation of variables
and Fourier series to solve the governing 3D ow equation. The
solution for a horizontal well, which is of similar form to that for a
vertical well, is given by the following equation:
J
h
=
7:08410
3
b

k
x
k
y
_
B
o

o
ln
A
0:5
4
r
w
+ lnC
h
0:75 + S
r
_ _ 8
where A

is the horizontal well drainage area in the vertical plane


(ft
2
), C
h
is the shape factor of horizontal well and S
r
is the pseudo skin
factor due to fractional penetration. Among these methods, Babu and
Odeh's method was most often used by engineers to calculate the
productivity of a horizontal well.
The geometric factor C
h
can be calculated using the following
equationwhich is given in the original work of Babu and Odeh (1988):
lnC
h
= 6:28
a
h

k
y
k
x

1
3

x
o
a
+
x
o
a
_ _
2
_ _
ln sin
180
o
z
o
h
_ _
0:5ln
a
h

k
z
k
x
_ _
1:088
9
where x
o
and z
o
are positions of horizontal well in x and z direction,
respectively.
The pseudo skin factor, S
r
, can be calculated for the following two
different cases.
Case 1.
a

kx
p z
0:75 b

ky
p N N
0:75 h

kz
p
where k
z
is the permeability in z direction (mD).
S
r
= P
xyz
+ PV
xy
:
Here, P
xyz
component is a result of the degree of penetration (the
value of L/b), and the P'
xy
component is a result of the well in the xy
plane, and they are given by:
P
xyz
=
b
L
1
_ _
ln
h
r
w
+ 0:25ln
k
x
k
z
ln sin
180
o
z
h
_ _
1:84
_ _
10
P
0
xy
=
2b
2
Lh

k
z
= k
y
_
F
L
2b
_ _
+ 0:5 F
4y
mid
+ L
2b
_ _
F
4y
mid
L
2b
_ _ _ _ _ _
11
where y
mid
=0.5(y
1
+y
2
) and y
1
and y
2
are the coordinates of the two
ends of the horizontal well in the y direction.
F x = x 0:145 + lnx 0:137 x
2
_ _
Case 2.
b

ky
p z
1:33 a

kx
p N N
1:33 h

kz
p :
In this case:
S
r
= P
xyz
+ P
y
+ P
xy
where,
P
y
=
6:28b
2
ah

k
x
k
z
_
k
y
1
3

y
mid
b
+
y
2
mid
b
2
_ _
+
L
24b
L
b
3
_ _
_ _
12
and
P
xy
=
b
L
1
_ _
6:28a
h

k
z
= k
x
_
_ _
1
3

x
o
a
+
x
2
o
a
2
_ _
: 13
1.3. Cumulative oil production
1.3.1. Cumulative oil production of a horizontal well
The cumulative oil production of a horizontal well can be
calculated using the semi-analytical solution developed by Plahn
et al. (1987) for predicting horizontal well performance in solution gas
77 N.M. Quy et al. / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 66 (2009) 7582
drive reservoirs. Their graphical correlations of the average results are
as shown below for critical gas saturation between 6% and 10%
log N
D
=1:2504 0:3903 log t
D
4
_ _
0:1097 log t
D
4
_ _
2
For log t
D
4
V 1:9496
_ _
14
log N
D
= 1:6663 + 0:03701 log t
D
4
_ _
For log t
D
4
z 1:9469
_ _
15
where, t
D
: dimensionless producing time in oileld unit:
t
D
4
=
0:00633kk
roi
r
w
Lp
i
t
8/
oi
hx
3
e
16
where k
roi
is the relative permeability of oil at initial oil saturation, p
i
is
the initial pressure (psi) and
oi
is the initial oil viscosity (cP).
N
D
: dimensionless recovery
N
D
=
N
P
N
m
4100 17
where N
p
is the cumulative oil produced at time t.
N
m
: the original movable oil in place
N
m
=
2x
e

