Petroleum Science and Technology, 32:1168–1174, 2014
Copyright C Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 10916466 print / 15322459 online DOI: 10.1080/10916466.2011.569811
The Prediction of Bubblepoint Pressure and Bubblepoint Oil Formation Volume Factor in the Absence of PVT Analysis
S. Elmabrouk, ^{1} A. Zekri, ^{2} and E. Shirif ^{3}
^{1} Faculty of Engineering, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya ^{2} Faculty of Engineering, United Arab Emirates University, AlAin, United Arab Emirates ^{3} Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Regina, Canada
Up to now, there has not been one speciﬁc correlation published to directly estimate the bubblepoint pressure in the absence of pressurevolumetemperature (PVT) analysis. Presently, there is just one published correlation available to estimate the bubblepoint oil formation volume factor (FVF) directly in the absence of PVT analysis. Multiple regression analysis technique is applied to develop two novel correlations to estimate the bubblepoint pressure and the bubblepoint oil FVF. The developed correla tions can be applied in a straightforward manner by using direct ﬁeld measurement data. Separator gas oil ratio, separator pressure, stocktank oil gravity, and reservoir temperature are the only key parameters required to predict bubblepoint pressure and bubblepoint oil FVF.
Keywords : bubblepoint correlation, formation volume factor, gasoil ratio
1. INTRODUCTION
Ideally, reservoir ﬂuid properties are determined from laboratory studies on live oil samples collected from the bottom of the wellbore or from the surface. Standard reservoir pressurevolumetemperature (PVT) ﬂuid studies are designed to simulate the simultaneous ﬂuid ﬂow of oil and gas from the reser voir to the surface. The production path of reservoir ﬂuids from the reservoir to surface is simulated in the laboratory at reservoir temperature. During this process, the bubblepoint pressure ( p _{b} ) is mea sured. Likewise, the oil volumes and the amount of gas released are measured and used to determine oil formation volume factor (FVF; B _{o} ) and solution gas oil ratio (GOR) ( R _{s} ) as functions of pressure. In the absence of such experimental analysis, empirical PVT correlations can be used to estimate the reservoir ﬂuid properties. Reasons for using empirical PVT correlations could be (a) economic issues, (b) poor sample quality due to nonrepresentative ﬂuid, human error during sampling or ﬁeld transfers, (c) insufﬁcient sample volume to obtain a complete analysis, or (d) errors in laboratory analysis.
2. LITERATURE SURVEY
Several correlations within the oil and gas industry for obtaining bubblepoint pressures (p _{b} ) and bubblepoint oil FVF ( B _{o}_{b} ) of reservoir oils already exist. The correlations are essentially based
Address correspondence to S. Elmabrouk, Faculty of Engineering, University of Tripoli, Tripoli, Libya. Email:
saber elmabrouk@yahoo.com
Color versions of one or more of the ﬁgures in the article can be found online at www.tandfonline.com/lpet.
1168
ABSENCE OF PVT ANALYSIS
1169
on the assumption that p _{b} and B _{o}_{b} are strong functions of the bubblepoint solution GOR ( R _{s}_{b} ), the reservoir temperature ( T _{R} ), the gas speciﬁc gravity (γ _{g} ), and the stocktank oil speciﬁc gravity (γ _{o}_{S}_{T} ). Bubblepoint solution GOR can be obtained as the sum of the stocktank vent GOR ( R _{S}_{T} ; seldom ﬁeld measurement) and the measured separator gas oil ratio (R _{S}_{P} ). This is valid only if the R _{S}_{P} and R _{S}_{T} are measured while the reservoir pressure is above the p _{b} . Sometimes, the sums of the two producing gasoil ratios are called ﬂash bubblepoint solution GOR (R _{s}_{F}_{b} ) or total GOR. Some correlations used differential bubblepoint solution GOR ( R _{s}_{D}_{b} ) rather than R _{s}_{F}_{b} . Among those were Borden and Rzasa (1950), Knopp and Ramsey (1960), Vasquez and Beggs (1980), AlMarhoun (1988), Dokla and Osman (1992), Elsharkawy and Alikhan (1997), Almehaideb (1997), Hanafy et al. (1997), McCain et al. (1998), Velarde et al. (1999), Boukadi et al. (2002), Gharbi and Elsharkawy (2003), and Mazandarani and Asghari (2007). Others preferred to use ﬂash bubblepoint solution GOR (RsFb) as in Standing (1947), Lasater (1958), Tehrani (1967), Glaso (1980), Macary and ElBatanoney (1992), AlMarhoun (1992), Frashad et al. (1996), Petrosky and Frashad (1998), and Ikiensikimama and Oboja (2009). Moreover, several correlations by Labedi (1990), Rollins et al. (1990), Dokla and Osman (1992), Macary and ElBatanoney (1992), Velarde et al. (1999), Petrosky and Farshad (1998), and McCain et al. (1998) used ﬂash separator gas speciﬁc gravity (γ _{g}_{S}_{P} ), while others used total gas speciﬁc gravity as in Standing (1947), Borden and Rzasa (1950), Lasater (1958), Elsharkawy and Alikhan (1997), Glaso (1980), and Mazandarani and Asghari (2007). Other correlations used weight average