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Chapter 39

Gas-Condensate

Reservoirs

Phillip

L. Moses,

Core Laboratories ~nc.*

Charles

W.

Donohoe.

Core Laboratories I~C

Introduction

The importance of gas-condensate reservoirs has grown

lished by SPE (AIME)

‘s

and

API

have been

indexed

continuously since the late 1930’s. Development and op-

separately through the

years 1985 and 19.53, respectively.

eration of these reservoirs for maximum recovery require

The practicing

field engineers

should have the follow-

engineering and operating methods significantly differ-

ing minimum

library

on gas-condensate

systems availa-

ent from crude-oil or dry-gas reservoirs. The single most

ble

for their

use: either

Ref.

1, 2,

or

3; Refs.

5,

9,

13,

striking factor about gas-condensate

systems

(fluids)

is

and 15; and selected volumes of Refs. 11 and 12.

 

that they exist either wholly or preponderantly as vapor phase in the reservoir at the time of discovery (the criti-

Properties

and Behavior

of

cal temperature of the system is lower than the reservoir

Gas-Condensate

Fluids

temperature).

This key fact nearly always governs the de-

Sloan*’ described

the general

occurrence

of petroleum

velopment and operating

programs

for

recovery

of

in the earth: “. think of all the hydrocarbons, begin-

hydrocarbons from such reservoirs; the properties of the

ning with the lightest,

methane,

to the heaviest

asphaltic

fluids determine the best program in each case. A

substances as a series of compounds

of the same family,

thorough understanding of fluid properties together with

consisting

of carbon

and hydrogen

in a limitless

number

a good understanding of the special economics involved

of proportions.

A hydrocarbon

reservoir then. is a porous

is therefore required for optimum engineering of gas-

section

of the sedimentary

crust

of the earth containing

condensate reservoirs. Other important aspects include

a group of hydrocarbons, which

is probably unique and

geologic conditions. rock properties, well deliverability,

whose overall

properties

such as reservoir

phase, gas/oil

well costs and spacing, well-pattern geometry, and plant

ratio, gasoline

content,

viscosity.

etc.,

is the direct result

costs.

of this composition,

together

with the temperature

and

Engineers have a wealth of literature on gas-condensate

pressure

that happen to exist

in this

particular

spot

in the

reservoirs available for reference.

From this mass of ma-

porous sediment.

terial, Refs. 1 through 5 are especially recommended for

“It

is now

easy to conceive

of any possible

combina-

fundamental background, and Refs. 6 through 8 are rec-

tion of these hydrocarbons

in a given reservoir,

and

it is

ommended for information on properties of pure com-

also easy to visualize a reservoir fluid whose physical state

pounds and their simple mixtures related to gas-condensate

may range from a completely

dry

gas in the reservoir,

systems. For information regarding reservoir engineer-

shading gradually

through

the

wet gas,

the condensate,

ing processes

and data,

Refs.

5 and 9 through

16 are rec-

the critical

mixture,

the highly compressible

volatile liq-

ommended.

uid, the more stable

light crude

oil whose color

is begin-

The best single bibliography on gas-condensate reser- voirs is that of Katz and Rzasa “; however, later perti- nent literature listings will be found in Refs. 6 through

ning to darken, the heavier crudes with decreasing solution gas, and ending with the semisolid asphalts and waxes with no measurable solution gas.

14. The collection

of references

in Refs.

11 and 12 is par-

“The condensate

reservoir

that

is the topic

under

dis-

ticularly recommended for case histories of various gas-

cussion

is therefore

first a hydrocarbon

reservoir.

Due

condensate operations. Petroleum production papers pub-

to the composition

and

proportion

of

the

individual

hydrocarbons

in the mixtures,

the content

is

gas

phase

at the temperature and pressure of the reservoir.”

39-2

PETROLEUM

ENGINEERING

HANDBOOK

TABLE

39.1~-HYDROCARBON

 

ANALYSES

AND PROPERTIES

OF EXAMPLE

CRUDE OILS AND GAS CONDENSATES

 

Mole Fraction

 

Crude Oil

Crude Oil

Condensate

Condensate

Condensate

 

Component

 

A

8

843

944”

1143”

Carbon

dioxide

 

-

0.00794

0.00130

0.00695

Nitrogen

 

-

0.01375

0.00075

0.01480

Methane

0.4404

0.5345

0.76432

0.89498

0.89045

Ethane

0 0432

0.0636

0.07923

0.04555

0.04691

Propane

0.0405

0.0466

0.04301

0.01909

0.01393

Butanes

0.0284

0.0379

0.03060

0.00958

0.00795

Pentanes

0.0174

0.0274

0.01718

0.00475

0.00424

Hexanes

0.0290

0.0341

0.01405

0.00365

0.00379

Heptanes and heavier

0.4011

0.2559

0.02992

0.02015

0.01098

Molecular weight C, plus

287

247

120

144

143

Specific gravity C, plus, 60’/6O”F Viscosity C, plus, Saybolt universal

0.9071

0.8811

0.7397

0.7884

0.7593

seconds

at lOOoF

 

loo+

42

Tank-oil

gravity,

OAPI at 60°/600F

27.4

34.5

73

53.2

61.1

Producing gas/oil ratio, cu ft/bbl

525

1,078

18,000+

43,000 f

69,000 a

-see

Ref

12,

D

327

“See

Ref.

2,

Vbl

I, Table

8

8,

pp.

