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Installing Plunger Lift Systems In Gas Wells

(Cont’d)

and motors, resulting in additional revenue of $41,500 per installation.

Analysis

A summary of the costs and benefits associated with Amoco’s plunger lift installation program is provided below in Exhibit 13. For the first year of operation, the company realized an average annual savings of approximately $90,200 per well at 2006 prices. In addition the company realized approximately $41,500 per well from salvage of the beam lift equipment at 2006 costs.

Lessons Learned

Plunger lift systems offer several advantages over other remedial treatments for removing reservoir fluids from wells: increased gas sales, increased well life, decreased well maintenance, and decreased methane emissions. The following should be considered when installing a plunger lift system:

  • Plunger lift installations can offer quick paybacks and high return on investments whether replacing a beam lift or blowdowns.

ExxonMobil Big Piney Field

At Big Piney Field in Wyoming, Natural Gas STAR charter Partner Mobil Oil Corporation (now merged with Exxon) has installed plunger lift systems at 19 wells. The first two plunger lifts were installed in 1995, and the remaining

  • Plunger lift installations can greatly reduce the amount of remedial work needed throughout the Exhibit 14: Plunger Lift Program at Big Piney, Wyoming

result of

these

blowdown

gas

As a overall

wells were equipped

installations,

Mobil

in 1997. reduced

emissions by 12,164 Mcf per methane emission reduction, reduced the venting of ethane

year.

In addition to the

the plunger

lift system

(6 percent by

volume), C3

Well #

Pre-Plunger Emission Volume (Mcf/yr/well)

Post-Plunger Emission Volume (Mcf/yr/well)

Annualized Reduction (Mcf/yr/well)

1

1,456

0

1,456

hydrocarbons

  • +

    VOCs

(5

percent),

and

inerts

(2

Exhibit 14 shows the emission after plunger lift installation.

reductions

for

percent).

each

well

2

581

0

581

3

1,959

318

1,641

4

924

0

924

5

105

24

81

6

263

95

168

7

713

80

633

8

753

0

753

9

333

0

333

10

765

217

548

11

1,442

129

1,313

Installation Tips

The following suggestions can help ensure trouble-free installation of a plunger lift system:

  • Do not use a completion packer, because it limits the amount of gas production per plunger trip. Without a completion packer, the entire annular void space is available to create a large compressed gas supply. The greater the volume of gas, the larger the volume of water that can be lifted.

Check for tubing obstructions with a gauge ring

before

installation.

plunger

movement and

Tubing obstructions hinder may require replacement of

production tubing.

Capture the plunger Inspection of the plunger

damage, sand, or subsequent plunger

scale lift

after

the

first

trip.

for the presence of will help prevent

any any

operational

difficulties,

permitting immediate operational repair while the crew and installation equipment are mobilized.

12

1,175

13

694

14

1,416

15

1,132

16

1,940

17

731

18

246

19

594

Totals

17,222

991

184

215

479

1,259

157

708

424

561

1,379

461

270

0

246

0

594

5,058

12,164

11

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