A new semi-analytical flow model for multi-branch well testing in natural gas hydrates

Hongyang Chu, Jingxuan Zhang, Liwei Zhang, Tianbi Ma, Yubao Gao, W. John Lee

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This paper presents a new semi-analytical solution and the related methodology to analyze the pressure behavior of multi-branch wells produced from natural gas hydrates. For constant bottom-hole pressure production, the transient flow solution is obtained by Laplace transforms. The interference among various branches is investigated using the superposition principle. A simplified form of the proposed model is validated using published analytical solutions. The complete flow profile can be divided into nine distinct regimes: wellbore storage and skin, vertical radial flow, linear flow, pseudo-radial flow, composite flow, dissociated flow, transitional flow, improvement flow and stress-sensitive flow. A well’s multi-branch structure governs the vertical radial and the linear flow regimes. In our model, a dynamic interface divides the natural gas hydrates deposit into dissociated and non-dissociated regions. Natural gas hydrates formation properties govern the compositeeffect, dissociated, transitional, and improvement flow regimes. A dissociation coefficient governs the difference in flow resistance between dissociated and non-dissociated natural gas hydrates regions. The dissociated-zone radius affects the timing of these flow regimes. Conversion of natural gas hydrates to natural gas becomes instantaneous as the dissociation coefficient increases. The pressure derivative exhibits the same features as a homogeneous formation. The natural gas hydrates parameter values in the Shenhu area of the South China Sea cause the prominent dissociated flow regime to conceal the later transitional and improvement flow regimes. Due to the maximum practical well-test duration limitation, the first five flow regimes (through composite flow) are more likely to appear in practice than later flow regimes.

Document Type: Original article

Cited as: Chu, H., Zhang, J., Zhang, L., Ma, T, Gao Y., Lee, W. J. A new semi-analytical flow model for multi-branch well testing in natural gas hydrates. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2023, 7(3): 176-188. https://doi.org/10.46690/ager.2023.03.04


Natural gas hydrate, multi-branch well, flow regime, semi-analytical solution, stress-sensitive effects

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.46690/ager.2023.03.04


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