Application of Computational Fluid Dynamics to Near-Wellbore Modeling of a Gas Well

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Molina, Oscar Mauricio
completion performance; erosion; sand production; CFD; gravel pack; frac pack; well completions; Forchheimer; gas well; high rate flow
thesis / dissertation description
Well completion plays a key role in the economically viable production of hydrocarbons from a reservoir. Therefore, it is of high importance for the production engineer to have as many tools available that aid in the successful design of a proper completion scheme, depending on the type of formation rock, reservoir fluid properties and forecasting of production rates. Because well completion jobs are expensive, most of the completed wells are usually expected to produce as much hydrocarbon and as fast as possible, in order to shorten the time of return of the investment. This research study focused on the evaluation of well performance at two common completion schemes: gravel pack and frac pack. Also, the effects of sand production on well productivity and its associated erosive effects on the wellbore, downhole and tubular equipment were also a motivation in considering the inclusion of a decoupled geomechanics models into the study. The geomechanics-hydrodynamics modeling was done using a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach to simulate a near-wellbore model, on which diverse physical processes interact simultaneously, such as nonlinear porous media flow (Forchheimer formulation), turbulence kinetic energy dissipation, heterogeneous reservoir rock properties and particles transportation. In addition, this study considered a gas reservoir whose thermodynamic properties were modeled using the Soave-Redlich-Kwong equation of state. In general, this study is divided into: 1. Verification of a CFD simulation results against its corresponding analytical solution. 2. Analysis of well completion performance of each of the proposed completion schemes. 3. Effect of using Darcy’s law on the prediction of well completion performance. 4. Sand production and erosive damage analysis. The CFD approach used on this research delivered promising results, including pressure and velocity distribution in the near-wellbore model as well as three-dimensional flow patterns and effects of sanding on the wellbore integrity.