THE UNIVERSITY OF TULSA
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
GAS WELL PRODUCTION OPTIMIZATION USING DYNAMIC NODAL
ANALYSIS
BY
ARSENE BITSINDOU
A THESIS
APPROVED FOR THE DISCIPLINE OF
PETROLEUM ENGINEERING
By Thesis Committee
, Chairperson
i
ABSTRACT
Bitsindou Arsene (Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering)
Gas well Production Optimization using Dynamic nodal Analysis.
Directed by Dr. Mohan Kelkar
(130 words)
This work presents a numerical algorithm that permits the production optimization
of
gas wells using the concept of dynamic nodal analysis. By combining the desirable
features of nodal analysis, material balance technique and decline curve analysis, the
method is able to match the historical performance of the well data. It is also able to predict
the future performance of the gas well under the existing condition as well as altered
conditions. The proposed technique, which has several advantages over the classical nodal
analysis, can be used for the selection of the timing and capacity of surface compressor, the
evaluation of the economic viability of a well stimulation, and the understanding of the
effect of individual production component on the productivity of a gas well over the life of
that well.
ii
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Mohan Kelkar for his invaluable
guidance and support during the course of my Master’s study. I also express my gratitude to
Dr Leslie G. Thompson of the University of Tulsa, and Stuart Cox of Marathon Co. for their
comments and suggestions and for serving on my dissertation committee.
I am grateful to Marathon Co. for providing the field data used during the test of the
computer program.
I would like to express my appreciation to all the other faculty members who
contributed to my education as a TU graduate student. I would also like to thank my
graduate student colleagues who made my life easier at TU, especially Harun Ates with who
I shared the office during the preparation of this thesis.
This dissertation is dedicated to my family whose support and encouragement will
always be appreciated.
iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE 
i 

ABSTRACT 
ii 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 
iii 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 
iv 

LIST OF TABLES 
viii 

LIST OF FIGURES 
x 

CHAPTER 
I 
INTRODUCTION 
1 

CHAPTER 
II 
PROCEDURE 
11 

2.1 
Mathematical Modeling 
11 

2.1.1 History Match 
11 

2.1.2 Future Performance Prediction 
15 

2.2 
Regression Analysis 
16 

2.2.1 
Parameter constraints 
21 

2.2.1.1 
Imaging Extension Method 
22 

2.3 
Nodal Analysis Technique 
23 

2.4 
Summary 
28 
iv
CHAPTER III 
IMPLEMENTATION 
29 
3.1 Computer Program 
29 

3.2 Models and Correlations 
30 

3.1.1 Reservoir 
30 

3.1.2 Perforations 
33 

3.1.3 Gravel Pack 
37 

3.1.4 Tubing String 
41 

3.1.5 Subsurface Device (Subsurface Restriction) 
43 

3.1.6 Subsurface safety valve 
44 

3.1.7 Well Head Choke 
45 

3.1.8 Surface Pipeline 
45 

3.1.9 Fluid Properties 
45 

3.3 Sensitivity Studies With Respect to Input Parameters 
47 

3.3.1 Sensitivity With Respect to Pressures Decrement 
47 

3.3.2 Sensitivity With Respect to Tolerance 
47 

3.3.3 Sensitivity with Respect to Input Parameters in Order to 

Get the Match 
48 

CHAPTER IV 
RESULTS/VALIDATION 
49 
v
4.1 Synthetic Data 
49 

4.1.1 History Match 
53 

4.1.2 Sensitivity Analysis 
56 

4.1.2.1 Sensitivity of History Match Results With 

Respect to Pressure Decrements 

Values 
56 

4.1.2.2 Sensitivity of History Match Results With 

Respect to Tolerance Values 
59 

4.1.2.3 Verification of the Robustness With 

Respect to Errors 
62 

4.1.3 
Future Performance Simulations 
72 
4.1.3.1 Future Performance Simulations for 

Different Well Head Pressure Values 
72 

4.1.3.2 Future Performance Simulations for 

Different Skin Values 
75 

4.2 Field Data 
78 

4.2.1 
Case #1: Dry Gas Well Producing at a Constant Well 

Head Pressure 
78 

4.2.1.1 History Match 
81 

4.2.1.2 Future Performance Predictions 
88 
vi
4.2.1.2.1 Future Performance Prediction
Using Different Well head
Pressure Values 
88 

4.2.1.2.2 Future Performance Prediction 

Using Different Skin Values 
91 

4.2.1.2.3 Future Performance Prediction for 

Different Density of 

Perforation 
94 

4.2.2 
Case #2: Conversion of Original Data from Constant 

Flow Rate to Constant Well Head Pressure 
97 

4.2.2.1 History Match 
104 

4.2.2.2 Future Performance Predictions 
108 

4.2.2.2.1 Future Performance Prediction 

Using Different Well head 

Pressure Values 
108 

4.2.2.2.2 Future Performance Prediction 

Using Different Skin Values 
111 

4.2.2.2.3 Future Performance Prediction 

Using Different Perforated 

Interval Values 
114 
vii
4.2.3. 
Case #3: Conversion of Original Data from Constant 

Flow Rate to Constant Well Head Pressure 
117 

4.2.3.1 History Match 
124 

4.2.3.2 Future Performance Predictions 
127 

4.2.3.2.1 
Future Performance Prediction 

Using Different Well head 

Pressure Values 
127 

4.2.3.2.2. 
Future Performance Prediction for 

Different Perforation Density 

Values 
130 

4.2.3.2.3 
Future Performance Prediction 

Using Different Perforated 

Interval Values 
133 

4.2.4 
Case #4: Use of the Last Two Years of Production Only 
136 

4.2.4.1 History Match 
138 

4.2.4.2 Future Performance Predictions 
143 

4.2.4.2.1 Reduction in Well Head Pressure 
143 

4.2.4.2.2 Reduction in Tubing Size 
146 

4.2.4.2.3 Choke Installation 
149 

CHAPTER V 
CONCLUSIONS 
152 
viii
RECOMMENDATIONS 
154 
NOMENCLATURE 
155 
REFERENCES 
158 
ix
LIST OF TABLES
3.1 
Gas Reservoir Inflow Performance Relationship 
32 
3.2 
Correlations for Multiphase Flow in Pipes 
42 
3.3 
Correlations for Flow across Chokes and Restrictions 
43 
3.4 
Correlations for Multiphase Subcritical Flow in Subsurface 

