This paper presents the results of a simulation study designed to evaluate the applicability of an Arps1 decline curve methodology for assessing reserves in hydraulically-fractured wells completed in tight gas sands at high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) reservoir conditions. We simulated various reservoir and hydraulic-fracture properties to determine their impact on the production decline behavior as quantified by the Arps decline curve exponent, b. We then evaluated the simulated production with Arps' rate-time equations at specific time periods during the well's productive life and compared estimated reserves to the true value. To satisfy requirements for using Arps' models, all simulations were conducted using a specified constant bottomhole flowing pressure condition in the wellbore.
Our study indicates that the largest error source is incorrect application of Arps' decline curves during either transient flow or the transitional period between the end of transient and onset of boundary-dominated flow. During both of these periods (principally the transient period), we observed b-exponents greater than one and corresponding reserve estimate errors exceeding 100 percent. The b -exponents generally approached values between 0.5 and 1.0 as flow conditions approached true boundary-dominated flow. Agreement between Arps' suggested b-exponent range and our results using simulated performance data also indicates that, if applied under the correct conditions, the Arps rate-time models are appropriate for assessing reserves in tight gas sands at HP/HT reservoir conditions.