A New Method To Predict Performance of Horizontal and Multilateral Wells
- Mohammad Tabatabaei (Texas A&M University) | Ali Ghalambor (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- February 2011
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 75 - 87
- 2011. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.6.8 Well Performance Monitoring, Inflow Performance, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials
- Well performance, Horizontal wells, Multilateral Wells
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- 1,679 since 2007
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Production enhancement and ultimate recovery improvement have given horizontal wells the edge over vertical wells in many marginal reservoirs. However, it is more expensive to drill and complete a horizontal well than a vertical one. Therefore, to determine the economical feasibility of drilling a horizontal well, engineers need reliable methods to estimate its productivity.
After a broad literature review, a simple semianalytical model has been developed in this study for predicting the productivity of horizontal oil wells. This model couples flow from a box-shaped drainage volume to flow in the wellbore. Along with friction, acceleration, and fluid-inflow effect, change in flow regime from laminar to turbulent is also taken into account to describe flow in the wellbore. The reservoir-inflow model used in this productivity model represents flow in the reservoir using a combination of 1D and 2D models and also considers varying skin along the wellbore to account for the heterogeneity of the near-wellbore region because of drilling-fluid invasion into the formation. In addition, reservoir-permeability anisotropy and convergence of flow to the wellbore have been taken into account in this inflow model. Comparison of this model with three existing models using field data reveals that the proposed model is more accurate because of more-realistic modeling of reservoir inflow and wellbore flow.
The semianalytical nature of this coupling model makes it comprehensive and applicable to reservoirs with varying conditions, especially heterogeneous reservoirs. Moreover, this productivity model can be extended easily to estimate the deliverability of multilateral wells by coupling the inflow performance of individual laterals with hydraulics in buildup sections and the main vertical section. A logical procedure for calculating the deliverability of multilateral wells by using this productivity model is described in this paper.
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