2
h/ S
oi
S
or

5:615B
oi
18
where S
oi
is the initial oil saturation (fraction), S
or
is the residual oil
saturation (fraction) and B
oi
is the initial oil formation volume factor
(RB/STB).
2. Analytical assessment of horizontal well efciency
In this study, the performance of a horizontal well will be analyzed
and compared with a particular existing vertical well in the SE Dragon
eld. The solutions are limited to a single phase systemwith constant
reservoir properties and without any compositional effect. Analysis
was conducted on a single well model with the assumptions that there
is no interaction between wells and the reservoir is producing under
pseudo-steady state condition, with no supplemental energy. The
parameters of an existing vertical well will be calculated and
compared to that of a proposed horizontal well, which is assumed
to be drilled at the same location with this vertical well. Both wells,
therefore, have the same initial reservoir conditions.
2.1. Reservoir characteristics
The South-East Dragon reservoir is a small reservoir with the size
of 8x7 km
2
, where the oil is produced from a naturally fractured
basement. The porosity of the basement rock is related to fractures
and cavities caused by, for example, cooling-crystallization, weath-
ering, hydrothermal action, and tectonic activities. Cavity and fracture
caused by hydrothermal action is an important porosity type of the
Dragon granitoid-basement reservoir (Vietsovpetro (2003, 2004)).
The fracturing and weathering characteristics of the basement rocks
vary over the area and depth of the eld. The model of the basement
rock can be described as a combination of two components:
(1) The matrix part is consolidated granitic and granodioritic
blocks with negligible porosity and permeability, i.e., bb1%,
Kbb0.1 mD.
(2) The main storage capacity includes large fractures, which were
developed by tectonic activities, the caverns and dense micro-
fractures due to hydrothermal activities, and they are devel-
oped along macro-fractures.
The maximum porosity is 10% and the minimum porosity is 0.1%.
The mean porosity is 1.6%. Porosity decreases with depth. High
porosities can only be found at a depth of 100200 m from the
basement surface. At greater depth, the rock is usually more intact
with low porosities.
The permeability of the basement rock varies from 5 to more than
1000 mD. The mean value is 209 mD. These values are obtained by
measurements on core samples taken from the existing wells.
The oil, gas and water samples had been taken from existing wells
for PVT analyses in the laboratory. The results show that the crude oil
has density of 852 kg/m
3
, and the saturation pressure (bubble point
pressure) is at 1160 psi.
2.2. Reservoir production status
The SE Dragon eld was discovered in 1994 by Vietsovpetro and
put on production from 1996. Five production wells, named as P1, P2,
P3, P4, and P5, were drilled and put on production during 19962000.
In 2001, an injector (I1) was drilled and put on operation for the
purpose of supplementing reservoir energy. The overall eld produc-
tion rate is given in Fig. 2. In 2000 when all ve wells were put on
production, the production rate increased to a peak of 610 m
3
/day.
Several well testing and well production analyses were conducted
for the production wells. The results of the well testing show that the
initial average reservoir pressure was 3973 psi. The formation damage
factor or skin factor varies from 0.197 to 1.854. The results of the well
testing are summarized in Table 1.
2.3. Field production data
The reservoir characteristic data required for analytical solutions
were collected and summarized in Table 2 (Vietsovpetro, 2004).
Fig. 2. Overall eld production rate.
78 N.M. Quy et al. / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 66 (2009) 7582
Among 5 existing production wells, the vertical well P1 is selected
for assessment because of its longest production history (It has been
producing oil continuously since 1998) with a relative stable
production rate (see Table 3), and its longest well length of about
350 m, compared to the others, is equal to the average thickness of the
SE Dragon eld.
Because the analytical solutions are limited to single-phase system
(no water injection), hence, only the production data of the well P1
during 1998 to 2000, when the reservoir was produced under natural
depletion, were used in this study.
2.3.1. Drainage area
2.3.1.1. Drainage area of the vertical well. The drainage area of an
existing vertical well can be obtained by Eq. (3). The recovery factor of
the SE Dragon eld up to the year 2020, the estimated abandonment
date of the reservoir under the natural depletion mode, was estimated
to be about 0.16 (Vietsovpetro, 2003). This number was used as the
recovery factor (R
F
) for well P1 in this study.
The production data of well P1 are taken from Table 3. Other
parameters required for calculation such as B
o
, , S
wi
are taken from
Table 2.
Thus, the drainage area of well P1 is:
A =
N
t
P
B
o
1
Q
t
Q
i
_ _
R
F
/h 1 S
wi

