Flow Units: From Conventional to Tight-Gas to Shale-Gas to Tight-Oil to Shale-Oil Reservoirs
- Roberto Aguilera (University of Calgary)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- May 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 190 - 208
- 2014.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.8.4 Shale Oil, 5.8.1 Tight Gas, 5.8.2 Shale Gas
- flow units , tight and shale gas , production decline analysis , tight and shale oil
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Core data from various North American basins with the support of limited amounts of data from other basins around the world have shown in the past that process speed or delivery speed (the ratio of permeability to porosity) provides a continuum between conventional, tight-, and shale-gas reservoirs (Aguilera 2010a). This work shows that the previous observation can be extended to tight-oil and shale-oil reservoirs. The link between the various hydrocarbon fluids is provided by the word "petroleum" in the "total petroleum system (TPS)," which encompasses liquid and gas hydrocarbons found in conventional, tight, and shale reservoirs. Results of the present study lead to distinctive flow units for each type of reservoir that can be linked empirically to gas and oil rates and, under favorable conditions, to production decline. To make the work tractable, the bulk of the data used in this paper has been extracted from published geologic and petroleum-engineering literature. The paper introduces an unrestricted/transient/interlinear transition flow period in a triple-porosity model for evaluating the rate performance of multistage hydraulically-fractured (MSHF) tight oil reservoirs. Under ideal conditions, this flow period is recognized by a straight line with a slope of –1.0 on log-log coordinates. However, the slope can change (e.g., to –0.75), depending on reservoir characteristics, as shown with production data from the Cardium and Shaunavon formations in Canada. This interlinear flow period has not been reported previously in the literature because the standard assumption for MSHF reservoirs has been that of a pseudosteady-state transition between the linear flow periods. It is concluded that there is a significant practical potential in the use of process speed as part of the flow-unit characterization of unconventional petroleum reservoirs. There is also potential for the evaluation of production-decline rates by the use of the triple porosity model presented in this study.
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