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Heriot-Watt University


Pressure Volume Temperature
Adrian C Todd
PVT - Scope
 Reservoir fluid analysis provides key data to
the petroleum engineer.
 Quality of the testing is important to ensure
realistic values used in design.
 Sample quality is the first quality issue.
PVT Analysis

 Provides data for field evaluation and design

 Reservoir calculations
 Well flow calculations
 Surface facilities
PVT Analysis

 Correlation between pressure and volume at

reservoir temperature.
 Various physical constants in reservoir
calculations; viscosity, density, compressibility.
 Effect of separator conditions on Bo & GOR. etc.
 Chemical composition of the volatile components.
PVT Analysis
 Scope of the analysis depends on the nature of the fluid.
 Dry gas:
 composition, specific gravity, Bg, z, and viscosity
 Wet gas:
 as above plus information on liquid drop out, quantities and
 Oil system:
 Bubble point pressure, composition of reservoir and
produced fluids, Bo, GOR, Bt and viscosity. All as function of
pressure. Co.
 Below Pb considerations.
PVT Analysis
 Gas condensate:
 Reflect wet gas and oil.
 Dew point pressure
 Compressibility above Pd.
 Impact of dropping below Pd

 Clearly the sample has to representative of

the reservoir contents or the drainage area.
 Desirable to take samples early in the life of
the reservoir.
 Either sub-surface or surface sampling.
Sub-Surface Sampling
 Can only be
representative when
pressure at sampling
point is above or equal
to the saturation
 At pressure close to
saturation pressure
serious possibility of
sample integrity being
 In recent years
considerable advance in
downhole fluid sampling
Surface Sampling

 Samples of oil and gas taken from separator

connected with the well.
 Fluids recombined in the laboratory on the
basis of the produced GOR
Vertical and
Separator Gas Sampling
Separator Liquid Sampling by Gas
Separator Liquid Sampling by Water
Wellhead sampling
 A low cost option.
 Only possible for very
 Still single phase at
Sampling Wet Gas and Gas Condensate

 Use and value of any PVT study dependant

on the quality of the sample collected.
 Sampling wet gas and gas condensate fluids
can give rise to errors.
 During sampling procedure it is possible to
alter the conditions so that samples are not
 An important consideration is the phase
Phase Behaviour.
 Fluids uniquely Single phase
described by phase
 Within the phase
Two phase
diagram system is
two phase.
 Whereas outside
the phase envelope
single phase
Phase Behaviour.
 The separation of oil
and gas as predicted
by the phase diagram
results in each phase
having its own phase
 The oil exists at its
bubble point .
 The gas exists at its
dew point.
 This behaviour has
important implications
on well sampling
Sampling Wet
Gas and Gas

 Potential locations
for reservoir
Sampling Wet Gas and
Gas Condensate
 Location
 1. Reservoir
 2.Bottom-hole
 3.Well Head
 4. Separator
 For.  Against
 1. Ideal  1. Impossible
 2. 1-phase  2. Representative ? Technology, Cost, Handling.
 3. Cost  3. 2-phase ? Representative ?,
 4. Cost, 1-phase,  4.Gas/liquid volumes,, separator conditions,
buffer,sampling volume Representative ?,
Sampling Wet Gas and
Gas Condensate
Reservoirs-Flowing well.

 Well behaviour can

significantly influence
nature and
characteristics of fluids
 Flowing well gas
condensate - mist flow
Sampling Wet Gas
and Gas Condensate
Reservoirs-Shut in well
after flow.
 Well acts as a
 Liquid rains down and
accumulates at bottom
of well.
 Pressure builds up in
the well and disturbed
 Some gas goes back
into solution.
Well flow after shut in.
 Large variations in
compositions of produced
 Early period lean gas
produced. High GOR
 When fluids produced from
bottom of well. Liquids much
lower GOR.
 Then fluids from disturbed
reservoir zone
 Eventually fluids from
undisturbed reservoir
Sampling Wet Gas and Gas
Condensate Reservoirs
 In assessing quality of samples
important to know how long it will
take for unrepresentative samples
to be displaced from reservoir.
 Volumetrics required on wells,
facilities and near well volumes
Separator Sampling Points
 A very practical issue is
the location of sampling
points on separators. Liquid in gas line
 Often located for
convenience for
 Important to recognise
that the gas and liquid in
a separator are at their
Iso kinetic sampling
saturation pressure.
 Small changes will result
Gas in liquid line
in liquid drop out and
gas being produced
Sampling Details

 Important to record and keep note off following.