= 2; 998; 995m
2
32; 280; 909ft
2
_ _
:
If assuming the vertical well drainage area is rectangular then the
relationship between the dimensions of the rectangle (a
v
and b
v
) and
the permeability components (k
x
and k
y
) can be represented by the
following equation:
b
v
a
v
=

k
y
k
x

:
For a simple case when the permeability of the naturally fractured
reservoir in all directions is equal, k
x
=k
y
=k
z
, then well P1 can be
assumed to produce oil in a square area which has dimensions of:
a
v
= b
v
= sqrt A = 1; 732 m 5; 682ft :
The radius of the equivalent circular drainage area of the vertical
well is:
r
ev
= sqrt A= = 977 m 3; 206ft :
2.3.1.2. Drainage area of the horizontal well
2.3.1.2.0. For horizontal length of 400 m (1,312ft). From Eq. (4),
obtained:
a
h
= a
v
= 1; 732 m 5; 682ft
b
h
= 2r
ev
+ L = 2; 355 m 7725ft :
Drainage area:
A
h
= a
h
4b
h
= 4; 077; 565 m
2
43; 890; 547ft
2
_ _
:
Similar approach was applied for other horizontal well lengths. The
results of drainage area calculation are given in Table 4 and Fig. 3.
2.3.2. Productivity of the well
2.3.2.1. Pseudo-steady state productivity of the vertical well. The
pseudo-steady state productivity of a vertical well in oil eld unit was
calculated by using Eq. (5). The dimensions of the rectangular
Table 1
The well testing results of the Dragon Oil Field.
No Parameters No of measured
well
Measured
value range
Average
value
1 Initial reservoir pressure,
kg/cm
2
5 256.4319.9 274.8
2 Reservoir temperature, C 4 85.296.7 87.22
3 Geothermal gradient,
C/100 m
4 3.8 3.80
4 Oil production rate, m
3
/day 4 68.51316 456.10
5 Gas production rate,
10
3
m
3
/day
4 1.348.4 11.46
6 Gas oil ratio, m
3
/m
3
4 4124.1 26.01
7 Permeability, D 4 0.00550.9305 0.21
8 Skin factor 4 0.1971.854 0.57
Table 2
Reservoir data collected for analytical solutions.
Parameter Notation SI unit Oil eld unit
Average reservoir thickness h 350 m 1148 ft
Average reservoir porosity 0.016 0.016
Average reservoir permeability k 209 mD 209 mD
Initial reservoir pressure p
i
27.48 MPa 3984 psi
Oil formation volume factor B
o
1.46 m
3
/m
3
1.46 RB/STB
Initial oil saturation So
i
0.66 0.66
Irreducible water saturation Sw
i
0.34 0.34
Residual oil saturation So
r
0.31 0.31
Relative permeability of oil at initial
oil saturation
kr
oi
0.7 0.7
Skin factor S 0.57 0.57
Total compressibility C
t
3.510
3
MPa
1
5010
6
psi
1
Viscosity of oil at p
i

