This book seeks to establish the framework that Well Test Engineers and related professionals should use for the planning and conduct of well testing operations.
The book does not aim to be prescriptive in all areas of well operations and the practical implementation of the recommended practices and guidelines allows considerable flexibility. Additionally, the book cannot address all the specific hydrocarbon regulations that exist worldwide. However, the book does provide sound practical advice drawn from the authors experience of well operations in more than twenty five countries, covering all the principal oil and gas producing provinces worldwide. It is conceivable that on rare occasions and for specific operations that the guidelines as explained in this book may conflict with some local hydrocarbon regulations in the theatre of operations. On such occasions the local hydrocarbon regulations should take precedence.
Engineers embarking on test planning activities in countries in which they are personally unfamiliar with the relevant hydrocarbon regulations, should obtain a copy of these regulations and check that any programmes issued by them are in compliance with the relevant regulations.
There are currently a plethora of books on well test pressure transient analysis, for example; (5) Earlougher, R.C., "Advances in Well Test Analysis", (10) Mathews, C.S. and Russel, D.G., "Pressure Buildup and Flow Tests in Wells" and (8) Home, R.N., "Modern Well Test Analysis". However, the author is unaware of any other book covering the operational aspects of oil and gas well testing. The techniques and procedures described in this book would not normally be taught as part of a university petroleum engineering course. Therefore, engineers must learn these techniques through a variety of means: postgraduate studies, seminars, training courses and via the mentoring process. This book brings together a wealth of information that the author has derived from his work with international oil industry service companies, major and independent oil and gas operating companies, government regulatory bodies and training organisations the world over.
This book provides engineers with the basic tools to allow them to start to plan well testing operations for themselves. However, complex well tests such as HP/HT, deep water and sour gas are best handled by an experienced consultant who has developed the necessary skills and has the experience to confidently manage such operations.
This book specifically aims at defining a structured approach to the following:
• Setting Well Test Objectives
• Safe Working Practices
• Enhancement of the Quality of Test Data
The setting of well test objectives is always a difficult process, within both the smallest independent to the largest multinational operating oil and gas company.
There are very many opinions to be sought and many agendas to be addressed while setting the well test objectives. The experienced test engineer has an important role in formulating these objectives. Through a knowledge of the technical capabilities of the equipment and the likely levels of expenditure the test engineer can focus the exploration group on what is important and realistic to achieve from an individual well test for a given level of expenditure. The information contained in this book provides the reader with the necessary technical information to assist in this process.
Above all the main concern when planning a well test should be safety. In many parts of the world hydrocarbon regulations exist to control how tests are implemented both from a safety and environmental standpoint. However, in other parts of the world no such regulations exist. Working under these circumstances is in fact more difficult as the person orchestrating the test must substantially self regulate how the test will be conducted.
Large operating oil and gas companies usually have fairly well developed procedures written into their corporate well testing policy and procedures manuals to cope with most circumstances. However, these policy and procedures manuals may not cover all scenarios. Moreover in smaller and medium sized companies these policies and procedures may not even exist.
Therefore it will be the responsibility of engineers and managers to develop safe working practices and ensure that these practices are put into affect at the well site. This book will assist greatly in that task.
Test design will include selection of appropriate equipment to carry out a well test within the context of the well test objectives. The test design should also comply with safe working and good oilfield practices that are appropriate for the theatre of operations.
Furthermore, the design of a test will also include a decision on the most appropriate type of test to conduct to achieve the objectives of the test, in a timely and cost effective manner. For example whether to carry out a flow after flow test or an isochronal test.
Again this book should assist the reader in this respect.
The quality of test data can be significantly enhanced through the selection of the most appropriate technology and procedures. For example downhole shut valves where appropriate to reduce well bore storage effects. Undebalanced perforating to improve perforating efficiency. The selection of the appropriate instrumentation with both the desired accuracy and reliability for a specific application. In addition preparation of quality well testing programmes with well explained step by step procedures will improve on the quality of the data acquired during a test.
Therefore, the purpose of this book is to assist the reader in the preparation, planning and execution of well tests: safely, efficiently and cost effectively, to the highest standards.
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