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Combined Analysis of Postfracturing

Performance and Pressure Buildup Data


for Evaluating an MHF Gas Well
James N. Bostic, SPE, Amoco Production Co.
Ram O. Agarwal, SPE, Amoco Production Co.
Robert D. Carter, SPE, Amoco Production Co.

Introduction
Low-permeability (less than 0.1 md) gas wells must
be stimulated with massive hydraulic fracture (MHF)
treatments to be commercial. Once a well has been
stimulated, it is important to determine the length
and conductivity of the resulting fracture as accurately as possible to predict rates and reserves and
evaluate the effectiveness of the stimulation.
Two types of data normally are available to
perform the required analysis. The first type is
routinely collected data such as gas flow rates and
flowing wellhead pressures. The second type of data
is that from specially designed tests such as pressure
buildup tests. There are various methods available
fo~ analyzing both kinds of data, but all of the
methods have certain limitations.
Current analysis techniques are satisfactory for
finite-flow-capacity fractures when formation flow
capacity kh is known and sufficient production data
without shut-in periods is available to perform a
type-curve match as shown by Cinco et al. 1 and
Agarwal et al. 2 However, one disadvantage of MHF
treatments is that they often cause the stimulated
wells to produce large volumes of load water
(returning fracture fluids) for several weeks or
months. Production data obtained during this
01492136/80/00108280$00.25
Copyright 1980 SOCiety of Petroleum Engineers

cleanup period usually are not applicable for typecurve matching purposes with the currently available
type curves. Since type curves normally are plotted
on a log-log scale and exhibit the most character at
small dimensionless times, the loss of the early-time
production data disproportionately reduces the
length of the available data band and is critical to the
problem of obtaining a satisfactory match.
The purpose of this paper is to present a method of
combining the production and buildup test data so
that their concurrent analysis overcomes some of the
limitations of either individual data set. The
superposition principle is used in this combination,
and the analysis of the resulting data set should
provide a more accurate result than previously
possible. This combination has the potential to
generate field data curves of sufficient length that the
shape of the data curve may be sufficiently definitive
to determine formation flow capacity by type-curve
analysis. Additionally, this method makes it possible
to use production data that contain occasional shutin periods of long duration.
The superposition principle, on which this paper is
based, was described by van Everdingen and Hurst 3
and was used by Hutchinson and Sikora, 4 Mueller, 5
and Coats et al. 6 to calculate pressure functions for
the analysis of aquifers associated with water-drive
oil reservoirs. Those pressure functions were called

This paper presents a method of combining postfracturing performance data with


postfracturing buildup data for analysis on the same constant-rate type curve. This
combination of buildup and production data is accomplished through the use of the
superposition principle. The method allows the use of production data that contain
occasional shut-in periods of long duration.
OCTOBER 1980

1711

"resistance,,,4 "response," 5 and "influence" 6


functions and are similar to the pressure function
P FCN presented in this paper.
In 1965 Jargon and van Poollen 7 applied the
superposition principle to single-well drawdown test
data to generate a pressure function they called the
"unit response function." They then used this unit
response function in the analysis of variable-rate
variable-pressure drawdown tests of oil wells.
In 1975 Ridley 8 discussed a method of "unified
analysis" of well tests which used pressure data from
both drawdown and buildup periods. Ridley used a
statistical regression analysis method of parameter
estimation, but he assumed the fundamental form of
the pressure solution.
The method described herein extends these concepts to the combined analysis of buildup and
production data f!;'om MHF-stimulated gas wells. It
also appears to offer certain advantages in both
accuracy and ease of use, in comparison with the
currently accepted analysis techniques.

Methods and Limitations


of Postfracturing Analysis
A number of techniques have been presented in the
petroleum engineering literature for the analysis of
post fracturing pressure and/or rate data. Raghavan 9
presented a very comprehensive summary of pressure
behavior of fractured wells in 1977. Cinco and
Samaniego 10 and Lee and Holditch 11 also have
discussed the advantages and limitations of the
various analysis methods. While some discussion of
the various available analysis techniques is included,
this paper is not intended to duplicate other competent and recent work by examining in detail all the
various analysis methods.
Basically, the various analysis techniques can be
divided into two major categories: conventional
analysis techniques and' type-curve matching
techniques. The majority of the conventional
methods are applicable only to infinite-flow-capacity
fractures. (The modified Millheim-Cichowicz method proposed by Lee et at. 11 is an exception to this
restriction, as is the analysis of the bilinear-flowperiod data using the one-fourth root of time plot
suggested by Cinco et at. 10 Both will be discussed in
more detail.) Of the various available type-curve
methods, some are applicable only to infinite-flowcapacity fractures, while others can be used with both
infinite- and finite-flow-capacity fractures. 1,2,10
Defining dimensionless fracture flow capacity
after Agarwal et at. 2 as
FCD