402-W

‘Viscosity

01

residual

011 left

in apparatus,

approwmal~ng

Ihe

hexanes-plus

material

Composition Ranges of Gas-Condensate Systems

 

Approximate

composition

indices for gas-condensate

sys-

tems are the gas/liquid

ratio of produced

fluids

(some-

times

called the GOR) or its reciprocal,

the liquid/gas

ratio,

and the gravity

of the tank liquid

separated

out un-

These

two indices

vary

der various surface conditions. widely; they do not necessarily

prove whether a hydrocar-

bon system is in the vapor phase in the reservoir.

Eilerts

et al. ’ (Vol.

1, Chaps.

1 and

8) show

in a sur-

ratios of gas-condensate

 

vey that the liquid/gas

systems

can vary

from more than

500 (very

“rich”)

to less

than

10 bbl/MMscf;

tank condensate

produced

from the wells

varied

from

less than

30 to more

than

80”API,

and more

than 85% was within

the range of 45 to 65”API. Eilerts

et al.’ (Vol.

1) also quote

a

rule

of thumb

that

a gas-

condensate system exists when the gas/liquid ratio exceeds 5,000 cu ftibbl (200 bbl/MMscf and less) and the liquid

is lighter than 5O”API. This appears to be on the conser- vative side because there is evidence that systems exist

as single-phase

vapor in the reservoir

when the surface

gas/liquid

ratio is less than 4,000

cu ft/bbl (more than 250

bbl/MMscf) and the API gravity of the liquid in the stock tanks is lower than 40”API.

A more accurate

representation

of the composition

of

gas-condensate fluids is provided by fractional analyses

of the well streams coming from the reservoirs.

The con-

trast of the fluid composition with the total stream com- ing from crude-oil reservoirs is fairly large for the relative

amounts of the lighter vs. heavier

ends of the paraffin-

Eilerts

et ul. ’ (Vol.

hydrocarbon series. For example.

1, Table

8.8) report a methane

content

from about

75 to

90 mol% for several gas-condensate

systems,

whereas

Dodson and Standing

report

44 and

53 mol%,

respec-

tively, for two crude-oil systems (see Table 39.1). The table, however, shows much lower heptanes-and-heavier

content for the gas-condensate

systems than for the crude

oil. These are the two outstanding composition features

of gas-condensate systems.

Pressure

and Temperature

Ranges

of

Gas-Condensate

Reservoirs

Gas-condensate reservoirs may occur at pressures below 2.000 psi and temperatures below l00”F20 and proba-

bly can occur

at any higher

fluid pressures

and tempera-

tures within

reach

of the

drill.

Most

known retrograde

gas-condensate reservoirs are in the

range

of 3,000

to

8,000 psi and 200 to 400°F.

These pressure

and temper-

ature ranges, together with wide composition ranges, pro-

vide a great variety of conditions

for the physical behavior

of gas-condensate

deposits.

This emphasizes

the need for

very meticulous engineering studies of each gas- condensate reservoir to arrive at the best mode of devel- opment and operation.

Phase and Equilibrium Behavior

An

understanding

of

the

behavior

of

pure

paraffin

hydrocarbons

and

simple

two-component

or

three-

component systems (involving such compounds as

methane,

pentane,

and decane)

is of considerable

benefit

to the engineer

working

with

gas-condensate

reservoir

problems.

Excellent coverage is given this subject by Sage

and Lacey ’ and a more condensed discussion

by

Bur-

cik.’

Occasional

review

of such material

with

more

will assist the

engineer

concerned

complex

hydrocarbon

mixtures.

 
 

Chap. 23 describes

the phase and equilibrium

behavior

of complex (multicomponent)

hydrocarbon

mixtures

(see

Fig. 23.14 and the accompanying

discussion).

Note that

the critical

state (critical

point)

is that state or condition

at which the composition

and all other intensive

proper-

ties of the gas phase and the liquid phase become

identical-i.e.,

the phases are indistinguishable.

In gas-

condensate

reservoirs,

the portion

of the phase diagram

to

the

left

of and

above

the critical

point

will

not be

in-

volved.

 

GAS-CONDENSATE

RESERVOIRS

 

i

1T

O50

I00

150

200

250

300

 

TEMPERATURE.‘F

Fig. 39.1-Phase

 

diagram

of

Eilerts’ Fluid

843.

Fig. 39.2-Phase

diagram

of

Eilerts’ Fluid

39-3

1143.

The

term

“retrograde

condensation”

(discussed

in

The approximate

behavior

of condensate

fluids

while

Chap.

23)

is

used

more

loosely

than

implied

by

its

being produced from the reservoir

into surface vessels can

rigorous

definition,

’ In

field

practice,

the term

may im-

be represented

advantageously

on phase diagrams.

In Fig.

ply any process

where the amount

of condensing

liquid

39.2, for example, Line FT shows a flow path for fluids

phase passes through

a maximum,

whether

the process

that starts at formation

conditions

(outside the dewpoint

is isothermal or not.

boundary,

indicating

that the formation

fluids

were

all in

While

Fig.

23.14

provides

a simplified

picture of the

vapor phase); proceeds to sandface pressure, Point S i ,

phase diagram, reservoir engineers will find that very few

at the well; declines as the fluid rises from the bottom

quantitative

phase diagrams on naturally occurring gas-

of the hole to the wellhead, Point WH; passes through

condensate

mixtures have been published.

Figs. 39.1

the choke to separator

conditions,

Point S2 ; and reaches

through 39.3 come from extensive work’ and represent

Point T, representing

tank conditions.

