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Installing Plunger Lift Systems In Gas Wells

(Cont’d)

Exhibit 1: Plunger Lifts

  • 3.

    As the plunger is lifted to the surface, gas and accumulated liquids above the plunger flow through the upper and lower outlets.

  • 4.

    The plunger arrives and is captured in the lubricator, situated across the upper lubricator outlet.

  • 5.

    The gas that has lifted the plunger flows through the lower outlet to the sales line.

  • 6.

    Once gas flow is stabilized, the automatic controller releases the plunger, dropping it back down the tubing.

7.

The cycle repeats.

New information technology systems have streamlined

plunger lift technologies management

monitoring and such as smart

control. For example, automation, online data

and satellite communications allow operators

to

control

plunger

lift

systems

remotely,

without

regular

field

visits.

Operators

visit

only

attention, which increases efficiency

the and

wells that need reduces cost. For

more information regarding artificial lift systems, see the

this technology and other Lessons Learned document

titled “Options

for Removing

Improving Flow

in Gas Wells”.

Accumulated

Fluid

and

Economic and Environmental Benefits

memory and programmable functions based on process sensors.

Operation of a typical plunger lift system involves the following steps:

  • 1.

    The plunger rests on the bottom hole bumper spring located at the base of the well. As gas is produced to the sales line, liquids accumulate in the well-bore, creating a gradual increase in backpressure that slows gas production.

  • 2.

    To reverse the decline in gas production, the well is shut-in at the surface by an automatic controller. This causes well pressure to increase as a large volume of high pressure gas accumulates in the annulus between the casing and tubing. Once a sufficient volume of gas and pressure is obtained, the plunger and liquid load are pushed to the surface.

Lower well

maintenance

and fewer

remedial

treatments.

Overall well

maintenance

costs are

The installation of a plunger lift system serves as a cost- effective alternative to beam lifts and well blowdown and yields significant economic and environmental benefits. The extent and nature of these benefits depend on the liquid removal system that the plunger lift is replacing.

  • Lower capital cost versus installing beam lift equipment. The costs of installing and maintaining a plunger lift are generally lower than the cost to install and maintain beam lift equipment.

reduced

because

periodic

remedial

treatments

such

Continuous

production

improves

gas

no

production rates Plunger lift systems energy and increase

and

increases

efficiency.

as swabbing or well blowdowns are reduced longer needed with plunger lift systems.

or

can gas

conserve the well’s lifting

production.

Regular

fluid

2

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