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Water Drive Gas Reservoirs: Uncertainty in Reserves

Evaluation From Past History


ABSTRACT 1. A reliable value for the reserves can be obtained

even if reservoir data (pressure and cumulative produc-
The use oj the material balance equa/ion to estimate tion) are affected by errors within the normal range.’-”
the volume of hydrocarbons originally present in a reser-
voir, witose producing mechanism is partly due to water 2. Areliable value forthereserves can be obtained only
drive, has been discussed in the literature by several if reservoir data are very accurate’-’ or if past production
uuthors. There is no general agreement upon the possibil-
performance has been subjected to abrupt variations in the
ity of obtaining reliable resuhs by this method. Gas production rate.’”
reservoirs in contact with an active aquifer are considered 3, No unique value for the reserves can be obtained
in this paper. from reservoir past production performance, This con-
Theoretical considerations basedon thecyberneticprin- clusion has been based upon theoretical considerations”
ciple oj uncertainty (which sta[es that the intermdstruc[ur-e and verified in several field cases.’’’”
of a system cannot be uniquely detertnined jrotn its ob- The purpose of this paper, which deals only with partial
served external behavior) lead to the conclusion that the waterdrive gas reservoirs, is to test the above conclusions
volume of gas originally present in a reservoir of this type against actual field cases. Some theoretical considerations
cannot be uniqueiy determined from i[s past history. The on this problem are also presented.
range of values which encotnpassm the actual value of the
reserves varies froin case to case and tnust be determined THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS
by either nutnerical oranalogical nte[hods.
As the behavior of a gas reservoir communicating with
Resuhs obtained for six gas fieIds are reported. A 1[ these an aquifer depends on both the aquifer and the reservoir
fields were produced with sma[l fluctuations in their pro- characteristics, the physical system to be studied is the
ductiott rates, as is cominon practice jor gas reservoirs; combined gas reservoir plus aquifer. The information
no gas storage fields were considered. Resulrs obtained which is available for studying the performance of such
show that reserves values in a range of I (o 2, associated a system is the well production rates and bottom-hole
with appropriate aquifers, allow the matching of the pressures, all given as functions of time.
reservoir past history wi!h tnean-square deviations less than
The external behavior of the reservoir-aquifer system is
tile experimental errors involved in pressure and produc-
therefore described by 2n input variables (G,,,, W,,,) and n
tion ineasuretnents, Similar results have been found in
output variables (p,), n being the number of wells in the
several other partial water drive gas reservoirs. From Ihese
results it is concluded that gas reserves cannot be uniquely
determitted from the past perjortnance of partial water In reservoir engineering it is common practice to con-
drive reservoirs, at least in cases where the reservoir has sider the reservoir as a whole, disregarding the internal
been submitled to stna!l fluctuations in the production rates, distribution of pressures and of producing wells. This
and pressure data of normal accuracy are available. practice is equivalent to substituting the above nmlti-
variable system with a single-variable system, where the
INTRODUCTION average reservoir pressure is the ordy output variable and
the cumulative production GP(t) and W,,(t) are the input
A number of authors have analyzed the problem of variables. The internal structure of such a system, defined
estimating the reserves originally present in a partial by initial gas reserves G, aquifer shape and dimensions,
waterdrive reservoir from ita past pressure-production per- boundary conditions and petrophysical parameters dis-
formance. Literature which deals with this subject can be tribution throughout the aquifer, is unknown. Therefore,
grouped, according to their conclusions, as follows. from a cybernetic point of view the system is a “black-
Original manumrir)t received in Society of Petroleum Emzinmrs
m%ce MaY 27, 1966. Revised manuscri~t received Dec. 7, 1966, Paper
It has been demonstrated” that for a blackbox the
(SPE 14S0) wss presented at SPE 41st Annual Fall Meeting held in indetermination principle holds. Accordingly, the number
I)allus, Tex., Oct. 2-5, 1966. @Copy vight 1967 American [nstituta of
Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. of different internal structures (or set of parameters)
preferences given st end of paper. which can account for the observed external behavior is
Discussion of this and all following technical DXDCrS is invited. Dis- infinite. As a consequence, the initial reserves cannot be
mwdon in writing (three copies) may be sent to the olllce of the
Journal of Petroleum Techwiogu, Any discussion offered after Dec. 31, uniquely determined from the reservoir past performance.
1967, should be in the form of a new ~ar)er. No discussion should ex-
reed 10 ~ercent of the manuscript being discussed. When W,(t) is known, the determination of G from

FEBRIIA14Y. 1967 237

the material balance equation is straightforward. This is an actual hktory was expressed quantitatively by means of the
ideal case since it is usually not possible to accurately root mean-square deviation u in the pressure data, and also
determine W.(f) from the gas-water contact advance which by the percentage average deviation (PAD).’n
can be observed through the wells; the reason lies in the
uncertainty tiecting the microscopic displacement efficien-
cy and conformance factor values. The range of indeter-
mination in the initial gas reserves value depends on the A comparison between PAD and the percentage error
specific case under consideration, and its estimation re- affecting the experimental measurements of the reservoir
quires finding those reservoir-aquifer systems which are average pressure gives a straightforward indication of how
able to reproduce the reservoir past performance when good the matching is. Taking into account the several
subjected to the actual past prot.luction history. This has factors affecting the computation accuracy of reservoir
been done for a number of Italian gas fields producing by average pressure (instruments accuracy and errors involv~
partial water drive. The computation method used and the in averaging methods), PAD values of less than 1 percent
experimental results obtained are summarized. can be considered an excellent match between the actual
and calculated pressure histories. The PAD values ob-
COMPUTATION METHOD tained from the many reservoir-aquifer systems examined
for studying the reservoirs described in this paper are
A set of reserves values encompassing the volumetrically almost always less than 1 percent. In many cases, PAD
computed one was selected for each reservoir. For each of values could have been further reduced if the selection of
these reserves values an aquifer was found that permits possible aquifers had been extended to heterogeneous
reproduction of the actual reservoir past history with the ones, or if the reservoir initial pressure value had been
minimum root mean-square deviation in the pressure data. taken slightly different from that given by the actual
In accomplishing this work, use was made of a simulator reservoir history.
and a trial-and-error procedure. The simulator used’’’” is a
multi-pool analyzer consisting of an RC network (simu- EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS
lating the aquifer) coupled to an analog computer which
simulates each gas pool as a whole. The range of indetermination which affects the value of
gas reserves evaIuated from the reservoir past history was
Use of an analog simulator is most convenient when experimentally ascertained on many gas fields of the Po
heterogeneous aquifers of any shape or multi-pool prob-
River Valley, The results presented in this paper refer to
lems are to be handled. Also, in the homogeneous radial five of these reservoirs (A-1, BM-A, C-C, R-A and S-F).
aquifer cases referred to in this paper, a digital technique For each reservoir, the basic data and pressure production
could have been used. past history are reported in Table 1, The thermodynamic
The pressure history obtained from the analog simulator characteristics of each reservoir gas are given in Table 2.
can be considered the exact history of the simulated At the time this study was made, all the reservoirs had been
reservoir-aquifer system, due to the small magnitude of producing for several years and a significant percentage of
experimental errors involved. If the deviation between the their initial gas reserves had been produced, Each reservoir
actual pressure history of the reservoir and the calculated is in contact with an aquifer. In alI cases the presence of
exact history is within the experimental error affecting a water drive mechanism is indicated by the water invasion
reservoir pressure measuremems, one can state that the of some peripheral wells; nevertheless, the cumulative
behavior of the simulated reservoir-aquifer system is an water production was negligible.
exact replica of the actual reservoir behavior. In particular,
A Gulf Coast gas field, whose data were available from
the assumed value for the reserves is consistent with the
the literatures was also studied. The reason for studying
past history of the actual reservoir.
this field arose from the fact that results obtained by the
~To obtain an objective evaluation of the deviation be- application of an especially accurate statistical method for
tween the two histories to be compared, the past perform- estimating the reserves were available.’
ance of the actual reservoir has been deftned through the
use of the experimental points only, witbout attempting FIELD A.1
any interpolation. The range of initial reserves values which has been ex-
Selection of the aquifers to be associated to the assumed plored for Field A-1 is from 141.3 to 353.1 Bscf (Table 3).
reserves values has been purposely limited to homogeneous All the calculated past histories are equivalent as they re-
aquifers of circular shape. This limitation has been adopted produce the actual past history with PAD values less than
to take the same position as the field engineer who, for 1 percent, e.cept for Case 7 (PAD= 1.08 percent). There-
simplicity and 1 madition, is inclined to consider homo- fore, the actual reservoir-aquifer system and all the pro-
geneous and circular (or linear) aquifers only, for which posed systems are equivalent, From available information
the Q ,Dand P!D functions are available from *e literature. on the volume of water encroached into the actual reser-
Of course, heterogeneous aquifers of any configuration can voir, it can be inferred only that G values less than 210
be handled very easily by tb’ simulator. Bscf are unlikely. For one case (G = 264,9 Bscf) the pos-
For each simulated rest, ~oir-aquifer system matching sibility was examined to simulate the past history with
the reservoir actual history, the characteristic constants several aquifers of different characteristics.
(C, K,, r.J of the aquifer were derived from the RC net- Six different aquifers were equivalent; the relative C
work. These constants and the correspondhg reserves and K~ values are plotted, together with the corresponding
value were then entered into a digital computer and the PAD values, in Fig, 1. From the interpretation of the ex-
exact pressure h[story numerically calculated in the usual perimental points shown in this figure it is evident that an
way’” (digital computation having the advantage of better infinite number of aquifers can be combined with the
accuracy). Data presented in this paper are those obtained above G value, all giving the same past hktory. There-
from the digital computation. fore, in this specific case it would be impossible to uniquely
The deviation of each exact history from the reservoir define the characteristics of the aquifer even if reserves


value is known. This result follows from the indetermina- corresponding PAD values are less than the experimental
tion principle, the aquifer being a blackbox whose external error affecting the measurements of the reservoir average
hchavior only is known. pressure. The two resulting G values are nevertheless quite
To evaluate the resolving power of line-fitting methods different (170,4 and 254.8 Bscf, respectively).
described in the literature, the one by Hubbard et al.’ has However, this method was originally developed for appli-
been applied to this reservoir, using two pairs of corres- cation to gas reservoirs converted to gas storage. These
ponding values among those found by the analog simulator reservoirs are subjected to very strong fluctuations in their
for K, and r... In, boih cases the experimental points lie production rates; therefore, the resulting pressure response
with good accuracy on a straight line (Fig, 2) and the contains much more information about the system. There

Reservoir A-1 SM-A C.c R.A S-F

‘Ifiltiol res. —
Yol. Catc. 3’2s.7 33.87 126.4 168.4 176,6
assumed 141.3 to 353,1 24.72 to 53.00 80.3 to 176.6 105.9 to 15s,9 123.6 te 176.6
res. (Bxf)
Cum. prod.
when study 33.6 49.9 57.7 44.5 5s.5
w.. run. % . .-
vol. re$.
Cumulative Gas Average Cumulative Gas Average Cumulatkw Gas Average Cumulntlve Gas Average Cumulative Gas Average
Time Produced Pressure Produced Pressure Produced Pressure Produced Prewre Produced Pressure
(months) G. [BscF) P (P$in) Gp (B$tf) P (P9W GP [B$cf) P bid GP (Ed) P (PM —— G, [Btcf] P (PM
0.0000 2,41S 0.0000 1,927 0.0000 1,818 0.000o 2,630 0.0000 2,233
3,0159 2,;64
0,6672 1,s97
1 .3s08

1.0768 2,729
6 4.9369 2,367 1.1783 1.8010 1,781 0.6699 1.3072 2,219
s 6.2935 2,365 1.7626 3.1535 — 0,9920 — 1.3072 2,225
10 7.S446 2,350 2.1717 4.193s 1.3233 I .7907 —

10.0671 2,335 2,4314 1,883 5.2247 1.63S7 2.6891

10.9672 2,33S 2.6274 6.2594 2.0196 3.7689
12.506S 2,327 3.0311 1,862 7.2923 I ,751 2.7017 — 5.1777
14.2483 3.5s72 8.3959 — 3.9231 6.4195 2T69
16.4686 4.i687 1,832 9.5083 — 5.0600 7.3272 2,153

19.1569 2,269 4.6375 1,831 10.634S 6.1S49 7.7217 2,145

21.8601 2,254 4.9043 1,826 11,7543 7.3049 8.3740 2,142
25.0694 2,237 5.1545 12.s190 1,712 8,4935 — 9.S462 —
27.3912 2,213 5.5171 1,822 13.7071 — 10.9257 11.4127 —
30.6637 — 6.1030 1,805 14.5970 13,6516 12.s441

33.9971 — 6.7792 1S.4940 14.9303 14.2204

36.9639 7.2769 1,795 16.3804 — 15.1784 — 14.8703 2 F57
39.7172 2,756 7.5702 1,784 17.2632 15.4385 — ; pWf 2,044
41.5226 2,143 s.0219 1S.1461 16,550S — 2,023
44.4413 8.6017 1,765 19.0191 1,778 18.4S0S 20:2019

47. I 744 9.3227 19.9930 21.5384 22.1236 —

49.9532 10.1055 20.9730 23.9335 23.8098
52.8945 2,;98 10.6241 IF1 21.9424 — 25.9430 — 25.1021 1F34
55.8469 — 11.0437 22.9170 26.9793 27.4847 1,940
58.0177 2,091 I 1.4503 1700 23.8899 29.0273 l,a97

61.4001 — 11.9256 —
24.8734 1,643 31.4206 33.4714
64.3613 12.4467 25.8446 34.1037 36.6410
67.3282 2,;34 12.9793 26.s29S — 35.34S6 2;4 39.7014 1Es
70.2294 I 3,4397 27.S009 41.01 I 2
35.6304 2,108
72.8696 2,o14 13.8768 1;80 28.7756 35.7354 2,108 44.6297