The phase diagram

quantitative measurements on the flow streams from wells

is thus helpful to the engineer in visualizing what hap-

pens to gas-condensate

fluids

as they

flow

from the for-

in the Chapel Hill, Carthage, and Seeligson fields in Texas. The critical points are not shown because they are

at temperatures below those of interest to field operations. This emphasizes that the compositions of gas-condensate systems vary widely and strongly affect the form of the phase diagrams encountered in actual gas-condensate reservoirs. These three phase diagrams represent a reasonable spread in the properties of gas-condensate sys-

mation to the wellbore and from there to surface equipment.

tems. from a gas/liquid ratio of about 18,000 to 69,000 cu ftibbl (56 to 14.5 bbl/MMscf). This does not mean, however, that all other gas-condensate systems would fall inside the limits of the properties suggested by these three phase diagrams. The three cases in Figs. 39.1 through 39.3 imply that the dewpoint boundary approaches zero pressure at a rela- tively high temperature. Other condensate systems are be- lieved to approximate the qualitative picture shown in Fig. 23.14 more closely. Note that all three systems exhibit both cricondentherm and cricondenbar points (maximum

temperature and pressure,

respectively, beyond which

there is no liquid

present in the vapor); the critical tem-

peratures all fall to the left of each diagram at lower tem-

peratures and pressures than the maxima for the dewpoint boundaries.

Liquid-content

lines on phase diagrams

can be repre-

sented by a number of different units. Figs. 39.1 through 39.3 use gallons per thousand cubic feet of separator gas.

4,5OOf7777777

TEMPERATURE,

*F

Fig. 39.3-Phase

diagram

of

Eilerts’ Fluid

944

39-4

PETROLEUM

ENGINEERING

HANDBOOK

Methods have been proposed by Organick” and Eilerts

et al. * for

predicting the critical temperatures and pres-

sures

of hydrocarbon

mixtures

and

for computing

the

phase

diagrams

(including

dewpoint curves) of gas-

condensate

fluids. The dependability

of these methods for

a wide range of gas-condensate

compositions

has not yet

been established.

For reservoir

engineering

work, direct

laboratory measurements of phase diagrams or of

pressure-depletion

behavior

are necessary

because of the

large recoveries

at stake.

Laboratory

work

may

not be

required

for other

problems.

Gas/Liquid

Ratios

and Liquid

Contents

of

Gas-Condensate

Systems

As discussed earlier, it is difficult to specify whether a hydrocarbon system is in the vapor phase in the reser- voir from measurements of field gas/liquid ratio and tank- oil gravity. Fluid production with tank-oil gravities as low as 30”API and gas/liquid ratios as low as 3,000 cu ft/bbl may be from true gas-condensate systems; this possibili- ty should always be checked by laboratory measurements of phase behavior for these and intermediate values. “Liquid content” and “gas/liquid ratio” can be direct reciprocals, depending on the type of problem considered. The terms must be carefully defined in each case because gas-condensate systems in the field frequently undergo different types of separating procedures that involve sever- al stages before the final liquid phase (“liquid” means hydrocarbon liquid unless otherwise specified) reaches the tanks at atmospheric pressure. To study the properties of gas-condensate fluids at reservoir conditions, it is con- venient to define gas/liquid ratios and liquid contents on the basis of the gas and liquid outputs of the first-stage separator through which the fluids pass. These two out- put streams then represent the total composition of the gas-condensate fluid in the reservoir if sampling, produc- ing, and measuring conditions have been properly set and maintained. Other gas/liquid ratios may be reported, how- ever, including the total gas output of all stages of sepa- ration divided by the tank-liquid volumes corresponding

to the gas output: note that the total gas output would in- clude a measurement of tank vapors as well as separator gas to represent the full composition of the wellstream.

The gas/liquid

ratio at stock-tank

conditions

may

be

roughly

approximated

when field facilities

are not avail-

able for measurements. The gas and liquid flow rates from the high-stage separator are observed and a liquid sam- ple collected from the separator in a stainless-steel cylin- der of known volume. If all the cylinder contents are bled into a calibrated graduate at atmospheric pressure and the volume of the resultant liquid phase is compared with the original liquid volume, an approximate value of the liquid-

phase shrinkage may be determined.

From this, the high-

stage gas/liquid ratio may be converted to stock-tank con- ditions. This procedure ignores the volume of gas liber- ated between high-stage separator and stock-tank conditions. This volume can be approximated by using a calibrated glass separator with gas meter attached in place of the graduate. Ignoring this gas volume adds fur- ther errors to those resulting from not simulating the ex- isting field stage separation conditions. The higher the first-stage separation pressure, the greater the error in total gas volume of the gas/liquid ratio. This is only an approx-

imate method that may be used when there are no inter- mediate separator stages and stock tanks for individual well measurements and when the atmospheric tempera- ture and pressure do not vary appreciably from stock-tank conditions.

Gas/liquid

ratios usually

are reported

in cubic

feet per

barrel of liquid (or thousands of cubic feet per barrel) and

liquid contents or liquid/gas

ratios

in barrels

of liquid per

million standard cubic feet of gas. The separator streams used in the ratio must be specified.

Properties of Separated Phases

The properties of both liquid and gas phases separated

from gas-condensate

streams can vary considerably.

