Intrawellbore kinematic and frictional losses in a horizontal well in a bounded confined aquifer
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© 2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Horizontal drilling has become an appealing technology for water resource exploration or aquifer remediation in recent decades, due to decreasing operational cost and many technical advantages over vertical wells. However, many previous studies on flow into horizontal wells were based on the Uniform Flux Boundary Condition (UFBC), which does not reflect the physical processes of flow inside the well accurately. In this study, we investigated transient flow into a horizontal well in an anisotropic confined aquifer laterally bounded by two constant-head boundaries. Three types of boundary conditions were employed to treat the horizontal well, including UFBC, Uniform-Head Boundary Condition (UHBC), and Mixed-Type Boundary Condition (MTBC). The MTBC model considered both kinematic and frictional effects inside the horizontal well, in which the kinematic effect referred to the accelerational and fluid-inflow effects. A new solution of UFBC was derived by superimposing the point sink/source solutions along the axis of a horizontal well with a uniform flux distribution. New solutions of UHBC and MTBC were obtained by a hybrid analytical-numerical method, and an iterative method was proposed to determine the well discretization required for achieving sufficiently accurate results. This study showed that the differences among the UFBC, UHBC, and MTBC solutions were obvious near the well screen, decreased with distance from the well, and became negligible near the constant-head boundary. The relationship between the flow rate and the drawdown was nonlinear for the MTBC solution, while it was linear for the UFBC and UHBC solutions.
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