Technical Paper: A Dynamic Model for Simulation of Integrated Reservoir, Well and Pipeline System

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 147053
Presentation Date: 2011
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Most reservoir simulations use vertical flow performance (VFP) tables to represent flow in the tubing, which ignores the flow dynamics in wells and their downstream gathering and transportation networks. On the other hand, most dynamic well-pipeline flow models use pressure-rate equations to describe the inflow/injection from/to the reservoir, which ignores the flow and pressure transients in the near-wellbore regions. Obviously, neither of the two types of modeling can account for the transient reservoir-well/pipeline flow interactions that can be of great importance in many operation scenarios.

To bridge this modeling gap, a joint industry program (JIP) was initiated based on a previous successful investigation [1] on the feasibility to implicitly couple a reservoir model to a dynamic well-pipeline multiphase flow model. The aim of the JIP was to deliver a simulation tool that can fulfill the industry's basic requirements on the modeling of transient flow interactions across the sandface, which should also lay the foundation for its future expansion in functionalities. This paper is intended to summarize the outcomes of the JIP.

First of all, the paper discusses the need for integrated dynamic modeling and reviews earlier efforts on building integrated dynamic reservoir-well/pipeline systems. Secondly the paper describes the details of building the reservoir model and how to couple it to a well-pipeline flow model to assure numerical stability and simulation speed for cases of interest. Thirdly, the paper shows the PVT and fluid handling options the integrated simulation tool can provide. These are identical for the two models in order to keep the consistence of fluid properties particularly when the same fluid flows back-and-forth between the wellbore and the near-wellbore during transients.

Two application cases based on the resulting model are presented in the paper. One case is about simulation of chemical squeezement hydraulics for refining the operational procedure, and the other case is about quantification of the pressure gradient in the near-wellbore formation for different well bean-up procedures in order to prevent sand production. The two cases demonstrate the advantages of using the coupled wellbore-reservoir transient modeling.

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