One

of the dominant

properties of the gas is high methane con-

tent. Eilerts et al. 2 (Vol. I, Chap. 8) list the composi-

tions of the gas and liquid phases of eight gas-condensate systems. Methane contents of the gas phases (simulated from field separators) varied from about 0.83 to 0.92 mole

fraction;

the hexanes

and heavier

(“hexanes

plus”)

var-

ied from 0.004 to about 0.008 mole fraction. The liquid

phases varied from about 0.1 methane; hexanes plus varied fraction.

to nearly 0.3 mole fraction

from about

0.4

to 0.7

mole

In the absence of measured data, properties of the sepa-

rated phases of gas-condensate

systems

(including

volu-

metric

and

density

behavior)

can

be approximated

by

methods described

in Chaps.

20 through

23, especially

Chaps. 20 and 22 (see also Refs. 9 and

14).

Viscosities of Gas-Condensate Systems

The viscosity of a gas-condensate system is of interest in

various reservoir calculations,

particularly with respect

to cycling operations and the representation of such reser- voirs in computer models. Whenever possible, viscosity of the vapor phase at reservoir conditions should be meas-

ured directly. Carr

et al. 23 presented a method to esti-

mate the viscosities

of gas systems

from a knowledge

of

compositions

or specific gravities

(see also Chap.

20 and

Ref. 14). Viscosities of separate gas and liquid phases at the sur- face conditions usually encountered can be obtained by direct measurement or by the use of the correlations for

gas previously mentioned and the correlation of Chew and Connally24 for liquid (see also Chap. 22). Viscosity in- formation on separated materials is needed mainly for separator or plant residue gases to be injected during cy- cling and for some types of reservoir calculations.

Gas-Condensate

Well Tests and Sampling

Proper

testing of gas-condensate

wells is essential

to as-

certain

the state of the hydrocarbon system at reservoir

conditions and to plan the best production and

recovery

program for the reservoir. Without proper well tests and samples, it would be impossible to determine the phase conditions of the reservoir contents at reservoir tempera- ture and pressure accurately and to estimate the amount

of hydrocarbon materials in place accurately.

Tests are made on gas-condensate

wells for a number

of specific purposes: to obtain representative samples for laboratory analysis to identify the composition and prop- erties of the reservoir fluids; to make field determinations on gas and liquid properties; and to determine formation

,

GAS-CONDENSATE

RESERVOIRS

 

39-5

and well characteristics,

including productivity. produ-

 

acquiring

gas and condensate-liquid samples. Certain

cibility,

and injectivity.

The first consideration for selcct-

minimum

items of information in addition to all stream

ing wells for gas-condensate fluid samples is that they be

rates are essential,

including regular readings of the pres-

far enough

from

the

“black-oil

ring”

(if present)

to

sures and temperatures

of all vessels sampled,

and of tub-

minimize any chance that the liquid oil phase will enter the well during the test period. A second and highly im-

portant consideration is the selection of wells with as high productivities as possible so that minimum pressure draw- down will be suffered when the reservoir fluid samples are acquired.

Well Conditioning

Proper well conditioning is essential to obtain represen- tative samples from the reservoir. The best production

rates before and during the sampling procedure have to be considered individually for each reservoir and for each

well. Usually the best procedure

is to use the

lowest

rate

that results in smooth well operation and the most depend- able measurements of surface products. Minimum draw- down of bottomhole pressure during the conditioning

period is desirable and the produced gas/liquid ratio should remain constant (within about 2%) for several days; the less-permeable reservoirs require longer periods. The far- ther the well deviates from constant produced gas/liquid ratio. the greater the likelihood that the samples will not be representative. Recombined separator samples from gas-condensate wells are considered more representative of the original reservoir fluid than subsurface samples. Accurate measurements of hydrocarbon gas and liquid production rates during the well-conditioning and well- sampling tests are necessary because the laboratory tests

will later

be based on fluid compositions

recombined

in

the same

ratios as the hydrocarbon

streams

measured

in

the field.

The original

reservoir

fluid cannot

be simulat-

ed in the laboratory

unless

accurate

field measurements

 

of all the separator streams are taken. (Gas/liquid ratios

may be reported and used in several different forms, as discussed previously.) If the produced gas/condensate (gas/liquid) ratio from field measurements is in error by

ing heads and casing heads where available, and a recorded history of the well conditions before and dur-

ing sampling.

along with the actual mechanics

of the sam-

pling

steps.

Other

information

acquired during the

sampling

period that would help to explain reservoir

and

well conditions

should also be recorded

because it is use-

ful in interpreting the results of the tests.

 

Care must be taken that the compositions of gas and

liquid samples

obtained

are representative

and are prop-

erly preserved for laboratory analyses. API RP 44?’ out- lines appropriate sampling methods.

For cases when the liquid-phase sample is obtained at a low temperature (from low-temperature separation

equipment),

triethylene-glycol/water

mixtures

are con-

venient for collecting the samples. Ten percent or more

of the cylinder volume for liquid-phase samples should be gas to prevent excessive pressure that could result from temperature rise during subsequent shipment. This 10% “gas cap” can be effected by closing the cylinder sample- inlet valve when 90% of the glycoliwater mixture has been displaced and then carefully withdrawing nearly all the

remaining

mixture from the bottom of the cylinder without

losing the oil phase. The volumes of fluids requested for laboratory testing

should

be acquired

during

the sampling

period. plus a

reasonable amount (25 % or more) of extra sample mate-

rials in separate containers

for emergency

use should some

of the main samples be lost by leakage or other adversity between the field site and the laboratory. At the end of actual sampling mechanics in the field, the well should remain on stream for a reasonable period

of time,

and its producing rate, gas/liquid ratio, and var-

ious pressures and temperatures should be observed to

confirm

that they are consistent

with the information

de-

veloped before and during the sampling period. Any rad-

ical changes should be analyzed carefully to decide whether resampling may be necessary to ensure accura-

as little

as 5 %,

the dewpoint

pressure

determined

in

the

cy of the samples and well statistics obtained during the

laboratory may

be in error by as much as 100 psi. Water

sampling period.

production rates should be measured separately and pro- duced water excluded as much as possible from hydrocar- bon samples sent to the laboratory.