speciﬁc gas gravity of the separator and stocktank vent gas. Among those were AlMarhoun (1988), Frashad et al. (1996), AlMarhoun (1997), AlShammasi (1999), Hemmati and Kharrat (2007), and Ikiensikimama and Oboja (2009). Few methods required ﬁrst to adjust gas gravity to separator pressure at 100 psig before being used in the correlations to be correlated as in Vasquez and Beggs (1980). Labedi (1990) proposed a bubblepoint pressure correlation based on: separator GOR ( R _{S}_{P} ), separator temperature (T _{S}_{P} ), separator gas speciﬁc gravity (γ _{g}_{S}_{P} ), stocktank API gravity and reser voir temperature ( T _{R} ). McCain (1991) provided guidance on the application of the PVT correlations. To estimate bubblepoint pressure and bubblepoint oil FVF, he suggested using Standing (1977) correlations, in conjunction with Rollins et al.’s (1990) stocktank vent GOR correlation.
3. NEWLY DEVELOPED CORRELATIONS
The main objective of this study is to overcome the limitations faced by previous correlations by building regression models using direct measured ﬁeld parameters as input variables to estimate p _{b} and B _{o}_{b} . Two correlations are proposed as a function of four directly measured ﬁeld parameters ( R _{S}_{P} , P _{S}_{P} , γ _{o}_{S}_{T} , and T _{R} ). By using the four parameters, engineers can estimate p _{b} and B _{o}_{b} for crude oil straightforwardly in the absence of PVT analysis. The PVT data used in this study were obtained from twostage and singlestage ﬂash separation tests. A total of 118 reservoir ﬂuid studies (476 data points) were collected from various Libyan oil ﬁelds in the Sirte Basin. The majority of the data points are taken from twostage ﬂash separation tests (355 data points). In the singlestage separation test, the separator pressure is atmospheric pressure and the stocktank vent GOR value is equal to zero. In order to study the validity of the proposed correlations, the 476 data points were divided into two groups randomly. Group A includes a total of 413 data points. Group B data (62 data points) were used to test the validity of the newly developed correlations and were not switched.
4. BUBBLEPOINT PRESSURE CORRELATION
Numerous models were tried as regression equations. Equation (1) was found to be very accurate. The natural logarithm of bubblepoint pressure was regressed against the natural logarithms of
1170 S. ELMABROUK ET AL.
separator GOR, separator pressure, of stocktank oil gravity, and reservoir temperature.
(1)
An additional important application of the proposed p _{b} correlation is to check the validity of the bottomhole PVT samples and to select the most representative sample. Since the representativeness of a PVT study greatly depends on sampling conditions, and the ﬁrst and most important operation, before running a complete reservoir ﬂuid study, is to check the validity of the samples. The bottom hole sample, used for PVT study, is selected according to the results obtained during the veriﬁcation of sample validity.
_{p} b _{=} _{R} 0.683 SP
0.18
P
SP
γ
4.98
oST
0.658
T
R
5. BUBBLEPOINT OIL FVF CORRELATION
Usually, the oil FVF obtained from a differential vaporization test should be adjusted using ﬂash separation oil FVF to properly approximate a combination liberation system. However, at bubble point pressure, B _{o}_{b} is equal to B _{o}_{F}_{b} . Accordingly, by using a multiple regression analysis technique, the B _{o}_{b} was correlated as a function of P _{S}_{P} , R _{S}_{P} , γ _{o}_{S}_{T} , and T _{R} . After trying many models, the following model was found to be a very good prediction equation of bubblepoint oil FVF (Eq. [2]).
B _{o}_{b} = 1.6624 + 0.000512R _{S}_{P} + 0.00015P _{S}_{P} − 0.802γ _{o}_{S}_{T} + 0.000501T _{R} (2)
6. CORRELATION VERIFICATION AND VALIDATION
Statistical correlation veriﬁcation and validation are the most important step in the correlation development process. Both quantitative and graphical analysis of the residual are used to verify the accuracy of the proposed correlations. Quantitative error analysis is determined in terms of correlation coefﬁcient (R ^{2} ), standard deviation (SD), average percent relative error (ARE), and absolute average percent relative error (AARE). Table 1 summarizes the quantitative statistical error analysis for the proposed correlations. Following the estimation of a regression model, the graphical error analysis was established by analyzing the residuals. The residual distribution for p _{b} and B _{o}_{b} correlations were performed. Both distributions indicated that the error is normally distributed and we can conclude that both correlations satisfy the normality assumption. Figures 1 and 2 present the computed values from the
TABLE 1 Quantitative Statistical Error Analysis
Statistical Criterion 
p _{b} Model 
B _{o}_{b} Model 
R ^{2} , % SD AE Min. AE Max. AE ARE, % Min ARE, % Max ARE, % AARE, % Min AARE, % Max AARE, % 
95.67 
96.3 
435.6 
0.0291 

17.72 
0.0 

−2112.8 
−0.06411 

1172.8 
0.11087 

2.83 
0.038 

−54.37 
−8.399 

120.82 
5.255 

16.757 
1.6874 

0.05 
0.0122 

120.816 
8.3989 
ABSENCE OF PVT ANALYSIS
1171
FIGURE 1
A 45 ^{◦} straight line crossplot for bubblepoint pressure correlation.
regression models versus the experimental values. Both ﬁgures show all points are scattered around the y = x line.
7. COMPARISON WITH OTHER CORRELATIONS
The correlations need ﬁrst to estimate R _{s}_{b} and γ _{g}_{S}_{P} or obtained experimentally. Therefore, none of the published bubblepoint correlations were subjected to test its accuracy against the proposed
FIGURE 2
A 45 ^{◦} straight line crossplots for bubblepoint oil FVF correlation.
1172 S. ELMABROUK ET AL.
TABLE 2 Comparison of Proposed Bubblepoint Oil FVF Correlation
T his Study Eq. ( 11 )
Labedi 1990 Eq. ( 4 )
Error SD, bb/STB 
0.02322 
0.02793 
AE, bbl/STB 
0.00412 
0.00418 
Max. AE, bbl/STB 
0.05286 
0.07064 
Min. AE, bb/STB 
−0.05351 
−0.0589 
ARE, % 
0.335 
0.241 
Max. ARE, % 
3.635 
4.757 
Min. ARE, % 
−3.548 
−4.4165 
A ARE, % 
1.412 
1.617 
Max. AARE, % 
3.635 
4.757 
Min. AARE, % 
0.028 
0.036 
bubblepoint correlation in this study. However, the proposed B _{o}_{b} correlation was subjected to evaluation and validation. Its accuracy was tested solely against Labedi’s correlation due to the fact Labedi’s bubblepoint oil FVF is presently the only published correlation available in the literature to estimate bubblepoint oil FVF directly in the absence of PVT analysis. The Group B data set (62 data points) were used in this test. However, these data points were not switched in the model derivation process. AE, ARE, AARE, SD, and a 45 ^{◦} line crossplot were used as comparative criteria. Figure 3 compares the behavior of the proposed B _{o}_{b} regression model to Labedi (1990). It shows the produced model in this study provides more reliable results. The majority of the estimated points of the proposed correlation fall very close to the 45 ^{◦} line with less AE, less ARE and less AARE. Table 2 demonstrates the statistical analysis of this comparison.
FIGURE 3
Evaluation and validation of bubblepoint oil FVF correlation.
ABSENCE OF PVT ANALYSIS
8. CONCLUSIONS
1173
A correlation to predict the bubblepoint pressure and bubblepoint FVF in the absence of PVT analysis is developed. The proposed bubblepoint pressure correlation can be used to check the validity of the bottomhole PVT samples in order to select the most representative sample before running the PVT laboratory analysis.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors gratefully acknowledge the management of the following oil companies for providing the data and permission to publish this work: AGOCO, Sirte Oil, Waha Oil, Millita Oil and Gas, Repsol Oil, and Harouge Oil.
FUNDING
The authors wholeheartedly thank and appreciate FGSA, University of Regina for their generous ﬁnancial support.
REFERENCES
AlMarhoun, M. (1988). PVT correlations for Middle East Crude oils. J. Pet. Technol. 40:650–666. AlMarhoun, M. A. (1992). New correlations for formation volume factors of oil and gas mixtures. J. Can. Pet. Technol.
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Almehaideb, R. A. (1997). Improved PVT correlations for UAE crude oil. SPE paper no. 37691. Middle East Oil Conference and Exhibition , Manama, Bahrain March 17–20. AlShammasi, A. A. (1999). Bubble point pressure and oil formation volume factor correlations. SPE 53185, SPE Middle East Oil Show , Bahrain, February 20–23. Borden, G., and Rzasa, M. J. (1950). Correlation of bottom hole sample data. Trans. AIME 189:345–348. Boukadi, F. H., Bemani, A. S., and Hashmi, A. (2002). PVT empirical models for saturated Omani crude oils. J. Pet. Sci. Technol. 20:89–100. Dokla, M. E., and Osman, M. E. (1992). Correlation of PVT properties for UAE crudes. SPE Form. Eval. 7:41–46. Elsharkawy, A. M., and Alikhan, A. A. (1997). Correlation for predicting solution gas/oil ratio, formation volume factor, and undersaturated oil compressibility. J. Pet. Sci. Eng. 17:291–302. Frashad, F., LeBlanc, J. L., Gruber, J. D., and Osorio, J. G. (1966). Empirical PVT correlations for Colombian crude oils. SPE 36105, Fourth Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference , PortofSpain, Trinidad, April 23–26. Gharbi, R., and Elsharkawy, A. A. (2003). Predicting the bubblepoint pressure and formationvolumefactor of worldwide crude oil systems. Pet. Sci. Technol. 21:53–79. Glaso, O. (1980). Generalized pressure–volume temperature correlations. J. Pet. Technol. 32:785–795. Hanafy, H. H., Macary, S. M., ElNady, Y. M., Bayomi, A. A., and El Batanoney, M. H. (1997). Empirical PVT correlations applied to Egyptian crude oils exemplify signiﬁcance of using regional correlations. SPE 37295, 1997 SPE International Symposium on Oilﬁeld Chemistry, Houston, Texas, February 18–20. Hemmati, M. N., and Kharrat, R. (2007). A correlation approach for prediction of crudeoil PVT properties. SPE 104543, 15th SPE Middle East Show and Conference , Bahrain, March 11–14. Ikiensikimama, S. S., and Ogboja, O. (2009). New bubblepoint pressure empirical PVT correlation. SPE 128893, Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition , Abuja, Nigeria, August 3–5. Knopp, C. R., and Ramsey, L. A. (1960). Correlation for oil formation volume factor and solution gasoil ratio. J. Pet. Technol.
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Labedi, R. M. (1990). Use of production data to estimate the saturation pressure, solution GOR, and chemical composition of reservoir ﬂuids. SPE 21164, SPE Latin American Petroleum Conference , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, October 14–19. Lasater, J. A. (1958). Bubblepoint pressure correlation. Trans. AIME 231:379–381.
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Macary, S. M., and ElBatanoney, M. H. (1992). Derivation of PVT correlations for the Gulf of Suez crude oils. EGPC 11th Petroleum Exploration and Production Conference. Mazandarani, M. T., and Asghari, S. M. (2007). Correlations for predicting solution gasoil ratio, bubblepoint pressure and oil formation volume factor at bubblepoint of Iran crude oils. European Congress of Chemical Engineering (ECCE6) , Copenhagen, Denmark, September 16–20. McCain, Jr., W. D. (1991). Reservoir ﬂuid properties correlations: State of the art. SPE Res. Eng.266–270. McCain, Jr., W. D., Soto, R. B., Valko, P. P., and Blasingame, T. A. (1998). Correlations of bubble pressures for reservoir oil—A comparative study. Paper no. SPE 51086. SPE Eastern Regional Conference and Exhibition , Pittsburgh, PA, November 9–11. Petrosky, G. E., and Farshad, F. F. (1998). Pressure–volume–temperature correlations for Gulf of Mexico crude oils. SPE Res. Eval. Eng. 1:416–420. Rollins, J. B., McCain, W. D. Jr., and Creager, J. T. (1990). Estimation of the solution GOR of black oils. J. Pet. Technol.
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NOMENCLATURE
AE 
average error 
ARE 
average relative error, % 
AARE 
absolute average relative error, % 
SD 
standard division 
S 
standard error of estimate 
p _{b} bubblepoint pressure, psia T _{R} reservoir temperature, ^{◦} F B _{o} oil formation volume factor, bbl/STB B _{o}_{b} bubblepoint oil formation volume factor, bbl/STB B _{o}_{F}_{b} ﬂash bubblepoint oil formation vol ume factor, bbl/STB
B _{o}_{D}_{b} differential bubblepoint oil forma tion volume factor, bbl/STB R _{s} solution gas oil ratio, Scf/STB
R _{s}_{b} bubblepoint solution gas oil ratio, Scf/STB R _{s}_{F}_{b} ﬂash bubblepoint solution gas oil ra tio, Scf/STB
R _{s}_{D}_{b} differential bubblepoint solution gas oil ratio, Scf/STB
R
R
stocktank vent gas oil ratio, scf/STB separator pressure, psia
P _{S}_{P}
T _{S}_{P}
API stock tank oil gravity stocktank oil speciﬁc gravity, water = 1 gas speciﬁc gravity, air = 1
γ _{g}_{S}_{P}
γ _{o}_{S}_{T}
_{S}_{P}
_{S}_{T}
API
separator gas oil ratio, scf/STB
separator temperature, ^{◦} F
γ _{g}_{T}_{o}_{t}_{a}_{l} total gas speciﬁc gravity, air = 1
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