Optimal well placement in heterogeneous reservoirs through semianalytic modeling

R. D. Hazlett, D. K. Babu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The need for accurate well-productivity models with arbitrary well trajectories spurred a revival in analytic solution methodology for fluid transport problems. Analytic formulations often depict single-phase flow throughout the reservoir. The Babu-Odeh horizontal-well solution for a box-shaped reservoir with spatiaily invariant properties is generalized here to allow closed-form solutions for heterogeneous media. A reservoir is decomposed into interacting regions, each with its own reservoir properties and associated analytic potential flow solution. Using established boundary element techniques, pressure and flux continuity are imposed at selected interface points to solve for the steady material exchange between regions. Constant pressure and zero flux features (fractures and barriers) are easily entertained at region boundaries. The 2D, pseudosteady-state solution for heterogeneous media is embedded within a reservoir performance feedback loop of a powerful gradient search method to produce a robust optimal infill well placement algorithm. Utilizing this approach, new criteria are developed concerning optimal placement of vertical wells for primary production with respect to heterogeneity, asymmetry, and anisotropy. The semianalytic method has been extended to 3D flows to serve as a compute engine for a new generation of reservoir management and optimization tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-296
Number of pages11
JournalSPE Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Optimal well placement in heterogeneous reservoirs through semianalytic modeling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this