Analysis of Gravity Drainage
- H.N. Hall (Pan American Petroleum Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 1961
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 927 - 936
- 1961. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.2.3 Rock properties, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 4.1.6 Compressors, Engines and Turbines, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.4 Gas Processing, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 5.2.2 Fluid Modeling, Equations of State
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Various factors must be considered in an engineering evaluation of gravity-drainage reservoirs. Among these are: (1) the effect of producing rate on total oil recovery; (2) the effect upon well productivity and ultimate recovery of the pressure level maintained during the producing life of the reservoir; (3) the economic advantage of full or partial pressure maintenance; and (4) estimate of the rate of gas production and injection and the possible purchase of gas under conditions of full pressure maintenance to ascertain compressor facilities needed. All of these factors can be evaluated only when a reliable method is employed for determining reservoir performance in gravity-drainage reservoirs.
The purpose of this paper is to present a general method for calculating the performance of a gravity - drainage reservoir. This method is applicable for conditions of complete pressure maintenance, partial pressure maintenance and normal pressure depletion. Provisions are made to take into account variations throughout the reservoir of reservoir configuration, changes in permeability and fluid composition.
Based on the method presented in this paper, an IBM 650 computer program has been developed. The past performance of an actual gravity-drainage reservoir producing under conditions of declining pressure and no gas injection was duplicated using this program.
In tilted reservoirs the production of oil is influenced by drainage of oil from upstructure to downstructure locations. When this downstructure drainage of oil is sufficient to cause effective segregation of the gas and oil in a reservoir, the reservoir is usually classified as a segregation drive or gravity-drainage reservoir. (Discussion will be restricted to gravity-drainage reservoirs which have no encroachment of edge water.) The important feature in gravity-drainage reservoirs is the density difference between reservoir oil and gas. These phases tend to segregate in the reservoir with the result that in the gas cap the oil saturation is maintained at a higher level by drainage of oil from the gas-cap area. Oil can be produced from the oil zone at a low gas-oil ratio and reservoir energy is thereby conserved.
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