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SPE 122292 Inflow Performance Relationships for Heavy Oil

S. Gasbarri, V. Martinez, J. Garcia, R. Pinto, L. Garcia, and C. Gil, Universidad Central de Venezuela

Copyright 2009, Society of Petroleum Engineers This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2009 SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference held in Cartagena, Colombia, 31 May3 June 2009. This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

Abstract Inflow Performance Relationships, IPR, are quantitative estimates of the productive potential of a well-reservoir system. Through this relationship, engineers determine basic elements such as the optimum production scheme and artificial lift design and operation. Several authors studied IPR in vertical and deviated wells considering two and three-phase flow in light oils. Other studies have also estimated productivity index for horizontal and slanted wells but only based on single-phase flow. All of them have not explicitly included how the oil API gravity affects the performance. Since a large amount of the world oil reserves are heavy oils, the goal of this research is to generate a general Vogel type correlation valid not only for light oil reservoirs but also for heavy oils. The experimental study, performed with numerical reservoir simulation, was run over variables such as: permeability; relative permeability curves; reservoir pressure, degree of depletion, and PVT fluids properties. Due to the huge advantage of horizontal and deviated wells for producing heavy oil, vertical to horizontal permeability ratios was also analyzed within different angles of inclination. Furthermore, different water cuts were generated for vertical wells using reservoir water saturation in order to evaluate the effect of this variable over the IPR. A general correlation for the V coefficient of Vogel's equation was generated that depends on the angle of inclination of the well, and several reservoir and fluids characteristic. Additionally, reservoir depletion was addressed through the reservoir pressure ratio with respect to the bubble point pressure. The application of the relationship described in this study is simple and only requires common known parameters of the field. Introduction A daily operation of an engineer considers inflow performance of the reservoir to the producing wells. This information is a key factor for optimizing the well, the artificial lift and surface equipment, and for evaluating the different exploitation schemes of a field. This behavior is defined by the relation between the production rate and the bottom-hole flowing pressure and it is known as the inflow performance relationship, IPR. Several inflow performance relationships for vertical wells have been developed (Gallice & Wiggins, 2004). The existing correlations have been developed for light and medium crude oils. Due to huge world heavy oil reserves, discovered in last decades mainly through vertical wells, there is a necessity to validate the application of those models for heavy oil wells or, to generate new IPR models for this purpose. The influence of rock and fluids characteristics must also be studied. Horizontal and inclined wells have been used to optimize reservoir exploitation; these wells exert great advantages compared to vertical wells. Horizontal wells have been used in cases as thin zones; naturally fracture reservoirs; avoiding gas or water coning; low permeability sands; tight gas reservoirs; and viscous heavy oil production. Horizontal wells have been drilled in order to efficiently produce heavy oil reservoirs. Vertical correlations may not apply for horizontal wells for two main reasons; the flow into the tubing is a combination of linear and radial streamlines. The second reason is related to permeability, both horizontal and vertical permeability play an important role in this case and the anisotropy is a key parameter (Kamkom & Zhu 2005). Several authors have studied the inflow performance of horizontal and inclined wells through analytical methods (Babu & Odeh 1988, Elgaghad et al 1996, Joshi 1998). They are mainly based on single phase models derived from Darcy equation; they may have little application in multiphase reservoirs, though. Several authors have carried out reservoir simulations in order to study the inflow of solutiongas reservoirs in horizontal wells (Bendakhlia & Aziz 1990, Cheng 1990, Kabir 1992, Retnanto 1998, Wiggins & Wang 2005, Garca & Martnez 2008). They have proposed inflow performance relationships to predict the production-pressure behavior. Similar to vertical wells, the effect of fluid characteristics such as API gravity and viscosity has not been analyzed in those studies.

