Some Approximate Solutions of Radial Flow Problems Associated With Production at Constant Well Pressure
- M.W. Clegg (The British Petroleum Co. Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal
- Publication Date
- March 1967
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 31 - 42
- 1967. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.6 Formation Evaluation & Management
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 419 since 2007
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The application of the Laplace transformation to problems in the flow of compressible fluids in porous media has provided a large number of exact solutions. For plane radial flow, however, these solutions are either complex integrals or infinite series and are of little value to the field engineer. !n the case of production at constant well pressure, the available approximate solutions are valid for large times only. In this paper it is shown that an approximate inversion formula for the Laplace transform, developed for the solution of viscoelastic problems, is applicable to radial flow problems and provides simple analytical solutions to constant terminal pressure problems.
The method may be used to obtain approximate solutions to many problems, including media with radial permeability discontinuities, multi-layer formations and pressure buildup in wells after shut-in. The results are compared with the few available computer solutions as well as the large time solutions, and it is shown that this approximate method greatly extends the time interval over which a simple analytical solution is acceptable.
The study of transient problems in the flow of fluids through porous media has benefited greatly from the application of transform methods. The use of the Laplace transformation for solving parabolic equations has been widely discussed in the field of heat conduction and diffusion as well as in the petroleum literature. Removal of the time variable with the Laplace transformation generally reduces the problem to a boundary value problem which may be solved by standard techniques. A much more formidable problem then faces the engineer, however, for frequently the transform does not possess a simple inverse. The result is that the general inversion integral must be used and this leads to either an infinite integral or an infinite series, both of which are difficult to handle from a computational standpoint. Asymptotic approximations for the inverse have been known for some time and these yield approximate inverse functions that are valid for very large or very small times - but frequently the times of interest lie somewhere between these two extremes. Therefore, some acceptable approximation valid over a larger interval of time is desirable.
During the past few years a number of methods for achieving this have been developed and some of these are discussed briefly in this paper. The relative merits of the various methods are not evaluated here, but some general conclusions reached by other authors are given. One of these methods has been applied to problems associated with the radial flow of compressible liquids to producing wells. In the case of production at constant well pressure, the method leads to simple analytical solutions for a number of standard problems; e.g., homogeneous formation, permeability discontinuities, pressure buildup. These solutions greatly extend the range of validity of the asymptotic ones (valid for large times only) and should be of value in studying the behavior of wells producing under constant pressure conditions.
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