Pressure transients in wellbores : water hammer effects and implications for fracture diagnostics
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A pressure transient is generated when a sudden change in injection rate occurs due to a valve closure or injector shutdown. This pressure transient, referred to as a water hammer, travels down the wellbore, is reflected back and induces a series of pressure pulses on the sand face. This study presents a semi-analytical model to simulate the magnitude, frequency and duration of water hammer in wellbores. An impedance model has been suggested that can describe the interface, between the wellbore and the formation. Pressure transients measured in five wells in an offshore field are history matched to validate the model. It is shown that the amplitude of the pressure waves may be up to an order of magnitude smaller at the sand face when compared with surface measurements. Finally, a model has been proposed to estimate fracture dimensions from water hammer data.