On the Fluid Leakage Rate and Pressure Evaluation of Abandoned Non-Penetrating Wells.

Friday, 19 December 2014
Jinia Islam, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, United States and Hongbin Zhan, Texas A&M Univ, College Station, TX, United States
Understanding flow leakage through abandoned wells that are potential pathways of contamination due to injecting unwanted fluids in geologically deep storage aquifers have become an intensively investigated subject in the subsurface hydrology and petroleum engineering. This study represents a semi-analytical transient solution for estimating leakage rate by pressure change evaluation through an abandoned non-penetrating well (ANW) coupled with an injection well. The leakage rate can be estimated using the Darcy’s law by evaluating pressure change between the upper and the lower aquifers through ANW. The analysis was conducted by solving the diffusivity equations of fluid flow in the aquifer coupled with the pipe flow through ANW. The single-phase flow is considered in this study that is capable of explaining both fluid and CO2 plume flow in an aquifer system by neglecting the variable density effect. The result is compared with that of Avci’s (1994) which dealt with an abandoned fully penetrating well. The result indicates the similar type of curve trend, which is observed by applying a range of aquifer properties as well as distance between the injection and leakage pathway. The important finding is that the leakage rate through ANW is about 50% compared to the fully penetrating well of Avci’s (1994). The sensitivity analyses indicate that parameter leakage coefficient (A), transmissivity ratio (TD) and radial distance (R) between injection and ANW are the most sensitive to the leakage rate and the rest of the parameters are less sensitive. Because of availability of limited analytical and complex numerical solution, this simple new approach is going to provide a simple means to estimate leakage flow for realistic field condition.