The Impacts of Hydrocarbon Statutory Regulation on Liquid-Loading Wells



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Field examples suggest that the current regulatory 3-step multi-rate test may impose a less than optimum rate for condensate gas production. This study investigates ways to improve the generalized 3-step multi-rate test limitation currently required in some regulatory environments. The work starts with gathering gas condensate field data, including historical test rates, water cut (WC), and reservoir pressure surveillance data. PVT data from a combined produced fluid sample are used to evaluate whether condensate loading in the well could contribute to observed liquid loading behavior during multirate production tests. Application of Pressure Transient Analyses (PTA) methods quantify permeability and apparent skin for flowing and buildup transients conducted in the given well. This study reveals that liquid unloading during 3-step multirate tests results in data that can lead to prescribed allowable rates that are lower than optimal from an economic perspective and may result in reduced ultimate condensate recovery from the well. Additional higher-rate steps are recommended to distinguish whether the observed WC for each rate relates to liquid unloading in the well or the reservoir WC. Once determined, the reservoir WC is not dependent on the produced gas rate, and the optimal production rate depends on the economics related to revenue from produced gas and condensate offset by the costs of handling produced water. This study provides compelling evidence to support a change in the regulatory 3-step test that will increase ultimate recovery and enhance well deliverability in high WC gas-condensate wells.



Liquid loading, Gas condensate, Water cut leveling rate, Liquid loading skin