Equipment is available for making some determinations of gas-condensate properties in the field. ’ Among these properties are the gas/liquid ratios of several vessels

Separator

pressure

and temperatures

should remain

as

simulating

various separation conditions

(numbers of

constant as possible during the well-conditioning period;

stages, pressures and temperatures

of the stages, and other

this will help maintain constancy of the stream rates and

conditions)

and the “gasoline

content”

of the overhead

thus

of the observed

hydrocarbon

gas/liquid

ratio.

If the

gas at each stage. If hydrogen

sulfide and carbon dioxide

well is being prepared during a period when atmospheric

 

are present

in the production

streams, special sampling

temperatures vary considerably from night to day.

procedures should be used and the samples should be taken

reasonably

consistent

average temperatures

and pressures

in stainless-steel

cylinders. These corrosive gases could

on

the

several

vessels

during

the conditioning

period

react with the sample cylinders during shipment.

should be adequate.

Field determinations of the hydrocarbon compositions of streams from gas-condensate wells can be made with

Field Sampling and Test Procedures

After the conditioning period has proceeded long enough to show that producing conditions are steady. exacting measurement methods must be used to obtain represen- tative samples. The mechanics of well sampling is par-

tially covered in Chaps. 12 through 14, 16, and 17. The

help of experienced

laboratory

personnel

is advisable

in

appropriate fractionation

equipment in mobile labora-

tories.

Eilerts

rt

al. ’ described

such equipment and the

test procedures

for determining

the effect of individual

hydrocarbons

on liquid/gas

ratios at different separation

pressures and temperatures. These tests can assist in de-

termining

optimum field separation conditions

for given

production objectives. experienced personnel.

They require special equipment and

39-6

PETROLEUM

ENGINEERING

HANDBOOK

Measurements

of

gas-condensate

well

productivity,

where

 

producibility, and injectivity are of considerable impor-

bility from a reservoir for pipeline purposes, and for var-

K,

=

the equilibrium

ratio

for methane,

tance for planning overall field operations and size of

y1

=

methane

in

the

vapor

phase,

mol%,

and

plants for either gasoline recovery or condensate-liquids

Xl

=

methane

in

the

liquid

phase,

mol%.

recovery and cycling, as bases for contracts for delivera-

The experimental equilibrium ratio for

methane

is 7.71

ious other needs. This topic is discussed

more fully later;

for the temperature

and pressure existing in the field sepa-

test procedures are described in Chap. 33 and in several

rator at the time of sampling.

 

published standards and regulations. 26-29

 

The

equilibrium

ratios

for each of the hydrocarbons

 

methane through hexane are calculated in a similar man-

Sample Collection

and Evaluation

ner. These data can then be compared

In taking samples for recombination to evaluate a gas-

ratios,

such as those

published

in Ref.

with equilibrium 16. If the equilib-

condensate reservoir, the samples of gas and

samples of

liquid usually are taken from the first stage of separation.

A representative

portion of all the hydrocarbons

produced

rium ratios compare favorably, then the samples are in

equilibrium and the

study should continue.

If they

do not

new samples should be obtained be-

from the well will be contained in these two samples. The

compare well, then fore proceeding.

 

first step in the laboratory study is to evaluate the sam-

Recombination of Separator Samples

 

ples taken.

The

first test

is to measure

the bubblepoint

of the separator liquid. The bubblepoint

should correspond

The samples are now ready to be recombined in the same

to the separator

pressure

at separator

temperature

at the

ratio that they were produced. Because we have samples

time the samples were taken.

of first-stage

separator

gas and first-stage

separator

liq-

The hydrocarbon

composition of the separator samples

uid,

we must

have the produced

gas/liquid

ratio

in

the

should then be determined by chromatography or low-

same form.

If the producing

gas/liquid ratio was meas-

temperature

fractional

distillation

or a combination

of

ured

in the field

in this form,

then

we can proceed direct-

both. An example of the composition

of typical separator

ly with

the

recombination.

If the

ratio was measured

in

products are shown in Table 39.2. These compositions

the field in the form of primary-separator

gas per barrel

may be evaluated

by calculation

of the equilibrium

ratio

of second-stage

separator

liquid

or

per

barrel

of stock-

for each component (see Chap. 23). The equilibrium ra-

tank liquid,

then a laboratory

shrinkage

test

must be run

tio for a component is the mole percent of that compo-

to simulate

field separation

conditions.

The shrinkage

ob-

nent in the vapor phase divided by the mole percent of

tained

can then

be used to convert

the field-measured

ra-

the same component in the liquid

phase. As an example,

tio to the form necessary

for the recombination.

Once the

the equilibrium ratio for methane lated by the equation

in Table 39.2 is calcu-

separator products have been recombined, the composi- tion can be measured and compared with the calculated

composition.

