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Copyright 1999, Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc.

This paper was prepared for presentation at the 1999 SPE Mid-Continent Operations
Symposium held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 2831 March 1999.
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Abstract
Petroleum engineers are routinely required to predict the
pressure-production behavior of individual oil wells. These
estimates of well performance assist the engineer in evaluating
various operating conditions, determining the optimum
production scheme, and designing production equipment and
artificial lift systems.
In this paper, commonly used empirical inflow
performance relationships for estimating the pressure-
production behavior during two-phase flow are investigated.
Relationships studied include those proposed by Vogel,
Fetkovich, Jones, Blount and Glaze, Klins and Majcher, and
Sukarno. Each method will be briefly described and methods
used to develop the relationship will be discussed.
Based on actual vertical well data, the relationships are
used to predict performance for twenty-six cases. The
predicted performance is then compared to actual measured
rate and pressure data. The variation between the predicted
and measured data are analyzed. From this analysis,
recommendations are made on the use of inflow performance
relationships to predict performance, collection of data, and
the quality of performance estimates.
Introduction
When considering the performance of oil wells, it is often
assumed that production rates are proportional to pressure
drawdown. This straight-line relationship can be derived from
Darcys law for steady-state flow of a single, incompressible
fluid and is called the productivity index (PI).
Evinger and Muskat
1
were some of the earliest
investigators to look at oilwell performance. They pointed out
that a straight-line relationship should not be expected when
two phases are flowing in the reservoir. They presented
evidence based on the multiphase flow equations that a curved
relationship existed between flow rate and pressure.
This work led to the development of several empirical
inflow performance relationships (IPRs) to predict the
pressure-production behavior of oil wells producing under
two-phase flow conditions. These estimates assist the engineer
in evaluating various operating conditions, determining the
optimum production scheme, and designing production
equipment and artificial lift systems.
This paper reviews and compares five IPRs proposed in the
literature for predicting individual well performance in
solution-gas drive reservoirs. The IPRs studied includes those
of Vogel,
2
Fetkovich,
3
Jones, Blount and Glaze,
4
Klins and
Majcher,
5
and Sukarno.
6
Using data from 26 field cases, each
method is used to predict the pressure-production behavior for
the individual cases. The predictions are compared to actual
well performance and to predictions of the other methods to
develop an understanding of their reliability.
Deliverability Methods
One of the earliest IPRs was developed by Vogel
2
based upon
simulation data for twenty-one reservoir data sets representing
a wide range of reservoir rock and fluid properties. Vogel
noticed the shape of the pressure-production curves for these
cases were very similar. He made the curves dimensionless by
dividing the pressure at each point by the reservoir pressure
and the flow rate by the maximum flow rate to obtain the
dimensionless inflow performance curve. He observed that all
the points fell within a narrow range and developed a
relationship to describe the dimensionless behavior. Vogels
IPR is
q
q
p
p
p
p
o
o
wf
r
wf
r ,max
. .

_
,

_
,
1 0 2 08
2
.............................. (1)
Fetkovich
3
proposed the isochronal testing of oil wells to
estimate their productivity. This relationship is based upon the
empirical gas well deliverability equation proposed by Rawlins
and Schellhardt.
7
Using data from multirate tests on forty
different oil wells in six different fields, Fetkovich showed the
SPE 52171
A Comparison of Two-Phase Inflow Performance Relationships
Frederic Gallice, SPE, and Michael L. Wiggins, SPE, U. of Oklahoma
2 FREDERIC GALLICE AND MICHAEL L. WIGGINS SPE 52171
approach was suitable for predicting performance. His
relationship is
( )
q C p p
o r wf
n

2 2
.........................................................(2)
which can be expressed in a form similar to Vogels IPR as
follows.
q
q
p
p
o
o
wf
r
n
,max

_
,

1
]
1
1
1
2
.................................................(3)
Using Forchheimers
8
model to describe non-Darcy flow,
Jones, Blount and Glaze
4
proposed the following relationship
between pressure and rate.
p p
q
C Dq
r wf
o
o

+ ......................................................(4)
From this equation it is evident that a cartesian plot of the
ratio of the pressure difference to the flow rate versus the flow
rate yields a straight line with a slope D and an intercept C.
The term C represents the laminar flow coefficient and D is the
turbulence coefficient. This method requires a multipoint test
in order to determine these coefficients. Once estimated, the
flow rate at any flowing pressure can be determined from the
following relationship.
q
C C D p p
D
o
r wf

+ +
2
4
2
( )
...................................(5)
Based on Vogels work, Klins and Majcher
5
developed an
IPR incorporating the bubble point pressure. The authors
simulated twenty-one wells using Vogels data and developed
1,344 IPR curves. Using non-linear regression analysis, they
presented the following IPR.
q
q
p
p
p
p
o
o
wf
r
wf
r
d
,max
. .

_
,

_
,
1 0 295 0 705 .......................(6)
where
( ) d
p
p
p
r
b
b
+

_
,
+ 0 28 0 72 1235 0 001 . . . . ...........................(7)
Sukarno
6
developed an IPR based on simulation results
that attempts to account for the variation of the flow efficiency
due to the rate dependent skin as the flowing bottomhole
pressure changes. Sukarno developed the following
relationship using non-linear regression analysis.
q
q
FE
p
p
p
p
p
p
o actual
o S
wf
r
wf
r
wf
r
,
,max@
. . .

_
,

_
,

_
,

1
]
1
1
0
2 3
1 01489 04418 04093
.........................................................................................(8)
where
FE a a
p
p
a
p
p
a
p
p
wf
r
wf
r
wf
r
+

