Application of Experimental Design and Response Surface Analysis to Gas Cap Blowdown

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Numerical Reservoir Simulation is often too expensive to allow exhaustive investigation of sensitivities to multiple parameters. Experimental Design and the associated technique of response surface analysis make available the tools to reduce the number of simulations required. Moreover, the methodology provides a statistical framework to estimate the impact of various parameters and their interactions. It accords not only accurate estimate of response, but also quantification of errors.In the present work, second order polynomial response surface models were used to approximate the relationship between recovery and six reservoir and production parameters in case of Gas Cap Blowdown with the objective to identify the key parameters that govern the recovery from Gas Cap Blowdown and to quantify their impact. High gas rate in presence of high horizontal permeability, a small gas cap, large water support, and central location of the well were found to be the conditions for high recovery. The effects of many factors were found to depend on other factors; the model also captured these interaction effects.Different experimental designs were employed and compared with the exhaustive case. It was found that D-optimal design with the same number of runs as Box-Behnken design provided a better fit to the observed reservoir behavior. There was only a slight increase in the goodness of fit using a D-optimal design with double the number of runs.Comparisons with the exhaustive case confirmed that all the designs used in this study give consistent results about statistically significant effects.Uncertainty analysis on the reservoir performance can be made using the regressions developed. Also, optimization of response can be performed using the regression model as an inexpensive proxy for the flow simulator.


Type of resource text
Date created August 2002


Author Kumar, Amit
Primary advisor Aziz, Khalid
Degree granting institution Stanford University, Department of Petroleum Engineering


Subject School of Earth Energy & Environmental Sciences
Genre Thesis

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Kumar, Amit. (2002). Application of Experimental Design and Response Surface Analysis to Gas Cap Blowdown. Stanford Digital Repository. Available at:


Master's Theses, Doerr School of Sustainability

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