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This study evaluates the existing correlations for heavy oil cold production through performing reservoir simulations and proposed new models for horizontal, vertical and slanted wells. Previous Works In 1968, Vogel used a computer model to generate inflow performance curves of hypothetical saturated oil reservoirs for several conditions in vertical wells. Vogel standardized the calculated IPR and expressed these relations in a dimensionless form. This model gain excellent acceptance in the industry because of its simplicity and good results. In 1973 Fetkovich analyzed experimental data of multi-rate tests performed in 40 producing oil wells of 6 different fields. This study obtained a suitable approach to predict the IPR for 3 possible production schemes. He showed that the typical pressure-rate equation of gas wells may also be used for oil wells when the gas saturation is greater than the critical gas saturation. This model also gain good acceptance in the industry though it needs more than one stabilized flow-rate point. Wiggins et al., in 1992, used four sets of different relative permeability curves and fluid properties data for computer modeling the reservoir performance in order to develop inflow performance relationships for vertical wells. The study predicts IPR curves for three-phase flow; oil, gas and water. The water production is assumed to become from homogeneous water saturation from porous media, i.e., interstitial water. The equations developed by Wiggins are similar to the one generated by Vogel and are expressed to estimate the parabolic coefficient of Vogel depending on water cut. The generated relations are based on reservoirs with initial pressure at bubble point. The effects of the oil viscosity are not analyzed in his study. Similar to Vogels method, the results of one stabilized flow test in the well must be available to determine the water and oil maximum production rates. Klins & Clark proposed in 1993 an IPR similar to the structure of Vogel equation. In order to improve the accuracy of the results, they introduced a new exponent d to the Vogel equation instead of assuming a constant parabolic exponent (2). This exponent depends on the bubble pressure and its relation to the reservoir pressure. The parabolic coefficients were also set to values a little different from the ones estimated by Vogel. There are several analytical models in the Literature that describe the inflow performance of horizontal wells for both, singlephase and two-phase flow. Diverse analytical equations have been developed for single-phase flow through horizontal wells. In these cases the authors have used various boundary conditions, classifying the models in steady and pseudo-steady state. Among the authors who developed equations to predict the horizontal well flow in steady state are: Borisov (1964), Giger et al (1984), Joshi (1988), Renard and Dupuy (1991) and Elgaghah et al (1996). Other authors like Mutalik et al (1988), Babu & Odeh (1988), Kuchuk et al. (1988) developed methodologies to calculate the horizontal well productivity for single-phase flow in steady state. These procedures consider limits in all directions of the reservoir and the horizontal well is located in the center of a rectangular drainage area. Plahn, et al (1987) were first in studying the multiphase horizontal well behavior in solution gas reservoirs. They generated a set of type curves for estimating homogenous and isotropic reservoir performance. They used a reservoir simulator to develop the curves, for a wide range of rock and fluids properties and well dimensions. However, they used several assumptions making difficult to generalize the application of this model. Bendakhlia & Aziz (1989) developed an equation combining the equations of Vogel and Fetkovich for vertical wells and curve fitting dimensionless IPR from numerical simulations. They concluded that the IPR curves for horizontal wells are not significantly affected by the rock and fluids properties. Their equation is based on two (2) coefficients (V and n) calculated with the state of depletion of the reservoir measured by the recovery factor. Cheng (1990) developed IPR correlations for horizontal and inclined wells based on numerical simulation. He also observed in his analysis that the IPR for horizontal and inclined wells presented certain similarity with the behavior of the Vogel curve. Cheng based its work on the interpretation of the dependence of the parabolic Vogel coefficient with the well deviation angle. Retnanto & Economides (1998) investigated the behavior of horizontal and multilateral wells in solution gas reservoirs. They perform numerous simulations for a wide range of rock and fluid properties and well characteristic. They concluded that the depletion of the reservoir and the bubble pressure are the parameters that have greater effect on IPR. They proposed a correlation using linear regressions of the obtained results. Wiggins & Wang (2005) investigated the rate-pressure behavior of a horizontal oil well with a fully penetrating well-bore producing during the boundary dominated flow regime. Based on linear regression analysis of reservoir simulations, two empirical IPR were developed to estimate well performance. A future IPR was also developed to allow estimates of future rate-pressure behavior from current test information. The results yield reasonable estimates of well behavior over a range of operating conditions for medium and light API gravity oils. Vertical Simulation Model Based on the analysis of previous studies (Garca & Pinto 2007), and focused on studying the behavior of heavy oils, the variables that most influence IPR curves of a vertical well were identified: The effective permeability, API gravity, level of depletion and water cut. Different absolute permeabilities were studied since they are directly proportional to the production rate. Additionally, considering that three (3) types of fluid would coexist in the reservoir through different level of depletion. In order to observe this effect on IPR, two sets of relative permeability curves were selected from common heavy oil cases (Mora 2001, Andarcia

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et al 2001). Three (3) types of water cuts, 0%, 30% and 70%, were built through trial and error initial water saturations of the reservoir for each case. The reservoir model is at bubble point pressure and does not have initial gas cap. Another parameter considered was the effect of the depletion state. It would impact the IPR curves as the hydrocarbon recovery of the reservoir increases. Two different production schemes were selected, depending on the ratio of the current to initial average reservoir pressure. Multi-rate tests were carried out through setting bottom-hole pressures, ranging from reservoir pressure to 14.7 psia, and verifying the stabilization of production rates for each point of the tests after two days. Computer tool ECLIPSE100 was used for the vertical wells reservoir simulations. Three (3) crude data sets of 12, 15 and 18 API were analyzed. Along with this parameter, other PVT properties like density, viscosities, solution gas-oil ratio, bubble point pressure and volumetric factors of the fluids were calculated using standard heavy oil correlations. The simulation model for the vertical well has cylindrical geometry (r, , z). The numbers of layers in the reservoir are: twenty (20) layers in radial direction (r), one (1) layer in the angular direction (), and one (1) layer of 20 feet in the vertical direction (z). A single central producing well was completed on this layer. In order to accurately simulate the pressure and saturation changes expected to happen on the blocks closer to the well-bore than to the external radial layers, the thicknesses of the radial blocks have an exponential function from the well-bore to the reservoir boundary. The values of effective porosity and absolute permeability were representative of unconsolidated sands, adopting characteristics of the reservoir with this type of fluid. The porosity is 30%, and the top layer was at 1500 feet. The initial reservoir pressures are at bubble point and were defined by each API gravity case, as shown in Table 1. Table 1. Reservoir conditions for vertical well simulations API 12 15 18 Initial reservoir pressure, psia 800 957 1042 Solution gas, Rs, scf/stb 80,6 95 123

