Nodal Systems Analysis of Oil and Gas Wells
- Kermit E. Brown (U. of Tulsa) | James F. Lea (Amoco Production Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 1985
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,751 - 1,763
- 1985. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 19 in the last 30 days
- 3,525 since 2007
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Distinguished Author Series articles are general, descriptiverepresentations that summarize the state of the art in an area of technology bydescribing recent developments for readers who are not specialists in thetopics discussed. Written by individuals recognized as experts in the area,these articles provide key references to more definitive work and presentspecific details only to illustrate the technology. Purpose: to informthe general readership of recent advances in various areas of petroleumengineering.
Nodal analysis, defined as a systems approach to the optimization of oil andgas wells, is used to evaluate thoroughly a complete producing system. Everycomponent in a producing well or all wells in a producing system can beoptimized to achieve the producing system can be optimized to achieve theobjective flow rate most economically. All present components-beginning withthe static reservoir pressure, ending with the separator, and includingpressure, ending with the separator, and including inflow performance, as wellas flow across the completion, up the tubing string (including any downholerestrictions and safety valves), across the surface choke (if applicable),through horizontal flow lines, and into the separation facilities-areanalyzed.
The objectives of nodal analysis are as follows.
1. To determine the flow rate at which an existing oil or gas well willproduce considering wellbore geometry and completion limitations (first bynatural flow).
2. To determine under what flow conditions (which may be related to time) awell will load or die.
3. To select the most economical time for the installation of artificiallift and to assist in the selection of the optimum lift method.
4. To optimize the system to produce the objective flow rate mosteconomically.
5. To check each component in the well system to determine whether it isrestricting the flow rate unnecessarily.
6. To permit quick recognition by the operator's management and engineeringstaff of ways to increase production rates. production rates. There arenumerous oil and gas wells around the world that have not been optimized toachieve an objective rate efficiently. In fact, many may have been completed insuch a manner that their maximum potential rate cannot be achieved. Also, manywells potential rate cannot be achieved. Also, many wells placed on artificiallift do not achieve the efficiency placed on artificial lift do not achieve theefficiency they should.
The production optimization of oil and gas wells by nodal systems analysishas contributed to improved completion techniques, production, and efficiencyfor many wells. Although this type of analysis was proposed by Gilbert in 1954.it has been used proposed by Gilbert in 1954. it has been used extensively inthe U.S. only in the last few years. One principal reason for this was thechanging of allowable producing rates, and another has been the developmentproducing rates, and another has been the development of computer technologythat allows rapid calculation of complex algorithms and provides easilyunderstood data.
Past conservation practices in the U.S. more or less restricted operators to2- and 2 1/2-in. [5.08- and 6.35-cm] tubing and 4 shots/ft [13.1 shots/m] forperforating. perforating. JPT
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