Production Potential

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Production Potential is the maximum rate that can be delivered by Well, Pattern, Block or Reservoir.

Production Potential

Math and Physics

The Darcy's law can be written as:

 Q = T \times \Delta P \times J_D


Q is the oil or gas production rate,
T is the Reservoir transmissibility and is given by the Mother Nature,
\Delta P is the Lift System Drawdawn which is set by the operational engineering practices[1],
J_D is the Completion System dimensionless productivity index which is set by the design engineering practices[1].

The rate Q is maximum then \Delta P and J_D are maximum.

Maximum \Delta P

The drawdown is:

\Delta P= \bar P_r - P_{wf}

The maximum drawdown is reached then the flowing bottomhole pressure, P_{wf} = 0, so:

{\Delta P}_{max}= P_r

Maximum J_D

The unstimulated vertical well potential in a pseudo steady radial flow is:

 {J_D}_{max} \approx \frac{1}{ln{\frac{500}{0.1}-\frac{3}{4}+0}} \approx 0.13

The maximum possible stimulated well potential for pseudo steady linear flow is:

{J_D}_{max}= \frac{6}{\pi} \approx 1.91 , see 6/π stimulated well potential

The maximum possible stimulated well potential for steady state linear flow is:

{J_D}_{max}= \frac{4}{\pi} \approx 1.27 , see 4/π stimulated well potential

Achieving potential

Can Production Potential be achieved?

The ideal, of producing and recovering at potential, is rarely obtained in practice. Reasons for this vary from company to company, but more often than not, the reason is Production Potential is not known and therefore not managed[1].

Calculating the Production Potential opens the pathway to achieve potential.

See also

6/π stimulated well potential
4/π stimulated well potential


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Wolcott, Don (2009). Applied Waterflood Field DevelopmentPaid subscription required. Houston: Energy Tribune Publishing Inc.