Safety Valves 
44 

3.5 
Correlations for Fluid Physical Properties 
46 
4.1.1 
Synthetic Data: Input Parameters 
50 
4.1.2 
Production Synthetic Data 
52 
4.1.3 
History Match for Synthetic data 
53 
4.1.4 
History Match for Synthetic data #2 
65 
4.1.5. 
System description Data for Synthetic Data #2 
68 
4.1.6. 
Well Performance and Reservoir Pressure Data for Synthetic 

Data #2 
70 

4.2.1.1 
System description Data for Case #1 
78 
4.2.1.2 
Well Performance and Reservoir Pressure Data for Case #1 
80 
4.2.1.3 
History Match for Case #1 
84 
4.2.2.1 
System Description Data for Case #2 
97 
4.2.2.2 
Original Field Production Data for Case #2 
100 
ix
4.2.2.3 
Converted Production Data for Case #2 
101 
4.2.2.4 
History Match for Case #2 
104 
4.2.3.1 
System Description Data for Case #3 
117 
4.2.3.2 
Original Field Production Data for Case #3 
119 
4.2.3.3 
Converted Production Data for Case #3 
120 
4.2.3.4 
History Match for Case #3 
124 
4.2.4.1 
System Description Data for Case #4 
136 
4.2.4.2 
Production Data for Case #4 
138 
4.2.4.3 
History Match for Case #4 
142 
x
LIST OF FIGURES
1.1 
System Description and Pressure 
8 

2.1 
Typical Inflow and Outflow Curves 
26 

2.2 
Example of an Unstable Production Condition (Liquid Loading) 
27 

3.1 
Structure of the Computer Program 
34 

3.2 
Typical Perforated Hole 
35 

3.3 
Perforated Hole Turned 90* 
36 

3.4 
Gravel Pack Schematic 
38 

3.5 
Details of L 
40 

4.1.1 
Synthetic Data: Production History Match 
54 

4.1.2 
Synthetic Data: Reservoir Pressure History Match 
55 

4.1.3 
Synthetic Data: Sensitivity of Production History Match with 

Respect to Pressure Decrement 
57 

4.1.4 
Synthetic Data: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure History Match 

with Respect to Pressure Decrement 
58 

4.1.5 
Synthetic Data: Sensitivity of Production History Match with 

Respect to 
Tolerance 
60 

4.1.6 
Synthetic Data: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure History Match 

with Respect to 
Tolerance 
61 
xi
4.1.7 
Synthetic Data: Sensitivity of Production History Match with 

Respect to 
Errors in the Rate Data 
63 

4.1.8 
Synthetic Data: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure History Match 

with Respect to 
Errors in the Rate Data 
64 

4.1.9 
Synthetic Data #2: Sensitivity of Rate History Match with 

Respect to 
Errors in the Rate Data 
66 

4.1.10 
Synthetic Data #2: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure History 

Match with Respect to Errors in the Rate Data 
67 

4.1.11 
Synthetic Data: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Well Head 

Pressure 
73 

4.1.12 
Synthetic Data: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to 

Well Head Pressure 
74 

4.1.13 
Synthetic Data: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Skin Factor 
76 

4.1.14 
Synthetic Data: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to 

Skin Factor 
77 

4.2.1.1 
Case #1: Production History Match 
82 

4.2.1.2 
Case #1: Reservoir Pressure History Match 
83 

4.2.1.A 
Case #1: Production History Match 
86 

4.2.1.B 
Case #1: Reservoir Pressure History Match 
87 

4.2.1.3 
Case #1: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Well Head Pressure 
89 
xii
4.2.1.4 
Case #1: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to Well 