75.7672 1,996 14.1546 29.7397 —

62 36.0765 48.7076
7s.s404 14.6017 1,768
64 1,;80 15.0466
30.8115 1,;21 37.7987 — S2.6157
66 81.8056 I ,668 32.1128 1,599 39.0974 54.4177
84.7276 15.3608 1,657 ;:.::WQ:
6S 39.7663 2G,7 55.5025 1,799
87.7205 15.7766 1,641
70 40.0428 2,065 56.5722
90.i1385 — 16.1680 1,639
72 36.2961 I ,579 40.2941 2,067 58.9644 1,556
93.6779 16.2068 1,678 37.4505
74 41.7141 62.9243 1,513
96.2496 1;3 16.4751 1,661 3S.6106
76 43.5249 66,0817
99.1307 16.9106 39.7660
7s ,766 45.5659 67.6350 1,765
80 102.1177 40.861S 46.3925 70.1428
1,777 1,415
82 104.9584 42.394S 46.4782 71.1077 1,40s
84 107.S226 d4.0676 ;43 47.1400 74,3630 1,363
110.3!359 1,753 45.0783
S6 ,535 ;pf 77,4440
8s 46.4432 79.7133 —
90 47.9158 54:0549 — 81.7708

92 49.4008 ,508 55.9902 — 83.6547

94 50.9140 57.735s 84.S277 I ,750
96 52.45S9 1,498 58.6393 IZ5 87.1868
53.7684 60.8932 89.7962
‘ 1:8 55.279S 63.1990 92.2207 —

102 56.7782 1,479 65.7134 94.0234 1,115

104 58,3553 68.0458 1,751 95.4639
106 39.9819 69.3764 96,3466 1,io9
108 61.5527 1744 69.S445 1,737 97.2763 —
110 62,S942 72.3631 1,607 s8.9a44

112 64.4735 74.8727 lW.7267

114 66.0736 1;1 101.5752
116 67.6362 1,402 101,9083 I ,T57
118 69.0424 103.3246
1.20 70.3684 —

122 70,9737
124 71.9099
126 72.8644 1 ,iol

FERRfJA21Y, 11967

Dr,viatlen Bntwe.en
Resewolr Parameters -—
A-1 _— BM.A c-c R-A
——. S-F Percent.
Actuai & Calc.
ReferenCe tem!worure
A;;f;d Prnsmre History in. res.
(“F) 59 59 59 59 59 Aqulfw Characteristics —~[.k!. -
Rmwve$, —- Invaded
Referance immure at end of
(Psi’a) 14.69 14.69 14.69 14.69 14.69 Reservoir cam —-(~<f)
— (bb~/P$i)
— —
rr), [J&t)
..— —
-—- POSt hkt.
R.xemak temperature A.I 1 141,26 14,339.0 0.532 :$ 0.358 9.2 71. I
(“F) 109.B 100.6 9B,B 130.8 123.3 176,57 1~lx&. : 0.723 8<9 51,1
211.88 1.277 12:0 ::% 37.2
Com!xewlbility factors at reservoir tem!xmaturm fi;.;y 5:018:7 1,065 m 0.473 1::! 26.6
3,584.8 1,420 WJ 0,650 17,1 19.9
( .=++ 317:83 5,2S2.7 0.639 w 0.872 22.5 !;.;
Pressure (Ma] 2,334.? al
—-. . .— 353.14 1.277 1.082 27,2
— 264.86 1,115.2 6.388 m 0.461 12.5 23:2
2702 0.S827 - m
264.86 1,672.S 3.823 0.479 12.7 22.9
2560 0.B475 — - 0.8812 — 264.86 4,1B2. I 1.277 m 0.517 14,0 23.3
0.B454 — - 0.8802 - 264.B6 5,904.0 0.766 ,a 0.562 14.8 22.5
241 B 10,037.5
26A.86 0.3B3 (n 0.574 14,7 22.5
2276 0.8478 - - 0.8S11 0.B760 264.S6 16,729.0 0.191 m 0.582 15.2 22.5
2134 0.B504 — - 0.8816 0.8775
BM.A 24.72 9,121.3 0.3968 4.46 0.327
I 991 0.8517 0.8544 - 0.8830 0.8797 ; 31.78 8,181.7 0.3968 4.46 0.4d6 Ii:: ti:
1849 0.8562 0.8598 0.8474 0.8859 0.8828 3 38.85 6,776.9 0.3968 4.46 0.588 12.9 32.5
1707 0.E612 0.8635 0.85?4 0.8914 0.SS76 4 45.91 6,236.1 o.39t 8 4.46 0.397 10.1 24.8
5 52.97 5,647.5 0.3968 4,46 0.371 9.5 19.3
1565 0.8680 0.B695 0.B594 0.8967 0.S928
1422 0.8764 0,8782 0.8676 0.9020 0.8990 C.c 88.29 4,844.1 2.129 14.0 1.053 20.8 77.9
i 105.94 4,285.2 2.129 14.0 0.607 12.0 59.5
1280 0.8B40 0.8864 0.S771 o .?093 0.9065 3 123.60 6,190.1 0.423 8.3
0.958 03 46.2
1138 0.8916 0.8940 0.8861 0.9166 0.9144 4 141,26 5,571.0 0.958 n 0.308 6.5 36.0
996 0.9023 0.9065 0.8956 0.9246 0,9235 5 158.91 5,064.3 0.958 02 0.384 28.5
6 176.57 4,204.2 0.958 w 0.356 9:! 21.5
853 0.9136 0.9162 0.9073 0!9334 0.9327
R-A 105.94 49,135,0 0.0107 :8.: ::3:~ 19,2 48.7
; 123.64 37,289.0 0,0113 13.3 ~;.g
is no doubt that, in these cases, the Hubbard et al.: method :
11.6 8:9
has a resolving power higher than that shown for reservoirs S-F 123,60 1,326.S 3.690 14,0 0.819 17.9 64.5
under primary depletion, where the production rate is ; 141.26 1,580,4 3,690 9.0 1.273 28.4 39.9
158,91 1,510.5 3,690 6.0 0.507 12.0 17,2
fairly constant. : 176.57 1,s10.5 3.690 4,0 0.664 15.2 6,8
CC 123,60 1,909.3 0,533 ‘zJ 0.531 31.5 14.0
l~ll%fl 13M-A ; 141.26 1,771.4 0.533 ~m 0,421 24.6 11.5
The range of initial reserves values explored for Field 3 180.00 1,468,0 04533 m 0,248 17.3 7.5
4 211.88 1,218,2 0,533 ccl 0.271 20.2 5.3
BM-A were from 24.7 to 53.0 Bscf (Table 3, Fig. 3). The 5 247.20 941.8 0,533 PA 0.410 27.3 3.5
6 lB0,00 1,468.0 0.566 T 0,264 }9.1 7.7
results show that, for this example also, the correct value
for the initial reserves cannot be determined from the past
history: the range of indetermination is at least from 24,7
to 53.0 Bscf. Moreover, Fig. 3 shows-that infinite G values
in the range stu(iied, coupled with aquifers having the .
I , I , , 1 , , I ,

