Linear vs. radial boundary-dominated flow: Implications for gas-well-decline analysis

Pichit Vardcharragosad, Luis F. Ayala, Miao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Linear flow is a fundamental reservoir-flow geometry typically associated with production from unconventional resources stimulated by means of hydraulic fracturing. Recently, linear flow has been intensively studied following the fast pace of development of unconventional resources. Previous studies have mainly focused on early transient behavior and behavior of composite linear-flow systems. In this work, a density-based analysis method is extended to study decline behavior of the linear-flow system in boundary-dominated flow (BDF). In this study, we first discuss traditional approaches used to model linear flow in gas reservoirs. Second, we show the applicability of the density-based method for gas linear flow both analytically and numerically. Next, late-time solutions are discussed, and the analytical forecasting solution that best describes the BDF behavior is selected for long-term decline-behavior studies. Previously reported results on radial flow as well as early transient-flow effect are also incorporated to provide a more complete understanding of decline behavior and the impact of flow geometry. We show that boundary-dominated responses in linearflow scenarios fully develop at much later stages of reservoir depletion compared with radial-flow scenarios. As a result, and in marked contrast with radial flow, purely hyperbolic decline behavior may be completely lost in linear-flow scenarios during boundary-dominated conditions. It is demonstrated that most of the recoverable hydrocarbons are produced during the early transient period for linear-flow conditions, whereas most of them are recovered during the BDF period for radial flow. These results suggest that the availability of accurate early transient models is much more critical for the formulation of linear-flow-decline models than had been traditionally necessary for radial-flow-decline models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1053-1066
Number of pages14
JournalSPE Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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