= kJ!: , .......................... (1)


kXf

a fracture performs as an infinite-flow-capacity


fracture only for high F CD values. Since MHF
treatments usually are associated with long finiteflow-capacity fractures, any technique used to
analyze MHF-stimulated wells should be applicable
to finite-flow-capacity fractures.
As mentioned previously, the only two conventional analysis techniques which address the
1712

finite-flow-capacity concept are the modified


Millheim-Cichowicz method and Cinco's "onefourth root" analysis of the bilinear-flow-period
data. However, as Lee et at. 11 and Cinco et at. 10
point out, both of these techniques require that
formation permeability be known a priori. However,
if this condition is met, the type-curve matching
techniques also are simplified greatly and both the
reliability and uniqueness of their answers are improved, as discussed in Ref. 2.
Since type curves are fairly reliable where formation permeability is known and still can be used, if
somewhat less effectively, in the absence of a known
permeability, we prefer the use of type-curve
methods over other methods for the routine analysis
of MHF-stimulated wells. This especially applies
when time considerations will not permit the application of all available methods. Agarwal et at. 2
have shown that their finite-flow-capacity verticalfracture type curves produce the same solutions as
the Cinco et at. 1 type curves. For simplicity
throughout the remainder of this paper, all examples
with and references to finite-flow-capacity verticalfracture type curves will use the Agarwal et at. type
curves.
Two sets of finite-flow-capacity vertical-fracture
type curves for an infinite reservoir were presented in
Ref. 2. One set of type curves was for a vertically
fractured well producing at a constant weI/bore rate.
The other set of type curves was for a vertically
fractured well producing at a constant weI/bore
pressure. While the latter set of curves is much more
likely to approximate a realistic producing scheme
for an MHF-stimulated well, the former set also is
valuable as it can be used to analyze pressure buildup
data.
There are some limitations on the use of these type
curves. One of these limitations is that separate type
curves must be used for the analysis of buildup and
production data. Trying to match two sets of field
data on two separate type curves can be a difficult
and time-consuming procedure, especially in the
absence of a dependable estimate of formation flow
capacity kh.
A second limitation applies to the Agarwal et at. 2
technique of matching 1/q (rate - 1) vs. time with the
constant wellbore pressure type curve. This
limitation is that the production must be continuous
from the time the well is placed on production. While
this limitation was not stated specifically in Ref. 2, it
is obvious since the rate data is to be matched with a
type curve generated under the assumption of a
constant flowing bottomhole pressure. However,
experience has indicated that many wells producing
in low-permeability gas plays are subject to occasional shut-ins of extended duration due to
demand restrictions or other problems.
Additionally, there are some limitations that are
inherent in the use of either buildup test data or longterm production data. One limitation of pressure
buildup data is that it is normally impractical or
impossible to obtain long buildups. Since the buildup
tests require the well to be shut in, economic conJOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY

siderations may dictate that buildup time should not


be excessive. In addition, since the buildup data is to
be used for type-curve matching, the production time
immediately before the buildup must be much longer
than the buildup time. 12 Raghavan 13 has discussed
this limitation in detail and has provided guidelines
for estimating the extent of acceptable buildup data
based on prior production time.
While the buildup data suffers from an absence of
late-time data, the production data has the opposite
limitation. Early-time production data on MHFstimulated wells is normally not analyzable due to the
production of large volumes of returning fracture
fluids during the first several weeks following
stimulation. Since type-curve matching normally is
done on a log-log basis and it is the early-time data
which have the most characteristic curve shape, the
loss of this early-time data has an especially severe
effect on the quality of the analysis.

Superposition
The principle of superposition has been applied to
petroleum engineering problems for many years. Its
mathematical basis was described in the petroleum
literature by van Everdingen and Hurst in 1949. 3
Superposition can be used to apply known pressure
solutions for single-well constant-rate systems to
multiwell and/or multirate systems.
The general form of the superposition equation
describing the pressure history of an undamaged well
in an infinite system producing a slightly compressible fluid is

flowing pressure that would exist if the rate q c were


imposed on the well, Eq. 3 can be written as
1,424T

~(

~m[p(tn)]=~ j~ ~qj-qj-I)~

kh )
1,424T

[m [p(tn) ) -m [Pc (tn -tj-I)I] /qc])

.. (4)

In SI metric units, the constant 1,424 is replaced by


1.28 X 10- 3 .
Simplifying Eq. 4 yields
n

~m [p(tn)] =

E (qj -qj_I)[m [p(to) 1


j=1

- m [Pc (tn - t j _ l ) l}/qc . ....... (5)

