Critical Analysis of the Effect of Well Density on Recovery Efficiency
- W.O. Keller (Keller and Peterson) | F.H. Callaway (Stanolind Oil and Gas Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- September 1950
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 269 - 280
- 1950. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 5.1.2 Faults and Fracture Characterisation, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.6 Natural Gas, 7.4.3 Market analysis /supply and demand forecasting/pricing
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The various theories as to the well spacing-recovery relationship are reviewedin considerable detail and these theories analyzed in terms of theirconsistency with modern reservoir engineering concepts. It is concluded thatthe well spacing problem must be analyzed in terms of recovery efficiency andthat a positive answer to the relation between well density and recoveryefficiency is not available from direct comparisons of the production historiesof wells and fields.
The results of an engineering analysis designed to permit approximatecalculation of recovery efficiencies as a function of well spacing in adepletion type reservoir from basic reservoir data is presented. Results ofthis type analysis indicate that the effect of well spacing on recoveryefficiency in depletion type reservoirs can be expected to be very small.Limitations of this approach are pointed out, particularly with respect to itsapplication in lenticular reservoirs.
Testing techniques are outlined which should indicate whether or not areservoir is continuous between wells and whether or not satisfactory drainageis being obtained with present spacings. A mass of data of this type indicatescontinuity to exist in most fields.
The purpose of this paper is to review critically the engineering aspects ofthe well spacing problem, both from the standpoint of certain concepts and fromthe standpoint of reservoir mechanics. The well spacing problem is primarily aneconomic problem in which the optimum well density for a particular field isthat density which will yield the greatest oil recovery consistent withjustifiable development costs. The well spacing answer in terms of economicconditions, however, is extremely sensitive to the variation in recoveryefficiency with well density. The variation in recovery efficiency with welldensity is properly an engineering problem. Different opinions as to thecorrect answer to this engineering problem is the basis for most of the widedifference in opinion among various members of the industry as to optimum wellspacing. This paper will be confined to the engineering problem of the relationbetween well density and ultimate oil recovery; economic considerationsnecessary for the evaluation of optimum well density for any particular fieldwill not be discussed.
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