o
1.05 cp 1.05 cp
Wellbore radius r
w
0.1 m 0.33 ft
Table 3
Production history of well P1.
Date Oil rate Cum. oil Date Oil rate Cum. oil
11/30/1998 768.2 23,047.15 2/28/2001 504.3 504,215.3
12/31/1998 762.4 46,680.74 3/31/2001 457.6 518,401.4
1/31/1999 709.6 68,678.16 4/30/2001 395.7 530,270.9
2/28/1999 727.2 89,039.41 5/31/2001 504.3 545,905.5
3/31/1999 727.2 111,582.2 6/30/2001 469.2 559,980.1
4/30/1999 697.9 132,518.2 7/31/2001 446.3 573,816.6
5/31/1999 680.3 153,606.6 8/31/2001 451.6 587,814.9
6/30/1999 645.1 172,959.2 9/30/2001 439.8 601,009.9
7/31/1999 604 191,684.3 10/31/2001 439.8 614,644.6
8/31/1999 604 210,409.3 11/30/2001 428.1 627,487.7
9/30/1999 619.6 228,997.2 12/31/2001 422.2 640,577.1
10/31/1999 656.5 249,350.2 1/31/2002 451.6 654,575.4
11/30/1999 635.7 268,421.3 2/28/2002 457.4 667,383.3
12/31/1999 604 287,146.4 3/31/2002 424.1 680,531.3
1/31/2000 574.7 304,962.5 4/30/2002 510.2 695,837.4
2/29/2000 562.8 321,283.1 5/31/2002 452.4 709,860.4
3/31/2000 545.4 338,190.2 6/30/2002 424.9 722,606.1
4/30/2000 539.5 354,376 7/31/2002 543 739,440.5
5/31/2000 527.8 370,737.7 8/31/2002 586.4 757,620.2
6/30/2000 504.3 385,867.9 9/30/2002 576.7 774,920.2
7/31/2000 504.3 401,502.5 10/31/2002 586.4 793,099.9
8/31/2000 492.6 416,773.4 11/30/2002 574.7 810,341.3
9/30/2000 440.8 429,997.7 12/31/2002 572.4 828,084.7
10/31/2000 486.7 445,086.8 1/31/2003 568.8 845,719
11/30/2000 510.2 460,392.9 2/28/2003 563 861,482.5
12/31/2000 453.8 474,459.3 3/31/2003 537.2 878,135.1
1/31/2001 504.3 490,093.8 4/30/2003 574.7 895,376.5
5/31/2003 563 912,829
79 N.M. Quy et al. / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 66 (2009) 7582
drainage area (a and b) are taken from the previous result. Other
parameters needed for the calculation are taken from Table 3.
Thus, the productivity of the vertical well P1 is:
J
v
= 129 STB= day= psi:
2.3.2.2. Pseudo steady state productivity of the horizontal well. The
Babu and Odeh's method was used to calculate the productivity of a
horizontal well.
2.3.2.2.0. For a 400 m horizontal well. The results of drainage area
calculation show that a horizontal well with length L=1312 ft
(400 m) has a box-shaped drainage volume with dimensions of
a=5682 ft (1732 m), b=7725 ft (2355 m), and h=1148 ft (350 m).
For simplicity, the well location is assumed to be along the y direction
in the middle of the box, i.e., the well lies between y
1
=3206 ft
(977 m) to y
2
=4519 ft (1377 m). The x
o
and z
o
coordinates of the well
are 2840 ft (866 m) and 574 ft (175 m), respectively. Other parameters
needed for the calculation are taken from Table 2.
By substituting the required parameters to Eqs. (8)(13), the
productivity of a 400 m horizontal well was obtained:
J
h
=
7:08410
3
b

k
x
k
y
_
B
o
ln
A
0:5
v
r
w
+ lnC
h
0:75 + S
r
_ _ = 132 STB= day= psi:
Similar approach was applied for other horizontal well lengths. The
results are summarized in Table 5 and Fig. 4, respectively.
In the calculations, wellbore damage was ignored and permeability
is assumed to be isotropic. It was also assumed that the condition for
innite conductivity holds, i.e., the pressure drop along the well can be
ignored. However, the actual production length of the horizontal well
may be shorter than the physical length if the ow rate is very high.
2.3.3. Cumulative oil production
The cumulative oil production of the vertical well P1 and the
alternative case of horizontal well were calculated up to the year 2020
when it is estimated to be the end of the life of the reservoir under the
natural depletion mechanism.
2.3.3.1. Cumulative oil production of the vertical well. The OOIP can
be calculated using Eq. (1), where drainage area, A
v
, was obtained in
previous section, thus:
OOIP =
Ah/ 1 S
w

