Liquid loading in wellbores and its effect on cleanup period and well productivity in tight gas sand reservoirs
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First published in the APPEA Journal in 2010
Tight gas reservoirs normally have production problems due to very low matrix permeability and significant damage during well drilling, completion, stimulation and production. Therefore they might not flow gas to surface at optimum rates without advanced production improvement techniques. After well stimulation and fracturing operations, invaded liquids such as filtrate will flow from the reservoir into the wellbore, as gas is produced during well cleanup. In addition, there might be production of condensate with gas. The produced liquids when loaded and re-circulated downhole in wellbores, can significantly reduce the gas pro-duction rate and well productivity in tight gas formations.This paper presents assessments of tight gas reservoir productivity issues related to liquid loading in wellbores using numerical simulation of multiphase flow in deviated and horizontal wells. A field example of production logging in a horizontal well is used to verify reliability of the numerical simulation model outputs. Well production performance modelling is also performed to quantitatively evaluate water loading in a typical tight gas well, and test the water unloading techniques that can improve the well productivity. The results indicate the effect of downhole liquid loading on well productivity in tight gas reservoirs. It also shows how well cleanup is sped up with the improved well productivity when downhole circulating liquids are lifted using the proposed methods.
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