This will check the accuracy

of the physi-

K, =yl/x,

=83.01/10.76=7.71,

 

cal recombination.

 

TABLE

39.2-HYDROCARBON

ANALYSES

OF SEPARATOR

PRODUCTS

SeDarator Liauid

Separator

Gas

Component

(mol %)

mol

%

gal/l

,000

cf gas

Hydrogen

sulfide

0.00

0.00

C&bon

dioxide

0.00

0.01

Nitrogen

0.01

0.13

Methane

10.76

83.01

Ethane

6.17

9.23

2.454

Propane

8.81

4.50

1.231

iso-Butane

2.85

0.74

0.241

n-Butane

7.02

1.20

0.376

iso-Pentane

3.47

0.31

0.113

n-Pentane

3.31

0.25

0.090

Hexanes

8.03

0.21

0.085

Heptanes

plus

49.57

0.41

0.185

-

Total

100.00

100.00

 

4.775

Properties

of heptanes

plus

API gravity

at 6O“F

39.0

Density,

g/cm3

at 60aR).8293

 

Molecular

weight

160

103

Calculated

separator gas gravity (air = 1.000)

 

Calculated

gross heating

value for separator

gas per cubic

foot

of

14.65 psia and 60°F,

Btu

 

Primary-separator-gas/separator-liquid ratio at 60°F, scf/bbl*

Primary-separator-liquid/stock-tank-liquid ratio at 60°F, bbl Primary-separator-gas/well-stream ratio, MscWMMscf Stock-tank-liquid/well-stream ratio, bbl/MMscf

AND CALCULATED

WELL STREAM

 

Well Stream

mol

%

gal/l,000

cf gas

0.00

 

0.01

0.11

68.93

8.63

2.295

5.34

1.461

1.15

0.374

2.33

0.730

0.93

0.338

0.85

0.306

1.73

0.702

9.99

6.006

100.00

12.212

0.827

158

 

0.699

dry

gas

at

 

1,230

3,944

1.191

805.19

171.4

*Primary

separator

gas

and

primary

separator

liquid

collected

at

440

psig

and

87’F.

GAS-CONDENSATE

RESERVOIRS

Dewpoint and Pressure/Volume Relations

The laboratory personnel will next measure the pres-

sure/volume relations of the reservoir fluid at reservoir

temperature

with a visual cell. This is a constant-compo-

39-7

sition expansion

and furnishes

the dewpoint

of the reser-

 

voir fluid at reservoir temperature and the total volume

of the reservoir fluid as a function of pressure. The volume

TABLE

39.3-PRESSURE/VOLUME

 

RELATIONS

of liquid

at pressures

below the dewpoint

as a percent

of

OF RESERVOIR

FLUID AT 256OF

the total

volume may also be measured. Phase diagrams

 

(Constant-Composition

Expansion)

can be developed dy measuring the liquid volumes at

several other temperatures.

Table

39.3 is an example

of

the dewpoint determination and pressure/volume relations

 

Pressure

Relative

 

Deviation

Factor,

(PSW

Volume

 

z

7,500

0.9341

 

1.328

of a gas-condensate reservoir fluid.

 

7,000 *

0.9523

 

1.264’ *

 

6,500

0.9727

1.19s

Simulated Pressure Depletion

 

6,300

0.9834

1.175

6,200

0.9891

 

1.163

Pressure depletion of gas-condensate

reservoirs

may be

 

6,100

0.9942

 

1 150

simulated

in the laboratory

by use of high-pressure

visual

6,010+

1.oooo

1.140f

cells. In these depletion studies made in the laboratory,

the assumption is that the retrograde liquid that condenses

in the reservoir

rock will not achieve

a sufficiently

high

5.950

5,900

5,800

1.0034

1.0076

1.0138

 
 

5,600

1.0267

saturation

to become mobile.

This assumption

appears to

 

5,300

1.0481

 

be valid except for very rich gas-condensate reservoirs.

5,000

1.0749

 

For very rich gas-condensate reservoirs where the retro-

4,500

1.1268

grade liquid may achieve a high enough

saturation to mi-

4,000

3,500

1.2024

1.3096

grate to producing wells, the gas/liquid relative

3,000

1.4689

permeability data should be measured for the reservoir

2,500

1.7169

rock system. These data can then be used to ad,just the

predicted recovery from the reservoir.

Table 39.4 is an example of a depletion study on a gas-

2,100

1,860

1,683

2.0191

2.2747

2.5150

 

1,460

2.9087

condensate

reservoir

fluid.

Note from Table 39.4 that the

1,290

3.3173

dewpoint pressure of this

reservoir

fluid

is 6,010

psig.

