Artificial Lift R&D Council Gas Lift Workshop

40th Artificial Lift R&D Council’s gas lift workshop in Houston hears from Oxy on pioneering gas lift ops in the Permian basin. Silverwell Energy’s ‘DIAL,’ digital intelligent gas lift. PSE’s gOilfield full field-to-facility modeling and optimization.

At the 40th Artificial Lift R&D Council’s gas lift workshop in Houston, Shauna Noonan’s keynote traced Oxy’s efforts to implement gas lift in the Permian basin. Traditional ESP and rod pumps were prevalent but suffered from high failure rates and downtime. Following a three well 3 pilot in 2013, gas lift has grown steadily and was used on 250 wells in 2017. Well uptime has improved, production is up and well head spacing is down leading to a smaller pad footprint. Today, 20% of Oxy’s unconventional production is gas lifted and all new wells are equipped (if possible).

Stephen Edward Faux presented Silverwell Energy’s DIAL, (digital intelligent gas lift device, a.k.a. ‘the future of gas lift.’ The novel surface-controlled downhole tool, currently in commercial pilot phase, allows injection parameters to be changed in real time. Six injection orifices can be independently controlled. The unit includes sensors for real time annulus and production tubing pressure and temperature data.

Dimitrios Giorgis, speaking on behalf of Process Systems Enterprise’s Kevin Wade enumerated several use cases of PSE’s ‘gOilfield’ full field and facility production modeling and optimization approach. PSE deploys full physics models of wells and the flowline network to evaluate asset behavior in different situations. Mathematical solvers identify operating conditions that optimize production. gOilfield has been validated in a number of geographies.

One Gulf of Mexico study on 18 offshore wells reported a 6% production hike through ‘better use of riser base gas lift and re-routing.’ PSE deprecates current models that over simplify facilities as ‘simple constraints.’ Facilities need to be treated with detailed modeling along with the production network. The approach was described in a recent paper, SPE-189263-MS given at the SPE symposium on production enhancement and cost optimization, held in Kuala Lumpur. More from the ALRDC.

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