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Darcys Experiment:

: apparent flow velocity, cm/s


: flow rate, cm
3
/s
: cross sectional area, cm
2
: system length, cm
: differential pressure in L-direction, atm
: permeability, Darcy
: fluid viscosity at system T, cp
Darcys Law:
eservoir roc! is typically composed of consolidated sand grains "sandstone# or
carbonate roc! with fissures$ The networ! of pores defines a complicated system of
varying pore shape, diameter and orientation$ %seful predictions about the flow within
dL
dP k
A
q
v $

= =
the reservoir can be obtained by modelling the networ! as an array of cylindrical pores of
fi&ed diameter$
'n the simplest situation we consider steady, one-dimensional flow within an
undersaturated oil reservoir$ The following assumptions can be made regarding the flow:
(# )ince the oil is undersaturated, a gas phase is not present$ *or this simplified
analysis, it is assumed that no water is present$ Therefore, the flow has a single-
phase$
2# The undersaturated oil is assumed to behave as an incompressible fluid$
3# *low occurs only in the radial direction and is therefore one-dimensional$ 'n
addition, the characteristics of reservoir roc! are assumed constant for all
orientations$
+# The flow is assumed to be at steady state$
,# The pore si-e is small such that the eynolds .umber is small and the flow is
laminar$ /onversely, the pore si-e is large compared to the mean free path of a
molecule such that the no-slip assumption applies$
0# The fluid e&hibits .ewtonian behavior$
/onsider the case of a one-dimensional "--wise# flow through a single pore:
1e can write the differential mechanical energy balance for this flow:
The wall shear stress for laminar flow with a .ewtonian fluid is:
/ombining the e2uations:
Darcy3s Law is typically e&pressed as a partial differential e2uation:
4ne dimensional in 567 direction
The superficial velocity, %
s
, is defined as the average fluid velocity over a unit cross-
sectional area perpendicular to the coordinate a&is of interest:
%
s
is not the physical velocity of the fluid$
't is only used to represent the velocity form of the volumetric flow rate$
8 relationship between the interstitial and superficial velocities can be obtained using the
porosity:
*inally, we can combine the 9echanical :nergy ;alance and Darcy3s Law e2uations to
obtain an e2uation for permeability:
Volumetric Flow equation for the Simplified System:
<olumetric flow towards the well will be considered positive by convention$ /onsider
the following simplified well:
*or this analysis, we assume that the variation in flow in the vertical and a-imuthal
direction is negligible compared to the radial direction:
Darcy3s law for a hori-ontal, one-dimensional flow in radial coordinates can be written
as:
/onsider the area defined by radius =r3:
;ased on our definition for positive flow:
/ombining with Darcy3s Law we obtain:
This e2uation can be integrated to give the volumetric flow e2uation:
*or pressure at any radius r based on r
w
"the well radius#:
8s discussed earlier, the typical oil field units are:
2
o
> )T;/day
! > md ?millidarcies@
r
e
, r
w
, h > ft
A
e
, A
wf
> psi
BC > cA ?centipoise@
%sing these units we obtain:
8nd in terms of the pressure e2uation:
:&ample calculation:
Determine the drainage radius "r
e
# and the radius at which D of the pressure drop in the
reservoir occurs for the following data:
A
e
> 3EEE psi A
wf
> 0EE psi h > (E =
! > (EE md > ( cA r
w
> +7
2
o
> (F0E )T;/day ;
o
> ($2 ;/)T;
r
e
> 0FE ft
r
D

A
> (, ft
4bservations: The radius where half of the pressure drop occurs "here (, ft# is a
benchmar! used in industry$ *or the e&ample considered, the remaining half of the
pressure drop occurs over a radial distance of 00, ft$ This emphasi-es the importance of
ensuring no damage occurs to the formation region closest to the well$ 't should be noted
that the entire flow from the reservoir is concentrated in the small area associated with
the wellbore region, ultimately increasing the magnitude of the pressure loss "where 2
l
is
constant but u
s
varies with cross-sectional area#$
Reservoir Pressure Curve for Example
0
500
1000
1500
2000
2500
3000
3500
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 750
radius (ft)
R
e
s
e
r
v
o
i
r