In order to study the effect of depletion, the reservoir of a typical case was produced through the well for several years until reaching and average reservoir pressure of 200 psi below the original pressure. Then, the multi-rate test was performed for this depletion level. The simulation experimental matrix that grouped all the possible sensitivities conforms seventy two (72) cases, thirty six (36) for each state of depletion. Horizontal Well Model Modification of the Darcy equation for horizontal and inclined wells have been performed by Joshi 1988,, Babu & Odeh 1988, Kuchuck 1998 and others. The main parameters considered in these models are: fluids and rock properties and the physical characteristics of the well. Based on this, the following five (5) parameters were chosen to build the simulation experimental matrix of the present study: well deviation angle, reservoir state of depletion, vertical to horizontal permeability ratio, relative permeabilities curve, API gravity (along with several fluids PVT properties). Computer tool IMEX was used for the horizontal well reservoir simulations. The numbers of sensitivities variables taken into account are shown in Table 2. Table 2. Parameter studied for the horizontal well model API Gravity 3 Deviation angle 3 Depletion level 3 Kv/Kh 2 Kr Curves 2

Based on the heavy oil occurrence found in the literature, Horizontal to Vertical permeability ratios Kh/Kv were set to values of 0.1 and 0.5. Two sets of relative permeability curves Kr were used for this study (Mora 2001, Andarcia et al 2001). Three different deviation angles of the well were performed; 0, 15 and 45 with respect to the horizontal direction. Three different states of reservoir depletion were represented in the reduction of the static average pressure, i.e., a) initial state at bubble point Pi, b) 80% of initial pressure and c) 60% of initial pressure. Three sensitivities of heavy oil density were analyzed: 9, 12 and 15 API. The variation of this parameter is associated to changes in all PVT properties. Table 3 shows the conditions used for calculating PVT properties for these API gravities. Both fluid properties and reservoir anisotropy were selected based on literature found for the Orinoco Belt (Mora 2001, Andarcia et al 2001). Unlike in vertical completion cases, an extra-heavy oil case was used for the horizontal completion since a profitable production may be obtained in spite of the extremely high viscosity (more than 6000 cP).

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Table 3. Characteristics of the horizontal well simulations API 9 12 15 Temperature (F) Pressure (psia) Rsi (scf/stb) 124 1200 80 126 1350 100 128 1500 120

The experimental simulation matrix contains a total universe of 108 cases. The simulation model was based on the completion of a unique 1000-foot well centered in the reservoir. A general model of 2000 ft x 2000 ft x150 ft with a maximum number of cells of 10.000 was built. In order to analyze the well deviation angle, three Cartesian grid models were constructed for each angle (0, 15 and 45) named: Grid 1 for the horizontal (15x35x19 cells in i, j y k direction), Grid 2 for the 15 deviation angle (17x11x11 cells in i, j y k direction) and Grid 3 for the 45 deviation angle (17x11x11 cells in i, j y k direction). The simulation time steps were fine tuned to 0.0001 days so that the simulations could reflect the real-life performance of the well during the period of flow-rate variation. Since the simulator assumes the well centered on each completed cell, the dimensions of the cells for the deviated cases were fit so that the corresponding well trajectory has a hypotenuse with the related deviation angle, see Figures 1, 2 and 3.

Fig. 1. Grid 2, i-k view of the 15 deviation well model

Fig. 2. Grid 3, i-k view of the 45 deviation well model

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Because the most abrupt changes in pressure, fluids saturation and properties happen in the neighborhoods of the well, a grid refinement around the well in X and Z direction was set in order to be able to trace these changes more accurately. An exponential sizing was used for this purpose.