1,160

3.7153

The composition

listed in the 6,010-psig-pressure

column

1,050

4.1342

in Table 39.4 is the composition

of the reservoir

fluid at

‘Reservoir

preSS ”re

the dewpoint

and exists

in the reservoir

in the gaseous

‘;Gas

ev~ans~on

factor

=

1

545

Mscllbbl

oewpolnlpressure

 

state

‘Gas

expansion

factor

=

1

47,

Mscfibb,

 

TABLE

39.4--DEPLETION

STUDY AT 256°F

 
 

Reservoir

Pressure,

psig

 

6,010

5,000

4,000

3,000

2,100

1,200

700

700*

 

Hydrocarbon

Analysis

of Produced

Well Stream,

mol

%

 

Component

Carbon

dioxide

0.01

0.01

0.01

0.01

0.01

0.01

0.01

Trace

Nitrogen

0.11

0.12

0.12

0.13

0.13

0.12

0.11

0.01

Methane

68.93

70.69

73.60

76.60

77.77

77.04

75.13

11.95

Ethane

8.63

8.67

8.72

8.82

8.96

9.37

9.82

4.10

Propane

5.34

5.26

5.20

5.16

5.16

5.44

5.90

4.80

 

iso-Butane

1

.I5

1.10

1.05

1.01

1

.Ol

1.10

1.26

1.57

n-Butane

2.33

2.21

2.09

1.99

1.98

2.15

 

2.45

3.75

 

iso-Pentane

0.93

0.86

0.78

0.73

0.72

0.77

0.87

2.15

n-Pentane

0.85

0.76

0.70

0.65

0.63

0.68

0.78

2.15

Hexanes

1.73

1.48

1.25

1.08

1

.Ol

1.07

1.25

6.50

Heptanes

plus

9.99

8.84

6.48

3.82

2.62

2.25

2.42

63.02

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Molecular

weight

of heptanes

plus

158

146

134

123

115

110

109

174

Density of heptanes

plus

0.827

0.817

0.805

0.794

0.784

0.779

0.778

0.837

Deviation

factor, z

Equilibrium gas

1.140

1.015

0.897

0.853

0.865

0.902

0.938

 
 

Two-phase

1.140

1.016

0.921

0.851

0.799

0.722

0.612

Well stream produced,

cumulative

 

%

of initial

0.000

6.624

17.478

32.927

49.901

68.146

77.902

 

39-8

1.6

 

5050

PETROLEUM

PETROLEUM

ENGINEERING

ENGINEERING

HANDBOOK

HANDBOOK

15

4545

1.4

 

4040

I

3

3535

12

3030

i

I

2525

10

2020

09

1515

08

1010

07

55

0.6

0

1000

Fig. 39.4-Deviation

2000

factor,

3000

4000

Pressure.

osi

z, of well

5000

stream

6000

during

7000

depletion

8000

00

00

1000

1000

2000

2000

3000

3000

4000

4000

5000

5000

Pressure.

Pressure.

psi

psi

6000

6000

7000

7000

8000

8000

Fig. 39.5--Retrograde

Fig.

39.5--Retrograde

condensation

condensation

during

during

depletion.

depletion.

at 256OF.

The depletion

study

is performed

by expanding

the

“Deviation

Factor z, equilibrium

gas”

and plotted in Fig.

reservoir

fluid in the cell by withdrawing

mercury

from

39.4. The actual volume of gas remaining

in

the

cell

at

the cell until

the first

depletion

pressure

is reached;

this

this point is the gas originally

in the

cell

at the dewpoint

is 5,000

psig

in the example.

The

fluid

in

the

cell

is

pressure

minus the gas produced at the first depletion lev-

brought

to equilibrium

and the volume

of retrograde

liq-

el. If we divide the actual volume remaining in the cell

uid is measured.

The

mercury

is then reinjected

into

the

into the calculated

ideal volume remaining

in

the

cell

at

cell and, at the same time,

gas is removed

from the top

this first depletion pressure,

we obtain the two-phase devi-

of the cell so that a constant

pressure is maintained. Mer-

ation factor shown in Table 39.4. We call this value a

cury is injected into the cell until the hydrocarbon

or reser-

two-phase

deviation

factor because

the material

remain-

voir volume of the cell is the same as the volume when

ing

in the cell

after

the first depletion

level is actually gas

the test was begun at the dewpoint pressure. The gas

and retrograde

liquid

and the actual

gas volume

we cal-

volume removed from the cell is measured at the deple-

culated above

is

the

gas

volume

plus the vapor

equiva-

tion pressure and reservoir temperature.

The gas removed

lent of the retrograde

liquid.

The two-phase

z factor

is

is charged to analytical

equipment

where its composition

significant

in that

it is the z factor

of all the hydrocarbon

is determined and its volume is measured at atmospheric

material

remaining

in the reservoir.

It is the two-phase

pressure and temperature. The composition determined

z factor that should

be used when a plz-vs.-cumulative-

 

is that listed

in

Table 39.4 under the heading 5,000 psig.

production

plot is made in evaluating

gas-condensate

pro-

The volume of gas produced in this manner is then divid-

duction.

ed by the standard

volume

of gas

in the cell at the dew-

This

series

of expansions

and constant-pressure

dis-

 

point pressure. The produced volume is presented in Table

placements

is repeated at each depletion

pressure until an

39.4 as cumulative well stream produced.

 

arbitrary

abandonment

pressure is reached. The abandon-

As mentioned earlier,

as the

gas is removed

from the

top of the cell, its volume is measured at the depletion

pressure

and reservoir

temperature.

the “ideal

volume”

of this displaced

From this volume,

volume

may be cal-

the ideal

ment pressure

is considered

arbitrary

because

no engi-

neering or economic calculations have been made to

determine

this pressure

fluid study.

for the purpose

of the reservoir-

In addition to the composition of the produced well

culated

with the ideal-gas

law. When

volume

stream at the final depletion

pressure,

the composition

of

is divided

by

the

actual

volume

of the gas produced

at

the retrograde

liquid

was also measured.

These data are

standard conditions,

we get the deviation

factor,

z,

for

included

as a control

composition

in the event

the study

the produced

gas.

This

is listed

in

Table

39.4

under

is used for compositional

material-balance

purposes.