These records to go with samples
 Date and time
 Cylinder identification
 Location of sampling points.
 Temperature and pressure
 GOR in separator
 Any special details ( H2S in sample, etc
Equipment for PVT Analysis
 Apparatus for transfer and recombination of
separator oil and gas samples.
 Apparatus for measuring gas and liquid
 Apparatus for performing separator tests
 PVT cell and displacing pumps.
 High pressure viscometer
 Gas chromatograph or equivalent.
Equipment for PVT Analysis-Subsurface
Equipment for PVT Analysis-Surface Samples
Equipment for PVT Analysis-Gas Condensate
PVT Tests

 To provide data for reservoir calculations

 To provide physical property data for well flow calculations
 For surface facility design
 The reservoir calculations are the main driving force for the
various tests.
 Over recent years reservoir simulation capability has
generated the need to extend compositional description from
C7+ to in some cases C29+.
 PVT report provides source of all reservoir engineering
properties for behaviour over exploration, development and
Main PVT Tests

 Flash vaporisation or relative volume test.

 Differential vaporisation test.
 Separator tests.
 Viscosity measurements.
 Compositional measurements.
 Special studies: e.g. Interfacial tension.
Simple layout of a PVT Facility
Flash Vaporisation ( Relative Volume ) Test
 Determination of the correlation between pressure
and volume at reservoir temperature.
 The system never changes during the test.
 The gas remains in equilibrium with the oil through
out the test.
 The behaviour below the bubble point does not
reflect reservoir behaviour, where gas has greater
mobility than the oil.
 This test determines the Bubble Point pressure
corresponding to the reservoir temperature.
Flash Vaporisation
(Relative Volume ) Test

 Liberated gas remains in

equilibrium with oil
Flash Vaporisation (Relative Volume ) Test
By plotting P versus V, a break in the slope is obtained at
the Bubble Point pressure.
Flash Vaporisation
(Relative Volume ) Test
 Tests at constant pressure
and varying temperature
enables thermal expansion
coefficient to be obtained for
well flow calculations.

V2  V1
Thermal expansion,  
V2  T2  T1 
V1  volume at T1 , V2  volume at T2
Flash Vaporisation (Relative Volume ) Test
 Above bubble point compressibility of
oil at reservoir temperature can be
 No free gas

V2  V1
V2  P1  P2 
V2 =volume at pressure P2
V1 =volume at pressure P1
Flash Vaporisation (Relative Volume ) Test

 Main objectives:
 Reservoir bubble point
 Together with
information from separator
tests, formation volume
factor above bubble point.
Differential Vaporisation
 Below bubble point in reservoir gas liquid
separation in the reservoir is a constant
changing system.
 A test has been design to attempt to simulate
this process.
 In the differential vaporisation test liberated
gas is removed from the cell step wise.
 At each step below bubble point, volumes
densities , gas expansion and compressibility
 Bubble point starting point.
Differential Vaporisation

Flash liberation process

Differential liberation process

Differential Vaporisation
Differential Vaporisation
Differential Vaporisation
 8-10 pressure reduction steps at reservoir temperature.
 Final step to 60oF.
 Remaining oil Residual Oil
Differential Vaporisation vs.Flash Vaporisation

 Flash liberation considered to take place

between reservoir and surface.
 Differential liberation considered to be
representative of the process in the reservoir
below bubble point pressure.
 Differential tests carried out to obtain oil
formation volume factors and GOR’s to
predict behaviour below bubble point
Separator Tests
 Objective to determine impact of separator
conditions on Bo, GOR, and produced fluid physical
 Not the interest of facility designers.
 Carried out to give an indication of oil shrinkage and
GOR when fluids produced to surface.
 There are not uniques values for Bo & GOR. They
depend on separator conditions.
 Starting point for the test is the bubble point
 Fluid produced at surface conditons. Stock tank oil
Separator Tests
PVT Cell pressure kept at
bubble point
Separator Tests
PVT Cell pressure kept at
bubble point
Separator Tests
PVT Cell pressure kept at
bubble point
Separator Tests
PVT Cell pressure kept at
bubble point
Separator Tests
PVT Cell pressure kept at
bubble point