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

(
p
s
i
)
r
e
P
wf
P
e

r
w
Reservoirs with on!"omo#eneous $ermea%ility:
<ertically .on-Gomogeneous Aermeability:
adially .on-Gomogeneous Aermeability:
$ermea%ility variation in the near well%ore re#ion:
The flow rate from reservoir is very sensitive to variation of permeabilities in the near
wellbore region$
Three approaches to address this point:
(# )!in effect
2# :ffective wellbore radius
3# Gaw!in3s formula
local permeability H natural reservoir permeability damaged formation
local permeability I natural reservoir permeability stimulated formation
S&in Effect:
)ince the pressure drop within the well is a logarithmic function of radial distance from
the well, the reservoir region closest to the well is a strong determinant of the magnitude
of the overall well pressure drop$ 1e can define an ideal pressure curve which is
associated with a uniform permeability throughout the reservoir$ Deviations from the
ideal radial pressure profile in the near well-bore region can be incorporated into the flow
e2uation using an additive =pressure drop3 term with a parameter !nown as the s!in
effect, )$
This term can be combined with the ideal pressure drop term to give the following
e2uations:
8t the drainage radius: "the limiting radius for the region of constant pressure boundary#
'n oilfield units:
The s!in effect pressure drop can have either a positive or negative value:
Aositive ) and A
s
: This is an undesirable effect since it reduces the flow from the well$
There are several causes that result in a positive s!in effect value:
partial well completion "perforation height less than reservoir height#
inade2uate number of perforations
generation of a gas fraction during flow through the well "causing a localised
restriction of the flow#
damage to the natural reservoir roc! in the near well-bore region
.egative ) and A
s
: .egative values are desirable and can be obtained through:
matri& stimulation in the near well-bore region resulting in higher permeability than
in the natural formation
induced fracturing in the reservoir with the effect of reducing the resistance to the
flow within the reservoir$
Typical <alues: ) > , "highly damaged well#
) > -, "highly stimulated well#
:ffective 1ellbore adius:
Areviously, we defined the concept of treating the pressure change associated with the
s!in effect as an additive pressure drop term giving the following e2uation for overall
reservoir pressure drop:
/onsider the group:

Then
8nd: r3
w
> effective wellbore radius
'n effect, we model the well such that the s!in effect pressure loss is incorporated into the
overall reservoir pressure drop e2uation by modifying the wellbore radius$ 't is important
to remember that this is a model which provides the correct overall pressure drop$ The
effective well diameter does not represent the actual diameter in the well$ ;ased on the
typical conditions we obtain the following effective wellbore diameters:
Damaged well r3
w
Hr
w
)timulated well r3
w I
r
w

Gaw!in3s *ormula:
Gaw!ins "(J,0# developed a formula which incorporated parameters more relevant to the
effected near well-bore region: r
s
represents the radius of the region, and !
s
represents the
average permeability of the effected region$
/onsider the following system with the associated pressure profile:
K # Lln"
2
s
r
r
hk
q
p p
w
e
wf e
+ =

s
r
r
w
e
+ # ln"
# ln"
s
e s =
s
w w
w
e
s
w
e s
w
e
w
e
e r r
r
r
e r
r
e
r
r
s
r
r

= = + = + # ln" # ln" K ln # Lln" K # Lln"



1e define two pressure drop values relative to the limiting s!in pressure A
s
:
'deal: based on the permeability of the natural reservoir roc!, !
eal: based on actual permeability in the near well-bore region, !
s
:
)ubtracting the real pressure loss from the ideal we obtain the s!in effect pressure drop:
)ubstituting with our previous e2uation for the s!in effect pressure drop:
This approach attempts to model the relative effects of permeability impairment and the
penetration of the damage$
# ln"
2
# ln"
2
# " # "
, ,
w
s
w
s
s
real wf s real wf s s
r
r
kh
q
r
r
h k
q
p p p p p

= =
s
kh
q
p
s

2
=
# ln" # ( "
w
s
s
r
r
k
k
s =
$roductivity 'ndex ()*:
8 !ey concern of the production engineer is to ma&imi-e the production rates "profit#
through the use of the minimum pressure drop "cost#$ This concept is captured in the
parameter called productivity inde&$
overall pressure drop > drawdown > driving force > A
e
M A
wf
> ?psi@
production rate > volumetric flow at surface > 2o ?)T;/day@
productivity inde&:
*or a fi&ed drainage pressure A
e
:
Alot p
wf
versus 2
o
, draw a straight line, the slope is "-(/N# and intercept is p
e
*or fi&ed fluid and reservoir characteristics, the inde& line is followed and the production
rate can be increased by reducing A
wf
, the pressure at the wellbore$ This can be
accomplished by incurring additional costs$ *or e&ample, mechanical lift "pumping#
could be introduced$
*or a specific reservoir, N can be increased by:
- reducing the viscosity "e&$ miscible or thermal recovery methods# or
- reducing s "e&$ stimulation or fracturing#
K # / Lln" 2 $ (+( s r r B
hk
p p
q
J
w e wf e
o
+
=

e o wf
p q
J
p + = #
(
"
K # / Lln" 2 $ (+( s r r B
hk
J
w e
+
=