Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering by L. P. Dake
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Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering by L. P. Dake

PREFACE of Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering by L. P. Dake

This teaching textbook in Hydrocarbon Reservoir Engineering is based on various lecture courses given by the author while employed in the Training Division of Shell Internationale Petroleum Maatschappij B.V. (SIPM), in the Hague, between 1974 and 1977.

The primary aim of Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering is to present the basic physics of reservoir engineering, using the simplest and most straightforward of mathematical techniques. It is only through having a complete understanding of the physics that the engineer can hope to appreciate and solve complex reservoir engineering problems in a practical manner.

Chapters 1 through 4 serve as an introduction to the subject and contain material presented on Shell's basic training courses. They should therefore be of interest to anyone even remotely connected with the business of developing and producing hydrocarbon reserves.

Chapters 5 through 8 are more specialised describing the theory and practice of well testing and pressure analysis techniques, which are probably the most important subjects in the whole of reservoir engineering.

The approach is entirely general in recognising that the superposition of dimensionless pressure, or pseudo pressure functions, perm its the analysis of any rate-pressure-time record retrieved from a well test, for any type of reservoir fluid.

To appreciate this generality, the reader is advised to make a cursory inspection of section 8.13 (page 295), before embarking on a more thorough reading of these chapters. The author hopes that this will serve as a useful introduction to the recently published and, as usual, excellent SPE Monograph

(Advances in Well Test Analysis; by Robert C. Earlougher, Jr.), in which a knowledge is assumed of much of the theory presented in these four chapters. Chapter 9 describes the art of aquifer modelling, while Chapter 10, the final chapter, covers the subject of immiscible, incompressible displacement.

The message here isthat there is but one displacement theory, that of Buckley and Leverett. Everything else is just a matter of "modifying" the relative permeability curves (known in the business as "scientific adjustment"), to account for the manner in which the fluid saturations are distributed in the dip-normal direction.

These curves can then be used in conjunction with the one dimensional Buckley-Leverett equation to calculate the oil recovery. By stating the physics implicit in the generation of averaged (pseudo) relative permeabilities and illustrating their role in numerical simulation, it is hoped that this chapter will help to guide the hand of the scientific adjuster.

Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering also contains numerous fully worked exercises which illustrate the theory. The most notable omission, amongst the subjects covered, is the lack of any serious discussion on the complexities of hydrocarbon phase behaviour.

This has al ready been made the subject of several specialist text books, most notably that of Amyx, Bass and Whiting (reference 8, page 42), which is frequently referred to throughout this text. A difficult decision to make, at the time of writing, is which set of units to employ.

Although the logical decision has been made that the industry should adopt the SI (Système Internationale) units, no agreement has yet been reached concerning the extent to which "allowable" units, expressed in terms of the basic units, will be tolerated.

To avoid possible error the author has therefore elected to develop the important theoretical arguments in Darcy units, while equations required for application in the field are stated in Field units. Both these systems are defined in table 4.1, in Chapter 4, which appropriately is devoted to the description of Darcy's law.

This chapter also contains a section, (4.4), which describes how to convert equations expressed in one set of units to the equivalent form in any other set of units. The choice of Darcy units is based largely on tradition.

Equations expressed in these units have the same form as in absolute units except in their gravity terms. Field units have been used in practical equations to enable the reader to relate to the existing AIME literature.

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