Define a new term as


PpCN(t)

= [m [p(to) 1-m [Pc (t) l}/qc-

.... (6)

Thus,

PpCN(t) can be thought of as the


(m [p(to) 1- m [pc (t) 11 that would be generated

by a constant flow riite of 1 MscflD (or 1 std m 3 /d in


SI metric units to avoid carrying a numerical constant in the following equations). Substituting Eq. 6
into Eq. 5 yields
n

~m [p(tn)] =

E (qj -qj-I )PPCN(tn -

tj _ l )

j=1
n

= (q 1 -

q 0 ) P PCN (t n - to)

E
j=2

(qj -qj-I)PPCN(tn - t j _ I ) ... (7a)

Since qo =0 and to =0,

E [(qjBj-qj-IBj-I)[PD(tn-tj-I)DJ],

j=1

~m [p(tn) 1=ql PpCN (t~)

1,424T
m[p(to)] -m[p(tn)] =~m[p(tn)] = ~

PPCN(tn - tj _ I ) ............ (7b)

Solving Eq. 7b recursively for PpCN (t n ), we. obtain


forn~2

P PCN (t n ) = [

~m [p (t n ) ] - j~

(qj - q j - 1 )

PPCN(tn - tj _ I )] /ql . ......... (8a)

E [(qj-qj-I)[PD(tn- tj-I)DXj1),

E (qj -qj-I)
j=2

............................. (2)

where qo =0, to =0, and p(to) =Pi. In SI metric


units, the numerical constant in the numerator is
1.84.
For a fractured gas well, Eq. 2 becomes

...... (3)

j=1

where m (p) is the "real gas pseudopressure" as


defined by AI-Hussainy et al. 14 and (tn -tj-I)Dx is
a dimensionless time difference based on the fracthre
half-length. In SI metric units, the numerical constant in the numerator is 1.28 x 10 - 3 .

Development of P FCN
Since
PD (tn - tj _ 1 )DXf
= [m[p(to)] -m[pc(tn-tj-I)J} (kh)
1,424Tqc

where q c is a constant rate and Pc is the bottomhole


OCTOBER 1980

For the special case of n = 1, Eq. 8a becomes

and PpCN is then the transformation to the


equivalent variable pressure history with a constant
rate. PPCN is similar to the influence function of
Coats et al. 6 or the unit response function of Jargon
et al. 7

Example
The following example shows how PpCN is
calculated for a fractured gas well which has
produced continuously at a constant flowing bot1713

available buildup data are combined with the


production data, and lor (3) there are shut-in periods
in the production data.
--"L ACTUAL PRODUCTION HISTORY

---1 __ A PPROX IMATE

PRODUCTION

HISTORY

o~

________________________ ______
~

t--

TIME

Fig. 1 - Production history for PFCN example.

tom hole pressure Pwj. For this case, the pressure


drawdown in terms of real gas pseudopressure is
Am [p (t n ) ] = m [p (t 0

) ] -

m (p wj )

= constant = Am (Pwj)'
The rate history for this example is given in Fig. 1
where the solid line is the actual producing history
and the dashed lines represent a stair-step approximation of this history where the size of the time
length of this approximation can be chosen as small
as necessary. If this well had been produced at an
e~uivalent constant rate of q c = 1 MscflD (or 1 std
m /d to avoid carrying a numerical constant), then
its pressure history would have been
n

PFCN(tn)

= [Am (Pwj) -

E (qj-qj-l)
j=2

PFCN(tn - tj - 1)] Iql'

for

......... (9a)

n~2and

P FCN (tl) = Am (Pwj) Iql'

.............. (9b)

for n= 1, where PFCN(tn) is defined by Eq. 6. Note


that Eqs. 9a and 9b differ from Eqs. 8a and 8b only
in the substitution of the constant Am (p wj) for the
function Am [p(t n )].

Use of P FCN
The P FCN vs. time data now generated using
drawdown data can be matched with the constantrate type curves of Agarwal et al. 2 or other~.
Comprehensive instructions on the use of type curves
are given by Earlougher 15 and will not be repeated
here. Note that dimensionless pressure can be expressed in terms of P FCN (t n) as
PD =kh PFCN(t n ) /l,424T,

............. (10)

where PFCN(tn) is defined by Eq. 6. In SI metric


units, the numerical constant in the denominator is
1.28 x 10- 3
In the special case of constant drawdown
production, no advantage is obtained by using P FCN
vs. time as opposed to 11q vs. time with the constantwellbore-pressure type curve. The use of P FCN vs.
time will be preferred when (1) a well is produced
with varying flowing bottomhole pressures, (2)
1714

