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Tips, Tricks and Traps of Material Balance Calculations M.R. Carlson Applied Reservoir Engineering Ltd. Abstract The author has encountered a number of situations where drastically different interpretations are possible from oil material balances. The paper focusses on two of these field situations. In the first case, a gas cap could be interpreted which subsequent analysis disproved. In the second case, regression techniques converged to a total of three different combinations of gas cap and oil leg sizes. The existence of multiple solutions was not readily apparent. The discussion is
approached from three different perspectives, which are referenced to the two different field examples: 1.
How production, geological, PVT (oil, gas and water) and historical information may be used to screen results and to apply the mathematical technique. 2.
A new mathematical approach to error analysis for the Havlena and Odeh material balance has been developed, which the author has not seen elsewhere in the literature. Additionally, graphical interpretation can identify situations where multiple interpretations are likely. 3.
A spreadsheet has been used to implement the Havlena and Odeh material balance. Using some simple macros it is possible to quickly generate all of the diagnostic plots. This is a cost effective alternative to purchase of a specialty program. Aquifers are also included as well as statistical regression. Convergence is demonstrated as a criteria for confidence in material balance calculations. The new interpretations were significant. In the first case, it was an important factor in deciding to proceed with a string of successful
workovers designed to recover attic oil. In the second case, the new interpretation cut short a field extension drilling program which was resulting in unexpected dry holes. Introduction This paper is based on half a dozen material balance studies that the author has prepared on a consulting basis. Four were for carbonate reservoirs and two were for sandstone reservoirs. The contents are based on this experience and thus represent a mixture of field case, theoretical analysis (developed during projects) and an evolving approach to material balance calculations. Two examples are given,
however, they represent the combined experience on all of the above reservoirs. Scales have, for the most part, been removed; since the data is from actual studies. The paper has been structured as follows: 1.
A quick summary is made of the material balance equations. These are used for the derivation of the error analysis. No derivation of the equations was made since this is comprehensively covered in many reservoir engineering textbooks. A summary of the various Havlena and Odeh plots is also made, since this material is discussed in the paper. 2.
An analysis of the effects of errors in pressure measurement is presented. The author uses this for weighting data points. 3.
Some practical observations are made on statistical minimization. 4.
The general approach used by the author is outlined. 5.
Two typical material balance situations are described, which highlight error analysis and data screening. The paper differs slightly from the norm for a technical paper. The conclusions+ are presented as -tips+ and -traps+ since, in many cases, they represent matters of style. For instance, the author chooses to keep some pressure points based on his error analysis, where others might choose to use this (or similar) analysis to weight each point individually. Material Balance Equation The author prefers the method of Havlena and Odeh. Although favoured for its graphical interpretation, it also forces one to think in terms of reservoir conditions, a major benefit. The Havlena and Odeh material balance equation is as follows:
(1) The above terms are expanded upon as follows:
(5) These symbols are in fairly common usage and may also be found at the end of this paper under Nomenclature.