|Summary / Abstract
||The pressure drop in a well per unit rate of flow is conrolled by the resistance of the formation, the viscosity of the fluid. and the additional resistance concentrated around the well bore resulting from the drilling and completion technique employed and, perhaps, from the production practices used. The pressure drop caused by this additional resistance is defined in this paper as the skin effect. denoted by the symbol S. This skin effect considerably detracts from a well's capacity to produce. Methods are given to determine quantitatively (a) the value of S, (b) the final build-up pressure, and (c) the product of average permeability times the thickness of the producing formation.
Equations which relate the pressure in a well producing from a homogeneous formation with pressures existing at various distances around the well are generally used within the industry. The relation ii quite simple when the fluid flowing is assumed to be incompressible. It becomes somewhat more complicated when the flowing fluid is considered compressible so that the duration of the flow can he considered. In each case the major portion of the pressure drop occurs close to the well bore. However analyses of pressure build-up curves indicate that the pressure drop in the vicinity of the well bore is greater than that computed from these equations using the known, physical characteristics of the formation and the fluids. In order to explain there excessive drops it is necessary to assume that permeability of the formation at and near the well bore is substantially reduced as a result of drilling. completion and, perhaps. production practice. This possibility has been recognized in the literature.
A method to compute the pressure drop due to a reduction of the permeability of the formation near the well bore. which is designated as the skin effect. S, is given in the following paragraphs. To start, equations normally used to describe flow in the vicinity of a well are given without considering this effect. These equations then are modified to include the effect of a skin on the pressure behavior. Finally a method is given to estimate the effect of the skin on the pressure and production behavior of a well.
Incompressible Fluid Flow
If p is defined as the flowing pressure in a well of radius the pressure at distance r from the well has been shown to be:"
The total pressure drop between the drainage boundary, and the well bore is given by
These equations are valid only if the flow towards the well occurs in a horizontal homogeneous medium and the fluids are incompressible. The assumptions imply that all fluid taken from the well enters the system at r a condition rarely encountered in practice.
Compressible Fluid Flow, Steady State
A more realistic equation is obtained if it is assumed that the compressibility, c, of the flowing fluids is small and has a constant value over the pressure range encountered. After the well has been producing for some time so that its rate has become constant and steady state is reached, the pressures throughout the drainage area are falling by the same amount per unit of time, and the pressure differences between a point in the drainage area and the well are constant. When these conditions are met. the rate of production, q, from a well is equal to where dp/dt is the pressure drop per unit time. The fluid flowing at a distance from the center of the well is equal to From the last equation and from Darcy's law it can be shown that
The equation holds for a depletion-type reservoir of radius drained by a well located in its center, provided the compressibility of the fluid per unit pressure drop is small and constant, and no fluid moves across the boundary
Compressible Fluid Flow — Nonsteady State
Table 111 of reference (5) shows the relationship between the pressure at the well bore and the reduced time, The pressure-drop function, p represents the drop below the original reservoir pressure, p caused by unit rate of production for several values of R, the ratio of drainage boundary radius to well radius, r In most reservoirs the values of approach infinity. and under these conditions the values of p shown in Table I of reference (5) can be used where p then signifies the difference between the pressure in the well and the prevailing reservoir pressure per unit rate of flow. The total pressure drop below prevailing reservoir pressure amounts to where the factor converts the cumulative pressure drop per unit rate of production to cumulative pressure drop for actual rate. q. For values of T > 100 the P function may be written (equation VI-15 of reference 5) as
Using the time conversion the difference in pressure between reservoir and well becomes
If values for the physical constants of the formation and the fluids are inserted, it is found that T exceeds 100 after a few seconds of production (or closed-in time), so that the approximation becomes valid almost at once.
A simple relation between the pressure in the well and in the reservoir can also be derived by considering the well as a point source"" '" instead of a unit circle source, that is, by using Lord Kelvin's solution instead of the unit circle source