GAS-CONDENSATE

RESERVOIRS

39-9

The volume

of retrograde

liquid measured

during

the

TABLE

39.5--RETROGRADE

CONDENSATION

course of the depletion study is shown in Fig. 39.5 and

DURING

GAS DEPLETION

AT 256’F

Table 39.5. The data are shown

as a percent of hydrocar-

 

Retrograde Liquid Volume

bon pore space.

These

are

the data

that

should

be used

Pressure

(% hydrocarbon

in conjunction

with relative

permeability

data and water

W9)

pore space)

 

saturation data to determine

the extent of retrograde

liq-

6,010’

0.0

uid mobility. As mentioned earlier, this is a significant

5,950

Trace

factor only with extremely rich gas-condensate reservoirs.

Also obtained from the reservoir fluid study is Table

5,900

5,800

0.1

0.2

5,600

0.5

39.6. This table was calculated

with the results of the lab-

5,300

2.0

oratory depletion study described previously applied to

5,000’ *

 

7.8

a unit-volume reservoir. The unit volume chosen was

4,000

21.3

   

3,000

25.0

1,000 Mscf in place

at the dewpoint

pressure

(note the

1,000 Mscf in Table 39.6 in the first column of numbers).

2,100

24.4

1,200

22.5

Equilibrium ratios were then used to calculate the amount

700

21.0

of stock-tank liquid, primary-separator gas, second-stage

 

0

17.6

gas, and stock-tank gas contained in the unit-volume reser-

‘Dewpmt

pressure

voir. The equilibrium ratios used were for the separator

“First

depletion

level.

conditions listed at the bottom of Table 39.6. The sepa-

 

rator conditions used for these calculations should be the

conditions in use in the field or those conditions antici-

pated for the field. The relative amounts of gas and liq-

uid produced will be a function of the surface separation

Table

39.6 shows the initial

stock-tank

liquid in place

conditions, among other things. These calculations may

to be 181.74 bbl for this unit-volume

reservoir.

After pro-

be made at a variety of conditions to determine optimum

duction to 700 psig, 51.91 bbl had been produced. The

separator pressures and temperatures. For the purpose of

difference

between

these two numbers

(18 1.74 -

5 1.9 1),

this table, production was begun at the dewpoint pressure.

129.83 bbl, is the amount of retrograde

loss or liquid still

The amount of total well effluent (well stream) produced

unproduced

at 700 psig expressed

in terms of stock-tank

from this unit-volume reservoir as a function of pressure

barrels. The value of 181.74 bbl may be considered

the

is listed in the table. The amount of stock-tank liquid pro-

recovery by pressure maintenance,

assuming 100% con-

duced as a function of pressure is also listed. The primary-

formance and 100% displacement efficiency.

separator gas, second-stage gas, and stock-tank gas are

Table 39.7

furnishes

the gravity

of the stock-tank

liq-

presented in a similar manner. Various other factors

as-

uid that may be expected to be produced as a function

sociated with the production of the gas and condensate

of reservoir

pressure.

Also reported are the instantane-

from this reservoir are also presented in the table.

 

ous gas/liquid

ratios as a function of reservoir pressure.

TABLE

39.6-CALCULATED

CUMULATIVE

RECOVERY

DURINGDEPLETION PER MMscf OF ORIGINALFLUID

 

Reservoir

Pressure

 
 

Initial

(wig)

in Place

6.010

5.000

4,000

3,000

2,100

1,200

700

Well stream, Mscf

 

1 .OOo

0

66.24

174.78

329.27

499.01

681.46

779.02

Normal temperature separation’

 

Stock-tank

liquid,

bbl

181.74

10.08

21.83

31 .a9

39.76

47.36

51.91

Primary separator

gas, Mscf

 

777.15

53.18

145.16

283.78

440.02

608.25

696.75

Second-stage

gas, Mscf

 

38.52

2.26

5.17

8.03

10.51

13.21

14.99

Stock-tank

gas, Mscf

 

38.45

2.29

5.38

8.73

11.85

15.51

18.05

Total plant

products

in primary

separator

gas, gal

Ethane

1,841

0

126

344

674

1,050

1,474

1,709

Propane

835

0

58

163

331

526

749

873

Butanes (total)

 

368

0

26

73

155

256

374

441

Pentanes

plus

179

0

12

35

73

122

177

206

Total plant

products

in second-stage

gas, gal

 

Ethane

204

0

12

27

42

55

70

80

Propane

121

0

17

27

36

47

54

Butanes

(total)

 

53

0

3

8

13

17

23

27

Pentanes

plus

23

0

3

5

10

11

Total plant products

in well stream,

gal

Ethane

2,295

0

153

404

767

1,171

1,626

1,880

Propane

1,461

0

95

250

468

707

979

1,137

Butanes

(total)

 

1,104

0

70

178

325

486

674

789

Pentanes

plus

7,352

0

408

890

1,322

1,680

2,037

2,249

‘Primary

separator

at

450

psig

and

,!YF,

second-stage

separatora, 100 ps,gand 75OF,

stock

tank

a,

75DF

39-10

PETROLEUM

ENGINEERING

HANDBOOK

These data may be calculated without the benefit of rock

propertles or interstitial water values. The assumption is

curacy) on the basis of the composition of the gas-conden-

sate system. Whenever possible, the predictions should

that the retrograde

liquid does not achieve significant

mo-

be made with actual laboratory data because the better

bility.

Because

only