Head Pressure 
90 

4.2.1.5 
Case #1: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Skin Factor 
92 

4.2.1.6 
Case #1: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to Skin 
93 

4.2.1.7 
Case #1: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Perforation Density 
95 

4.2.1.8 
Case #1: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to 

Perforation Density 
96 

4.2.2.1 
Case #2: Original Field Data 
102 

4.2.2.2 
Case #2: Converted Rate 
103 

4.2.2.3 
Case #2: Production History Match 
106 

4.2.2.4 
Case #2: Reservoir Pressure History Match 
107 

4.2.2.5 
Case #2: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Well Head Pressure 
109 

4.2.2.6 
Case #2: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to Well 

Head Pressure 
110 

4.2.2.7 
Case #2: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Skin Factor 
112 

4.2.2.8 
Case #2: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to Skin 
113 

4.2.2.9 
Case #2: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Perforated Interval 
115 

4.2.210 
Case 
#2: 
Sensitivity 
of 
Reservoir 
Pressure 
with 
Respect 
to 

Perforated Interval 
116 

4.2.3.1 
Case #3: Original Field Data 
122 
xiii
4.2.3.2 
Case #3: Converted Rate 
123 

4.2.3.3 
Case #3: Production History Match 
125 

4.2.3.4 
Case #3: Reservoir Pressure History Match 
126 

4.2.3.5 
Case #3: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Well Head Pressure 
128 

4.2.3.6 
Case #3: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to Well 

Head Pressure 
129 

4.2.3.7 
Case #3: Sensitivity of 
Rate with Respect 
to 
Density 
of 

Perforation 
131 

4.2.3.8 
Case #3: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to 

Density of Perforation 
132 

4.2.3.9 
Case #3: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Perforated Interval 
134 

4.2.310 
Case #3: Sensitivity of 
Reservoir Pressure with 
Respect 
to 

Perforated Interval 
135 

4.2.4.1 
Case #4: Production History Match 
140 

4.2.4.2 
Case #4: Reservoir Pressure History Match 
141 

4.2.4.3 
Case #4: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Well Head Pressure 
144 

4.2.4.4 
Case #4: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to Well 

Head Pressure 
145 

4.2.4.5 
Case #4: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Tubing Size 
147 
xiv
4.2.4.6 Case #4: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to
Tubing Size 
148 
4.2.4.7 Case #4: Sensitivity of Rate with Respect to Choke Size 
150 
4.2.4.8 Case #4: Sensitivity of Reservoir Pressure with Respect to Choke 

