In this review paper, a variety of reservoir applications are illustrated where horizontal wells can have advantages over the use of conventional vertical wells. It is stressed that one of the key advantages relates to the opportunities to optimize the orientation and position of horizontal wells with respect to the principal directions for the reservoir depositional environment, but this may interact with natural fracture or fault directions, and the principal stress direction if hydraulic fracturing is to be considered. Analytical methods for calculating critical coning rates in homogeneous reservoirs are reviewed, and shown to give a very large range of results for horizontal wells. The potential significance of two-phase pressure drop within the wellbore on GOR performance is discussed, and a range of uncertainty by a factor of six is indicated between the use of various correlations for calculating the well pressure drop. In the final section studies are summarized for a gas coning application using ECLIPSE, a commercial simulator. The simulation results indicated an apparently invariant behaviour on GOR history with respect to the effects of wellbore twophase pressure drop when the horizontal well was produced at constant rate in a homogeneous reservoir. However, when the controlling conditions on the horizontal well were made more representative, and reservoir non-uniformity was introduced, it was then found that the two-phase pressure drop became very significant. Some areas for further research are indicated.
- GeoRef, Copyright 2008, American Geological Institute.