Fig. 3. Grid 1, i-k view of the horizontal model Vertical Simulations Results The result of the simulations for the pressure-rate behavior of all cases was analyzed through the dimensionless IPR curve defined by Vogel. An ideal parabolic parameter V, in the Vogel type equation, may be found for each case with high accuracy. Nevertheless, this parameter varies from a value of 0.2, for light crude oil with little depletion, to values closer to one (1) for some cases. The dependency of this parameter on the different variables analyzed is studied in this work. With the result of the simulations, an analysis of IPR curves was performed for each sensitivity parameter. It was found that the variables with greater impact on the behavior of IPR curves for vertical wells were API gravity, water cut, and the state of depletion of the reservoir. When comparing the two sets of absolute permeability, 4902 Md and 7059 Md, the later has more production response to bottom-hole flowing pressure, as expected. Though, this parameter has no effect on the values of the Vogel coefficients V for the dimensionless IPR curve. Similarly, both relative permeabilities sets analyzed showed similar results for the coefficient V. By other hand, a significant variation of this coefficient may be seen for different API gravity. These results are expected, since the ability of the heavier oil to absorb gas is less than the lighter oil, and so is the solution gas-oil ratio found in those types of reservoirs. The parabolic coefficient V increases for heavier oils, making the IPR curve to become more linear since less gas flows through the porous media. Fig. 4 shows the average IPR of all cases for the three types of fluids analyzed in this study for vertical wells. As found by Wiggins et al. 1992, the water cut variable has a relevant influence on the IPR curve. The coefficient V increases as the water cut increases and the IPR curve becomes more linear. While water saturation substitute the oil saturation, less gas flows in the reservoir since it comes from the solution-gas within the oil. Fig. 5 shows the average IPR of all cases for the three water cuts analyzed in the vertical well simulations.

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Fig. 4. Average IPR of all cases for the fluids analyzed for vertical wells.

Fig. 5. Average IPR of all cases for the three water cuts analyzed in the vertical well simulations.

Horizontal Simulations Results Multi-rate test analysis For the cases with no depletion (Pi=Pb), the value of bottom-hole pressure, Pwf, was set for three (3) days. Then, the multirate test was applied through lowering the bottom-hole pressure in intervals of two (2) days from the initial pressure to atmospheric pressure and, vice-versa; same intervals increasing bottom-hole pressure back to reservoir pressure. For the cases with some depletion level, the bottom-hole pressure was set constant from the beginning until the average reservoir pressure reached the expected value of depletion. At this point the multi-rate test begins as described in the previous paragraph.

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When performing the multi-rate tests for the cases of the experimental matrix, considerable difference was found between the flow-rates in the ascending bottom-hole pressure curve and descending bottom-hole pressure curve, see Figure 6. The difference is attributed to the long stabilization time required for the heavy oils studied in these horizontal wells. This problem was overcome analyzing the stabilization time with additional simulations.

Fig. 6. Flow-rates in the ascending and descending curve after a two-day stabilization time In order to study the time required to stabilize the production rate of the heavy oil, one typical case for each API gravity was analyzed. A constant bottom-hole flowing pressure was set for a six-month period in two cases; Case 1: when decreasing the bottom-hole flowing pressure to 800 psia, from 1000 psia, the stabilized bottom-hole pressure; and Case 2: when increasing the bottom-hole flowing pressure to 800 psia from 600 psia, the stabilized bottom-hole pressure. The behavior obtained for all the cases of this particular six-month test were very similar. In Fig. 7, the case H.37 shows that the ascending curve (green) and the decreasing curve (red) converge approximately after thirty (30) days of production. On the other hand, during few days exists a significant difference between the values of the rates for the same bottom-hole flowing pressure, which is demonstrated in the separation of the points obtained in the multi-rate test of Fig. 6. This result shows that, in two days, no stabilization has been reached.

Fig. 7. Typical Flow-rates behavior in the ascending and descending curve

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This phenomenon occurs due to the high viscosity of the oil and the physical configuration of the horizontal well. This generates long-period of changing streamlines within the reservoir for different conditions. A methodology to determine the expected stabilized production rate must be developed to make a standard multi-rate test feasible to build the IPR. A standardize adjustment procedure to overcome the problem of having to wait too long for the multi-rate test is described next. Flow-rate stabilization A sample of cases was chosen, near 20% of the total simulated cases, selected by depletion level, inclination angle and API gravity. The bottom-hole pressure was set constant for 80 days in two stages. First, from a smaller pressure to the fixed value (increasing curve) and then; from a greater pressure to the fixed value (decreasing curve). It was seen that, from day 15, the two curves begins to converge. From this point on, the ascending, descending and the average rate of the test were monitored. A polynomial regression gives and equation for the stabilized average production rate, see Fig. 8.

Fig. 8. Typical Flow-rates behavior in the ascending, descending curve and averaged It is possible to distinguish in this figure that the adjusted curve approaches more the increasing pressure curve than the decreasing pressure curve. It can be inferred from this behavior that the increasing pressure curve takes less time to stabilize. A dimensionless parameter, R, was used to calculate true stabilized flow-rate, which is the ratio between the adjusted rate and the rate of the increasing curve in the second day of production, as shown in Equation 1.


qoajuste .... Eq. (1) qosubida

Where: qoajuste: Expected stabilized flow-rate after the day 2, bpd. qosubida: Increasing curve flow-rate after the day 2, bpd. The parameter R for each case was studied as seen in the Figure 9. All samples showed a linear behavior. An equation of R for each pressure case was found. Finally, the relative error generated between the obtained linear calculation and the R was estimated. The average error for all cases studied is 0.61%.

