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Characterizing geothermal reservoirs draws on techniques common to petroleum reservoirs. Key differences create special challenges to gaining a good understanding of geothermal reservoirs. This article covers appropriate approaches and caveats for well testing, drawdown/buildup analyses and decline curve analysis for characterizing geothermal reservoirs. Geothermal well testing is similar in many respects to transient pressure testing of oil/gas wells, with some significant differences. Many geothermal wells induce boiling in the near-well reservoir, giving rise to temperature transients as well as pressure transients. Substantial phase change may also take place in the well, further complicating analysis. Pressure tools must be kept in a high-temperature environment for long periods of time, and production intervals are frequently very small portions of overall well depth.
This page discusses various aspects of gas reservoir performance, primarily to determine initial gas in place and how much is recoverable. The equations developed can used to form the basis of forecasting future production rates by capturing the relationship between cumulative fluid production and average reservoir pressure. Material-balance equations provide a relationship between original fluids in place, cumulative fluid production, and average reservoir pressure. This equation is the basis for the p/z-vs.-Gp Reservoir engineers have often used pressure contour maps or some approximate methods to determine field average reservoir pressure for p/z analysis. Usually, however, individual well pressures are based on extrapolation of pressure buildup tests or from long shut-in periods. In either case, the average pressure measured does not represent a point value, but rather is the average value within the well's effective drainage volume (see Estimating drainage shapes).
In overbalanced drillng (OBD), a mud weight is selected that provides a hydrostatic pressure of 200 to 1,000 psi above the reservoir pressure. In UBD, we select a fluid that provides a hydrostatic pressure of around 200 psi below the initial reservoir pressure. This provides a good starting point for the selection of a fluid system. During the feasibility study, this drawdown is normally further refined, depending on the expected reservoir inflow and other drilling parameters. This first look provides an indication if the fluid should be foam or gasified or if the well is drilling with a single-phase fluid (Figure 1).
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines simulate as assuming the appearance of without the reality. Simulation of petroleum reservoir performance refers to the construction and operation of a model whose behavior assumes the appearance of actual reservoir behavior. The model itself is either physical (for example, a laboratory sandpack) or mathematical. A mathematical model is a set of equations that, subject to certain assumptions, describes the physical processes active in the reservoir. Although the model itself obviously lacks the reality of the reservoir, the behavior of a valid model simulates--assumes the appearance of--the actual reservoir. The purpose of simulation is estimation of field performance (e.g., oil recovery) under one or more producing schemes. Whereas the field can be produced only once, at considerable expense, a model can be produced or run many times at low expense over a short period of time. Observation of model results that represent different producing ...
There are many factors that the engineer must consider when analyzing the behavior of a well after it has been fracture treated. The engineer should analyze the productivity index of the well both before and after the fracture treatment. Other factors of importance are ultimate oil and gas recovery and calculations to determine the propped fracture length, the fracture conductivity, and the drainage area of the well. Post-fracture treatment analyses of the fracture treatment data, the production data, and the pressure data can be very complicated and time consuming. However, without adequate post-fracture evaluation, it will be impossible to continue the fracture treatment optimization process on subsequent wells. Many of the early treatments in the 1950s were designed to increase the productivity index of damaged wells.
Dealing with and exploiting fracturing of rock has been part of mining engineering for hundreds of years, but the analysis of fracture of rock or other materials has only developed into an engineering discipline since the mid 1940s . In petroleum engineering, fracture mechanics theories have been used for more than 50 years. Rock fracture mechanics is about understanding what will happen to the rocks in the subsurface when subjected to fracture stress. Much of what is used in hydraulic fracturing theory and design was developed by other engineering disciplines many years ago. However, rock formatons cannot often be treated as isotropic and homogeneous.
Fracture diagnostic techniques are divided into several groups. Direct far-field methods consists of tiltmeter-fracture-mapping and microseismic-fracture-mapping techniques. These techniques require sophisticated instrumentation embedded in boreholes surrounding the well to be fracture treated. When a hydraulic fracture is created, the expansion of the fracture causes the earth around the fracture to deform. Tiltmeters can be used to measure the deformation and to compute the approximate direction and size of the created fracture.
Artificial lift is a method used to lower the producing bottomhole pressure (BHP) on the formation to obtain a higher production rate from the well. This can be done with a positive-displacement downhole pump, such as a beam pump or a progressive cavity pump (PCP), to lower the flowing pressure at the pump intake. It also can be done with a downhole centrifugal pump, which could be a part of an electrical submersible pump (ESP) system. A lower bottomhole flowing pressure and higher flow rate can be achieved with gas lift in which the density of the fluid in the tubing is lowered and expanding gas helps to lift the fluids. Artificial lift can be used to generate flow from a well in which no flow is occurring or used to increase the flow from a well to produce at a higher rate.
The practice of using bottomhole pressure measurements to improve oil and gas production and solve problems of reservoir engineering began around 1930. Initially, pressures were calculated using fluid levels; a later method was to inject gas into the tubing until the pressure became constant. The earliest bottomhole pressure measurements were made with one-time-reading pressure bombs and maximum-indicating or maximum-recording pressure gauges that lacked the accuracy, reliability, or durability of present-day technology. The varied uses of bottomhole pressure and temperature measurements have increased in scope during the past two decades as instrumentation technologies have produced more reliable and accurate tools. These advances have made more applications possible, including multilayer reservoirs, horizontal wells, interference testing, and drawdown test interpretation.
A "well test" is simply a period of time during which the production of the well is measured, either at the well head with portable well test equipment, or in a production facility. Most well tests consist of changing the rate, and observing the change in pressure caused by this change in rate. To perform a well test successfully one must be able to measure the time, the rate, the pressure, and control the rate. A Flow test is an operation on a well designed to demonstrate the existence of moveable petroleum in a reservoir by establishing flow to the surface and/or to provide an indication of the potential productivity of that reservoir. Some flow tests, such as drill stem tests (DSTs), are performed in the open hole.