Size 
151 
xv
CHAPTER I
INTRODUCTION
The production optimization of a gas well requires an appropriate selection of the
individual components in the production system. Currently nodal analysis is used to
accomplish this task. Nodal analysis involves calculating the pressure drop in individual
components within the production system so that pressure value at a given node in the
production system (e.g., bottom hole pressure) can be calculated from both ends (separator
and reservoir)
[See Figure 1.1]. The rate at which pressure is calculated at the node from
both ends must be the same. This is the rate at which the well produces. Once the rate under
existing conditions is obtained, by adjusting individual components, the sensitivity of
individual components on the overall production can be investigated; Hence an optimum
selection of components can be obtained at a given time. The major drawback of the
conventional nodal analysis is that it only provides the user with a snapshot picture of the
well production. It does not provide any information as to how the production will change
as a function of time. For example, if tubing size is changed, the nodal analysis may provide
the best tubing size at present time; however, it may not be able to indicate which tubing
size is the best over the life of the well based on the future production. Even generating
future inflow performance curves (which characterize how the reservoir will behave in the
1
2
future at discrete times) may not help since we will not be able to estimate how the rate has
changed over the time intervals.
To include the effect of time on the production performance, the most commonly
used technique is the decline curve analysis. Decline curve analysis involves matching the
prior production data using one of the decline types (exponential, hyperbolic or harmonic),
and using the estimated decline parameters, predicting the future performance under
existing conditions. Decline curve analysis is a very powerful tool, and has been used
extensively to predict the future performance by ignoring the effects of tubing size, choke,
surface pipeline or other components in the production system. In addition, although it is
true
that
decline
curve
analysis
can
predict
the
future
performance
under
existing
conditions, it may not predict how the well will behave in future if the production
conditions are altered. These alterations include, for example, changing skin factor,
changing choke size, or changing the surface compressor.
Conventional material balance techniques which uses diagnostic plots have also
been proven to be useful in understanding the behavior of the gas wells. These plots, for
example, include P/Z (reservoir pressure over compressibility factor) versus gas production
to predict how much gas the well will eventually produce. These techniques can also
account for, through a trial and error procedure, the presence of water influx. The drawback
of the material balance technique is that it does not account for time. It can predict the
production as a function of reservoir pressure, but not as a function of time. Further, it also
only accounts for reservoir component, and not for any other component of the production
system. The effect of alterations on the gas well performance cannot be predicted using the
3
material balance technique. The inclusion of time in terms of predicting the future
performance is critical from economic point of view. This cannot be accomplished using
this technique.
To overcome the drawbacks presented in the above methods, we need a technique
which can:
® Predict the future performance as a function of time in the presence of various
production components including the reservoir.
® Match
the
prior
production
data
in
the
presence
of
various
production
components so that the appropriate parameters can be assigned for future
production prediction. This is similar to decline curve analysis except that we
need to include the production components in the system.
® Quantify the uncertainties with respect to various parameters ( e.g., reservoir
permeability, skin factor, tubing roughness, drainage area, the type of pressure
drop
correlation) by generating alternate possibilities of parameters which can
match the production data.
® Predict the future performance under existing conditions as well as altered
conditions to compare the production scenarios in the future.
® Quantify the uncertainty in predicting the future performance which can be
combined with the price of gas to conduct a risk analysis.
4
® Optimize the producing well configuration so that the net profit over the life of
the well is maximized.
Some specific examples where the proposed technique can be applied are:
® Effect of Installing the Gas Compressor: As the well head pressure declines, there
may be a need to install a gas compressor at the well head. The compressor allows the
reduction of well head pressure, and hence increase in production. Various installation
alternatives that can be considered are the timing (when it will be installed), and what
capacity. Nodal analysis may indicate the possible rate of production at the existing
condition, but it does not indicate how the well will perform in the future. Installation
of the compressor will allow the operator to accelerate the production and increase the
reserves by lowering the abandonment pressure. However, for the cost benefit analysis,
we need to know how the gas production rate will change as a function of the
installation as well as the capacity of the compressor. Currently, no method is available
to evaluate the effect of compressor installation on the gas production as a function of
time.
_{®} Fracturing or Stimulating a Gas Well: A service company will always compare the
production with and without stimulation to sell a particular stimulation procedure.
However, stimulation, typically, does not increase the reserves. It only accelerates the
production. Therefore, after stimulation, the gas well will decline faster then at the
current conditions. For proper economic evaluation, it is critical that we examine the
incremental gas production. – difference between production with stimulation minus
5
production without stimulation
(which is positive at the beginning but will become
negative at later times) as a function of time.
_{®} Changing the Production Components: The prediction of the gas well performance
in the future is critical under existing as well as modified conditions. For example, for a
condensate gas reservoir, we would like to know when the gas well will start loading
under existing conditions so that appropriate production components can be changed
before the actual loading
occurs. These alterations include changing choke size,
changing the tubing size or reducing the well head pressure. Based on the production
scenarios under existing as well as altered conditions, a proper method can be selected
for continued gas production.
® History Matching of Prior Production Data: To instill confidence in the predictive
ability of any program, the user should be able to match the prior production from the
same gas well. Decline curve analysis essentially matches the prior production data by
using a specific model and then predicts the future performance based on prior data. In
reality, we know that significant uncertainties exist with respect to the input parameters
used for predicting the past performance. For example, the same prior production data
can be matched by either altering the permeability or skin factor, or by changing the
tubing correlation or the roughness factor. Changing the drainage area or thickness or
the porosity or saturation can all alter the possible reserves the well is capable of
producing. However, of these four components, the productivity of the well can only be
significantly affected by the thickness of the reservoir. If we want to quantify the
uncertainties in predicting the future performance, we need to develop alternate
6
scenarios – all matching the prior performance. Subsequently, these scenarios can be
used to predict the future performance of a gas well under existing as well as modified
conditions. This type of information is extremely useful in economic risk and
uncertainty analysis.
In our approach, we will assume that the operator has already conducted a decline curve
analysis using many of the commercial programs readily available. Therefore, the type of
decline (exponential, hyperbolic or harmonic) is already known. If the information is
unavailable, we can use the recommended values by Fetkovich et al ^{2}^{6}^{,}^{2}^{7} . For example,
Fetkovich et al. recommend exponential decline for high pressure gas wells (>5000 psia),
Hyperbolic decline with b value between 0.4 and 0.5 for typical gas wells, and a value
greater than 0.5 and less than 1.0 for multiple layered reservoirs.
The system considered in this work is shown in figure 1.1. It represents a single well
producing from a gas reservoir up to the separator. This system is divided into the following
completion and piping components:
ß reservoir
ß perforations
ß gravel pack
ß tubing
ß bottom hole device
ß subsurface safety valve (SSSV)
ß well head choke
7
ß surface pipeline
ß separator
8
9
Assumptions
The major assumptions made with respect to the flow of gas in the reservoir and the
piping system are:
ß The production system operates under pseudosteady state conditions. The well
is flowing at a steady flow rate for a fixed average reservoir pressure and
separator pressure. This implies that the gas well produces with a fixed
liquid/gas ratio.
ß The drainage mechanism of the reservoir is assumed to be natural depletion
mechanism.
ß The production exhibits a certain type of decline during the period of time
considered in the history match computations. That decline can be exponential,
hyperbolic or harmonic according to the behavior of the reservoir under
consideration. This behavior is assessed by using the decline curve analysis
theory and the Fetkovich type curve.
ß For wet gas reservoir, it is assumed that the reservoir pressure is above the dew
point pressure. This assumption implies that the flow is singlephase gas in the
reservoir.
ß The well head pressure is reasonably constant throughout the period of time
considered for the history match.
10
ß It is assumed that the gas flows from the reservoir into the well only through a
tubing consisting of a constant inside pipe diameter. The pressure drop between
the tubing shoe and the producing interval is assumed to be negligible.
Other limitations involved in this work depend on the type of correlation selected to
compute the pressure losses across the individual component in the system. These
limitations are presented in Chapter III.
This thesis is divided into several chapters. After this introduction chapter, Chapter
II describes the
algorithm for the dynamic nodal analysis technique and details the
mathematical models as well as the regression analysis used in this technique. Chapter III
discusses the implementation of this technique into a computer program and provides
sensitivity studies with respect to input parameters. Chapter IV presents the results of the
application of the computer program to several field cases and validates the dynamic nodal
analysis technique. Finally, in Chapter V, conclusions and recommendations are provided.
11
CHAPTER II
PROCEDURE
2.1 Mathematical Modeling
The mathematical scheme used to perform dynamic nodal analysis for gas reservoirs
can be summarized in two different parts: the history match and the forecast analysis.
2.1.1 History Match
The procedure used to compute the history match is summarized in the following
steps:
1. Assume
that
the
production
history
is
known.
Thus,
for
each
observed
production time T _{o}_{b}_{s}_{1}_{,} T _{o}_{b}_{s}_{2}_{,} …, T _{o}_{b}_{s} _{j} ,…, T _{o}_{b}_{s} _{n} , the corresponding observed rate
Q _{o}_{b}_{s}_{1} , Q _{o}_{b}_{s}_{2} , …, Q _{o}_{b}_{s}_{j}_{,} …, Q _{o}_{b}_{s}_{n} is known.
2. Assume that at time T _{j} the following data are known:
ß reservoir pressure P _{j} .
ß fluid properties as a function of pressure and temperature.
ß The type of decline (harmonic, hyperbolic or exponential) as well as the rate
of decline. If these are not known, assume exponential decline.
12
ß The pressure drop correlations as a function of rate for each Q.
3. The gas in place at this time T _{j} is computed as:
where
G 
= V b 
*f * S g 

^{j} 
B gj 

Z 
* 
T R 
* P 

B 
gj 
= 
j P j 
* 
T sc 
sc 
(2.1) 

. 
(2.2) 
4. Calculate the rate Q _{j} at which the well will produce under the existing conditions. This
is done by using the nodal analysis technique. As stated earlier, in this study the node is
chosen at the bottom hole. The nodal analysis technique is presented in section 2.3 of
this chapter.
5. Assume a small decrement in reservoir pressure DP _{j} . The new reservoir pressure is then
P _{j}_{+}_{1} = Pj DP _{j} . At this reservoir pressure , calculate the new gas in place G _{j}_{+}_{1} _{:}
G
j
+ 1
=
V
b
*
f *
S
g
B
g j + 1
.
(2.3)
The total amount of gas produced when the reservoir pressure decreases from P _{j} to P _{j}_{+}_{1}
is:
6. Calculate the rate
D
G
=
G
j

G
j +1
(2.4)
Q _{j}_{+}_{1} at which the well will produce under the present reservoir
pressure P _{j}_{+}_{1} . This is done by nodal analysis at bottom hole.
13
7. Knowing the total amount of gas produced (DG) and the gas flow rate Q _{j} and Q _{j}_{+}_{1} at
reservoir pressures P _{j} and P _{j}_{+}_{1} , we can calculate the elapsed time DT required to reach
that production.