Combination of Production
and Buildup Data
The superposition transformation which results in
the calculation of P FCN (t) allows constant wellbore
pressure production data to be used with constantwell-rate type curves. This is valuable because
pressure buildup data also are analyzed with constant-well-rate type curves; thus, pressure buildup
data and production data can be evaluated on the
same type curve.
Since buildup tests (in the absence of wellbore
effects) provide early-time data but may be too costly
in terms of lost production to run for long periods,
and production data is generally available for long
times but is unanalyzable at early times due to
fracture fluid cleanup and/or other production
problems, these two types of data tend to complement each other. Together, they can provide a
much longer data band for type-curve matching.
Another way to use the superposition principle is
to convert pressure buildup data to the equivalent
rate-time data. Equivalent rate data can be calculated
from Eq. 8 for any desired drawdown Am [p(tn)] if
P FCN (t) is known. If the preceding producing
period is much longer than the buildup period,13
P FCN (t) can be estimated from the buildup data
using
PFCN(At) =[m[p(At)]-m[p(At=O)lJlqj' .. (11)

where At is the buildup time and qj is the final


stabilized flow rate before buildup. Once obtained,
these calculated early-time rates are treated like any
other rate data and, thus, can be used in the P FCN
calculations.
When this early-time data is combined with
production data for about a year, the resulting data
band will be significantly longer than the data bands
available from either buildup or production data
alone. This may help to minimize the problem of
non uniqueness of results which may exist with typecurve analysis techniques.

Use of the Real Gas Pseudotime


It is important to note that to use the buildup data
accurately with draw down-generated type curves, it
was necessary to apply the "real gas pseudotime
t a (p)" concept of Agarwal 16 to the buildup data.
This is similar to the "real gas pseudo pressure
m(p)" of AI-Hussainy et al. 14 ta(p) compensates
for the variations of the effective JlC t product with
pressure, which appears in the dimensionless time
term. This quantity is given by
p

(~)

t,(p)=r
J po Jl(p)c t (p)

dp

............ (12)

and replaces (Atl Jlc() i in the dimensionless time


term.
JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY

40 ,------------------------------,
38

0..
U

TABLE 1- NONMHF APPLICATION


- SIMULATED EXAMPLE

34

&: ~:
c..
g32

Input Parameters
Formation permeability k, md
Formation thickness h, ft (m)
Reservoir temperature T, R (K)

30

10

20

30 40 50

70 100

200 300 400

t(DAYS)

Fig. 2 - Analysis of simulated radial flow data using PFCN


technique.

Extension Over Shut-In Periods


With Unavailable Bottomhole
Pressure Measurements
Eqs. 7 and 8 can be used to obtain the PpCN function
for wells that have shut-in periods extending over
several days or weeks. When the bottonhole pressure
is available during these periods, the procedure
described previously can be used in a straightforward
way for this purpose, treating the data as in a
standard variable-rate situation. However, when
bottomhole pressure information is not available
during such shut-in periods, an extrapolation
technique is employed to synthesize the missing data.
An inspection of any of the dimensionless pressure
vs. dimensionless time solutions for fractured wells
shows that beyond very early time the 10gPwD vs. log
t Dx! curve is approximately linear over a short interval. This interval is usually at least twice the t Dx!
value of the last available pressure point. This observation, therefore, allows estimation of PpCN as a
function of time during shut-in periods, provided
that the shut-in time does not exceed the previous
producing time. Unacceptable extrapolations are
manifested in a computed P PCN curve that is
oscillatory.
This extension of the PpCN technique over long
shut-in periods is very significant. It serves to extend
the technique to a much larger group of candidate
wells and enlarges the amount of usable data on
many more wells.

Some Practical Considerations


Although the equations used to calculate P PCN (t)
appear simple in concept, they can become extremely
tedious in application. In practice, a computer is
needed to perform the calculations. Preparation of a
program to perform these calculations is relatively
simple, and for convenience the program can include
routines to calculate m(p)14 and t a (p).16 If these
routines are included, the required data need only
include times, pressures, rates, and gas property data
to generate PpCN(t). As with any computer program
or analysis technique, the final results depend on the
OCTOBER 1980

0.004
50(15)
740(411)

Analysis Results
Semilog slope m, [(psi 2 /cp)(McflD)]/cycle
([(MPa 2 /Pa s)/(m 3 /d)]/cycle I
Formation flow capacity kh, mdft
(mdm)

6.05 X 106
(10.1)
0.2(0.06)

quality of the input data. Inaccurately measured


rates or pressures will yield inaccurate values of
PpCN(t) .

