Liquid loading in gas wells: from core-scale transient measurements to coupled field-scale simulations

Liu, X. , Falcone, G. and Teodoriu, C. (2017) Liquid loading in gas wells: from core-scale transient measurements to coupled field-scale simulations. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 157, pp. 1056-1066. (doi: 10.1016/j.petrol.2017.08.025)

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Liquid loading is a major operational constraint in mature gas fields around the world. It manifests itself as an increasing back pressure on the reservoir due to a rising liquid column in the well, which initially decreases deliverability, then ultimately causes the gas well to cease production. Theoretically, every gas well will experience this debilitating phenomenon in the latter stages of its producing life. In this paper, both laboratory experiments and numerical simulations are presented to shed more light on the physical process of liquid loading, with a focus on reservoir responses. On the one hand, core-flooding experimental setups of different scales were designed and constructed to investigate back pressure effects on transient flow through the near-wellbore region of the reservoir. On the other hand, the modelling of a gas well undergoing controlled flow and shut-in cycles was performed to validate core-scale observations at reservoir scale, using commercial integrated numerical software that connects a transient wellbore model to a transient reservoir model. The simulated transient characteristics of short-term downhole dynamics (e.g. liquid re-injection and co-current/counter-current flows) supported the U-shaped concept observed in the experiments. The detected temporal distribution of pore fluid pressure within the reservoir medium itself (referred to as the U-shaped pressure profile) was observed both experimentally at the core-scale and numerically at the reservoir-scale. This pressure distribution can be used to explain re-injection of the denser phases into the near-wellbore region of the reservoir.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The authors would like to thank RWE Dea A.G. (now DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG), the sponsor of the Joint Industry Project on Liquid Loading in the Operation of Gas Field: Mechanisms, Prediction and Reservoir Response (Phase II) for financing this research.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Falcone, Professor Gioia and Liu, Dr Xiaolei
Authors: Liu, X., Falcone, G., and Teodoriu, C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
ISSN (Online):1873-4715
Published Online:12 August 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 157:1056-1066
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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