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Heriot-Watt University



Reservoir Engineering Tasks
Be able to make dependable estimates of
initial hydrocarbons in place.
Predict the future reservoir performance.
Ultimate hydrocarbon recovery.
Material Balance Equation

Basic tool in reservoir engineering.

Many reservoir engineering techniques involve
some application of the material balance.
Principle of conservation of mass underlies the
MB equation
It is however written on a volumetric basis.
Mass of fluids originally in place = fluids produced
+ remaining reserves
Material Balance Equation

First presented by Schilthuis 1936

Relates volumes to pressures
Limited in application since no time dependant
Provides relationship with reservoir cumulative
production and its average pressure
Material Balance Equation
Scope of the analysis depends on the Reservoir
simulators apply material balance approach within
each cell
MB equation enables one to get a feel of the
reservoir and the contribution of various processes.
A danger of the blind use of the reservoir simulator
is one might not be aware of the various
contributions to fluid production.
Material Balance Equation
Basic material balance equation

The reservoir volume of original

fluids in place = reservoir
volume of fluids produced +
volume of remaining reserves
Material Balance Equation
As a consequence of pressure depletion in a reservoir
a number of things will happen.
The pore volume of reservoir will decrease
Connate water will expand
Undersaturated oil will expand
Saturated oil will shrink as gas comes out of
Free gas will expand.
Water may start flowing into reservoir.
Simplest MB equation is applied to gas
Gas compressibility is very significant.
Compared to reservoir volume
If no water drive and pore volume changes
Dry Gas Reservoir with Water Drive
If gas reservoir supported by water then as gas
produced water encroaches into pore space, some
MAY BE also produced
However because of very high mobility of gas
compared to water. Water production delayed.
Water support evidenced by pressure support

GBgi = ( G G p ) Bg + We Wp
Gas Reservoirs Graphical MB
gi (G G ) B p g

From equation in gas properties

Bg =
(G Gp ) p
p zi z
G= ( G G ) pz
G= p


p Gzi
G p= G
z Pi
Hence a plot of Gp vs. p/z will give a straight line.
Gas Reservoirs Graphical MB

If gas ideal then Gp vs. p would be a straight line

-when p/z = 0. Then Gp = G the original gas in place
-When Gp = Then p/z =pi/zi
Often used in predicting gas reserves.
Often water drive neglected.

Often used as a history matching tool to compare reserves based

on production data with those from exploration methods.
Gas Reservoirs Graphical MB
Great caution to be taken when using this method
Water drive is considered to be zero.
Gas compressibility is only pressure support.
If the plot deviates from straight line then this
gives evidence of other pressure support
MB for Oil Reservoir above Bubble Point

Pi P

NB o
NB oi

Figure 1A Figure 1B
Material Balance Equation

N(Bo - Boi) = NpBo

Material Balance Equation
Material Balances based on the above ideas have the following
1. In general, it is not possible to forecast the production of
both oil and gas. A simple volume balance is insufficient to
predict the behaviour of a reservoir if several phases occur
simultaneously. In that case more data are needed.

2. A one tank model cannot take account of the well pattern,

the inhomogeneities of the reservoir and the possibility that
different parts of the pay zone may be produced by different

3. The calculations rest on the assumption of differential

liberation of gas in the pay zone. In an actual reservoir, the
liberation process is exceedingly complex and depends on the
production process itself. The actual process generally varies
from point to point in the reservoir and changes with time.
Combination Drive Reservoir

oil, gascap gas

Gas Cap & solution gas

oil & solution gas

original GOC oil, solution gas

& water

gas cap expansion Oil Zone

original WOC

water influx

Material Balance Equation
The following production, reservoir and lab data are required.

1. The initial reservoir pressure and average reservoir

pressure at successive time intervals after start of production.

2. The stock tank volume of oil produced at any time period or

during any production interval.

3. The total standard volume of gas produced. With gas

injection facilities, injected gas must be taken into account.

4. The ratio m =
initial hydrocarbon volume of the gas cap
initial hydrocarbon volume of the oil
Material Balance Equation
5. The gas and oil formation volume factors and the solution
gas oil ratios. These are obtained as functions of pressure by
lab measurements on samples by differential and flash liberation

6. The quantity of water produced. With water injection

facilities, the injected water must be taken into account.

7. The quantity of water which has encroached from the


In general, the material balance is a linear relationship between

three basic variables and may be stated as:


Material Balance Equation
1. Oil and Associated Gas

Oil: N stm3 will occupy NBoi rm3 at the initial pressure. At the lower
pressure, P , the oil volume is NBo, Bo is the formation volume factor at P .

The expansion is therefore N (Bo - Boi) rm3

Gas: Initially, the oil is in equilibrium with the gascap, therefore the oil is at
bubble point pressure. Reduction in the pressure will liberate solution gas.
Rsi is the initial solution gas oil ratio (st.m3/s.t.m3) at Pi, Rs the solution GOR
at P .

Therefore, the N stm3 of oil has NRsi stm3 in it at Pi and NRs at P . The gas
volume liberated from Pi to P = N (Rsi - Rs) Bg rm3.

Total expansion oil and associated gas = N[(Bo - Boi) + (Rsi - Rs) Bg] rm3
Material Balance Equation

2. Gas Cap Gas

Original volume of gascap gas = mNBoi rm3

= mNBoi/Bgi stm3

At P , this volume will occupy Bg rm3

Therefore, the expansion is

( ) - (mNBoi)
= mNBoi( Bgi - 1) rm3
Material Balance Equation
3. Connate Water

Total pore volume = (1 - S )

Connate water volume =
(1 - Swc)

The total HCPV = (1 + m) NBoi at Pi

P = P
If Cw is the connate water compressibility and i - P , then the
expansion of the water is given by

(1 + m)NBoi 1 V
. S .
wc wC . P (Compressibility = at constant Temperature)
(1 - Swc) V P
Material Balance Equation

4. Pore Volume Contraction

(1 + m)NBoi
Original pore volume =
(1 - Swc)

(1 + m)NBoi
Contraction = - . Cf . P
(1 - Swc)
Material Balance Equation


Withdrawals = [oil] + [associated and free gas] + [water]

1. Oil: associated with NpBo rm3 of oil is

2. Gas: NpRp stm3 of gas which incorporates NpRs stm3 of solution gas.
Therefore the volume of liberated gascap gas = Np(Rp - Rs) Bg rm3 (at the
reduced pressure P )

Therefore, withdrawals = NpBo + Np(Rp - Rs) Bg rm3

Material Balance Equation


Influx = Injected gas + encroached water + injected water - produced water

= GiBg + (We + Wi - Wp)Bw

Material Balance Equation

Therefore equating the terms:

Np(Bo + (Rp - Rs ) Bg = N(Bo - Boi) + N(Rsi - Rs)Bg + mNBoi( - 1)
CwSwc + Cf
+ (1 + m)NBoi( ) P + (We + Wi - Wp)Bw + GiBg
(1 - Swc)
Material Balance Equation

(Bo - Boi) + (Rsi - Rs )Bg Bg

Np(Bo + (Rp - Rs ) Bg )= NBoi [ + m( - 1)
Boi Bgi

CwSwc + Cf
+ (1+ m )( ) P ]
(1 - Swc)

+ (We + Wi - Wp)Bw + GiBg

Material Balance Equation

1. Undersaturated Reservoirs

Above bubble point P > Pb. No gascap, m = 0 and gas oil ratio is constant, i.e
Rsi = Rs = Rp

The general MBE becomes:

(Bo - Boi) CwSwc + Cf

NpBo = NBoi [ + ( ) P] + (We - Wp)Bw
Boi (1 - Swc)

assuming that there is no water injected and that there is no gas injected.
Material Balance Equation
Analysis of Past Performance Np vs P is known

a. Both N and compressibility are known. We vs P may be found to estimate

the future natural water influx adjoining aquifers.

b. Compressibility is known. We is negligible. STOIIP may be estimated.

(Bo - Boi) CwSwc + Cf

From NpBo = NBoi [ + ( ) P]
Boi (1 - Swc)

or Y = AX

NpBo Y
N= or A =
CwSwc + Cf X
(Bo - Boi) + Boi( )P
(1 - Swc)
Material Balance Equation

2. Undersaturated Reservoirs Below Pb (Solution Gas Drive)

If the pressure of an undersaturated reservoir drops below the bubble point

then gas will be liberated in the reservoir and some of the gas will be
produced. It is assumed that m = 0, no initial gas cap, negligible water influx
and the compressibility terms may be neglected once a significant free gas
saturation develops in the reservoir.

The general MBE reduces to:

Np(Bo + (Rp - Rs) Bg) = N[(Bo - Boi) + (Rsi - Rs)Bg]

Rp is the cumulative produced GOR. R is the producing GOR ( .)
Material Balance Equation
3. Gas Cap Drive (Saturated Reservoirs)

The presence of an initial gas cap means that the compressibility functions of
the general MBE may be neglected since the gascap is much more
compressible than the formation or connate water.

MBE is:

(Bo - Boi) + (Rsi - Rs)Bg Bg

Np (Bo + (Rp - Rs) Bg) = NBoi [ + m( - 1)]
Boi Bgi

The expansion term will involves the solution gas drive since it is still active.

Often in gascap drive reservoirs, the ratio, m, is the lest precisely determined
value, and plots of withdrawals against expansions can reflect the value of m.
Material Balance as an Equation of a
Straight Line
Material balance not a difficult concept.
Difficult in applying it to real reservoirs
There is often inadequate understanding of drive
Odeh & Havlena (1963) rearranged MB equation into
different linear forms.
Their method requires the plotting of a variable group
against another variable group selected depending on
the drive mechanism.
If linear relationship does not exist, then this deviation
suggests that reservoir is not performing as
anticipated and other mechanisms are involved. c ACTODD
Material Balance as Straight Line

Once linearity has been achieved, based on

matching pressure and production data then a
mathematical model has been achieved.

The technique is referred to as history

The application of the model to the future
enables predictions of the future reservoir

Material Balance Equation
The material balance equation can be written as

N p [Bo + (R p R s )Bg ] + Wp Bw Winj

= N[(Bo Boi ) + (R si R s )Bg ]
+ mNBoi 1

(1 + m )NBoi (c wSs + cf )p
+ We
(1 Swc )
Wp, Winj and We are sometimes not included

Havlena and Odeh simplified equation to:-

F = NE o + NmEg + NE fw + We
Left hand side are production terms in
reservoir volumes

F = N p [Bo + (R p R s )Bg ]

The right hand side includes oil and its
originally dissolved gas, Eo, where

E o = (Bo Boi ) + (R si R s )Bg ....bbl/STB

The expansion of the pores and connate water, Efw.

E fw =
(1 + m )NBoi (c wSs + cf )p
+ We ...bbl / STB
(1 Swc )
The expansion of the free gas

E g = mNBoi 1...bbl / STB
The material balance in this simplified form can be written

F = NE o + NmEg + NE fw + We

Using this equation Havlena and Odeh

manipulated the equation for different
drive types to produce a linear equation

No Water Drive and No Gas Cap
F = NE o + NmEg + NE fw + We
A plot of F vs. Eo should produce a straight line through the
Slope of line gives oil in place.

Gas Drive Reservoirs, No Water Drive
and Known Gas Cap
F = N(E o + mE g )
Plot of F vs. (Eo +
mEg) should
produce a straight
line slope N.

If m is not known
then m can be
adjusted to
generate linear
form at correct
value for m.

Gas Drive Reservoirs, No Water Drive
and N & G unknown
F = NE o + NmEg + NE fw + We

F Eg
= N+G
Eo Eo F E
= N+G g
Eo Eo

Plot of F/Eo vs.

Eo/Eg should be
linear with a slope
of G=mN and
intercept N.

Water Drive Reservoirs

Covered in Topic 6

Depletion drive or other?
Material Balance can be used in short hand
form to get an indication of whether field is
depleting volumetrically ( depletion drive ) or
there is other energy support, eg. Water drive

F = N ( E o + E fw ) + We ...bbl
Divide by Eo +Efw

F We
= N+ ...STB
E o + E fw E o + E ew
Depletion drive or other?
Two unkowns, N & We. Dake suggests plot of F/(Eo+Efw)
vs. Np, or time or pressure drop

Pressure support probably

from infinite aquifer.
Could be abnormal
compaction Finite aquifer, less
support later.

Energy from oil and dissolved gas.

Intercept oil in place
We = 0, no aquifer

Assumptions in MB Equation
the MB equation is tank model. Pressure constant
throughout the reservoir at any time. An average pressure
has to be selected to be represent fluid properties.
Changes in a reservoir take place at constant temperature,
Production rate
Time has no part within MBE.
Representative PVT data
PVT measurements should be made or calculated to reflect
behaviour in the reservoir
Good production data essential
Significance and use of MBE
MBE is a relation between;
Oil & gas in place, N & G
Production,Np,Gp, & Wp
Water influx, We
Average reservoir pressure, PVT parameters and in
compressibility terms
If three of these are known the fourth can be
If production and pressure data available and oil & gas
in place known, then water influx can be determined.
If no water drive then can history match reserves.
For a known oil in place, the pressure at future dates
can be determined for a proposed production plan
Significance and use of MB(Dake)

Should be known Potential unknown

Np N
Rp We
Wp P
Cw Bo,Bg,Rs
Swc M
Bw cf

6 known and 8 unknowns need more independent equations

Significance and use of MB(Dake)

6 known and 8 unknowns need more

independent equations
In reservoir simulation more unknowns re.
Reservoir description, porosity, relative
permeabilities etc.
Np & Rp generally best known except when
good productions records not available.
Petrophysical data is generally good.
Significance and use of MB
Once production starts MB provides useful route to
upgrade STOIIP estimate, N.
MB provides opportunity to determine water drive,
Size of gas cap if not drilled may be difficult to
Important to determine rock & water compressibility.
MB zero dimensional. Requires average pressure.
Can be obtained from range of pressures from wells
in drainage area.
Sources of Data for use in MBE
PVT data Water Compressibility
From PVT reports Should be measured
Production data Pore Compressibility
Well and reservoir Should be measured
Reservoir Pressures
Oil & Gas in Place
From pressure surveys
From volumetric
estimates Water Influx
Connate Water Calculation or history
From petrophysics
Limitations of MBE
Zero dimensional
fluid properties averaged over entire reservoir.

Saturations distributions cannot be

No time parameter.
It will calculate what will happen but not when.