_
,
+

_
,
+

_
,

0 1 2
2
3
3
............ (9)
and
a b b s b s b s
n
+ + +
0 1 2
2
3
3
.......................................... (10)
In Eq. 10, s is the skin factor and a and b are fitting
coefficients shown in Table 1.
IPR Comparison
To compare the various IPRs, data from twenty-six cases
presented in the literature are analyzed. Each case utilizes
actual field data representing different producing conditions.
Data from each case is used to select rate and pressure
information as test points and these points are used to predict
well performance by each IPR method. The predictions are
then compared to actual measured production data at
drawdowns greater than the test data. Several cases will be
used to demonstrate the analysis and provide insight into the
behavior of the various predictive models. Complete details of
the analysis are presented in Ref. 9 while the cases analyzed
are summarized in Table 2.
Case 1. Millikan and Sidewell
10
presented multirate test data
for a well producing from the Hunton Lime in the Carry City
Field of Oklahoma. The test was made over a period of about
two weeks with the well produced at random rates rather than
in an increasing or decreasing rate sequence. The average
reservoir pressure was 1600 psi with an estimated bubble point
pressure of 2530 psi and an assumed skin value of zero. The
field data is summarized in Table 3.
Table 4 presents the performance predictions for test
information at a flowing bottomhole pressure of 1267 psi,
representing a 21% pressure drawdown. As can be seen, the
maximum well deliverability varies from 2562 to 3706 STB/D.
The largest flow rate was calculated with Vogels IPR while
the smallest rate was obtained using Fetkovichs method.
Fig. 1 shows the various IPR curves. Visual inspection
indicates that the methods of Fetkovich and Jones, Blount and
Glaze do a very good job of estimating the actual well
performance. The other methods capture the general shape of
the data but overestimate actual performance. If the straight-
line productivity index is used in this case, a maximum flow
rate of 6054 STB/D would have been predicted from the test
point. This estimate is over 60% greater than the highest
predicted rate by the IPR methods. This shows the importance
of using a multiphase flow relationship to evaluate well
performance under these conditions.
Table 5 shows the percent difference between the recorded
flow rate data and the computed rate for the five IPR methods.
The multirate methods have differences less than 10%. The
average absolute difference for Fetkovichs method is 4%
while Jones, Blount and Glaze is 7%. The single point
methods have an absolute average difference ranging from
SPE 52171 A COMPARISON OF TWO-PHASE INFLOW PERFORMANCE RELATIONSHIPS 3
18% to 31% for Klins and Majcher and Vogel, respectively. In
general the difference tends to increase with increasing
drawdown. This increased difference in predicted performance
versus actual performance is expected. Since each IPR is
actually used to extrapolate performance behavior at
drawdowns greater than the test point, one would expect these
estimates to increase in error as one moves further away from
the known data point.
As the test data covers a wide range of pressure
drawdowns, it allows an investigation of the effect of
drawdown on performance estimates. Table 6 presents a
summary of the average absolute differences for each method
based on drawdown percentages (9%, 21%, 38%, 50% and
78%) of the test point. As shown, the average absolute
difference in the performance predictions decrease as the test
point drawdown percentage increases for all the methods.
For example, Vogels method predicted a maximum flow
rate of 5108 STB/D at a 9% pressure drawdown compared to
2564 STB/D at a drawdown of 78%. This is almost a 100%
reduction in the maximum well deliverability. In addition, the
average difference in the performance estimates decrease from
72% at a 9% drawdown to 1.7 % at a 78% drawdown.
All the methods show a similar decrease in the average
absolute differences in the predicted performance. By
increasing the pressure drawdown of the test point from 9% to
21%, the average absolute differences were decreased by over
