Coupled Modeling of Dynamic Reservoir/Well Interactions under Liquid-loading Conditions
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Liquid loading in a gas well occurs when the upward gas flow rate is insufficient to lift the coproduced liquid to the surface, which results in an accumulation of liquid at the bottom of the well. The liquid column in the tubing creates backpressure on the formation, which decreases the gas production rate and may stop the well from flowing. To model these phenomena, the dynamic interaction between the reservoir and the wellbore must be characterized. Due to wellbore phase re-distribution and potential phase-reinjection into the reservoir, the boundary conditions must be able to handle changing flow direction through the connections between the two subsystems. This study presents a new formulation of the wellbore boundary condition used in reservoir simulators. The boundary condition uses the new state variable, the multiphase zero flow pressure (MPZFP, p^(0)), to determine flow direction in the connection grid block. If the wellbore pressure is less than the p^(0), the connection is producing; otherwise, it is injecting. The volumetric proportion of the flow is always determined by the upstream side. The new reservoir simulator is used in coupled modeling associated with liquid loading phenomena. The metastable condition can be modeled in a simple manner without any limiting assumptions and numerical stability problems. We also applied this simulator for history matching of a gas well flowing with an intermittent production strategy. A basic transient wellbore model was developed for this purpose. The long-term tubinghead pressure (THP) history can be traced by our coupled simulation. Our modeling examples indicated that, the new wellbore boundary condition is suitable in modeling the dynamic interactions between reservoir and wellbore subsystems during liquid loading. The flow direction through the connection grid block can be automatically detected by our boundary condition without numerical difficulty during the course of the simulation. In addition, the capillary pressure can be accounted at the connection grid blocks when applying our new formulation in the reservoir simulator.
Limpasurat, Akkharachai (2013). Coupled Modeling of Dynamic Reservoir/Well Interactions under Liquid-loading Conditions. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from