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Lecture 5a Fiki Hidayat, M.Eng

Superposition Principle
Term superposition means a summation of all the individual parts
that contribute to the total system.
Petroleum engineers use superposition to model complex situations
as a sum of several simpler parts.
Superposition can be use either for spatial or time solutions.
Superposition allows PE to use these solutions to model multiple-well
and multiple-rate problems.
Superposition Principle
The response of the system to a number of perturbations is exactly
equal to the sum of the responses to each of the perturbations as if
they were present by themselves.
It should be noted in passing that the principle of superposition holds
only for linear systems (in the mathematical sense); however, these
include most of the standard response functions used in well test
analysis, such as the constant-rate radial-flow, dual-porosity,
fractured-well, and bounded-well solutions.
Superposition Principle
Considering the summation of a well
starting to flow at rate q1 at time t1 and a
well (at the same physical location) starting
to flow at rate q2 at time t2, the resulting
pressure response will be exactly the same
as a well starting to flow at rate q1 at time
t1 and changing to rate q1+q2 at time t2.
Superposition in Space
The diffusivity equation can be solved for several single-well cases.
Superposition allows us to use these solutions to model multiple-well
Superposition can be used to develop the method of images to model
single or multiple boundaries.
Without superposition, the diffusivity equation can only be solved for
a completely closed system.
The multiple well problem and the method of images are examples of
superposition in space.
Multiple Wells
It is rare to find a reservoir being produced from only a single well.
A field usually contains several wells producing from the same
reservoir, and each well will have an effect on the pressure at the
other wells.
In other words, if we have one well producing at a constant rate, the
BHP in that well is a function of its own production as well as the
production from surrounding wells.
Multiple Wells
Consider the following system,
illustrated by the figure on the right.
Superposition states that the pressure
drop at Point X is equal to the sum of
the pressure drop owing to Well A, the
pressure drop owing to Well B, and
the pressure drop owing to Well C.
In the mathematical form;
Multiple Wells
If we consider each well singly, we would have the problem of a single
well producing at a constant rate in an infinite-acting reservoir. The
solution to this single-well problem is

The pressure drop at Point X would be

Multiple Wells
Consider the pressure drop at Well A,
illustrated by Fig 1.12, the mathematical
form for this condition is

In this case, P owing to well A would be

(pi pwf), which includes the skin factor,
sA; and because the radius in question is
the wellbore radius (which is small
compared to the distances from wells B
and C to Well A), the Ei function may be
written as its log approximation.
Multiple Wells
The pressure drop owing to Well A becomes

And the total BHP at Well A is

Well B

Well C
Method of Images
The method of images states that a fault or a single, Fault
no-flow boundary can be represented by an imaginary
well, producing at the same rate as the producing well,
situated an equal distance on the other side of the
fault as the producing well. Producing Imaginary
Well Well
this method also can model a constant-pressure
boundary by use of an image well also situated an
equal distance on the other side of the boundary as
the producing well, but the image well in this case is
injecting fluid at the same rate as the producer is
producing fluid.
Superposition in Time
Superposition is not limited to spatial coordinates.
Superposition solutions in time is helpful in variable-rate problems.
Modeling Variable-Rate History
From the concept of superposition in space, the production from two
wells will give the following pressure distribution at any point in the

Both wells begin to produce at the same time with flow rates of q1 and
q2. The term q0 is a reference flow rate, and a1D and a2D are distances
between the wells and the point (xD,yD).
Suppose Well 1 began production at time t0 and well 2 at time t1, and we
wish to find the pressure distribution at t where t>t0 and t1>t. if t<t1, Well
2 will not affect the pressure distribution. For t>t1, Well 2 will begin to
produce and its effect may be added to the effect of Well 1.
Modeling Variable-Rate
For two rate changes, we can have a solution;

The superposition solutions for this: