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Society of Petmlewn Engineers

SPE 24301
Integral Type Curves for Advanced Decline Curve Analysis
J.P. Spivey, J.M. Gatens, M.E. Semmelbeck, and W.J. Lee, S.A. Holditch & Assocs. lnc.
SPE Members

Copyright 1992, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Inc.

This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE Mid-Continent Gas Symposium held in Amarillo. Texas, April 13-14, 1992.

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper,
as presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the authorfs). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect
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of PetroleumEngineers. Permission to copy is restrictedto an abstract of not morethan 300words. lllustiationsmay not be copied.The abstractshould m t a i n conspicuousacknowladgmnt
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ABSTRACT single set of axes. They pointed out that a simultaneous match of
the pressure and pressure derivative type curves provides a more
This paper introduces a new family of type curves for advanced reliable inte~retationof pressure transient test data than a match ol
decline curve analysis. The new type curves are obtained by the pressure type curve alone. Because of this advantage, recent
combining the dimensionlessproduction rate and the dimensionless pressure transient analysis papers have routinely included botb
cumulativeproduction on a single log-log scale. The new typecurve pressure and pressure derivative type curve^.^
offers two significant advantages: 1) observed cumulative
production data is much smoother than observed production rate The pressure derivative type curve suffers from at least one
data, making a match easier to obtain with the new type curve; and minor disadvantage in that the process of taking the derivative from
2) simultaneously matching both rate and cumulative production measured data amplifies anv noise inherent in the data. For thir
provides more confidence in the selection of the correct early- and reason. las sin game, lohnstk, and Lee sugfested using the pressure
late-time stems. Plotting functions are presented to allow the new integral rather than the pressure derivative . This procedure has the
curves to be used for both oil and gas wells produced at eitfler advantage of reducing rather than increasing anyioise in the data.
constant or varying flowing bottomhole pressure. Use OF the new
type curves is demonstrated for both simulated and field data. Production data often contains much more noise than pressure
transient test data, making application of rate derivative type curvea
INTRODUCTION of little value. However, rate itiregral, or cumulative, type curves.
can reduce the effect of this noise and make analysis of production
In 1973, Fetkovich' proposed a dimensionless rate-time type data more reliable.
curve for decline curve analysis of wells producing at constant
bottomhole pressure. These type curves, shown in Fig. 1, were This paper presents cumulative type curves for wells producing
developed for slightly compressible liquids. These type curves a single phase fluid, from a finite, radial reservoir, at constanl
combined analytical solutions to the flow equation in the transient flowing bottomhole pressure. In addition, plotting functions are
region with empirical decline curve equations in the pseudo-steady presented to allow the new type curves to be used with gas wells
state region. and with oil or gas wells producing at varying bottomhole pressures.
In principle, the concept of the combination rate and cumulative
' f i e analysis procedure provided estimates of formation typecurve may beextended to hydraulically fractured wells, to wells
permeability, k, and drainage radius, re, instead of the traditional in dual porosity systems, or to wells in arbitrarily shaped drainage
declinecurveanalysispararnetersqiandD,. This approach todecline areas.
curve analysis, now commonly referred to as "advanced decline
curve analysis", has become widely used as a tool for formation DISCUSSION
evaluation and reserves estimation. Fetkovich et aL2 presented
several case studies of the use of advanced decline curve analysis. Review of Fetkovich Decline C u r v ~

Bourdet, et al? introduced the use of derivative type curves for Fetkovich developed his type curves by combiningan analytical
transient well test analysis in 1983. By multiplying the pressure solution to the flow equation, describing transient flow, with
derivative by the time, (or equivabltiy, by taking the derivative of empirical decline curve equations describing pseudo-steady state or
pressure with respect to the natural log of time), they were able to boundary dominated flow.'
display both the pressure and pressure derivative type curves on a
The transient portion of the Fetkovich type curve is based on
an analytical solution to the radial flow equation for slightly
compressible liquids with a constant pressure inner boundary and
References and illustmtioi~sst end of paper. a no-flow outer boundary.

With the following dimensionless variables, 'Dd

Since h i s evaluated from Eq. 4 fort, 10.3 and from Eq. 6 fort,
> 0.3, the integral in Eq. 10 must be evaluated in two pieces:

where QDdWmi,,and are obtained by integrating Eqs. 4 and

the analytical solution is given by 6, respectively, from 0 to tw.

qD = L-'(q') , where (4) Integrating Eq. 4,

The late-time portion of Fetkovich's type curve, describing

pseudo-steady state or boundary dominated flow, is given by Expressing Q,in dimensionless units compatible with those in
Eqs. 8 and 9,
qDd= (1 btDd)-'Ib, b f 0,

q,, = exp(-t,,) , b =0
where the dimensionless variables are

qDd = -

and Integrating Eq. 6,

Fetkovich found that the transient solutions and the decline

curve equations could be combined by defining the decline curvr
dimensionless variables in terms of the transient dimensionles

Type curves combining Q , and q, may be obtained b!

multiplying q,d by tDd,Fig. 2, or by dividing Q, by t, Fig. 3. Thc
presentation in Fig. 2 provides more separation between the latc
time stems; however, the presentation in Fig. 3 clarifies thc
relationship of the new type curve to the original Fetkovich declinc
type curve. Fig. 2 may be regarded as a graph of dimensionles:
cumulative production and its logarithmic derivative as function'
and of dimensionless time. Dividing Q, by t,,,, as in Fig. 3, alsoprovide
a direct physical interpretation of the cumulative plotting function
It is simply the average production rate from the beginning o
production to the current time.
For Figs. 2 and 3, q,is calculated from the transient equation
Eq. 4, for t, 10.3, and from the decline equation, Eq. 6, for t, :
Application to Gas Wells
Fetkovich arrived at the type curve shown in Fig. 1 by graphin;
the solution given in Eq. 4 in terms of tDdand qDdfor several value The adjusted
of rD for tDds0.3, and the solution given in Eq. 6 for values of I
ranging from 0.0 to 1.0 for tDd> 0.3.
B e v e l o ~ mof
t Cumlative Tvpe Curvs
The dimensionless cumulative production is obtained b
integrating the cliniensionless production rate: and the atlj~lstedtime:
4 = (PC.), J P(p)cl(p)


are commonly used instead of pressure and time in analyzing gas For gases, the cumulative plotting function is QJAp, where Q,
well pressure transient tests using type curves de.velopedfor slightly is given by Eq. 17, the rate plotting function is qIAp, and the time
compressible liquids. plotting function is the colistant pressure analog adjusted time,
defined by
Fraim and Wattenbarger showed in 1985 that gas wells could
be matched using the b=O depletion stem of the Fetkovich type
curve, by defining an adjusted time based on average reservoir

Table 1 presents a summary of the various plotting functions to

be used in decline curve analysis. For the variable bottomhole
pressure cases, an arbitrary reference wellbore pressure, p,,,,, or
adjusted pressure, p,, , is introduced to give the rate and
In using the adjusted time, the production rate is graphed as a cumulative plotting functions the same dimensions as those for the
function of adjusted time instead of time. Time is also replaced by constant flowing bottomhole pressure case. The reference wellbore
adjusted time, and pressure is replaced by adjusted pressure, in the pressure is then used in Eqs. 9 and 12.
definitions of dimensionless time and dimensionless production
The major disadvantage of using adjusted time is that the In this section, the use of the new type curve is illustrated with
procedures for matching and extrapolation are iterative procedures, three simulated data sets and two field examples. The three
since the "independent" variable, adjusted time, is itself defined in simulated wells include aconstant flowing bottomholepressure case
terms of an integral involving the average reservoir pressure. and two variable flowing bottomhole pressure cases. The f i t field
Nevertheless, this result is significant because it gives a theoretical example is a Pennsylvania oil well; the second is a hydraulically
basis for forcing a match to the late time b=O stem. This allows fractured Texas gas well with variable flowing bottomhole pressure.
production data to be analyzed when there is too little data, or the
available data is too erratic, to otherwise uniquely determine the dated Gas Welk
correct late-time stem.
Fig. 4 shows simulated data (Run 1) analyzed using adjusted
In order to use adjusted time with thenew type curve, the correct time and the new type curve. The results of the analysis are shown
cumulativeproduction plotting function must be determined. Since in Table 2, along with the values used in the simulator to generate
the time plotting function is now adjusted time instead of real time, the data. The agreement is excellent. In performing the match, the
the cumulative plotting function must be obtained by integrating the data was found to fall between the rD=10and the rD=20stems. Thc
rate with respect to the adjusted time, rather than by simply using analysis was conducted with the data matched to the rD=10sterr
the cumulative production: without attempting tointerpolate toobtain rD.An intermediatevalue
of rD would have resulted in a smaller skin factor, a highel
permeability, and even closer agreement between the input data anc
the analysis results.
Figs. 5 and 6 show simulated data analyzed using the constan
pressure analog adjusted time and the new type curve. For Run 2
shown in Fig. 5, the simulated well was produced at constant rate
then at constant flowing bottomhole pressure. For Run 3, shown ir
Fig. 6, the well was produced at constant rate for two months, thet
at constant pressure for 34 months. The well was again produce(
Appbaion to Variable Pressure DropNariable Flowrate Svstems at constant rate for two months, and finally at constant pressure fo.
22 months. Table 2 summarizes the input data for these runs, don1
To take into account the effect of variable pressure drop on with the analysis results.
decline curve analysis using constant pressure type curves,
Blasingame, McCray and Lee introduced the constant pressure As with the constant pressure case, the agreement between thc
analog time, t,.' They defined t, by the equation: simulator input and the analysis results is excellent. Again, i
transient stem of rDbetween 10 and 20 would have matched the dati
better, and given values for skin factor and permeability closer tc
the values input to the simulator.
In all three simulated cases, matching both the rate and thc
cumulative production curves at early times allowed a morc
and investigated four algorithms for computing t,from production definitive selection of the transient stem than would have beel
data. obtained by matching only the rate curve. This point is illusnatec
in Fig. 7, when the data from Fig. 6 is redrawn with a transient sten
With this definition, the time plotting function is the constant rD=lOOO.Using the rD=1000 stemin the analyses gives a skin facto
pressure analog time, and the rate plotting function is q/Ap. The of -0.9, and a permeability of 0.192 md, three times the value inpu
cumulative plotting function is Q/Ap, as shown in Appendix A. It to the simulator. When only the rate curves are considered, thc
is also shown in Appendix A that the constant pressure analog time match in Fig. 7 is almost as good as that in Fig. 6; when both thc
may be written as rate and the cumulativecurves are considered, it is obvious that Fie
6 is a much better match.
Oil Well 3. Graph q Ap.JApaand Q, Ap,,,fAp, versus t,,.,where Ap,,, =
Pa - P.wr,r. and Apa=p1 - pawhthen determine a new match pomt.
Fig. 8 shows 14 years of production data from an oil lease
producing from the Glade sandstone in the historical oil producing 4. From the match point calculate drainage area, original gas in
region in northwest Pennsylvania. The Glade sandstoneis a shallow place, and permeability.
oil reservoir which in this area has low permeability (0.5 to 10 md)
and requires stimulation to achieve economic deliverability. The 5. Repeat steps 2 through 5 until the match point converges. For
new type curve was used to analyze the production data in order to the first iteration or two, any b stemmay be chosen; for the final
predict future performance. match, the b=O stem must be chosen for a volumetric gas
The cumulative production divided by time and the production
rate were graphed versus time in days on a log-log scale. The data The results of this analysis are shown in Fig. 9 and Table 3. For
were then matched to the rate and cumulative type curves, Fig. 8, comparison, the results of a more rigorous history match using a
with a transient stem rD=lO,OOOand a late-time stem b=0.8. The finite difference simulator are shown in Fig. 10 and Table 3. This
curve was then extrapolated to obtain twenty year reserves of 17.6 example shows good agreement in the results of the two analyses,
MSTB. in spite of the erratic behavior of the production data, and in spite
of the fact that the new type curve is based on the assumption of
Texas Gas Well radial flow. Better agreement would have been obtained by using
arate - cumulativeproduction type curve based on constant pressure
The second field example is a Texas gas well which has been production from a vertically fractured well.
hydraulically fractured and produced at varying bottomhole
pressures. The following procedure was used in the analysis: CONCLUSIONS
1. Estimate the original-gas-in-place, G. This estimate does not 1. A new family of decline type curves is presented. This family
have to be very accurate, but it should be somewhat larger than of type curves is obtained by graphing both production rate and
the last observed cumulative production. cumulative production divided by time as functions of time.
2. Calculate the adjusted time and adjusted cumulative plotting 2. The integration process smooths out variations in field data,
functions: making the type curve easier to match.
For each point in time, calculate the current value of p/z 3. Simultaneously matching both the production rate and the
from the material balance equation for a volumemc gas cumulative production is more sensitive to the choice of early-
reservoir: and late-time stems than is matching production rate alone.
4. To allow the new type curves to be used for gas wells, the
adjusted cumulativeproduction is defined as the integral of rate
with respect to adjusted time.
From p/z, determine the current average reservoir pressure, 5. The new type curve can be used for analyzing either oil or gas
p,then calculate p 6 ) and c,G). wells having a varying bottomhole pressure history using the
plotting functions presented in this paper.
Calculate the adjusted time for the jth data point using the
trapezoidal rule: NOMENCLATURE
Symbol Meaning

b Reciprocal of decline curve exponent, 0 5 b 1.0

Calculate the rate during the time interval from tj., to $: dimensionless
B Formation volume factor, RB/STB for oil; RB/Mscf fol
gas Ires m3/surfacem3]

Ct Total compressibility, psi-1[pa"]

at adjusted time
Di Initial instantaneous decline rate, D-'
G Original gas in place, Mscf [surface m3]

G~ Cumulative gas produced, Mscf [surface m3]

Calculate the adjusted cumulative production using the
trapezoidal rule: h Formation thickness, ft [m]

1, Modified Bessel function of the second kind, order 0

11 Modified Bessel function of the second kind, order 1

Calculate the constant pressure analog adjusted time: k Permeability, md [pm2]

KO Modified Bessel function of the first kind, order 0

KI Modified Bessel function of the first kind, order 1
L-I Inverse Laplace transform operator
Production rate, S T B P for oil; MscfP for gas [surface
Fetkovich, M. J.: "Decline Curve AnalysisUsing Type Curves,"
m3p1 paper SPE4629presented at the 1973SPE Annual Fall Meeting,
Las Vegas, Sept. 30 - Oct. 3.
qi Initial production rate, STBD for oil; MscfP for gas
[surface m3/D] Fetkovich, M. J., Vienot, M. E., Bradley, M. D.. and Kiesow,
U. G.: "Decline Curve Analysis Using Type Curves-Case
.! Average production rate between time tj-, and time tj; Histories," SPEFE (Dec. 1987) 637-656.
S T B P or MscfP [surface m3/D]
Bourdet, D., Whittle, T. M., Douglas, A. A., and Pirard. Y. M.:
4 Laplace transform of dimensionless production rate "A New Set of Type Curves Simplifies Well Test Analysis,",
World Oil (May 1983).
P Average reservoir pressure, psia [kPa]
Ehlig-Economides, C. A.. Joseph, J. A., Ambrose, R. W. Jr.,
and Norwood, C.: "A Modem Approach to Reservoir Testing,"
Q Cumulative production, STB or Mscf [surface m3] JPT (Dec. 1990) 1559-1563.
Q Laplace transform of dimensionless cumulative Blasingame, T. A., Johnston, J. L., and Lee, W. J.: "Type Curve
production Analysis Using the Pressure Integral Method," paper SPE
18799,presented at the 1989 SPE California Regional Meeting,
re Drainage radius, ft [m] Bakersfield. April 5-7.
rw Wellbore radius, ft [m] Al-Hussainy, R., Ramey, H. J. Jr., and Crawford, P. B.: "The
Flow of Real Gases Through Porous Media," JPT (May 1966)
rw, rWe4,Effective wellbore radius, ft [m] 624-636.
RD Dimensionless drainage radius Agarwal, R. B.: "'Real Gas Pseudo-Time' - A New Function
for Pressure Buildup Analysis of MHF Gas Wells," paper SPE
S Laplace space variable 8279 presented at the 1979 Annual Fall Technical Conference
and Exhibition, Las Vegas, Sept. 23-26.
S Skin factor
Fraim, M. L and Wattenbarger, R.A.: "Gas Reservoir
t Time, days [dl Decline-Curve Analysis Using Type Curves With Real Gas
Pseudopressure and Normalized Time," SPEFE (Dec. 1987)
z Real gas deviation factor, dimensionless 67 1-682.
I' Viscosity, cp [Pa * sl Blasingame, T .A, McCray, T. C., and Lee, W. J.: "Decline
Curve Analysis for Variable Pressure DropNanable Flowrate
0 Porosity, fraction Systenis," paper SPE 21513 presented at the 1991 Gas
Technology Symposium, Houston, June 23-24.
a Adjusted quantity
The constant pressure analog time is defined by
CP Constant pressure analog quantity
D Dimensionless quantity
Dd Dimensionless quantity for decline curve analysis
1 Initial value From Eq. A- 1, we have

