Oil well performance analysis delivers greater value when the calculations, simulations, modeling, and monitoring of production metrics can be evaluated in an environment that facilitates the sharing of all relevant information and collaborative analysis by engineering teams. Today, visualization and analysis software solutions are giving reservoir engineers greater ability to more efficiently develop forecast estimates and optimize production as additional data are acquired throughout the life of an oil well.
Whether you’re using Vogel’s inflow performance relationship, isochronal well testing, multi-rate methods incorporating non-Darcy flow effects, or other variations, depending on the phase flow, oil well performance analyses become more insightful when evaluated in the context of the subsurface conditions. Below, we describe how visualization and analysis software help reservoir engineers gain a better understanding of oil well potential and closely monitor performance throughout the production cycle.
Evaluate Oil Well Potential
A reservoir team can achieve a better understanding of oil well potential by integrating relevant information such as 3D geologic models, well tests, reservoir simulations, and cellular grids into a single, visualization and analysis environment that facilitates collaboration among disciplines. An integrated view of reservoir data, workflows that help interpret data, and a set of analytic tools tailored to the needs of petroleum engineers provide a powerful platform for assessing production problems. Some of the key capabilities available include:
- Workflows that use flow/saturation models to develop petroelastic (velocity and density) models, which are then used to create synthetic 3D seismic volumes
- Visualizing formation testing data alongside a cellular grid to help quantify pressure, permeability, oil chemistry, porosity, and other data to help estimate ultimate recovery
- Three-dimensional property distributions depicted within fault blocks to better understand reservoir dynamics
- Analysis of a nearby wells’ geologic, petrophysical, and production data to provide insight to understand a well’s production and decline curve
The results of these analyses provide a more accurate assessment of a well’s potential and can guide the initial development strategy in the following ways:
- Design well geometries to maximize wellbore exposure within a formation as well as avoid collisions with existing wells.
- Evaluate the pros and cons of various completion and artificial lift options, based on historical data from similar wells in the reservoir.
- Plan a multilateral completion sequence to minimize the risk of well interference or thief zones.
- Use microseismic data to monitor the development of a fracture network and adjust the completion strategy stage-by-stage to optimize results.
A reservoir team that employs data integration and visualization capabilities in the initial stages of oil well analysis gains a more detailed and complete understanding of reservoir characteristics. This level of shared understanding leads to the development of more accurate production forecasts. Teams can then use this information as a baseline for further optimizing production.
Oil Well Performance Analysis to Optimize Production
Initial oil well performance analysis needs to be revised throughout the production cycle. As production engineers acquire production data on a regular basis, these data are used to help further optimize production. Operators accustomed to spreadsheet analysis of production data will find they can more easily identify factors that influence production when oil well performance is presented in the context of the subsurface conditions. Visualization of oil well performance enables reservoir engineers to:
- Easily compare a well’s production rate relative to nearby wells, depicting oil-gas-water as 3D towers that quantify cumulative volumes.
- Assess how the addition of a new lateral is affecting pressure in nearby wells.
- Understand how rock type, production depth, pump type, casing diameter, and reservoir pressure in a specific wellbore are impacting production rates.
- Monitor changes in water cut in response to secondary recovery methods.
- Evaluate “sanding out” probability by seeing which formation the well was landed in and compare with other wells in that zone.
- Plot the production curves of different wells together to compare the IP’s and decline curves to see which production strategy has worked better.
Visualizing reservoir pressure in the context of 3D geology and existing well locations allows engineers to back-interpolate on the pressure model to compare with the observed reservoir pressure (and other properties) along the entire wellbore to see the full picture and assist in determining optimization strategies such as modifying pump stroke rate, changing casing diameter to improve flow, or evaluating the cost-effectiveness of a workover. On a broader, field-wide scale, engineers could opt for an EOR technique such as water, steam, or chemical injection to help improve production metrics.
Oil Well Performance Analysis With CoViz 4D
Production and reservoir engineers can more efficiently and accurately conduct oil well performance analysis with the aid of CoViz 4D software, developed specifically for the needs of petroleum industry professionals. CoViz 4D easily integrates a wide range of data relevant to well performance using a Data Registry. With shared access to relevant oil well performance data, as well as geological and petrophysical data, CoViz 4D’s powerful visualization capabilities and a rich analytic toolset give reservoir teams the ability to more accurately forecast and optimize production.
CoViz 4D provides the ability to manage data chronologically and animate reservoir evolution.
Oil well performance analysis can span decades. CoViz 4D provides the ability to manage data chronologically and animate reservoir evolution. With the additional dimension of analysis, disciplines can see how individual and collaborative decisions have affected oil well performance over any time period of their choosing—a day, weeks, months, and years.