Gas condensate damage in hydraulically fractured wells



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Texas A&M University


This project is a research into the effect of gas condensate damage in hydraulically fractured wells. It is the result of a problem encountered in producing a low permeability formation from a well in South Texas owned by the El Paso Production Company. The well was producing a gas condensate reservoir and questions were raised about how much drop in flowing bottomhole pressure below dewpoint would be appropriate. Condensate damage in the hydraulic fracture was expected to be of significant effect.

Previous attempts to answer these questions have been from the perspective of a radial model. Condensate builds up in the reservoir as the reservoir pressure drops below the dewpoint pressure. As a result, the gas moving to the wellbore becomes leaner. With respect to the study by El-Banbi and McCain, the gas production rate may stabilize, or possibly increase, after the period of initial decline. This is controlled primarily by the condensate saturation near the wellbore. This current work has a totally different approach. The effects of reservoir depletion are minimized by introduction of an injector well with fluid composition the same as the original reservoir fluid. It also assumes an infinite conductivity hydraulic fracture and uses a linear model.

During the research, gas condensate simulations were performed using a commercial simulator (CMG). The results of this research are a step forward in helping to improve the management of gas condensate reservoirs by understanding the mechanics of liquid build-up. It also provides methodology for quantifying the condensate damage that impairs linear flow of gas into the hydraulic fracture.