For exponential decline: 
D 


For harmonic decline: 
D 


For hyperbolic decline: 
D =
D
= Q 
j 
 
Q j 
+ 
1 
= Q j  
Q j + 1 

D 
G 
G j  
G j + 1 

D 
T 
= 
1 
ln 
Q j 

D 
Q j + 1 

D 
= 
Q 
j 
ln 
Q j 

D 
G 
Q j + 1 

T = 
1 
[ 
Q j 
 Q j + 1 
] 

D 
Q j + 1 

(1 
 Q j b )* 
D 
G 
* 
È Í Í Î 
1  Ê Q Á Á ˜ Ë ¯ ˆ ˜ 1 j + 1 Q j 
 b 

È 
ˆ  b 
˘ 

= b 1 * 
D 
* 
Ê Q Á Á ˜ Ë ¯ Í ˙ Í Î ˚ ˙  1 + j + 1 Q j ˜ 
T
˘
˙
˙
˚
(2.5)
(2.6)
(2.7)
(2.8)
(2.9)
(2.10)
The total calculated time when the reservoir pressure is P _{j}_{+}_{1} can be calculated as:
T
j
+1
=
T
j
+ D
T
.
(2.11)
14
8. Assume a new reservoir pressure P _{j}_{+}_{1} :
P _{j}_{+}_{1} = P _{j} DP where DP is the pressure decrement.
Repeat the process from step 4 to step 7 until the total calculated time T _{j}_{+}_{k} is greater or
equal to the observed production time.
9. At this point, we have the model predicted times
T _{1} , T _{2} , …, T _{j} , …T _{j}_{+}_{k} , …
and the corresponding rates:
Q _{1} , Q _{2} , …, Q _{j} , …, Q _{j}_{+}_{k} , …
For each observed time T _{o}_{b}_{s} _{j} , we calculate the corresponding model predicted rate Q’ _{j}
by interpolating the model predicted rates.
At this point, we check how the calculated flow rate Q’ _{j} compares with the historical
observed production rate Q _{o}_{b}_{s} _{j} at the same time T _{o}_{b}_{s} _{j} . This check represents the history
match of the observed data.
If significant differences exist between the calculated and the observed production, then
some selected reservoir parameters have to be adjusted in order to match the historical
performance.
In
order
to
match
the
historical
observed
performance,
a
nonlinear
regression
calculation is performed to minimize the difference between calculated and observed
production. This regression analysis is discussed in section 2.2 of this chapter.
15
Once a satisfactory match between the predicted and the observed performance is
obtained, we can proceed with forecast of future performance calculations.
2.1.2 Future Performance Prediction
1. The future performance of the well under the existing conditions as well as under
altered conditions can be calculated. The procedure is the same as described from step 2
to step 8 in the History Matching section. Repeat the steps till an abandonment rate is
reached.
2. Consider different scenarios for variations in production procedures. These include, for
example, changing the number of perforations, stimulating the well, fracturing the well,
installing the compressor at the surface.
3. Predict the future performance under the new operating conditions using the same
procedure as explained in step 1.
4. Repeat step 3 for alternate combinations of input parameters to quantify uncertainties in
the prediction of future performance.
5. Compare the performance under the new scenario with the base case to calculate the
incremental gas production as a function of time.
6. Repeat step 5 for different input configuration.
7. Use information generated in step 5 and step 6 to study the economic feasibility of
making the changes in the production configuration.
16
2.2 Regression Analysis
The basic objective of using the nonlinear regression in this problem is to determine the
optimum set, a, of reservoir/completion parameters such that the observed data match as
closely as possible to the calculated data from the model.
In this study, the parameters on which the regression is performed consist of any set of 3
independent variables chosen among the following parameters: permeability, skin, radius of
drainage, pay, perforated interval, radius of perforations, diameter of perforations, porosity,
water saturation, and density of perforations. For example, one can choose a such that
a={permeability, skin, radius of drainage }. In this case the regression calculations will be
performed on the following variables: permeability, skin and radius of drainage.
In this study, the LevenbergMarquardt algorithm LMDIF1 ^{3}^{3} , has been used. This algorithm
has been selected because it does not require to provide the derivatives of the functions to
minimize.
The purpose of LMDIF1 ^{3}^{3} is to minimize the sum of the squares of m nonlinear functions
in n variables. This is done by the more general least square solver LMDIF. The user must
provide the subroutines that compute the functions. The jacobian is then calculated by a
forwarddifference approximation.
As stated earlier, in this work, the variables on which to regress are any set of 3 independent
variables chosen by the user among the following parameters: permeability, skin, radius of
drainage, pay, perforated interval, radius of perforations, diameter of perforations, porosity,
water saturation, and density of perforations.
17
So, n is equal to 3.
The m nonlinear functions F _{1} (a), F _{2} (a), …, F _{m} (a) can be considered as the components
of a vector FVEC. The objective function is then computed as the square of the euclidian
norm of FVEC, that is:
Objective function = SF _{j} ^{2} .
The functions F _{j} are chosen such that the computation is more resistant to errors in the
observed data and is less sensitive to outliers. The definition of the functions F _{j} is presented
below.
Function F _{1}
This function compares observed data with the predicted data. Ideally the correlation
coefficient
between
the
Mathematically,
observed
r
(
F
1
Q
obs
and
model
predicted
performance
(
a
)
=
,
Q
mod
r
)
FVEC
(
Q
obs
,
Q
mod
)

