Some 125 turned out for the 33rd Gas Lift Workshop, hosted by the Artificial Lift R&D Council, held in Houston earlier this month. Roman Molotkov (Weatherford) made a case for a ‘paradigm shift’ in gas lift analysis, with the roll-out of ‘WellSavvy.’ WellSavvy is a new take on the ‘digital engineer’ concept—this digital engineer is a robot! WellSavvy ‘perceives and acts on its environment without human intervention analyzing the whole field in seconds, providing optimization recommendations.’ The trainable system monitors SCADA and other data sources and performs real-time pattern recognition and diagnosis. The WellSavvy server houses a knowledge base of ‘all potential conditions.’ The server ‘learns’ from the WellSavvy client as new data and situations are encountered, updating the knowledge base. The knowledge base addresses continuous gas lift for injection and production pressure operated gas lift valves and covers multiple inlet and outlet conditions. In all some fifteen attributes are monitored. WellSavvy leverages some of the concepts co-developed by Oxy, Weatheford and IntelligentAgent as we reported from last year’s SPE ATCE (OITJ October 09 and SPE 124926*).
Ken Decker (Decker Technology) traced the history of the Valve Performance Clearinghouse (VPC) which originated with the API 11 V2 spec in 1995 and a joint industry project, administered by Decker Technology. JIP members now include Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Petronas, PTC, SaudiAramco and Shell. Many gas lift software vendors now have VPC correlations built into the code. 46 valves have been tested to date including some of the new high pressure and ‘barrier’ valves. Decker comments that a gas lift valve is a mechanical device, it obeys the laws of physics in spite of attempts to attribute perceived flow performance. He warns that one inch valves do not perform the same way as one and a half inch valves, and asks if you are using the same design techniques with one inch valves as you do with one and a half inch valves. Current gas lift design methods do not make this distinction. Maybe you should!
More from the ALRDC meet in next month’s Journal and from alrdc.com.
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