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Fig. 9. Typical behavior of parameter R for different bottom-hole flowing pressures From the results of two-day interval multi-rate tests, the increasing curve was used to estimate the production rate. In order to correct for stabilized conditions, these rates were multiplied by the parameter R of each case. The resulting production rates were taken for the construction of the IPR. See Table 4. and Fig. 10 as an example case.

Fig. 10. IPR from corrected stabilized flow-rates, Example case


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Table 4. Example case of correcting stabilized flow-rates Increasing Qo (bpd) 459.23 378.10 296.31 212.82 129.38 41.52 0 Pwf (psia) 14.7 100 200 300 400 500 564.806 Parameter R 0.975 0.9918 1.0116 1.0314 1.0512 1.071 Corrected RxQo (bpd) 447.75 375 299.75 219.5 136 44.4651 0

Behavior of the Gas-Oil ratio In most reservoirs, the main source of energy in a solution gas reservoir is the expansion of the gas coming out of the liquid as the pressure decreases below bubble point. Bubbles of gas expand and force the oil to come out of the pores. Case H.1 and H.2 were selected for studying the behavior of the gas-oil ratio, GOR, of a 9API oil horizontal well producing throughout 52 years. These cases correspond to a couple of sets of relative permeability curves using the same values for all other parameters. A constant bottom-hole pressure of 600 psia was set for this analysis. The behavior of the average reservoir pressure, oil flow-rate and GOR may be seen in Figs. 11 y 12. Both cases show similar trends, with no much difference than the ones expected for vertical wells. The time for gas to breakthrough has a small difference between the cases showed since the critical gas saturation for Case 1 is less than in Case 2, hence, it takes less time for the gas to become mobile.

Fig. 11. Long term behavior of a horizontal well, 9API gravity, Pwf=600 psia, Case 1.

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Fig. 12. Long term behavior of a horizontal well, 9API gravity, Pwf=600 psia, Case 2 The gas-oil ratio reaches values of almost 1200 scf/stb for these cases, where the original reservoir pressure is 1100 psia and the bottom-hole flowing pressure is 600 psia. This represents a common production scheme for cold heavy oil production, reaching ultimate recovery factors up to 10 % of original oil in place. The analysis performed for 12 and 15 API gravity oils showed same behavior, gas breaks through sooner for lighter oil. Evaluation of existing correlations for horizontal wells An analysis of IPR curves was performed for each sensitivity parameter with the result of the simulations. It was found that the variables with greater impact on the behavior of IPR curves were API gravity, deviation angle of the well, and the state of depletion of the reservoir. The main horizontal well IPR models were built for all 108 cases simulated: a) Bendakhlia & Aziz 1990, b) Retnanto & Economides 1998, c) Cheng 1990, and d) Vogel 1968. e) Wiggins & Wang 2005. When observing the recovery factors of all cases, a characteristic value for the depletion levels studied referred to reservoir pressures must be found. This parameter is required for the Bendakhlia & Aziz model. In Table 5 the representative values for recovery factors for each depletion level are shown. Table 5. Average recovery factor of all cases Depletion Level RF (fraction) 0 Pi 0.0732 0.8Pi 0.0999 0.6Pi When observing the IPR equation developed by Cheng, the model shows a shortcoming. From a mathematical point of view, dimensionless IPR curve must intersect through the points (1, 0) and (0, 1) in a Cartesian plot; and this does not happen. By other hand, when analyzing the Retnanto and Economides IPR curves, some cases do not correspond to a valid IPR curve. The equation used to characterize coefficient n presents a restriction for certain range of reservoir and bubble pressures for this model. The value of n must be necessarily greater or equal to one (1) and in some cases this does not apply (Kamkom & Zhu 2005). The five (5) models studied were compared with the IPR built for each simulated case of the experimental matrix. The area calculated under each simulated dimensionless IPR curves was used for calculating the average error of each model. Table 6, shows the error of the models compared to the simulated values for each parameter analyzed.