1
=
(
COV Q
obs
,
Q
mod
)
s
Q
obs
*
s
Q
mod
(1)
= F
1
(
a
)
.
is
equal
to
1.
(2.12)
(2.13)
(2.14)
The advantage of using the correlation coefficient is that it is resistant to noise in the data. It
is not sensitive to outliers. It should be noted that high correlation coefficient does not
necessarily mean that the values are similar.
18
The basic assumption here is that we are modeling the measured data correctly that the
errors in the measured data are normally distributed with mean zero, and the errors are not
correlated.
Function F _{2}
This function is chosen to represent the fact that ideally the plot of Q _{m}_{o}_{d} versus Q _{o}_{b}_{s} is a
straight line of slope one ( with intercept equal to zero).
FVEC
(2)
= F
2
(
a
)
= SLOPE 
SLOPE =
(
COV Q
obs
,
Q
mod
)
s
2
obs
1
(2.15)
(2.16)
where COV is the covariance between the observed and model predicted rates. So,
Function F _{3}
FVEC (2) =
(
COV Q
obs
,
Q
mod
)
s
2
obs
 1
.
(2.17)
This function is chosen to represent the fact that ideally the intercept of the straight line
Q _{m}_{o}_{d} versus Q _{o}_{b}_{s} is equal to zero.
INTERCEPT
=
Q
mod

SLOPE
FVEC (3)
=
Q mod
Q obs

1
*
Q
obs
because ideally the slope is equal to 1: SLOPE=1.
F
3
= FVEC
(3)
.
= 
0 
(2.18) 
(2.19) 

(2.20) 
19
Function F _{4}
This function compares observed reservoir pressure with the predicted reservoir pressure.
Ideally the correlation coefficient between the observed and model predicted reservoir
pressure is equal to 1. Mathematically,
r
(
P
r ,
F
1
obs
(
a
)
,
P
r
,
=
r
mod
)
(
P
r
,
obs
,
P
r
,
mod
)

1
=
COV ( P
r ,
obs
,
P
r
,
mod
)
s
P
r ,
obs
*
s
P r
,
mod
FVEC
(4)
= F
1
(
a
)
.
(2.21)
(2.22)
(2.23)
The advantage of using the correlation coefficient is that it is resistant to noise in the data. It
is not sensitive to outliers. It should be noted that high correlation coefficient does not
necessarily mean that the values are similar.
The basic assumption here is that we are modeling the measured data correctly that the
errors in the measured data are normally distributed with mean zero, and the errors are not
correlated.
Function F _{5}
This function is chosen to represent the fact that ideally the plot of P _{m}_{o}_{d} versus P _{o}_{b}_{s} is a
straight line of slope one ( with intercept equal to zero).
FVEC
(5)
= F
5
(
a
)
= SLOPE 
1
(2.24)
20
SLOPE =
(
COV P
r ,
obs
,
P
r
,
mod
)
s
2
P
r
obs
(2.25)
where COV is the covariance between the observed and model predicted rates. So,
Function F _{6}
FVEC (5) =
COV ( P
r ,
obs
,
P
r
,
mod
)
s
2
P
r
obs

1 .
(2.26)
This function is chosen to represent the fact that ideally the intercept of the straight line
P _{m}_{o}_{d} versus P _{o}_{b}_{s} is equal to zero.
INTERCEPT
=
P
r
,
mod
FVEC (6)
=

SLOPE
P
r
,
mod
P
r
,
obs

1
*
P
r ,
obs
because ideally the slope is equal to 1: SLOPE=1.
F
6
= FVEC
(6)
.
= 
0 
(2.27) 
(2.28) 

(2.29) 
Also, the user specifies the tolerance FTOL which is used in the regression. The program
terminates when the algorithm estimates either that the relative errors in the sum of squares,
SF _{j} ^{2} , is at most FTOL or that the relative error between in the regression variables is at most
FTOL. On termination, the regression algorithm output an integer variable INFO whose
value means the following.
INFO = 0: improper input parameters.
21
INFO = 1: algorithm estimate that the relative error in the sum of squares is at most
FTOL .
INFO = 2: algorithm estimates that the relative error between the calculated values of the
regression parameters and the ideal solution is at most FTOL.
INFO = 3: condition for info =1 and info = 2 both hold.
INFO = 4: FVEC is orthogonal to the columns of the jacobian to machine precision.
INFO = 5: number of calls to the function that compute FVEC has reached or exceed
200*(n+1).
INFO = 6: FTOL is too small. No further reduction in the sum of squares is possible.
INFO = 7: FTOL is too small. No further improvement in the approximate solution is
possible.
2.2.1 Parameter Constraints
The Levenberg –Marquardt algorithm ^{3}^{3} that we use is “ unconstrained “ : i.e., variables can
be chosen to minimize the objective function with value between ± infinite. Obviously, for
our problem, we need to ensure that the values of the variables lie in the predefined interval
of uncertainty and that these values are meaningful. For example we may want the regressed
permeability value to be between K _{m}_{a}_{x} and K _{m}_{i}_{n} .
In order to keep the values of the regression variables in certain predefined intervals, we can
use a couple of methods. It has been shown that the use of the penalty function improves the
22
convergence of the iterative procedure; however, it is also reported that the penalty function
method may not prevent the values of the regression variables to be out of the predefined
domain when the initial estimates of the regression variables are far from the solution. In
this study, the imaging extension ^{1}^{9} procedure is used.
2.2.1.1 Imaging Extension Method ^{1}^{9}
The idea behind the method is to extend the objective function in such a way that the new
objective function is defined everywhere (i.e., unconstrained) and that the solution of this
new unconstrained problem is related to the solution of the original constrained problem.
The procedure for translating the unconstrained variable estimate x _{L}_{M}_{D}_{I}_{F}_{1} calculated by the
regression algorithm LMDIF1 ^{3}^{3} to the corresponding physically constrained value of the
parameter x ^{c} is the following:
ß
For x _{L}_{M}_{D}_{I}_{F}_{1} > x _{m}_{a}_{x} , compute :
ß
For
x _{L}_{M}_{D}_{I}_{F}_{1} <
x _{m}_{i}_{n}
ˆ
˜
˜
¯
N 
= Ê x int Á 
LMDIF 1 
 
x 
min 

Á Ë 
x 
max 
 
x 
min 

, compute : 

