Novel analytical methods of temperature interpretation in horizontal wells

Khafiz Muradov, David Davies

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Long (horizontal) completion intervals typically show a wide variation in the inflow distribution along their length because of either formation heterogeneity or (frictional) flow pressure losses. Monitoring of the inflow profiles in such wells is an important step in efficient reservoir management. Accurate temperature measurements [using distributed temperature sensors (DTSs), permanent downhole gauges (PDGs), or other forms of production logging] have become more widely available in recent years. Many published papers describe temperature sensing and its phenomenological interpretation, but few attempts have been made recently to develop a comprehensive mathematical basis for the analysis of downhole temperature behavior.

    This paper presents a holistic, analytical, mathematical model for calculation of the temperature profile in horizontal wells producing liquids for reservoirs where thermal recovery methods are not being employed. The model presented in this paper rigorously accounts for (1) the Joule-Thomson (JT) effect, (2) convection, (3) transient fluid expansion, and (4) time-dependent heat loss to the surrounding layers.

    A synthetic horizontal-well model has been built using a commercial, scientific simulator as a test bed to provide the data to allow evaluation of the efficacy of our novel analytical methods. Asymptotic analytical solutions have also been found for transient and steady-state flow. It has also been found possible, in addition to these constant-flow-rate solutions, to apply the well-known pressure-analysis solution techniques for the estimation of (1) thermal properties and (2) inflow profiling.

    The methods proposed here can be applied to a wide variety of well completion types, flow conditions, and system properties. These methods form the basis for the calculation of oil- and water-flow phase cuts and distributions that are based purely on temperature measurements. Their use will further increase the potential applications of the modern downhole monitoring and control capabilities currently being installed in wells.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)637-647
    Number of pages11
    JournalSPE Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2011


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