100% for each method. For this particular case, a 20%
pressure drawdown appears sufficient to predict the well
performance. This is consistent with the observations of
Wiggins
11
who, based on analysis of simulation results,
recommended that a minimum of pressure drawdown of 20%
be used for all well testing utilized in predicting oilwell
performance.
In summary, Fetkovichs relation provided the best
estimates of well performance over the entire range of interest
for this case. In general, the average absolute difference in
performance predictions increased as the pressure drawdown
increased from the test pressure. Also, the difference in the
predictions decreased as the test pressure drawdown increased.
Cases 2 and 3. The next cases represent one well located in
the Keokuk Pool in Seminole County, Oklahoma where test
data were collected eight months apart at two different
reservoir pressures. The reservoir pressure decreased from
1734 psi to 1609 psi or 7% between tests. These cases were
selected to demonstrate the effect of depletion on the IPR
methods.
Due to limited test data, performance predictions were
made from test information at pressure drawdowns of 13% and
12% for reservoir pressures of 1734 psi and 1609 psi,
respectively. The various methods provide a range of
performance estimates as anticipated for both reservoir
pressure. Table 7 summarizes the absolute differences in the
IPR estimates. For the first case, there was little in the
estimates to distinguish the multipoint methods from the single
methods. However, the second case shows a definite difference
between the multipoint methods and the single point methods.
This example tends to indicate that the reliability of the
various performance methods may change during the life of a
well. In addition, the multipoint methods appear to provide
better estimates of well performance.
Summary. The additional cases and their analysis are
presented in detail in Ref. 9. Table 8 presents a summary of
the average absolute difference for each method for all the
cases examined. As indicated in this table, not one method
always provided the most reliable estimates of the actual well
data analyzed. However, some general comments can be made
based on this table and all the cases analyzed in this study.
The multipoint methods of Fetkovich and Jones, Blount
and Glaze tend to do a better job of predicting well
performance than the single point methods. As a matter of fact,
the total average absolute difference is almost twice as great
for the single point methods in comparison to Fetkovichs
multipoint method, 15% compared to 8%. The method of
Jones, Blount and Glaze had an average difference of 12%.
Overall, the single point methods of Vogel, Klins and
Majacher, and Sukarno provided similar average differences in
the cases examined, 14 to 15%.
Case 5 demonstrates the variation in the predicted
performance. In this case, Fetkovichs method did the poorest
of estimating actual performance while Vogels IPR did the
best. This case clearly shows that one cannot rely on one IPR
method to make reliable performance predictions in all
reservoirs.
Case 9 provides another anomaly in this analysis. Each of
the methods provide very similar estimates except for Jones,
Blount and Glaze. In this case, Vogels method provides a
somewhat better estimate than Fetkovich. However, the
multipoint method of Jones, Blount and Glaze predicted rates
that are significantly different than actual performance. For
this case, this method estimated performance with an average
absolute difference of 58% compared to 16 to 18% for the
other methods.
As a final note, the available data or costs of obtaining data
will influence the selection of an IPR method to predict
performance. Overall, multipoint methods will provide more
information but will cost more in obtaining the data. Single
point methods are simply to apply if a single production test
point is available. In the end, the benefit of the data must be
carefully considered related to the expense of obtaining the
information.
Conclusions
In this study, five different methods to predict the pressure-
production performance of oil wells producing from solution-
gas drive reservoirs have been presented. These are the
