Simplified Forecasting of Tight/Shale-Gas Production in Linear Flow
- Morteza Nobakht (Encana Corporation) | Louis Mattar (Fekete Associates Incorporated) | Samane Moghadam (Fekete Associates Incorporated) | David Mark Anderson (Fekete Associates Incorporated)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 476 - 486
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.8.2 Shale Gas, 5.6.9 Production Forecasting
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- 1,648 since 2007
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This paper presents a simplified method of production forecasting for tight/shale-gas reservoirs exhibiting extended periods of linear flow, without the use of complex tools (e.g., analytical models or numerical models). The method, which is applicable to hydraulically fractured vertical wells and multifractured horizontal wells, is simple because it relies principally on a plot of inverse rate vs. square root of time, and it is rigorous in that it is based on the theory of linear flow and combines the transient linear-flow period with hyperbolic decline during boundary-dominated flow.
The dominant flow regime observed in most tight/shale-gas wells is linear flow, which may continue for several years. This linear flow will be followed by boundary-dominated flow at later times. Therefore, the method proposed in this study is applicable for forecasting production data for these wells because it considers these two important flow regimes. The derivation is presented for a hydraulically fractured well, and this simplified method can be applied both to hydraulically fractured vertical wells and to horizontal wells with multiple fractures. The application of this method to multifractured horizontal wells in the Marcellus and Barnett shale gas is also presented.
The method is validated by comparing its results with test cases, which are built using numerical simulation for hydraulically fractured vertical wells. For each case, only the first year of the synthetic production data is then used for the analysis. It is found that there is reasonable agreement between the forecast rates obtained using this method and the numerically simulated rates.
Currently, analysis techniques using material-balance time are being used in industry to analyze tight/shale-gas reservoirs. Because material-balance time is actually boundary-dominated flow superposition time, these analyses may show symptoms of boundary-dominated flow even though the reservoir is still in transient flow. The advantages of the forecasting method proposed in this study are that: (1) it is not biased toward any flow regimes because no superposition time functions are used; (2) reliable forecasts can be obtained without using pseudotime--this is an advantage because using pseudotime introduces complexities and an iterative procedure; and (3) the only major unknown is the drainage area.
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