Analysis of recovery mechanisms for naturally fractured gas-condensate reservoirs

Luis F. Ayala, Turgay Ertekin, Michael A. Adewumi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The study of depletion performance of naturally-fractured reservoirs has gained wide interest in the petroleum industry during the last few decades and poses a challenge for the reservoir modeler. The presence of a retrograde gas-condensate fluid incorporates an additional layer of complexity to the performance of this class of reservoirs. Upon depletion, reservoir pressure may fall below the dew-point of the hydrocarbon mixture which results in liquid condensation at reservoir conditions. In the case of fractured gas-condensate reservoirs, condensate will first appear in the high-conductivity channels supplied by the fracture network and around the external edges of the matrix blocks which are the zones prone to faster depletion. Even though fracture condensate may have considerable mobility, that is not the case for the liquid formed at the external portions of the matrix. Its presence will hinder the flow of hydrocarbons from the inner portions of the matrix blocks and severely obstruct their recovery. This impairment becomes quite severe for the case of tight, naturally fractured reservoirs where matrix permeabilities may be less than 0.1 md. Since the bulk of hydrocarbon storage resides inside the matrix, it is critical to answer the question whether this trapped gas has been irreversibly lost or not. It is believed that the interplay of Darcian-type flow and Fickian-type flow (multi-mechanistic flow) is the key to answering the questions about depletion performance and ultimate recovery in these reservoirs. This study investigates the recovery mechanisms from a single matrix block surrounded by an orthogonal matrix network, as the fundamental building block for the full-scale system. In this work, we show the dominant flow processes and recovery mechanisms taking place in naturally-fractured gas-condensate reservoirs and describe the depletion performance of these systems, which provides guidance for the development and analysis of this class of reservoirs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2004
Event2004 SPE International Petroleum Conference in Mexico - Puebla, Mexico
Duration: Nov 7 2004Nov 9 2004


Other2004 SPE International Petroleum Conference in Mexico

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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