methods of Vogel, Fetkovich, Jones, Blount and Glaze, Klins
and Majcher, and Sukarno. Each method requires parameters
that are normally available from a production test. The
4 FREDERIC GALLICE AND MICHAEL L. WIGGINS SPE 52171
methods can be separated into multipoint methods and single
point methods. The primary concern in this study was to
evaluate the reliability of the IPR methods based on actual
production test data. Detailed analysis and comparisons for 26
different cases were performed. From this study the following
conclusions are presented.
1. There is no one method which is the most suitable for
every test. It has been observed that in one case method A will
provide the most reliable estimates while providing the worst
estimates in the next case. From this observation,
consideration should be given to using more than one method
in predicting performance in order to provide a range of
possible outcomes.
2. Overall, Fetkovichs multipoint method tended to be the
most reliable. It has been shown based on the test data of this
study that the overall absolute difference for Fetkovichs
method was less than the other methods. Also, Fetkovichs
method provided steady performance predictions throughout
the pressure drawdown range while the single point methods
appeared to be more sensitive to the drawdown pressure of the
test point.
3. The selection of a drawdown pressure for testing
purposes is an important parameter related to the reliability of
the IPR methods. It appears that a minimum drawdown
pressure of 20% of the average reservoir pressure is required
to obtain reliable estimates of well performance for any of the
IPR methods. In general, it is recommended that one obtain
test information as near to operating conditions as possible.
4. Due to the effects of depletion, one IPR method may be
more reliable at one reservoir pressure but not at the second
pressure. This may be caused by changes in reservoir
parameters with time which can lead to changes in its flow
properties. Once again this suggests the use of multiple IPR
methods to estimate well performance.
Nomenclature
a = fitting parameter defined in Eq. 10
b = constant in Eq. 10
C = deliverability coefficient in Eq. 2, STB/D/psi
2n
C = laminar flow coefficient in Eq. 4, psi/STB/D
D = turbulence coefficient in Eq. 4, psi/(STB/D)
2
FE = defined in Eq. 9
d = flow exponent defined in Eq. 7
n = flow exponent in Eq. 2
p
b
= bubble point pressure, psi
p
r
= reservoir pressure, psi
p
wf
= flowing bottomhole pressure, psi
q
o
= oil flow rate, STB/D
q
o,max
= maximum oil flow rate, STB/D
s = skin factor
References
1. Evinger, H.H. and Muskat, M.: Calculation of Theoretical
Productivity Factors, Trans.,AIME (1942) 146, 126-139.
2. Vogel, J.V.: Inflow Performance Relationships for Solution-
Gas Drive Wells, JPT (Jan. 1968) 83-92.
3. Fetkovich, M.J.: The Isochronal Testing of Oil Wells, paper
SPE 4529 presented at the 1973 SPE Annual Meeting, Las
Vegas, NV, Sept. 30-Oct. 3.
4. Jones, L.G., Blount, E.M. and Glaze, O.H.: Use of Short Term
Multiple Rate Flow Tests to Predict Performance of Wells
Having Turbulence, paper SPE 6133 presented at the 1976
SPE Annual Technical Meeting and Exhibition, New Orleans,
Oct. 3-6.
5. Klins, M.A. and Majcher, M.W.: Inflow Performance
Relationships for Damaged or Improved Wells Producing Under
Solution-Gas Drive, JPT (Dec. 1992) 1357-1363.
6. Sukarno, P. and Wisnogroho, A.: Genaralized Two-Phase IPR
Curve Equation Under Influence of Non-linear Flow
Efficiency, Proc. of the Soc. of Indonesian Petroleum
Engineers Production Optimization International Symposium,
Bandung, Indonesia, July 24-26, 1995, 31-43.
7. Rawlins, E.L. and Schellhardt, M.A.: Backpressure Data on
Natural Gas Wells and Their Application to Production
Practices, USBM (1935) 7.
8. Forchheimer, Ph.D.: Ziets V. deutsch Ing., (1901) 45, 1782.
9. Gallice, F.: A Comparison of Two-Phase Inflow Performance
Relationships, MS thesis, U. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
(1997).
10. Millikan, C.V. and Sidewell, C.V.: Bottom-Hole Pressures in
Oil Wells, Trans, AIME (1931), 194-205.
11. Wiggins, M.L.: Inflow Performance of Oil Wells Producing
Water, PhD dissertation, Texas A&M U., College Station, TX
(1991).