 V res

 Measured at different pressures above and

below bubble point pressure.
 Below bubble point pressure carried out under
differential conditions.
 Rolling ball or capillary tube methods of
Hydrocarbon analysis
 Analysis from C1 to an upper C number based
on paraffin series.
 Historically C6 & C7+. Much higher analysis
 C+ characterised by specific gravity and
apparent molecular weight.
 Latter by depression of freezing point.
 Higher C+ characterisation helpful to process
engineers re. solid phase formation.
Wax and Ashphaltenes

 Solid phase formation series concern.

 Heavy components at low temperatures can
form solid phases.
 Wax in transfer lines and process facilities.
 Ashphaltene are larger molecules of hydrogen
and carbon plus sulphur, oxygen or nitrogen.
 Ashphaltenes do not dissolve in oil but are
dispersed as colloids.
 Different tests used:
 Filtering and measuring
resistance to flow at
different temperatures.
 Appearance temperature
is considered to be
affected by super
 The disappearance
temperature is
considered to be the
equilibrium value. Core Laboratories

Core Laboratories
Summary of results provided by an oil sample
PVT test.

 Saturation pressure, -bubble point.

 Compressibility coefficient.
 Coefficient of thermal expansion.
 Relative total volume of oil and gas, Vt
 Cumulative relative volume of gas. Vg
 Cumulative relative volume of oil. Vo
Summary of results provided by an oil sample
PVT test.

 Gas formation volume factor or gas expansion factor

 Gas compressibility factor.
 Specific gravity of gas
 Liquid density
 Viscosity of liquids as a function of pressure.
 Oil formation volume factor
 Solution gas- oil ratio. Shrinkage of separator oil to
tank oil
 Hydrocarbon analysis of reservoir and produced fluids
Volumetric relationship of fluids in an oil
PVT test

Reference point
bubble point
Volumetric relationship of fluids in an oil
PVT test

Reference point
Stock Tank Conditions
Volumetric relationship of fluids in an oil PVT test
Interfacial Tension, IFT
 Impact of IFT now considered an important
 particularly for gas condensates
 IFT has a significant impact on the behaviour
of residual condensate saturation and
associated relative permeability.
 IFT is very low as critical point approached
Interfacial Tension Measurements
 Most common method pendant drop

gd e2   L  V 
 
gd e2   L  V 

l l

l = shape factor a function of ds/de

Interfacial Tension Measurements
 For very low IFT size of tube too small to suspend drop.
 Thin wire can be used
 Light scattering has been used.
 Heriot-Watt method -rising film method
Retrograde Condensation

 Saturation pressure is the dew point pressure.

 Gas condensate cells have a window to
visualise dew point.
 Not possible to determine by change of slope
of compressibilities of gas and liquid..
Gas Condensate

 Main aspects of PVT study:

 Constant mass expansion
 Constant volume depletion
 Specialised tests ( IFT)
 Compositions of oil & gas
 Compositions of fluids are generally made by blowing
down samples and recombining the resultant liquid
and gas phase compositions.
Gas Condensate- Constant Mass Study
 No fluids removed from the cell
 Purpose to determine z value above dew point.
 Determine dew point pressure

Dew point observed as drops on window

Gas Condensate- Constant Volume Depletion

 Carried out to simulate condition below dew point

 Series of pressure expansions
 Volume of cell returned to original volume
Gas Condensate- Constant Volume Depletion
 Liquid volume produced below dew point
generates a liquid drop out curve.
Gas Condensate-Special tests IFT and
Full Compositional data


