Technical Paper: Production Forecasting in Heterogeneous Reservoirs without Reservoir Simulation

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 139696
Presentation Date: 2011
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As an increasing percentage of the world’s production comes from mature fields, there is a growing need for production enhancement techniques that are both rapid and easy to use for the practicing production engineers. For mature waterfloods, the ln(WOR) versus Np plot enables rapid well screening on the basis of incremental recovery factor, where WOR is the producing Water Oil Ratio and Np is the cumulative oil production. Published in-depth information on application of this tool is sparse. Yet, this is often the only tool available to the production engineer for evaluating development options, where a history-matched simulation model has not been maintained.

In this paper, the theoretical basis for the use of the ln(WOR) versus Np is reviewed and studied, and is used to arrive at practical guidelines for interpreting production data. Its applicability as a forecasting tool to single-layered and multilayered clastic, waterflooded reservoirs of varying heterogeneity is demonstrated. Numerical simulation models then predict the behavior of this plot for a wide range of heterogeneities.

Production data is then analyzed to show the applications of the theory for multilayered reservoirs. The ln(WOR) versus Np plots are analyzed, and the impact of various factors is observed. The authors also demonstrate that, where applicable, this plot is the preferred decline curve for the following reasons:

  • Ln(WOR) versus Np does not require any pressure data; only surface well test production history is required.
  • It can be assumed that the ln(WOR) versus Np function is an approximate function of the reservoir only, and is decoupled from the outflow and facility constraints. This is especially useful when comparing artificial lift and drawdown strategies.
  • It is a decline curve model that provides a forecast of water cut, which is indispensable on waterflood projects.

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