B
o
= 7; 591; 975m
3
:
At the abandonment time Q
t
=0, the cumulative oil production of
vertical well P1, from1998 up to 2020, can be calculated using Eq. (2):
N
p
= OOIP4R
F
= 1; 214; 716 m
3
or 7; 640; 334 STB :
2.3.3.2. Cumulative oil production of the horizontal well. The
cumulative oil production of the horizontal well over 22 years
(8030 days) was calculated in the same way as that for the vertical
well P1 by using Plahn's method (Eqs. (14) and (15)).
2.3.3.2.0. For a 400 m horizontal well. The Plahn's method is for
square drainage area so it is needed to transform the dimension of
Fig. 3. Drainage area calculation results.
Table 4
Results of drainage area calculations.
Drainage dimensions Drainage area, A A
H
/A
V
Width Length
SI unit
(m)
Oil eld unit,
(ft)
SI unit
(m)
Oil eld unit
(ft)
SI unit
(m)
2
Oil eld unit
(ft)
2
Vertical well 1732 5682 1732 5682 2,998,995 32,280,909
Horizontal well L=400 m 1732 5682 2355 7725 4,077,565 43,890,547 1.36
L=600 m 1732 5682 2555 8381 4,423,917 47,618,651 1.48
L=800 m 1732 5682 2755 9037 4,770,270 51,346,754 1.59
L=1000 m 1732 5682 2955 9693 5,116,622 55,074,857 1.71
L=1200 m 1732 5682 3155 10,350 5,462,974 58,802,960 1.82
L=1400 m 1732 5682 3355 11,006 5,809,326 62,531,063 1.94
L=1600 m 1732 5682 3555 11,662 6,155,678 66,259,166 2.05
L=1800 m 1732 5682 3755 12,318 6,502,030 69,987,269 2.17
L=2000 m 1732 5682 3955 12,974 6,848,382 73,715,372 2.28
80 N.M. Quy et al. / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 66 (2009) 7582
rectangular drainage area calculated in the previous section to that of
an equivalent square drainage area. Other data required for the
calculation are taken from Table 2.
The dimensionless producing time:
t
4
D
=
0:00633kk
roi
r
w
Lp
i
t
8/
oi
hx
3
e
= 0:002287:
The critical gas saturation of the SE Dragon eld is 7%, and:
logt
4
D
= 2:64b 1:9469:
The correlation given by Eq. (14) was used to calculate the
dimensionless recovery factor, N
D
.
Finally, one obtained:
N
D
= 32:8
N
m
=
2x
e