12. Haider, M.L.: Productivity Index, API Drilling and
Production Practice (1936) 181-190.
13. Sukarno, P.: Application of the New IPR Curve Equations in
Sangatta and Tanjung Miring Timur Fields, Proc., Indonesian
Petroleum Association Sixteenth Annual Convention, Oct.
1987.
14. Walls, W.S.: Practical Methods of Determining Productivity in
Reservoirs on Leases by Bottomhole Pressure and Core
Analysis, API Drilling and Production Practice (1938) 146-161.
15. Kemler, E. and Poole, G.A.: A Preliminary Investigation of
Flowing Wells, API Drilling and Production Practice (1936)
140-157.
Table 1 - Constants for Sukarnos IPR
b0 b2 b2 b3
a0 1.03940 0.12657 0.01350 -0.00062
a1 0.01668 -0.00385 0.00217 -0.00010
a2 -0.08580 0.00201 -0.00456 0.00020
a3 0.00952 -0.00391 0.00190 -0.00001
SPE 52171 A COMPARISON OF TWO-PHASE INFLOW PERFORMANCE RELATIONSHIPS 5
Table 2 - Field Cases Analyzed
Test Case Well Identification Reference
1 Carry City Field, OK 11
2 Well A, Keokuk Field, OK, December 12
3 Well A, Keokuk Field, OK, August 12
4 Well B, Keokuk Field, OK, December 12
5 Well B, Keokuk Field, OK, August 12
6 Well C, Lucien Field, OK 12
7 Well D, Lucien Field, OK 12
8 Well E, Lucien Field, OK 12
9 Well F, South Burbank Field, OK 12
10 Well G, South Burbank Field, OK 12
11 Well H, South Burbank Field, OK 12
12 Well 6, Field A 3
13 Well 3, Field A 3
14 Well 3-c, Field C 3
15 Well 14, Field A 3
16 Well 5, Field D 3
17 Well 6, Field D 3
18 Well 1, Field E 3
19 Well TMT-27, Miring Timur Field,
Indonesia
13
20 Well 1, Field F 3
21 Well 2, Field F 3
22 Well A 14
23 Well 8, West Texas Area 15
24 Well 2-b, Field C 3
25 Well 4, Field C 3
26 Well 4, Field D 3
Table 3 - Well Test Information for Carry City Well
pr = 1600 psi pb = 2530 psi (est) s = 0 (assumed)
Test Data
pwf, psi qo, STB/D
1600 0
1558 235
1497 565
1476 610
1470 720
1342 1045
1267 1260
1194 1470
1066 1625
996 1765
867 1895
787 1965
534 2260
351 2353
183 2435
166 2450
Table 4 - Performance Predictions for
Case 1 at 21% Pressure Drawdown
Field Data Vogel Fetkovic
h
Jones Klins Sukarno
pwf
psi
qo
STB/D
qo
STB/D
1194 1470 1502 1426 1260 1480 1489
1066 1625 1896 1680 1468 1823 1852
996 1765 2096 1800 1571 1989 2029
867 1895 2434 1995 1747 2256 2320
787 1965 2624 2099 1848 2399 2477
534 2260 3129 2353 2140 2753 2867
351 2353 3401 2472 2330 2933 3058
183 2435 3583 2538 2492 3060 3174
166 2450 3597 2542 2508 3071 3183
0 - 3706 2562 2658 3172 3248
Table 5 - Percent Difference in Predictions for
Case 1 at 21% Pressure Drawdown
Field Data Vogel Fetkovic
h
Jones Klins Sukarno
pwf
psi
qo
STB/D
Difference, %
1194 1470 2 -3 -14 1 1
1066 1625 17 3 -10 12 14
996 1765 19 2 -11 13 15
867 1895 28 5 -8 19 22
787 1965 34 7 -6 22 26
534 2260 38 4 -5 22 27
351 2353 45 5 -1 25 30
183 2435 47 4 2 26 30
166 2450 47 4 2 25 30
Average
Absolute
Difference
31% 4% 7% 18% 22%
Table 6 - Comparison of Pressure Drawdown
Affects on Performance Predictions for Case 1
Pressure
Drawdown
Vogel Fetkovic
h
Jones Klins Sukarno
Average Absolute Difference
9 72% 58% 64% 52% 58%
21 31% 4% 7% 18% 22%
38 18% 3% 32% 9% 11%
50 8% 3% 3% 2% 3%
78 2% 1% 8% 1% 1%
Table 7 - Comparison of Depletion Affects on
Performance Estimates for Cases 2 and 3
Vogel Fetkovic
h
Jones Klins Sukarno
Time Average Absolute Difference
December 15% 6% 6% 7% 11%
August 17% 6% 10% 13% 15%
6 FREDERIC GALLICE AND MICHAEL L. WIGGINS SPE 52171
Table 8 - Summary of Performance
Predictions for All Cases
Vogel Fetkovic
h
Jones Klins Sukarno
Test
Case
Average Absolute
Difference, %
1 31 4 7 18 22
2 15 6 6 7 11
3 17 6 10 13 15
4 9 10 10 11 10
5 4 21 5 9 6
6 5 20 5 12 8
7 18 9 31 24 20
8 14 2 21 18 16
9 16 17 58 16 18
10 17 10 35 17 19
11 12 11 14 12 14
12 11 11 21 13 13
13 17 3 2 15 12
14 13 2 4 7 12
15 0 3 0 3 3
16 38 15 15 33 38
17 19 6 13 16 18
18 8 18 22 13 9
19 3 1 0 1 1
20 51 4 15 40 50
21 27 9 13 21 26
22 20 2 1 17 19
23 2 5 2 4 5
24 13 4 7 2 11
25 17 3 5 13 17
26 5 11 2 2 5
Average 15% 8% 12% 14% 15%
0
200
400
600
800
1000
1200
1400
1600
0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000
Flow Rate, STB/D
F
l
o
w
i
n
g

B
o
t
t
o
m
h
o
l
e

P
r
e
s
s
u
r
e
,

p
s
i
Field
Vogel
Fetkovich n=1
Jones
Klins
Sukarno
Fetkovich
Test Point
Fig. 1 - Predicted inflow performance curves compared to actual
field data for Case 1.