Artificial lift R&D council 2012 gas lift workshop

Non conventionals and the gas lift renaissance. OVS’ ‘virtual’ data integration for Pemex. Honeywell’s HGLO optimizer. Batch gas lift trouble shooting at ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Kuparuk field.

Speaking at the 2012 Artificial lift R&D consortium’s gas lift workshop in Houston earlier this year, ConocoPhillips’ worldwide LNG manager, Greg Leveille painted an upbeat picture of the oil and natural gas industry’s ‘renaissance’ and the implications for gas lift deployment. The renaissance is of course driven by the unconventional revolution that was ‘born in the USA’ and has revealed an enormous, previously unrecognized onshore prize of over a century of self-sufficiency in natural gas and a second Hubbert peak in oil production. The renewed interest in gas lift is because it is insensitive to produced gas and solids, is compatible with horizontal wells, minimizes tubing wear and is tolerant of dogleg severity and small diameter wellbores. Gas lift is already the method of choice in the Barnett and Eagle Ford shales, driven by high gas oil rations and flow rates, centralized pad drilling and deviated wellbores. Gas lift will become even more attractive as the oil-component of the revolution gains momentum in the US and internationally.

Sebastiano Barbarino, CTO with OVS Group described how his company has been addressing production data overload at Pemex’s Samaria-Luna asset. This produces over 200,000 bopd from 200 wells, many on gas lift. OVS has designed a virtual data integration layer to Pemex’ databases of reference and to real time in PI. A web services interface feeds a third party nodal analysis package and Microsoft Office-based reporting. The ‘evergreen’ well models have leveraged in-place technology and provided a ten fold reduction in lift candidate selection time and a fifty fold speedup in optimization.

Ravi Nath introduced Honeywell’s on-line gas lift optimizer (HGLO) which is claimed to best traditional gas lift optimization by monitoring compressor, valve and water handling constraints along with sales gas pipeline pressure. HGLO offers a real time advisory on potential optimizations in the face of short term opportunities such as changing weather or pipeline pressure. The key is a ‘fast executing, on-line, real time optimizer.’ HGLO embeds Honeywell’s NOVA process optimizer and the URT real time execution platform. A case study of an eight well Gulf of Mexico platform showed a production hike of 0.8% and a $7 million increase in NPV.

Grant Dornan presented on batch gas lift trouble shooting on ConocoPhillips Alaska’s Kuparuk River field, in production since 1981 and still producing 121,000 bopd from 630 production wells supported by 507 injectors. Compressor constraints mean that gas lift is targeted to where it makes the most oil—optimized in the Scada system. Batch gas lift trouble shooting is controlled by CP’s system nodal analysis software. SNAP identifies opportunities to increase the gas rate on wells that are not lifting efficiently or where lift performance can be improved. Optimized gas lift designs for 11% of KRU wells were implemented in 2011 resulting in 1% hike in the oil rate. Further deployment and work on the tool is planned for 2012. Read the presentations on the ALRDC website.

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