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1.

Explain the concept of Nodal Analysis

2. List 4 segments in the reservoir/well system where pressure

loss occurs.

3. Define the following terms: inflow performance curve,

outflow performance curve, system graph, solution node


How Wells Flow
Basic Well Schematic
Annulus flow control valve

Annulus head pressure (AHP)


Casing

Tubing Tubing flow control valve

Annulus Tubing head Pressure (THP)

Packer

Reservoir
How Wells Flow
Fundamental Rules

THP AHP

Rule 1
• Fluid flows in direction of reducing pressure

– If Pbh < Pres fluid will flow from the reservoir > well
• Pressure difference between reservoir > well

– Known as the drawdown

Note: BHP is the more common acronym for


Pbh Pres
“Bottom Hole Pressure”
How Wells Flow
Fundamental Rules

THP AHP

There will be a pressure difference (Hydrostatic Head)


between two points in a static fluid column.

dP = Density of fluid (psi / ft)  height between points (ft)

If we know the THP and fluid density:


• Can calculate static pressure at any depth
• Plot on a Pressure vs Depth diagram

Pbh Pres
How Wells Flow
Pressure – Depth Diagram

Pressure In reality:
THP AHP The reservoir pressure dictates
SITHP
the shut-in THP

SITHP = Pressure - Fluid column hydrostat


head

For flowing well simulations:


Depth
• Split the system at the reservoir /
wellbore interface
• Predict wellbore pressures from
surface down

Pbh = Pres
Pbh Pres
How Wells Flow
Pressure – Depth Diagram

Pressure
THP AHP If we open the tubing flow control valve:
SITHP
…and if the pressure in the flowline /
vessel downstream < SITHP.
• Since fluid flows in the direction of
reducing pressure
D • Well fluids will flow into the
e flowline
p
t
h If we assume the pressure difference between the
wellhead and the bottom hole is constant
• Pbh will fall

• fluid will flow continuously from the reservoir to


the wellbore

Pbh = Pres
Pbh Pres
How Wells Flow
Pressure – Depth Diagram

Pressure
THP AHP
SITHP Once the well starts to flow the pressure
difference between the wellhead and the
bottom hole will not be constant.
It changes due to:
• Fluid friction ( a function of rate)
D
e
p
t • Free gas fraction (a
h function of pressure / temp)

Pbh Pres
Pbh Pres
How Wells Flow
Quantifying Well Flow Performance

For a given:

• Fluid composition
• FTHP
• Tubing geometry
Depth
We can predict the FBHP at a number
Q1 2 3 of production rates Q1, 2 and 3.
Pressure
Q1

We can then plot FBHP vs Rate.


Rate
This is known as the Tubing
2

Performance Curve (TPC) or Vertical


3

Lift Performance (VLP)


Flowing bottom hole pressure, psi

Production rate, STB/D


Flowing bottom hole pressure, psi

Production rate, STB/D


Flowing bottom hole pressure, psi

Production rate, STB/D


Flowing wellhead pressure, psi

Production rate, STB/D


Flow Rate
Absolute Permeability
Relative Permeability
Viscosity
Net Pay Thickness
Drainage Area
Drainage Area Shape
Location of Wellbore
How Wells Flow
Quantifying Well Flow Performance

Tubing Performance Curve (TPC)


PRes
FBHP

Inflow Performance Relationship (IPR)

SOLUTION POINT – WELL WILL PRODUCE AT THIS RATE

Rate
How Wells Flow
Quantifying Well Flow Performance
Impact of
Reducing FTHP
Decrease THP by opening
PRes choke or reducing Psep
FBHP

PRODUCTION BENEFIT FROM REDUCING FTHP IPR

Rate
How Wells Flow
Quantifying Well Flow Performance
Tubing Size
Changes
If the tubing size is increased
for the same:
• Range of production rates
Depth • Fluid types
• FTHP
Q1 2 3 We can predict a different set of
Pressure FBHP’s
Q1

Rate We can then plot FBHP vs rate, and


get a new tubing performance curve.
2
3
How Wells Flow
Quantifying Well Flow Performance
Impact of Increasing
3 / ” tubing
1
Tubing Size
2

5 1/2” tubing
P Res
FBHP

IPR

PRODUCTION BENEFIT FROM INCREASING TUBING SIZE

Q (3 1/2”) Q (5 1/2”)
Rate
How Wells Flow
Quantifying Well Flow Performance
Impact of stimulation to
reduce skin
P Res TPC

Improved IPR
(SKIN = 0)
FBHP

IPR (SKIN = 10)

PRODUCTION BENEFIT FROM REDUCING SKIN

Rate
Summary
Nodal Analysis Basic Concepts
• Wells flow in the direction of reducing pressure Q = P x PI
– Critical to understand reservoir and well pressure gradients
– Affected by rate, pressure and temperature
– Well flow performance is depicted on inflow / out flow plots

• Inflow Performance is governed by:


• Reservoir pressure
• Reservoir quality (permeability and thickness of payzone)
• Completion efficiency (or skin)
• Relative permeability (change in permeability as water production starts)

• Vertical Lift Performance is governed by:


• Tubing head pressure
• Tubing size
• Fluid properties (GOR, gravity, viscosity)
• Well depth

• Artificial Lift determines the maximum well potential


• different levels of drawdown achieved depending upon method employed
Flow rate
Net pay thickness
Perforated interval
Shot density
Horizontal permeability
Vertical permeability
Drilling fluid damage
Viscosity
References

1. Mach, Joe, Proano, Eduardo, and Brown, Kermit E.: "A Nodal Approach
for Applying Systems Analysis to the Flowing and Artificial Lift Oil or Gas
Well," paper SPE 8025, 1979.