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Table 6. Average error of the models compared to the simulated values, initial state (Pi=Pb) Bendakhlia Cheng Retnanto & Vogel Wiggins & Aziz 1990 1990 Economides 1998 1968 2005 2.72% 19.93% 2,59% 11.79% 3,23% 9 2.60% 19.87% 1.60% 11.71% 2,57% API 12 3.41% 18.89% 2.35% 10.80% 2,11% 15 5.06% 19.89% 4.15% 8.88% 1,00% 0 Deviation 2.08% 20.71% 1.52% 12.32% 3,21% 15 Angle 1.58% 18.10% 0.86% 13.09% 3,57% 45 2.42% 20.25% 1.80% 12.07% 2,83% 0.1 Kv/kH 3.40% 18.88% 2.56% 10.79% 2,31% 0.5 2.64% 19.92% 1.84% 11.75% 2,58% Kr1 Kr 3.17% 19.21% 2.52% 11.10% 2,56% Kr2 2.91% 19.57% 2.18% 11.43% 2,57% Average For the reservoir with the original pressure equal to bubble point, the correlation that better fits is the one of Retnanto & Economides, with an average error of 2.2% and a maximum and minimum error of 4.2% and 0.9%. This correlation reaches its maximum error in the condition of 0 well deviation (horizontal), whereas the minimum error occurs when the well deviation angle is 45. The correlation that had the poorer performance turns out to be the proposed by Cheng, reaching a maximum error of 20.7%. For the intermediate depletion level, 80% of original reservoir pressure, see Table 7, Wiggins & Wang shows the best general outcome with a minimum error of 3.1% for the non deviated cases. The more critical error of this model for this state of depletion occurs for the heavier oil. The correlation of Retnanto & Economides also shows a good average error. Vogel correlation shows better results than Bendakhlia & Aziz and Cheng models, although it was originally conceived for vertical wells. Similar results were found for the lowest depletion level, 60% of original pressure, see Table 8. Since no single model successfully covers the range of cases of the heavy oil experimental matrix, a new model is proposed is this study. Table 7. Average error of the models compared to the simulated values, initial state (Pr=0.8Pi) Bendakhlia Cheng Retnanto & Vogel Wiggins & Aziz 1990 1990 Economides 1998 1968 2005 22.94% 24.46% 8,52% 16.00% 6,24% 9 20.32% 21.86% 6,77% 13.53% 3,97% API 12 20.69% 22.16% 7,67% 13.87% 5,46% 15 18.01% 22.60% 4,94% 11.35% 3,14% 0 Deviation 23.40% 25.13% 9,39% 16.43% 6,63% 15 Angle 22.55% 20.76% 8,64% 15.63% 5,89% 45 20.60% 22.11% 6,91% 13.79% 4,21% 0.1 Kv/kH 22.04% 23.54% 8,40% 15.15% 6,24% 0.5 21.76% 23.28% 8,16% 14.89% 5,75% Kr1 Kr 20.87% 22.38% 7,15% 14.05% 4,70% Kr2 21.32% 22.83% 7,66% 14.47% 5,22% Average Table 8. Average error of the models compared to the simulated values, initial state (Pr=0.6Pi) Bendakhlia Cheng Retnanto & Vogel Wiggins & Aziz 1990 1990 Economides 1998 1968 2005 17.65% 23.32% 4,77% 14.93% 5,26% 9 16.13% 21.73% 4,18% 13.44% 4,10% API 12 16.00% 21.58% 4,29% 13.31% 4,05% 15 13.92% 22.53% 2,27% 11.28% 2,39% 0 Deviation 17.55% 23.40% 5,14% 14.83% 5,16% 15 Angle 18.32% 20.71% 5,83% 15.58% 5,85% 45 16.09% 21.70% 3,84% 13.41% 3,89% 0.1 Kv/kH 17.09% 22.72% 4,98% 14.38% 5,05% 0.5 16.10% 21.71% 3,98% 13.41% 4,03% Kr1 Kr 17.09% 22.72% 4,85% 14.38% 4,91% Kr2 16.59% 22.21% 4,41% 13.90% 4,47% Average

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Proposed Correlations A generalized IPR for vertical wells The sensitivity analysis of the IPR gave insight of the parameters of greater impact on IPR curve (API, water cut, and depletion level). A new correlation was design resembling Vogel equation, calculating the parabolic variable V (originally is 0.2) as a function of these parameters (Garca & Pinto 2007).

Pwf Qo = 1 V P Qomx r

Pwf (1 V ) P r

..... Eq. (2)

Table 9 collects all cases and shows the influence of each isolated parameter studied on the coefficient V. API gravity and water cut are the more sensitive variables to define the IPR for the cases studied. Table 9. Influence of parameters studied on Coefficient V of vertical simulations Parameter Absolute Permeability 4902 md. Absolute Permeability 7059 md. Relative Permeability Curve 1 Relative Permeability Curve 2 12 API, PVT 15 API, PVT 18 API, PVT 0% Water cut 30% Water cut 70% Water cut Average V 0.5009 0.5023 0.5158 0.4876 0.7089 0.4414 0.4163 0.4419 0.4770 0.5809

In Table 10 these variables are rearranged to show a good trend for defining the relation of the most important parameters with the coefficient V. Table 10. Dependence of Coefficient V on API gravity and water cut for vertical well simulations, Pi=Pb Water Cut API 0% 12 15 18 Eq. 3 was developed for this purpose. 0.6889 0.3788 0.3357 30% 0.6962 0.4487 0.4057 70% 0.7402 0.5620 0.5166

