General Meeting - Society of Petroleum Engineers - Denver Section - Sept 17, 2008

SPE General Meeting

Topic:     A Twenty-Five Year Perspective on Use of Pressure Transient Analysis

Speaker:    Robert H. Hite, Shell International E & P

 Date: Wednesday - Sept 17, 2008

Time: 11:30 am

Place: Denver Athletic Club

4th Floor
1325 Glenarm Place
Denver, CO80204
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Map of 1325 Glenarm Pl
Denver, CO 80204-2114

Cost: $25.00 ($30.00 at the door, if space is available)
Reservation Deadline:
Noon, Monday
Sept 15, 2007
Deadline for reservations has been changed to Noon on the Monday before the General Meetings.
or Call 303-620-9080 for reservations

Pressure transient analysis (PTA) is a family of techniques that petroleum engineers use to characterize wells and reservoirs. As with any technology, users need to understand why they do it, how it can be improved, and how it fits into the wider perspective.

Overall the possible rationales for testing have not significantly changed over the past 25 years, but the ever-increasing economic pressure for cost efficiency competing with our improved ability to deliver quality interpretations has changed the relative importance of the rationales. Understanding why we do it helps us to do it better. Two examples of improved PTA are optimal value testing and permanent downhole pressure gauges. Both of these technologies do it safer and cheaper yet deliver better decisions about wells and reservoirs.

Besides the why and the how we improve, we must recognize that we do not do PTA in a vacuum. The results of any PTA must be understood in light of all the factors that influence it – the petrophysics, geology and operational events. We call this holistic well testing. This holistic concept has helped us better understand how to analyze horizontal wells and is important when we try to obtain a long-term view of permanent downhole pressure gauge behavior.

This case study of how a major operator has used PTA over the past 25 years will enable petroleum engineers to make better choices about how they should appraise and survey their own oil and gas reservoirs. Although many of the specific examples in this talk come from the deepwater developments in the Gulf of Mexico, the overarching principles are valid for petroleum engineers throughout the world.


Robert H. Hite is Shell's Principal Technical Expert on Well Testing and is a Reservoir Engineering Adviser. He consults on PTA for Shell's worldwide operations and is the primary reservoir engineering instructor for Shell's well testing classes. He holds a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Rice Unversity.  Over a 31-year Shell career, he has worked on a wide variety of reservoir engineering problems - from reservoir simulation, CO2 and steam flooding to appraising and developing deepwater Gulf of Mexico reservoirs.  Since 1999, he has focused his efforts on the application of PTA.  He has been an active SPE member throughout his career, organizing and actively participating in many SPE Applied Technology Workshops.

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