Forecasting Production in Liquid Rich Shale Plays
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Production from Liquid Rich Shale (LRS) reservoirs is taking center stage in the exploration and production of unconventional reservoirs. Production from the low and ultra-low permeability LRS plays is possible only through multi-fractured horizontal wells (MFHW’s). There is no existing workflow that is applicable to forecasting multi-phase production from MFHW’s in LRS plays. This project presents a practical and rigorous workflow for forecasting multiphase production from MFHW’s in LRS reservoirs. There has been much effort in developing workflows and methodology for forecasting in tight/shale plays in recent years. The existing workflows, however, are applicable only to single phase flow, and are primarily used in shale gas plays. These methodologies do not apply to the multi-phase flow that is inevitable in LRS plays. To account for complexities of multiphase flow in MFHW’s the only available technique is dynamic modeling in compositional numerical simulators. These are time consuming and not practical when it comes to forecasting production and estimating reserves for a large number of producers. A workflow was developed, and validated by compositional numerical simulation. The workflow honors physics of flow, and is sufficiently accurate while practical so that an analyst can readily apply it to forecast production and estimate reserves in a large number of producers in a short period of time. To simplify the complex multiphase flow in MFHW, the workflow divides production periods into an initial period where large production and pressure declines are expected, and the subsequent period where production decline may converge into a common trend for a number of producers across an area of interest in the field. Initial period assumes the production is dominated by single-phase flow of oil and uses the tri-linear flow model of Erdal Ozkan to estimate the production history. Commercial software readily available can simulate flow and forecast production in this period. In the subsequent Period, dimensionless rate and dimensionless time functions are introduced that help identify transition from initial period into subsequent period. The production trends in terms of the dimensionless parameters converge for a range of rock permeability and stimulation intensity. This helps forecast production beyond transition to the end of life of well. This workflow is applicable to single fluid system.
Nikfarman, Hanieh (2016). Forecasting Production in Liquid Rich Shale Plays. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from