N = int Ê x Á LMDIF 1 
 
x 
min 
ˆ ˜ 

Á Ë 
x  max 
x 
min 
¯ 
˜ 
After calculating N, x ^{c} can be obtained as:
ß For N odd:
. 
(2.30) 

1 
. 
(2.31) 
23
ß For N even
x
c
= x
min
x
c
+ x
= x
max
(
+ N x
max
LMDIF 1
(
 N x
x
max
min
x
)
x
min
)
LMDIF
.
1
. 
(2.32) 
(2.33) 
For more details about the imaging extension method, the reader is referred to the
reference 19.
2.3 Nodal Analysis Technique
Nodal analysis provides a method to determine the rate at which a producing system will
perform under certain applied conditions. In order to evaluate that producing rate, the
production system is divided into two parts at a fixed node and the performance curves of
each part are compared. These two performance curves are denoted as inflow (flow into the
node) and outflow (flow out of the node) performance curves. For convenience, the node is
chosen at the bottom hole ^{1}^{6} . This choice does not affect the results of the performance
computations.
With the node at bottom hole, the inflow performance curve represents the pressure loss
across the reservoir, the perforations and the gravel pack. It can be mathematically
expressed in dimensionless form as:
where
Ê P
Á
Ë
WF
P
r
ˆ
_{˜}
¯
I
=
1

Ê
Á
Á
Ë
P
r

P
 Á Ê Á
r Ë
ˆ
˜
WFS
P
˜
¯
Ê P
Á
Ë
ˆ
WF ˜
P
r
¯
I
versus
Q
Q
max
P
WFS

P
WF
P
r
Ê
ˆ
1
¯ Á
˜
˜
Ë
Á
=

P
r

P
WFS
P
r
ˆ
˜
˜
¯

Ê D P
Á
Ë Á P
perf
r
ˆ
˜
˜
¯

Ê D P
Á
Ë Á P
gp
r
ˆ
˜
˜
¯
(2.34)
(2.35).
24
Q _{m}_{a}_{x} is the maximum flow rate at which the well can flow.
The outfow performance curve describes the pressure loss in the tubing, the bottom hole
restriction (subsurface device), the safety valve, the well head choke and the surface
pipeline. It can be mathematically expressed in dimensionless form as:
where
Ê P
Á
Ë
WF
P
r
ˆ
˜
¯
O
= Ê Á D P
P
TBG
Ë
r
ˆ
˜ +
¯
Ê
Á
Á
Ë
P
WF
P
r
Ê D P
Á
Á
Ë
REST
P
r
ˆ
˜
˜
¯
O
versus
Q
Q
MAX
ˆ
˜
˜
¯
+
Ê D P
Á
Á
Ë
P
SV
r
ˆ
˜
˜
¯
+
Ê D P
Á
Á
Ë
CHOKE
P
r
ˆ
˜
˜
¯
+
Ê D P
Á
Á
Ë
PIPELINE
P
r
ˆ
˜
˜
¯
.
(2.36)
(2.37)
A typical plot of the inflow curve as well as the two commonly observed outflow curves is
shown in Figure 2.1.
The overall performance of the producing system is obtained when the inflow and outflow
curves intercept. This implies that the flow rate and the bottom hole flowing pressure are
obtained by solving the equation:
Á Ê
Á Ë
P WF
P
r
ˆ
˜
˜
¯
I
Ê
= Á
Á
Ë
P WF
P
r
ˆ
˜
˜
¯
O
(2.38)
This equation is solved numerically using the secant method ^{1}^{6} .
As can be seen on Figure 2.1 and Figure 2.2, this equation can have two different roots or
one single root.
25
If the equation has two different roots, the root corresponding to the lower flow rate
represents an unstable production condition while the root corresponding to the higher flow
rate represents a stable production condition. This situation is typical of system producing in
twophase flow with high gas velocity.
If the equation has a single root, one of the following situations can happen:

The derivative of the outflow curve at the root is positive. In this case the system 
produces under a stable condition. This is typical of systems close to singlephase flow. 


