Tight Coupling of a Reservoir Simulator With a Transient Flow Well Model: A Field Case Application to Optimise Cyclic Production in Liquid Loading Regime for a Tight Gas Field

Rasoanaivo, Ombana (TOTAL S.A.) | Danquigny, Jacques (TOTAL S.A.) | Henry, Pierre (Petroleum Experts) | Hopkinson, David (Petroleum Experts) | Liu, Adeline (TOTAL E&P) | Marty, Jacques (TOTAL S.A.) | Marmier, Rémy (TOTAL E&P)



Using a software integrator, a commercial reservoir simulator is tightly coupled with a commercial Transient Well Model. This is required when transient reservoir behaviour interacts with transient wellbore phenomena. It is the case in a tight gas field which is being developed since 2012 in China; long natural cycles of gas production in liquid loading regime followed by period of low or quasi nil-gas production are observed. Cyclic production is also being implemented to optimize the average gas production. In both cases, usual decline curve analysis is no longer valid. And computing long term production forecast becomes a challenge. The innovative application presented in this paper is an optimization of Cyclic Production in Liquid Loading Regime of a tight gas reservoir by coupling transient modelling of reservoir and wellbore.

A workflow is implemented in the software integrator RESOLVE which enables the coupling between a well and its multiple hydraulically fractured reservoirs. It ensures consistent results between the reservoir model and the transient well model in terms of mass flow rate, transient inflow performance and bottom hole flowing pressure. It also enables to visualize the cross-flow which occurs between the two reservoirs, and some water imbibition into the matrix during shut-in periods.

Tested on various reference wells, this new methodology represents properly the historical behaviour of the wells during steady-state flow and during self-killing periods. When modelling cyclic production, various shut-in / restart criteria can be handled by the workflow. It enables to optimize the average production of the wells and deliver some guidelines to the field operation teams. This is a great achievement compared with the need to implement long "cyclic production testing" campaigns.

Also, two-month coupled cyclic production modelling is performed at regular yearly intervals. Combining these long term production forecasts with the evolution of "average static pressure vs. cumulative gas production" derived from reservoir standalone long-term forecast, enables to compute reliable long term production forecast which accounts for cyclic production in liquid loading regime. The current results show significantly larger production than the one derived from usual decline curves.

Overall, the study is a leap forward in understanding transient well and reservoir interactions in order to improve field Estimated Ultimate Recovery. This field tested methodology can also be applied to many other situations when well instabilities interfere with reservoir transient behaviour (gas-lift heading, interference between unstable outflow and multi-layers inflow behaviour). To our knowledge, it is a "World First" of a coupling between a full commercial reservoir simulator and a commercial transient wellbore software.