40 ●

“~ -
$ 20
! 1 II 1 , I n
Y Kt= 0.532 months-’ G = 170.4 9scf
C = 13,0L5 bbl/psi
erz I
: 80 I I
6 =265 Bscf mm CJ /
a “
=m a 4
U 60 - ASaM&D.

K!= 1,277 months-l

r =0-
40 -


G =2L5.8 Bscf
20 -
C =5,218 bbl/psi

o I I
o 1 2 3
0.1 0,5 1 5 10
-1 I psi”’,10-6
‘t ‘ ‘onths


same K, and J.,, and ditiering by C, can reproduce the past produced, At this time four peripheral wells had been
history with the percentage deviation in the pressure values invaded by water encroaching from the edge aquifer and
being smaller than the error affecting”the measurements of four other peripheral wells were nearly water-invaded. No
the average reservoir pressure. The information available reliable pressure data were available for the first 4.5
on the volume of water which actually entered the reser- years of production, which obviously makes evaluating the
voir did not permit a better definition of the possible initiaf gas reserves from the reservoir past history more
value of the initial reserves. difficult.
lWLD C.C The range of initial reserves values which were explored
The range of initial reserves values which has been ex- is from 105 Q to 15S,9 Bscf, Higher values were not con-
plored for Field C-C is from 88.3 to 176.6 Bscf (Table 3). sidered because they would correspond to a reservoir with
It is also impossible in this example to ascertain from a very small water drive, which is in contrast with the
the past history which is the value pertaining to the re- actual reservoir behavior as manifested by the water in-
serves, since the range of uncertainty is at least from 88.3 vasion of the peripheral wells (Table 3). Once again it
to 176.6 Bscf. Information available on the volume of is apparent that initial reserves cannot be uniquely deter-
water encroached into the reservoir leads to exclude mined from the past history; the range of indetermination
values below 100 Bscfi, there is no other possible means to is from 105.9 to 158.9 Bscf.
narrow the range of indetermination. The reservoir-aquifef systems found to be equivalent as
The line-fitting method described by Havlena ef al~” and far as past history is concerned were tested to determine
Pirson’ has been applied to this reservoir to evaluate the whether they remained equivalent with respect to the
resolving power of the same method. For K, and r.~, two future pressure behavior re~ulting from a given production
pairs of corresponding values were taken among those schedule. The response of these systems to the actuaI pro-
already found by the analog simulator, In both cases the duction history following the period of time previously
experimental points lie on a straight line (Fig. 4) as re- considered was studied. Results obtained for the two
quired by the method, but the reserves values which result cases G = 105.9 and 158,9 Bscf are summarized in Fig. 5.
therefrom are different (72.4 and 160.7 Bscf, respective y). From this figure, it is apparent that the future pressure
behavior is somewhat different for the two cases, There-
FI1{LD R-A fore, in the example considered, reservoir-aquifer systems
At the time this study was made, about 72 percent of which are equivalent as far as the past history is concerned
the initial reserves had been recovered. Of the 21 wells are no longer equivalent in their extrapolation to the
which were originally in production, 11 had already been future.
shut down because of water invasion and six others were
showing evidence that they were nearly water-invaded. hoo I I 1 I I I I
This information indicates that the reservoir was close to
depletion; this is a situation where the evaluation of the
reserves is obviously of no interest to anybody. For this
reason it was preferred to examine the situation that 300 -
would have faced the reservoir engineer some time earlier
in the life of the reservoir. .
At the time chosen, the reservoir had been producing .
200 -
for 9.3 years, and 44S percent of initial reserves had been

u 100 -
Kt=2.f29 months-f G= 72.4 Sscf
m :5
m reo=14 c =5,174 bbl/psi
400 1 , , , , I

a = :W

300 -


Y .


G=160.7 Bscf

r =m C =.$,953 bbl/psi
?0 30 Lo 50 80 01 23 II 5678
G, Bscf
ZAP%O ,p~, .,.6
l~I[;. :+ ftI{sKftvIMrt tt!d.A: REI.ATIO>SIIIP ~KY\Vl;l:X ~ AND (: Efg-Bgi

FEBRUARY, 1967 24i


To obtain an evaluation on the resolving power of the for the initial reserves cannot be determined on the basis
line-fitting method described by McEwen~ this method has of the past history (range of indetermination is from 123.6
been applied to the reservoir in question. Two sets of tt} 176,6 Bscf). The case for G = 141,3 Bscf shows a high-
values for K,, C/G and r.~ were chosen among those er value of PAD; it was ascertained by the simulator that
found by the analog simulator, The results obtained are this PAD value can be reduced, assuming a heterogeneous
presented in Fig. 6, which shows the experimented points aquifer with kh decreasing along the radhrs.
lying on a straight line as is required by the method. More- Information available on the volume of water which
over, SSD, values are very small, confirming the validity actually entered the reservoir does not help in defining the
of the values taken for Ktt C/G and r.~, SSD. values ob- range of indetermination. Two additional wells drilled in
tained for the other cases not shown in Fig, 6 are of the
the central part of the reservoir established that the ad-
same order of magnitude; in any case, they do not allow vance of the water table is very irregular i~nd does not
specification by statistical methods of which reservoir- allow en accurate evaluation of W=.
aquifer system best reproduces the behavior of the actual
system. Resulting G values are very different (105,9 and To obtain an evaluation of the resolving power of the
159.4 Bscf, respectively). It is concluded that the applied line-fitting methods described in the literature, the one by
method is not valuable, in this case, to uniquely determine Hubbard et al.’ has been applied to this reservoir, assum-
ing for KI and rc~ the extreme values found by trial-and-
the G value.
error with the help of the simulator. While in one case
FIELD S.F (Fig. 7) the experimental points lie on a straight line as
The range of initial reservm values explored for Fie[d required by the method, in the other case the fitting of
S-F was from 123.6 to 176.6 Bscfi higher values were the experimental points by means of a straight line is un-
not considered because they would correspond to a reser- certain. In both cases the value of PAD is less than the
voir with an insignificant water drive, in contrast with the experiment al error affecting the measurements of the aver-
water invasion observed in some peripheral wells (Table age reservoir pressure. The reserves values so determined
3). Also in this case it can be realized that an exact value arc almost equal (143 and 165 Bscf, respective y); it can
be concluded that, in this case, the line-titting method
used has a good resoIving power,

This study was extended to a Gulf Coast (GC) gas field
whose data are avaiIabIe from the Iitcrat ure,” together with
the results obtained by the application of a particularly
z’ accurate statistical method. In the reference the most
2 75 -
probable G and K, values were determined by a line-fitting
1.2 I I
o I I
50 -
Id 1,0