The calculation> of P PCN (t) using Eq. 8 requires


repeated interpolation of some type to obtain the
terms PpcN~tn - tj _ l ) for j=2 to n. We agree with
Jargon et al. that a logarithmic interpolation is preferable here, due to the nearly linear nature of the log
PwD vs. log t Dx! relationship over the portion of the
curve normally subject to interpolation. Although no
support is presented in this paper, we also agree with
the observation of Jargon et al. 7 that it is possible to
obtain erratic and oscillatory results In the
calculation of PpCN when drastic rate and/or
pressure chages are encountered.

N on-MHF Applications
This technique should be applicable to any situation
in which the superposition principle can be used. In
particular, it should be possible to use this approach
to analyze gas and liquid flow data from wells that
have been given at most a small stimulation treatment.
Since PpCN corresponds to a constant rate of 1
MscflD or 1 std m /d, this function plotted for
radial flow analysis on a semilog graph yields a
straight line of slope m from which formation flow
capacity can be calculated using
kh= 1,637T/m . ....................... (13)

In SI metric units, the numerical constant in the


numerator is 1.47 x 10 - 3 .
Fig. 2 is a plot of P PCN vs. t on semilog paper
which illustrates this analysis method. The rate vs.
time data used in the calculation of PpCN (t) for this
figure was obtained from a one-dimensional radialflow reservoir simulator. 17 (The important input
parameters and results of the analysis are given in
Table 1.) This method can be a useful way to analyze
wells which, for various reasons, could not be shut in
for buildup tests or held at constant flow rates for
drawdown tests.
1715

TABLE 2 - RESERVOIR PROPERTIES


- SIMULATED EXAMPLE

Initial reservoir pressure Pi,


psi a (MPa)
Formation permeability k, md
Formation thickness h, ft (m)
Hydrocarbon porosity HC
Reservoir temperature T, oR (K)
Initial gas viscosity Ui, cp (Pas)
Initial gas compressibility cgi'
psi- 1 (Pa- 1 )
Half fracture length
ft (m)
Fracture flow capacity k, w, md-ft
(mdm)

5,500(38)
0.004
50 (15)
0.035
740(411)
0.0284 (2.84 x 10- 5 )
0.0001286 (1.86 x 10- 8 )
1,000 (305)

x"

40 (12)

TABLE 3 - TYPECURVE MATCHES


- SIMULATED EXAMPLE

k
(md)

l'
2

0.004
0.0032
0.0072

k,w
(md-ft) (md m)

X,

Match
No.

(ft)

(m)

995
1325
740

303
403
225

12.1
12.9
8.1

39.8
42.4
26.6

Preferred match.

50c0~-----------------------------,

q (MCFD)

2000
0

""

500

~
>-

=>
:r
Vl

200

320

240

40
t (DAYS)

Fig. 3 - Simulated example - production history.

oIMENS IONlSS
FRACTURE CA PAC ITY FC D

P
FCN

10

(JlSi~'CP \

I. MCFD 7

IO~-----'--------~l

w-

I
I

oo

=>

-----,
I

V>
V>

MATCH POINT

10-

V>
V>

__

~
V>

w-

I. 0

:
I

I
I
I
: ____ I
_____ I _____ L
~

10
, (DAYS)

100

1000

.k,w
FCD'

kif

Note that due to the length of the time interval


covered by the production data to be analyzed, interference or boundary effects frequently will be
observed in the analysis of normal-permeability
wells.

Type-Curve Matching
Although type-curve matching is now an accepted
pressure transient analysis technique, the problem of
sometimes locating more than one possible match
remains. Agarwal et al. 2 suggested that if kh is
known from a pre fracturing buildup test, then a yaxis value of the type curve can be calculated for a
given y-axis value of the tracing paper overlay (field
data). With this relationship fixed, the tracing paper
overlay is moved in the x direction only until the best
match is obtained. This simplifies the type-curve
matching and usually results in only one acceptable
match.
When no acceptable match is obtained, it may be
because of inaccuracies in the prefracturing testing or
because the prefracturing test was representative of a
much smaller portion of the reservoir than that
examined by the post fracturing buildup and
production data. When this occurs, a "twodimensional" type-curve match must be attempted.
One method of limiting the range of possible typecurve matches is to calculate a value of kh from a
plot of P FCN vs. log t as discussed in the section on
non-MHF applications. For most MHF-stimulated
wells, the calculated kh from this type of analysis will
be somewhat optimistic since the well probably will
have not reached pseudoradial flow yet. This
calculated value, therefore, should be the maximum
possible value of kh for the well, and a PwD value
calculated from it could then serve as a maximum
PwD value. This should minimize at least partially the
freedom of movement during the matching process
and perhaps provide better answers.
Once one or more potential solutions have been
obtained from type-curve analysis, the acceptablity
of the solutions can be checked using a twodimensional reservoir simulator such as the one
described by Agarwal et al. 2 This is done by making
a comparison of actual vs. simulated buildup and
production data to determine which of several
possible solutions is preferable. Lee et al. II have
suggested that a reservoir simulator could be used in
place of other techniques to determine k, xf' and
kfw, but experience indicates that such trial-anderror history matching techniques can be more timeconsuming and expensive than those suggested here.
Of course, systems with multiple layers, areal
heterogeneities, variable fracture flow capacities or
other nonuniform conditions may be analyzable, at
present, only through trial-and-error simulation.

Examples
DIM ENS IONlSS TIME, 'DX,

Fig. 4 - Simulated example - typecurve match.

1716

Simulated Example
To test the P FCN analysis technique, the twodimensional reservoir simulator mentioned previously was run with the reservoir properties given in
Table 2. A well was produced with a constant flowing
JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY

bottomhole pressure of 1,238 psia (8.538 MPa) for


150 days, shut in for 30 days, and then produced at
1,238 psi a (8.538 MPa) for another 130 days. The
rate vs. time results of this simulation are shown in
Fig. 3.
Simulated rate-time data and buildup pressuretime data obtained at the end of the final production
period along with the appropriate gas properties then
were processed through a computer program to
compute PpCN (I). Next, a data plot of PpCN vs. t
was made on the same scale as the log-log type curve.
The resulting type-curve match is shown in Fig. 4.
Match point data are

~r-------------------------------~

\.
q (MCFDI

1000

\.

'----

500f-

1975

(PpCN) M

(I) M =
(tDXf) M =
(PwD) M =
FCD =

106 (psi2/cp)/(McflD)
[1.66 x 103 (MPa 2/Pas)/(m 3 /d)],
100 days = 2,400 hours,
2 x 10 - 2 ,
0.19, and
10.

Fracture flow capacity, permeability, and fracture


length then were calculated from Eqs. 1, 10, and 14,
where Eq. 14 is

1976

Field Example
An actual field example of the use of the PpCN
analysis technique also is given. Fig. 5 shows the
reported 3-year producing history of a lowpermeability gas well. Both prefracturing and
post fracturing buildup tests were available on this
well. The reservoir properties estimated for this well
are given in Table 4, and the post fracturing buildup
data are contained in Table 5.
The available rate-time and pressure-time data
were used to calculate P PCN (t). A type-curve match,
which honored the kh calculated from the
prefracturing buildup test, then was made, and the
results are shown in Fig. 6. (Note that the buildup
portion of the data is indicated on Fig. 6.) The match
point obtained was
OCTOBER 1980

1977

Fig. 5 - Field example - production history.

TABLE 4 - RESERVOIR PROPERTIES - FIELD EXAMPLE

I nitial reservoir pressure Pi,


psia(MPa)
Flowing bottom hole pressure Pwf,
psia (MPa)
-'
Formation permeability k, md
Formation thickness h, ft (m)
Hydrocarbon porosity cPHC
Reservoir temperature T, R (K)
Initial gas viscosity Ui, cp (Pa s)
Initial gas compressibility e g ,
psi - 1 (Pa - 1 )
I
0

where t is in hours. In SI metric units, the numerical


constant in the numerator is 3.6 x 10 -9. The results'
are given in Table 3 as Match 1.
Although these results were in excellent agreement
with the simulator input data, it should be noted that
two other type-curve matches with the F CD = 10 and
F CD = 5 curves were possible. This is the "nonuniqueness of match" problem that frequently has
hampered type-curve matching methods. Analysis of
these other matches would have yielded the results
indicated as Matches 2 and 3 in Table 3.
These three sets of results illustrate the typical
range of answers that can be obtained from typecurve matching when estimates of kh from
prefracturing buildups are not available. If a
pre fracturing buildup estimate of kh had been
available, only the first (correct) type-curve match
would have been possible.

YEARS

5,100(35)
1,273 (8.777)
0.0027
56 (17)
0.035
725 (403)
0.0264 (2.64 x 10 - 5)
0.0001465 (2.12 x 10 - 8)

TABLE 5 - POSTFRACTURING BUILDUP DATA


- FIELD EXAMPLE

Time
(hours)

0.0
0.1
0.4
1.0
2.0
4.0
8.0
12.0
16.0
20.0
24.0
32.0
40.0
48.0
56.0
63.0
100.0
118.0
130.0
134.3

Pressure
(psia)
(MPa)

1,273
1,415
1,567
1,692
1,803
1,947
2,040
2,193
2,292
2,358
2,415
2,507
2,583
2,647
2,703
2,746
2,929
2,996
3,037
3,051

8.78
9.76
10.80
11.67
12.43
13.42
14.07
15.12
15.80
16.26
16.65
17.29
17.81
18.25
18.64
18.93
20.19
20.66
20.94
21.04

Final rate before shutin: 1,600 McflD (45 760

m3/d).

1717

DIMENSIONLESS

10

10
~

N-~~
.-~
~

'-.J

0...

FRACTURE CAPAC ITY FCD

r~ - - - - T - - - - - - , - - - I ~ 1
I

l[

I
61

2000

VI
VI

lOI-.~- -- ----: Q 10-1 I

q (MCFD)

II 3
~

l!h ~~o

1000

,,
I

I
0

__ _

10-

_.1. _ _ _ _ _ _

10
t IDAYS)

500

1.I ______ ...JI

100

CASE
CUM. PROD.
- \ SIMULATED - 818 MMCF

1000
F kfW
CD kx
f

10 -3 '------::_---'--;-_---'---::-_----'---::-_---'--::-_---'------'
10"'
10-4
10-3
10-2
10-1
DIMENSIONLESS TIME,

"'lr ACTUAL - 809 MMCF


100 L..L..J....L..L-':-:19'=75.............L..L.L...L............-':-'::'--'-J....L..I...L.J....L...L..'-:1L,!97='7....L...L.1...LLJ....l...J...J

tox

Fig. 6 - Field example - tYPElcurve match.

(PFCN ) M = 106 (psi 2 /cp)/(McflD)

(t) M
(tDX/)M =

(PwD) M =
FCD =

[1.66x 10 3 (MPa 2/Pas)/(m 3 /d)],


10 days = 240 hours,
2.2x 10- 4 ,
0.146, and
50.

The results, calculated as before using Eqs. 1, 10, and


14, were
k = 0.0027 md,
xf = 2,400 ft (730 m), and
kfw = 324 md-ft (99 md m).
The two-dimensional reservoir simulator then was
run using these parameters and the production
schedule of this well. The results of this simulation
are shown in Fig. 7. To predict reserves and future
rates for this well, the reservoir simulator then was
run in a predictive mode for the expected life of the
well with an appropriate drainage area assigned.

Conclusions
Based on the work presented in this paper, the
following statements appear valid.
1. Superposition can be used to generate
P FCN (t), which is the transformation to the
equivalent variable pressure history with a constant
rate of a well/reservoir system that has produced a
variable rate with a known pressure history.
2. Production and buildup data can be combined
into a single P FCN vs. time curve which can be used
for type-curve matching.
3. The combination of production and buildup
data offers a significant advantage because it
produces a much longer field data curve, which
greatly enhances type-curve matching by curve
shape.
4. The P FCN technique can be used to extend typecurve matching to wells with intermittent production
periods.
5. The P FCN technique also should be applicable
to data from non-MHF wells.
6. The re~ults of a type-curve match can be
checked and long-term rates and reserves can be
1718

Fig. 7 - Field example - simulated/actual production


comparison.

predicted
simulator.

with

two-dimensional

reservoir

Nomenclature
B

formation volume factor, RB/STB


(m 3 /m 3 )
gas compressibility at initial reservoir
pressure, psi - 1 (Pa - 1)
total compressibility at initial reservoir
conditions, psi -1 (Pa - 1)
F CD
dimensionless fracture flow capacity
h
formation thickness, ft (m)
k = formation permeability, md
kf = fracture permeability, md
m = slope on a semi log plot, [(psi2/cp)/
(McflD)]/cycle {[(MPa 2 /Pas)/
(m 3 /d)/cycle J
m(p)
real gas ~seudopressure, psi2/cp
(MPa /Pas)
t::.m(p)
difference in real gas pseudopressure,
psi2/cp (MPa 2/Pa s)
P = pressure, psia (MPa)
Pi = initial reservoir pressure, psia (MPa)
PwD = dimensionless wellbore pressure
Pwf = flowing bottomhole pressure, psia (MPa)
P FCN = pressure function, (psi2/cp)/(McflD)
[(MPa 2 /Pas)/(m 3 /d)
flow rate, MscflD (std m 3 /d)
producing time, days
real gas pseudotime, hr / cp . psi - 1
(hr/Pa.s. Pa -1)
dimensionless time
dimensionless time based on half
fracture length of a vertical fracture
t::.t = buildup time, hours
T = reservoir temperature, 0 R (K)
w = fracture, width, ft (m)
xf = half fracture length, ft (m)
p- = viscosity, cp (Pa . s)
P-i = viscosity at initial reservoir pressure, cp
(Pas)
total porosity, fraction
hydrocarbon porosity, fraction
=

JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY

References
1. Cinco L., H., Samaniego V., F" and Dominguez A., N.:
"Transient Pressure Behavior for a Well With a FiniteConductivity Vertical Fracture," Soc. Pet. Eng. J. (Aug.
1978) 253-264.
2. Agarwal, R.G., Carter, R.D., and Pollock, C.B.:
"Evaluation and Performance Prediction of LowPermeability Gas Wells Stimulated by Massive Hydraulic
Fracturing," J. Pet. Tech. (March 1979) 362-372; "Type
Curves for Evaluation and Performance Prediction of LowPermeapility Gas Wells Stimulated by Massive Hydraulic
Fracturing," J. Pet. Tech. (May 1979) 651-654; Trans.,
AIME,267.
3. van Everdingen, A.F. and Hurst, W.: "The Application of the
Laplace Transformation to Flow Problems in Reservoirs,"
Trans., AIME (1949) 186, 305-324.
4. Hutchinson, T.S. and Sikora. V.J.: "A Generalized Water
Drive Analysis," Trans., AIME (1959) 216,169-177.
5. Mueller, T.D.: "Transient Response of Nonhomogeneous
Aquifers," Soc. Pet. Eng. J. (March 1962) 33-43; Trans.,
AIME (1962) 225,33-43.
6. Coats, K.H., Rapoport, L.A., McCord, J.R., and Drews,
W.P.: "Determination of Aquifer Influence Functions From
Field Data," J. Pet. Tech. (Dec. 1964) 1417-1424; Trans.,
AIME,231.
7. Jargon, 1.R. and van Poollen, H.K.: "Unit Response Function From Varying Rate Data," J. Pet. Tech. (Aug. 1965) 965969; Trans., AIME, 234.
8. Ridley, T.P.: "The Unified Analysis of Well Tests," paper
SPE 5587 presented at SPE 50th Annual Technical ConferenceandExhibition, Sept. 28-0ct.l, 1975.
9. Raghavan, R.: "Pressure Behavior of Wells Intercepting
Fractures," Proc., Invitational Well Testing Symposium,
Berkeley, CA (1977).
10. Cinco L., H. and Samaniego V., F.: "Transient Pressure
Analysis for Fractured Wells," paper SPE 7490 presented at
SPE 53rd Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition,
Houston, Oct. 1-3, 1978.

OCTOBER 1980

11. Lee, W.J. and Holditch, S.A.: "Fracture Evaluation with


Pressure Transient Testing in Low Permeability Gas Reservoirs. Part I: Theoretical Background," paper SPE 7929
presented at SPE Symposium on Low Permeability Gas
Reservoirs, Denver, May 20-22,1979.
12. Agarwal, R.G., AI-Hussainy, R., and Ramey, H.1. Jr.: "An
Investigation of Wellbore Storage and Skin Effect in Unsteady
Liquid Flow: 1. Analytical Treatment," Soc. Pet. Eng. J.
(Sept. 1970) 279-290; Trans., AIME, 249.
13. Raghavan, R.: "The Effect of Producing Time on Type Curve
Analysis," J. Pet. Tech. (June 1980) 1053-1064.
14. Al-Hussainy, R., Ramey, H.J. Jr., and Crawford, P.B.: "The
Flow of Real Gas Through Porous Media," J. Pet. Tech.
(May 1966) 624-626; Trans., AIME, 237.
15. Earlougher, Robert C. Jr.: Advances in Well Test Analysis,
Monograph Series Society of Petroleum Engineers, Dallas
(1977) 5,24-27.
16. Agarwal, R.G.: " 'Real Gas Pseudo-Time' - A New Function
for Pressure Buildup Analysis of MHF Wells," paper SPE
8279 presented at SPE 54th Annual Technical Conference and
Exhibition, Las Vegas, Sept. 23-26,1979.
17. Carter, R.D.: "Solutions of Unsteady-State Radial Gas
Flow," J. Pet. Tech. (May 1962) 549-554; Trans., AIME, 225.

SI Metric Conversion Factors


ep X 1.0*
ell ft x 2.831 685
psi x 6.894 757
Conversion factor is exact.

E-03
E-02
E+OO

Pas

m3

kPa
JPT

Original manuscript received in Society of Petroleum Engineers office July


20, 1979. Paper accepted for publication April 18, 1980. Revised manuscript
received Aug. 11, 1980. Paper (SPE 8280) first presented at the SPE 54th Annual
Technical Conference and Exhibition, held in Las Vegas. Sept. 23-26. 1979.

1719