V = a e cWC

....Eq. (3)

Where: a and c : correlated coefficients function of API gravity (dimensionless) WC : water cut (fraction) a and c coefficients are calculated through the following equations.

a = 0.0146 API 2 0.4948 API + 4.5237

..... Eq. (4)

c = 0.0226 API 2 + 0.7624 API 5.7916 . Eq. (5)

The error of calculating the coefficient V with this set of equations compared to the simulated values is shown on Table 11


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Table 11. Parameter V error between vertical well simulations and given correlations Parameter V Error API 12 15 18 0% 0.06% 2.09% 3.57% 30% 1.99% 1.93% 2.89% 70% 0.04% 1.79% 3.10%

The results of the simulation for all the cases when the reservoir is 200 psi below than the original bubble point pressure shows and increase in the value of coefficient V compared to the obtained for the same case at an initial bubble point pressure. The following equation, derived from linear regression, is proposed to correct the Vogel coefficient due to reservoir depletion.

Pf V = m 1 Pi

.. Eq. (6)

Where: V : Coefficient V increase due to depletion (dimensionless) m : correlated coefficients for depletion (dimensionless) Pf : Depleted reservoir pressure (psia) Pi : Original reservoir pressure at bubble point (psia) The slope of depletion m was found to be a function of the oil API gravity.

m = 0.0973 API + 0.5094

... Eq. (7)

Finally, using Eq. 3 and Eq. 9, a generalized equation for the coefficient V is obtained for any depletion level down to 75% of the original reservoir pressure for vertical wells.

Pf V = a e c(WC ) + m 1 Pi

. Eq. (8)

A generalized IPR for Horizontal and deviated wells The sensitivity analysis and the evaluation of existing models of the IPR brought about insight of the parameters of greater impact on IPR curve: API, deviation angle and depletion level. A new correlation was design resembling Vogel equation, calculating the parabolic variable V as function of these parameters (Garca & Martnez 2008). The equation used is similar to the one used for vertical wells, Eq.(2) An analysis of the relation between coefficient V and the states of depletion is shown in Table 12. Note that the parameter V increases with the depletion level. Then, the IPR curve tends to become more linear while reservoir pressure declines. Due to this tendency, similarly as in the vertical well analysis, the depletion level was incorporated to the equation as an increasing factor for the parameter V. Table 12. Dependence of Coefficient V on parameters studied for horizontal well simulations API Gravity Deviation angle Reservoir pressure Pi 0.8Pi 0.6Pi 9 0.6371 0.7093 0.7425 12 0.6206 0.6701 0.6938 15 0.5950 0.6757 0.7231 0 0.5417 0.6094 0.6086 15 0.6525 0.7458 0.7038 45 0.6584 0.7251 0.7232

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The proposed correlation for calculating parameter V for horizontal and inclined wells is:

Pf V = a 2 + b + c + m 1 Eq. (9) Pi
Where the parameter Pf/Pi represents the depletion level; the parameters a, b, c and m depends only on API gravity and can be calculated with the following equations:

a = -7.3098 10 -07 API 2 + 1.6245 10 -05 API + 8.1176 10 -05 . Eq. (10)

b = 4.7882 10 -05 API 2 - 1.3969 10 -03 API + 1.9645 10 -02 .. Eq. (11)
c = -1.1312 10 -02 API 2 + 2.2739 10 -02 API + 4.3943 10 -01 ....... Eq. (12) m = 8.9726 10 3 API 1.6429 10 1 ... Eq. (13)

: Deviation angle, degrees

An evaluation of the behavior of the new model with the methodology described in this study for previous correlation is shown in Table 13. The values of errors showed are averaged for well deviation angle and API gravity for each depletion level. This model represents an improvement of IPR calculations for horizontal and deviated heavy oil wells since it shows an average error of 1.8%. Table 13. Parameter V error between horizontal well simulations and given correlations Reservoir pressure = Pi Deviation angle API 0 9 12 15 1.32% 0.81% 3.12% 15 2.41% 0.59% 1.58% 45 0.55% 0.61% 0.66%

Reservoir pressure = 0.8Pi Deviation angle API 0 9 12 15 1.27% 1.14% 3.11% 15 2.23% 1.27% 2.46% 45 0.8% 1.9% 2.08%

Reservoir pressure = 0.6Pi Deviation angle API 0 9 12 15 0.55% 2.01% 2.77% 15 2.36% 3.30% 3.20% 45 4.45% 1.47% 1.73%

Conclusions The Vogels inflow performance relationship, modified by the coefficient V, was successfully adapted to evaluate heavy oils production with vertical, inclined and horizontal wells. The effect that heavy oil exerts on the IPR is to become more linear since less gas is found in these types of hydrocarbon occurrences. This statement applies for vertical, deviated and horizontal wells.