ref Reference value

wf Flowing bottomhole conditions
decline Quantity calculated from decline equation The cumulative plotting function must be obtained by
integrating the rate plottingfunctionwith respect to the time plotting
transient Quantity calculated from transient equation function:

j,j-1 Index of observed value

j-1/2 Quantity evaluated between observed values
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Integrating Eq. A-3 by a transformation of variables, using Eq.
The authors would like to express our appreciation to Arco Oi
and Gas Company and to ~ennsylvania~enkralEnergy Corp. for
providing us with data used during this study, and to S. A. Holditch
& Associates, Inc. for permission to present this paper.
1 A-2,
Table 2 Simulated Gas Wells -Input Data and Analysis

Next, an explicit expression for t, is developed.

Rearranging Eq. A-2,

Integrating Eq. A-5,

f/tm. days 648.8 648.8 669.4

q/%. MscfD 2077 1171 1718
QIQ,. MM rcf 1348 759.5 1150

= d;:i: dt'
Analysis Results
Runl 1
Run2 I

f Drainage area. acres 40 38.1 39 39.5

Q(tr)d lnAp(t')dtl OGIP. MMscf 3787 3M)5 3689 3740
Permeability, md 0.065 0.054 0.076 0.075
= - dt' Skin factor -5 -5.49 -4.81 -4.82

Table 1 -Summary of Plotting Functions

Time Production Ratc Cumulative Pmduflion h u r e

Plolling Funclion flolting Function Plotting Function Function
Oil Wells. I q Q P
Con%tantflowing Bnlnmhole Rcssurc
Gas Wells.
Crmslanl Rowing Boltomhole Pressure dl' 9
Q =W , 1WOc,(P)
Oil Wells.
Q(r')d lnAp(1')
Variable flowing B n t o e s u r e I, - Ap .l A p . Q6 ~ P
q(1') dl' "AP

Gas Wells.
Variable Flowing ~ o m n Pressure
~ e l,,., ,- j%rII!dl"~9r
. q(1.) dl:
Q Q.
AP.wdg. R

.,- j~.(f')dW~.~~,
q(1') dl'
- -
Table 3 Example 2 Texas Gas Well

Fokation iemperarm
Formation Properties
Gas gravity 0.678 (air = 1.0)
initial prcssm 4764 psia
Reference wellbore pressure 2572 psia
Wellbore radius 0.3 fect

Analysis Results
1 History March 1 Type
I I with
Simulator 1 Curve
Match f/

*Calcularedfrom S = ln(2 rJ,)

0.01 7

1o . ~ 10" 1o0 1 0' 102


Fig. I - Ikcline type curve (afler I;etkuvicht).

b d

Fig. 2 - Combination decline and curnnfntive pruductim type curve, version I.


Fig. 3 Cumbinalion decline and curnulalive productiun type curve, versiun 2. Fig. 4 -Simulated gas well, Run 1, cunslant fluwing bollomhole pressure.

Fig. 5 Simulaled gas well, Run 2, cunslant rate producliun folluwed by cunslant fluwing boltomhule pressure.
Fig. 6 -Simulated gas well, Hun 3, cumbinnliunuf constant rate and constant iluwing butiomhole pressure production. Fig, 7 -Siniulated gas well, Run 3, alternate match.

Fig. H Pe'ennsylvaniaoil well.

Fig. 9 -Texas gas well.

I -

TIME, days
Fig. 10 Delailed hislory malch of Texas gas well using finite-difference numerical simulator.