3= 25 - —FORECAST .4 .8 -
Kt=0.0107 months-’
.6 -
300: i
!40 80 to 160
:m ,4 - 50

s .2 –
\ . G = 105.9 Bscf
‘\\ 0
ssDn=50 .10-4
2000 d- I I I

2 1.!
,91500 .8 -
w + Kt = 0.357 months”
.- .
a cas.e 1
mm -Q- = 1.879 .10-7 psi-1
e cas 4 m
‘m .6 - G
re o = 2.5
i? 1000
w %- /


“o 25 50 75 100 125
TIME, months
Gp Bg, bbl .106


method assuming r,n = co and a constant value for C/G. CONCLUSIONS
The above optimum K, value was assigned to all the aqui-
fers considered in this study, Reserves values between 123.6 1. It has been ascertained that different gas reservoir-
and 247.2 Bscf were then assumed and the corresponding aquifer systems can show the same pressure performance
C values which allowed the matching of the actual reser- in response to a given production schedule. Therefore, it is
voir past hktory were determined by the simulator. not possible to determine the initial reserves of a water
drive gas reservoir from its pressure-production history.
Results obtained are reported in Table 3 arid summar-
This is in agreement with the principle of uncertainty,
ized in Fig. 8. In all cases examined, PAD values are less which states that the internal structure of a system cannot
than the error usually affecting the measurements of the
be uniquely determined from its external behavior,
reservoir average pressure; all the reservoir-aquifer sys-
tems presented are therefore equivalent to the actual 2. The range of indetermination of the initial reserves
system, withtn the experimental errors in pressure measure- value must be found for each specific case. Thk can be
ments, It can be concluded that the initial reserves cannot accomplished by finding the reservoir-aquifer systems
be uniquely determined. which are able to reproduce the past pressure behavior of
the actual reservoir with a root mean-square deviation
The line-fitting method described in the original work’ sma!ler than the error affecting the values of the average
was applied to the cases studied with the simulator to reservoir pressure,
evaluate its resolving power. To this end, Kt, C/G and
values obtained by the simulator were used to calculate, The results presented in this paper, pertaining to fields
by the above method, the corresponding values for G and in an advanced stage of theh productive life, show that
SSD.. the range of indetermination is as large as 1 to 2. It can
be reasonably inferred that the indetermination would be
Results obtained are reported in Fig. 8 where the SSD. larger when the reserves evaluation is made at an earlier
parameter and the root mean-square deviation o are given stage of the productive life. The experimental work re-
as funciions of G. As indicated by the SSD. vs G diagram, ported in this paper was purposely limited to homogeneous
the most probable value for the initial reserves is 180 circular aquifers. Should the work be extended to het-
Bscf. While this conclusion is certainly valid from the point
erogeneous aquifers of whatever shape, a wider range of
of view of probability, its physical meaning becomes
indetermination might result.
somewhat obscure when one observes that, for all the
cases presented, u value is very low and certainly less than AR the reservoirs which were studied had been sub-
the standard deviation affecting reservoir pressure measure-
ments, A final conclusion is that all the reservoir-aquifer I I Lo
systems reported can reproduce the actual reservoir past
E 30
~story wi~hin the limits-of the experimental errors. g 1’
20 ~

~ # :
K,=3.690 months-f G=143 Bscf I 1 0
2 30
reo=u C ’852 bbl/psi

/ ?----”
1 20

. 2s .5 .75 . 1 1.25
‘/’ .-
~ *
.n- c
/ (3 2
-. (n
. ./. 10

ASSUMED CALCULATE Kt = 0.533 months-i
Kt=3,690 months’1 G=f65 9scf
reD= m
~o.k C = 2,W bbl/~s!
V“ 0
01 foo 150 200 250
0 2.5 5 75 10 125 –15
G, Bscf
B9- B91 , psi-110-7