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Reservoir depletion in solution-gas heavy oil reservoirs makes the IPR curve to become more linear; for the same reasons Vogel explains in his study in 1968. The coefficient developed for vertical wells depends on the producing water cut (from 0 to 70%); the API Gravity (from 12 to 18API) and the depletion level (from the original down to 75% of the original reservoir pressure). For these cases, water comes from homogeneous water saturation in the porous media and should not be related to other problems like coning or channeling. The coefficient developed in this study for horizontal and deviated wells depends on the API Gravity (from 9 to 15API); the well deviation angle (from horizontal to 45 from horizontal) and the depletion level (from original down to 60% of the original reservoir pressure). The IPR correlations developed on previous studies may not be generalized for a heavy-oil horizontal well. The stabilization period for producing heavy-oil horizontal wells was simulated and studied. Standard multi-rate tests may not be performed without caution. Several weeks and even months may be required for stabilization. A methodology to characterize standard multi-rate tests in order to build the IPR was shown in this study. The effect of changing the grid for modeling deviated wells with respect to horizontal wells can introduce an error no quantified in this study. More research must be performed to analyze these simulations. Other parameters not included in this study must be analyzed; drainage area, well length, and pressure drop throughout the well. They can also cause an effect on the IPR of heavy-oil horizontal wells. Nomenclature a : correlated coefficients function of API gravity (dimensionless) b : correlated coefficients function of API gravity (dimensionless) c : correlated coefficients function of API gravity (dimensionless) m : correlated coefficients for depletion (dimensionless) Pi : Original Reservoir pressure at bubble point (psia) Pf : Depleted Reservoir pressure (psia) Pr : Reservoir pressure, psia Pwf : Bottom-hole flowing pressure, psia Qo : Oil flow-rate, bpd Qoajuste : Fit average Rate after the day 2, bpd. Qomax : Maximum oil flow-rate, bpd Qosubida : Increasing curve flow-rate after the day 2, bpd. WC : water cut (fraction) : Deviation angle, degrees V : Coefficient V increase due to depletion (dimensionless) References
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14. Kabir, C.S. Inflow Performance of Slanted and Horizontal Wells in Solution-Gas-Drive Reservoir Paper SPE 24056, presented at the SPE Western Regional Meeting, Bakersfield, California, 1992. 15. Kamkom, R. and Zhu, D. Evaluation of Two- Phase IPR Correlations for Horizontal Wells Paper SPE 93986, presented at the SPE production and Operations Symposium, Oklahoma City, 2005 16. Kuchuk, F. J., Goode, P.A., Brice, B. W., Sherrard D. W., & Thambynayagam Michael Pressure Transient Analysis and Inflow Performance for Horizontal Wells Paper SPE 18300, presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference, Houston, Texas, 1998. 17. Mora, P. Optimizacin del Esquema de Produccin de Yacimientos de Crudos Pesados a travs de la Aplicacin de Segregacin Gravitacional Asistida por Vapor (SAGD) y la Perforacin de Pozos Interespaciados. Tesis para optar al ttulo de Ingeniero de Petrleo, Escuela de Ingeniera de Petrleo, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela. (2001) 18. Mutalik, P. N., Godbole, S. P., & Joshi, S.D. Effect of Drainage Area Shapes of the Productivity of Horizontal Wells Paper SPE 18301, presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Texas, 1988. 19. Pars de Ferrer, Magdalena.; Inyeccin de Agua y Gas en Yacimientos Petrolferos, Ediciones Astro Data S.A., Maracaibo Venezuela, 2001 20. Plahn, S.V., Startzman, R.A. & Wattenbarger, R.A. A Method for Predicting Horizontal Well Performance in Solution-GasDrive Reservoirs Paper SPE 16201, presented at the SPE Production Operations Symposium, Oklahoma City, 1987. 21. Renard, G. & Dupuy, J.M. Formation Damage Effects on Horizontal-Well Flow Efficiency Journal of Petroleum Technology 786-796, Julio, 1991. 22. Retnanto, Albertus, & Economides, J. Michael Inflow Performance Relationships of Horizontal and Multibranched Wells in a Solution-Gas-Drive Reservoir paper SPE 50659, presented at the European Petroleum Conference, Hague, Netherlands,1998. 23. Vogel, J.V. Inflow Performance Relationships for Solution Gas Drive Wells JPT (Jan 1968) 83-92. 24. Wiggins M.L. & Wang. H.-S. A Two-Phase IPR for horizontal Oil Wells, paper SPE 94302, presented at the 2005 SPE Production and Operations Symposium, Oklahoma City, 2005. 25. Wiggins, M. L., Russell, J.E., Jennings, J.W. Analytical Inflow Performance Relationships for Three-Phase Flow in Bounded Reservoirs. Paper SPE 24055 presented at the SPE Western Regional Meeting, 30 March-1 April 1992, Bakersfield, California