Analytical, numerical and experimental study of gas coning on horizontal wells

  • Eugênio L. F. FortalezaEmail author
  • José O. A. Limaverde Filho
  • Gustavo S. V. Gontijo
  • Éder L. Albuquerque
  • Rafael D. P. Simões
  • Matheus M. Soares
  • Marco E. R. Miranda
  • Gustavo C. Abade
Technical Paper


Nowadays, new horizontal wells prone to experience gas cone problem usually have multiple production zones. These wells are equipped with inflow control devices (ICDs) or autonomous inflow control devices (AICDs) to mitigate the production of the undesired fluid. In the proposed study, we use analytical calculation, numerical simulations and experimental results to analyze different production strategies when using long horizontal wells in such reservoirs. By the end, we first identified numerical models to represent the dynamic behavior of a gas–oil interface. By validating them through an analytical solution, we used an active control strategy both to obtain and to analyze the associated flow rate for different positions of the interface in steady state from static equilibrium to the well neighborhood. The findings of this research reaffirm there is no strategy that overcomes the production with critical flow rate in steady state. However, the exact critical flow rate is a theoretical value, being hard to assess in the field. In this way, the main contribution of this study is to indicate for the case in consideration the usual production strategy of using multiple zones equipped with AICDs, since it has a cumulative production extremely close to the theoretical maximum and it represents a well-known technology for field applications.


Gas coning Horizontal well Numerical reservoir simulation Experimental analysis Control strategy Production management 

List of symbols



Gravity acceleration


Absolute permeability


Hydraulic conductivity






Flow rate

\(\mathbf r\)

Position vector


Reynolds number

\(\mathbf u\)

Velocity vector




Vertical coordinate



Dirac delta


Dynamic viscosity


Fluid density


Velocity potential (piezometric head)





Relative to the interface’s central point


Relative to the gas phase


Relative to the liquid phase


Relative to the sink



Relative to the critical flow rate



The Authors would like to acknowledge the companies Chevron and Petrobras (ANP Project No. 19073-6) and the Brazilian institutions: CNPq, CAPES, FINEP, MCT and Petrobras through PRH-PB 223 for supporting the present study.


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Copyright information

© The Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of BrasiliaBrasíliaBrazil
  2. 2.Petróleo Brasileiro S. A.MacaéBrazil
  3. 3.Institute of GeophysicsUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland

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