Density cell


High pressure


Gas Condensate-Special tests IFT and
Full Compositional data
Pendant drop

Density cell

High pressure Hg
Rising film method

1 cm

Liquid Rising film

Rising film method - near critical point


1 cm

Very thin meniscus
Understanding PVT Rep[orts
 Purpose of the PVT report:
 Although can be used for applications from
reservoir to surface facilities. Reservoir engineering
provides the main basis.
 Provides much of black oil information.
 Material balance equation basis for report.
 PVT report provides main data for MB equation.
 Both flash and differential separation assumed.
 Specific to a particular fluid
Example PVT report.
Example PVT report.
Example PVT report.
Separator Test
Separator Test
Fluid Properties above bubble point
 Relative Volume Test - Flash Vaporisation Test
Volume Test -


Vsat V
Bo above bubble point

vol. reservoir oil

Bo 
vol. stock tank oil

vol. bubble point oil vol. reservoir oil

Bo  
vol. stock tank oil vol. bubble point oil
From separator
Above bubble point

 Density above bubble point obtained by

combining data from separator test and
relative volume tests.

1 1 1 1

o  
o  
v o v ob v rel

v o v ob v rel
Above bubble point

 Compressibility above bubble point can be

obtained from relative volume test

1  v 
Co    
v  p T
1  v 
Co    
v  p T

1  v 
Co    
vavg  p T
Total Formation Volume Below Bubble
 Total formation
volume factor, Bt
 Of little
significance, but Bo BT
sometimes used in
MB based
Total Formation Volume Below Bubble
Point If we multiply B x v . we get B over the
 ob rel t
total pressure range above and below the
bubble point pressure.
Differential liberation tests
Differential liberation tests
 Volume changes during differential liberation
854-763=91scf/bbl residual oil

Residual oil not the same

composition as stock tank oil
Calculation of Gas-Oil Ratio
Below the Bubble point
 The GOR resulting from the separator tests and
those from the differential test have different
 796 ft3/B STO & 854 ft3/B residual oil
 The difference a result of the differential process of
pressure draw down over the total pressure.
 In practise, reservoir pressure drop is a differential
process but the pressure drop through the tubing
and separator is a flash process.
Calculation of Gas-Oil Ratio
Below the Bubble point
The separator value is

We need to complete
GOR values below the
bubble point.

The GOR is made up of

two elements,

Differential in the
Flash in the wells and to
Differential liberation

Flash liberation
Calculation of Gas-Oil Ratio
Below the Bubble point The differential GOR is

converted in the following

 Rs diff  liberated gas-oil ratio by differential liberation
ft 3
 R s diff 
Separator test
bbl residual oil Differential test
ft 3 bbl residual oil ft 3
 
bbl residual oil bbl bubble point oil bbl bubble point oil
ft 3 bbl bubble point oil ft 3
 
bbl bubble point oil bbl stock tank oil bbl stock tank oil
ft 3
  R s flash
bbl stock tank oil
 R s flash   R sb flash   R s diff
Rs  Rsi   Rs flash
Vb / Vresid
Calculation of Formation Volume Factor
Below the Bubble point
 Formation volume factors between bubble point and
surface also show a distinct difference between flash and
Calculation of Formation Volume Factor
Below the Bubble point

 V/Vresidual = relative volume at pressure, B/B resid.

bbl Saturated oil bbl Residual oil bbl Saturated oil
 
bbl Residual oil bbl Bubble point oil bbl Bubble point oil
V Bob
Bo 
Vresid . Vb / Vresid
bbl Saturated oil bbl Bubble point oil bbl Saturated oil
   Bo
bbl Bubble point oil bbl Stock Tank oil bbl Stock Tank oil

V Bob
Bo 
Vresid . Vb / Vresid
Viscosity Data

Pressures below bubble

point match differential
Composition of Reservoir Fluid
Composition of Separator Gas
Composition of Separator Gas
PVT Report
PVT Report
Liquid Drop Out

High Pressure / High Temperature, HP/HT
 Recent years exploration activity has moved deeper.
 High pressure and temperature accumulations found
 Conventional PVT facilities do not enable testing
these fluids.
 Ranges 250oC and 20,000 psi.
 At these conditions role of water cannot be ignored.