FEIIIIUASIY, 1967 2.s3


jetted to a rather smooth production history, which is l% rtial \Vaicr.Dtive I{eselvoir”, ?’runs., AIMIJ (1953) 198,
quite normal in depleting a gas field, The larger are the ‘51.60,
fluctuations in the field production rate, the narrower are 2, Pir,+on, S, J.: Od Reservoir Engineering, 2nd hi., McGritw-
the ranges of indetermination in the initial reserves. In Hill Book Co,, Inc., New York (1958),
the extreme case of a gas reservoir being converted to gas 3. .%mley, L, T,: “A Rapid Method of Calculating RCSCIvcs of
storage, the indetermination in the initial gas reserves \Vi.rter Drive Rcsmvoirs by Material Balance”, Paper 1659*G;
see ?’rans,, AIME (1961) Part II, 308.
value usually becomes very small, Moreover, the range of
indetermination could be further narrowed if the reservoir 4. Mcliwen, C. R,: “Material Balance Calculations with Water
Influx in the Presence of Uncertainty in Pressures”, SUC. Pet. ,
past histmy is defined by accurate average pressure values. Eng. j, (June, 1962) 120-128,
Of course, the initial reserves are no longer undeter- 5. Havlenn, D. and Odeh, A. S.: “The Material Balance us an
mined when information is available on the cumulative Itquation of a Straight I.ine”, J, Pe/, Tech. (Aug,, IW;J)
volume of encroached water in the reservoir. Unfortun- 896-900,
ately, such information is usually only available (with the fJ. Hnvlena, D. and Odeh, A. S.: ‘W]e Matcrinl Ihdimcc as tilt
accuracy required by the reservoir engineer) late in the liquotion of u Straight J,in(.: l’:tr[ 11. f;irl,l (k,.”, .I. I’cl,
producing life of the reservoir when knowing the initial Tech. (Jll]y, 1964) 815.822.
reserves value is of little interest. 7. Hal, bard, R. M, OIIJ l;lenbaas, J. R.: “l)rlcrtniniI1g (jiw.i’illml
I’orr \Tolan,(. i,, a \Valer.l)rirt: (;as.. $tnrugr l{rw,rvoir”’. ./,
\ L_fl- Pet.Tech. (April, 1964) 383-3ttff.
NOMENCLATURE tt. Ohl, R. E., Jr.: “Analysis of Reservoir I>crfornmnre”, I’r(i)fs,,
AIME (1943) 151,86.98,
K, = proportionality constant between dimensionless
9. Ilrownscomhe, E. R. and CoIlills, h’,: “ltstinlatiorr of Rr+crvcs
and real time (fti = K,t) and \Vater Drive from Prwsurc and Prodnclion Ilistory”,
7’rrrns., AIMIj (1949) 186, 92.99.
+ I~.s. - p(.”m,,]
PAD = percentage average deviation = 10, Katz, D, L., ’f’ck, hf. R., Coats, K. H., Katz, M. l,,, Jmms, S. (;
x Pm. and Miller, M. C.: Moucmcnt o~ Llnderground water ill (,”mt.
.100 fuctwitki Va//[ral &Is, AGA, ?&w York (1963).

SSD. = normalized value of the sum of the squares of 11. Woods, R, W, and Muskat, M.: “An Analysis of M~teriul.
Bolance Calculations”, Trmrs.,AIME (1945) 160,124-139.
deviations from the best straight line’
12. Stewart, F. M., Calhiway, F’. H, and Gladfclter, R. E.: “CrMl-
u= root mean-square deviation in pressure values parison of Methods for Analyzingn ‘iVater Drive Field, Torch-
light Tensleep Reservoir, ‘Wyoming”, Trans., AIME (1954)
201, 197-202,
13. SinIons, f,, H. nnd Spain, H. H.: “1.incitations on Pressure
comp. =computed value t’orthesinluhtted reservoir+tquifer Predictiol,s for~ater.Drive Reservoirs”, Y’runs.,AIMK L1958)
system 213, 427-429.
14. Ashby, W. R,: Ars ~nzrod[~c~ion to Cybernetics, Chapnan and
j = jth well HalI, London (1956).
15. A:;hby, \V. R.: Design /or a Brain, 2nd Ed, John Wiley &
res. = actual reservoir value Sons, Inc., New York (1960),
16. ROwTan, G. and Clrgg, M. \V.: “1’he Cybernetic Approach to
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Reservoir I@ineering”, Paper SP13 727 presented at SPE
381h Annunl Full Meeting, New Orleans (Oct. 6-9, 1963).
The authors thank the management of AtilP-Direzione 17. hfesarovic, M. D.: The Control o/ M/[ltit,ariable Syste/r/s, Jo}ltt
Mineraria for permission to publish this paper, and espe- \vi[eY& Sons, Inc., New York (1960).
cially G. Long. head of Servizio Geochimico e L.aboratori,
who sponsored this research, They also wish to express 18. Chicrici, G. L., Cincci, G. M. rmd l’iz~i, (L: Was Stortige ill
Gas Fields Communicating with au Aquifer, P1-c5sure Trend
their appreciation to C. Bortoloni who carried out the ex- Forecast by Means of an Analog Simulator”, Paper ST/1~C12/
perimental work on the simulator. CAS/11, Symposium wt. Comparative Economics 01 Modern
Gus Storage Methods, Paris (Stq]t. ,21-26, 1964).

REFERENCES 19. Cbierici, G. L. and Pimi, G.: “\v@ter.Drive G8s Reservoirs:

Uncertainty in Reserves Evalmition From Past History”, Paper
I.von Everdirrgen, A. F., Timmerman, E. H. uml Mdvitrhrm, SPE 1480 presented iit SPE 41st Annual Fall Meeting. Dalhss,
J. J.: “Application of the Material Brrlancc Eqnution to SI Tcx. [oct, 2.5, 1966). ***