The derivative of the outflow curve at the root is negative. In this case the system 
produces under an unstable condition (liquid loading).
26
Figure 2.1.
Typical Inflow and Outflow Curves ^{1}^{6} .
27
0
Figure 2.2
Example of an Unstable Production Condition (Liquid Loading)
28
2.4 Summary
In this chapter, the dynamic nodal analysis procedure has been presented. The mathematical
models used in the history match and forecast algorithms have been detailed. In addition,
the regression analysis method used in the computer program has been discussed. Finally, a
brief description of the conventional nodal analysis technique has been reviewed.
29
CHAPTER III
IMPLEMENTATION
3.1 Computer Program
A computer program has been developed that implements the mathematical procedures
discussed in the previous section. After all the data describing all the components of the
system has been provided, the computer program can conduct the dynamic nodal analysis
calculations (history match, sensitivity analysis) as well as classic static nodal analysis. The
computer program described in this section is tested with synthetic as well as field data; the
results of these test are presented in Chapter IV. The general structure of the computer
program is presented in Figure 3.1. An important consideration in the computer program
development
has
been
to
provide
a
userfriendly
environment
and
an
algorithmic
architecture which is easy to maintain and expand. This is realized by providing a flexible
and interactive procedure to input, modify and view the data describing each component of
the system as well as allowing to save the results in the restart files which can be used for
future sensitivity analysis and forecast studies. The program is easy to maintain because of
its modularity which allows each specific problem to be handled by specific subroutines.
30
Start
Select option Dynamic nodal analysis New well Conventional analysis
Dynamic nodal analysis
Select option Input/Display data Modify data History match Forecast Conventional nodal analysis
Conventional nodal analysis
Select option Input/Display data Modify data Conventional nodal analysis
Figure 3.1
Structure of the computer program
31
In addition, an error file is included which contains eventual error messages if the ranges or
the limitations of the correlations and model selected are surpassed.
3.2 Models and Correlations
In this section the models and correlations used in the computer program to compute the
pressure drops in each components of the system are presented. A special consideration is
given to the limitations involved in these models and correlations.
3.2.1 Reservoir
The flow in the reservoir is considered to be single phase gas. This assumes that the
reservoir pressure is above the dew point throughout the well production time in the case of
wet gas reservoirs. The pressure drops across the reservoir porous media are computed by
an inflow performance relationship (IPR) using Darcy’s law modified by Jones, Blount and
Glazes ^{1}^{2} and expressed in terms of pseudoreal pressure. This equation which takes into
account the turbulent effect as well as the damage effect (skin), relates the reservoir pressure
to the sandface pressure.
(
m P
R
)

m P
(
wfs
)
=
a
*
Q
2
+
b
*
Q
(3.1)
where Q is in MMscf/D. The coefficients a and b are defined as,
a _{=}
3.166 *10 
 
6 
* 
b 
* 
g 
g 
* T 

H 
p 
2 
* 
R 
w 
* m 
(3.2)
32
where b is defined as,
b =
1.424*10 * T Ê Á ln
H
6
K
*
Á
Ë
R
e
3

R
w
4
b =
2.33*10
10
K
1.201
.
ˆ
+ S ˜
˜
¯
The pseudoreal pressure is defined as follows:
m P
(
) =
P
Ú
P base
2* P
m
g
* Z
* dP .
(3.3)
(3.4)
(3.5)
It should be noted that, in general, the IPR calculated with data obtained from well test
analysis usually gives a better description of the reservoir performance.
33
Table 3.1 Gas reservoir inflow performance relationship used
IPR 
Range of 
Requirements 
Advantages 
Applicability 

Darcy's law modified by Jones et al. 
single phase flow 
Properties describing the reservoir 
May be expressed in terms of pseudoreal pressure. Damage and high velocity effects are included. 
34
3.2.2 Perforations
The computer program computes the pressure drop across the perforations using McLeod’s
method ^{1}^{1} . This equation takes into account the pressure losses across the compacted zone. It
does not account for the converging effect of the flow near the well bore.
Several assumptions are made in this method such as:
1. The permeability of the crushed zone or compacted zone is:
ß 10 % of the formation permeability if the well is perforated under overbalanced
conditions.
ß 40 % of the formation permeability if the well is perforated under underbalanced
conditions.
2. The thickness of the crushed zone is ½ inch.
3. The small perforation hole is producing under steady state conditions.
Figure 3.2 and Figure 3.3 show a typical perforated hole.
The equation for the pressure losses across the perforations is:
m P
(
wfs
)

m P
(
wf
)
=
a
*
Q
2
+
b
*
Q
(3.6)
where Q = flow rate/perforation (Mscf/D). The coefficients a and b are defined as,
a =
3.16 *10
 12
*
b
*
g
*
T
Ê
* Á
Á
Ë
1
R
P

1
ˆ
˜
C ^{˜}
R
¯
Lp
2
* m
(3.7)
35
where
b =
3 1.424 *10 * T * Ê Á Á 
ln 
R 
C 
ˆ ˜ ˜ ¯ 
Ë 
R 
P 

K P * L P 

b = 2.33*10 10 

1.201 
. 
K
p
(3.8)
(3.9)
36
Figure 3.2: Typical Perforated Hole (after Brown et al.) ^{1}
37
Figure 3.3: Perforated Hole Turned 90* (after Brown et al) ^{1}
38
3.2.3 Gravel Pack
The pressure drop across the gravel pack is computed using the Jones, Blount and Glazes
equation modified by Brown for singlephase gas. This simple model takes into account the
pressure losses from the perforation tunnel to the liner. It also accounts for the turbulent
flow regime (high velocity flow). In addition, Brown provides some guidelines about the
estimation of the gravel pack effective permeability as a function of the gravel size. Figure
3.4 displays the typical gravel pack schematic.
The equation is:
m P
(
wfs
)

m P
(
wf
)
=
a
*
Q
2
+
b
*
Q
(3.10)
where Q is in Mscf/D. The coefficients a and b are defined as,
a =
1.247 *10

10
*
b
*
g
g
*
T
*
L
A
2
* m
(3.11)
39
Figure 3.4. Gravel Pack Schematic (after Brown et al) ^{1}
40
where
3 8.93 *10 * T 
* 
L 

K 
G 
* A 

1.47 *10 
7 

. 
b =
K
0.55
G
b =
(3.12)
(3.13)
Figure 3.5 provides the details to calculate the linear flow path L.
41
Figure 3.5: Details of L (after Brown et al) ^{1}
42
3.2.4 Tubing String
The pressure drop across the tubing string is computed with commonly used multiphase
flow correlations in the literature. Table 3.2 summarizes the correlations ^{2} used in the
computer program. Also shown, in that table, are the ranges of applicability of each
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