2
h/ S
oi
S
or

5:615B
oi
= 34; 427; 817 STB:
The cumulative oil production of horizontal well, N
P
:
N
p
= N
D
4N
m
= 100 = 11; 298; 500 STB or 1; 796; 318 m
3
_ _
:
Similar approach was applied for calculating the cumulative oil
production of the horizontal well with other well lengths. The results
are given in Table 6 and Fig. 5.
3. Results and discussion
Horizontal well can improve well productivity and consequently
oil recovery by a variety of mechanisms. The most basic mechanism is
the increased drainage area associated with the longer completion
interval of a horizontal well. The drainage area increases proportion-
ally with horizontal length (Table 4 and Fig. 3) when the pressure drop
along the well is not signicant. Fig. 4 shows that when length is
increased, A
H
/A
V
will keep on increasing. A 400 m horizontal well has
a drainage area of 1.36 times more than that of a 350 m vertical well,
while it is 2.28 for the 2000 m horizontal well. Because of the larger
drainage area of horizontal well, fewer wells are needed to achieve
similar eld efciency.
The productivity of the horizontal well increases proportionally
with length. As can be seen in Fig. 4 and Table 5, by increasing
horizontal well length from 400 to 2000 m, productivity could be
improved from 1.12 to 4.38 times that of a 350 m vertical well.
However, the actual rate of increase may decline when the well is very
long and/or the owrate is very high, and the pressure drop along the
well can no longer be ignored.
Having higher drainage area and higher productivity will conse-
quently increase the cumulative oil production of the horizontal well.
The efciency is also proportional to horizontal length. The results of
the calculation given inTable 6 and Fig. 5 showthat a 400 mhorizontal
well could give an additional oil recovery of 581,602 m
3
compared to a
350 m vertical well, while it is 2,201,474 m
3
for a 2000 m horizontal
well.
The analytical results might be considered to be optimistic because
the approach used a single well model with limitations of closed
drainage volume and single phase system. In reality, the production of
the well could be affected by a variety of rock properties, by multi-
phase ow related problems such as water coning and gas break
through, or by ow resistance in the well, which were not able to be
taken into account in the analytical approach. Neglecting the friction
loss of ow from reservoir to wellbore and along well length could
Table 5
Results of pseudo steady state productivity calculations.
Productivity, J J
H
/J
V
SI unit
(m
3
/day/kg/cm
2
)
Oil eld unit
(STB/day/psi)
Vertical well 298 129.76
Horizontal well L=400 m 303 131.48 1.02
L=600 m 442 191.73 1.49
L=800 m 574 249.09 1.95
L=1000 m 701 303.95 2.39
L=1200 m 822 356.59 2.81
L=1400 m 939 407.25 3.22
L=1600 m 1052 456.09 3.62
L=1800 m 1160 503.26 4.00
L=2000 m 1266 548.89 4.38
Table 6
Results of cumulative oil production calculations.
Cumulative oil
production, N
P
Incremental N
H
/N
V
SI unit
(m3)
Oil eld unit
(STB)
SI unit
(m3)
Oil eld unit
(STB)
Vertical well 1,214,716 7,640,334 0 0 -
Horizontal
well
L=400 m 1,796,318 11,298,500 581,602 3,658,166 1.48
L=600 m 2,048,236 12,883,015 833,520 5,242,681 1.69
L=800 m 2,268,691 14,269,637 1,053,975 6,629,303 1.87
L=1000 m 2,473,892 15,560,315 1,259,176 7,919,981 2.04
L=1200 m 2,670,422 16,796,446 1,455,706 9,156,112 2.20
L=1400 m 2,861,485 17,998,196 1,646,768 10,357,862 2.36
L=1600 m 3,048,836 19,176,599 1,834,120 11,536,265 2.51
L=1800 m 3,233,518 20,338,214 2,018,802 12,697,881 2.66
L=2000 m 3,416,190 21,487,187 2,201,474 13,846,853 2.81
Fig. 4. Well productivity calculation results.
81 N.M. Quy et al. / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 66 (2009) 7582
result in overestimation of well productivity and the drainage area of
the well. Also, wellbore damage is ignored in the calculations.
However, it is likely that the effect of damage on well productivity
for a horizontal well is smaller than for a vertical well because of the
lower rate of uid entry into the wellbore per unit length for a
horizontal well. On the other hand, the longer time that is required to
drill a horizontal well can lead to greater degree of formation damage.
Also, the horizontal well is located in a fractured basement reservoir.
Both of these factors may lead to a signicant reduction in the actual
producing length of the horizontal well.
4. Conclusions
From the result of this study, improved oil recovery in the SE
Dragon oil eld could be expected with the use of horizontal wells.
With a horizontal well length of 400 m, an additional 581,602 m
3
of oil
could be produced. The efciency of horizontal well will increase with
increase in length. However, there is practical limitation on the length
achievable due to the limitation of current drilling technology,
especially drilling in fractured basement rock. Taking also into account
the possible effect of very long well and high ow rate on friction loss
along the well on well productivity, a maximum horizontal length of
800 m is proposed as the most promising option for the SE Dragon
eld.
Acknowledgement
The rst author would like to thank the Asian Institute of
Technology (AIT) and Petrovietnamfor providing budget that enabled
him to pursue this study.
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Fig. 5. Cumulative oil production calculation results.
82 N.M. Quy et al. / Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 66 (2009) 7582