Installing Plunger Lift Systems In Gas Wells
Value of Gas Saved
Amoco then calculated savings resulting from avoided costs in three areas—electricity, workover, and chemical
When assessing options for installing plunger lift systems on gas wells, natural gas price may influence the decision making process. Exhibit 11 shows an economic analysis of installing a plunger lift system rather than blowing down a well to the atmosphere to lift accumulated fluid at different natural gas prices.
Exhibit 11: Gas Price Impact on Economic Analysis
at its Denver City and Sundown, Texas locations, replacing other beam lift applications.
Costs and Benefits
Amoco estimated that plunger lift system installation costs
including plunger equipment and tubing conversion costs-
averaged $13,000 per well (initial pilot costs were higher than average during the learning phase, and the cost of tubing conversion is included).
costs of electricity, workover,
$24,000 per well per year.
estimated that the avoided and paraffin control averaged
Electricity. Cost savings were estimated based on 50 percent run times. Using the costs from Exhibit 6, the estimated electrical cost savings were estimated to be $20 per day.
Workover. On average, Amoco had one workover per year per well to fix rod parts. With the old beam lift systems, the cost of this operation was $4,000, averaging about $11 per day.
Payback Period (months)
Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
Net Present Value (i=10%)
BP (formerly Amoco) Midland Farm Field
Chemical treatment. The realized from avoided chemical
biggest savings were treatment. Amoco was
$13,000 per well per the plunger operation
to save the approximately for paraffin control because
Amoco Corporation, a Natural Gas STAR charter Partner (now merged with BP), documented its success in replacing beam lift, rod pump well production equipment with plunger lifts at its Midland Farm field. Prior to installing plunger lift systems, Amoco used beam lift installations
with fiberglass rod strings. primarily 640 inch-lb pumping
The lift equipment units powered by 60
motors. Operations personnel noted were having problems with paraffin
that wells at the plating the well
and sucker rods, which blocked fluid with fiberglass sucker rod movement.
flow and Plunger
interfered lifts were
Amoco began its single-well pilot
program with a
Based on the
success of this
process to the entire Midland Farm field,
field. As a result of the success in the Amoco installed 190 plunger lift units
Increased Gas Production and Revenue
wells—although increase during
some showed little or the 30 day evaluation
increase (including both and non-emitted gas) across all
incremental wells where
plunger lifts were installed was 1,348 Mcf per
average annual gas savings, which
day. The 6 percent
approximately $78,918 per well at 2006 prices. Exhibit 12 and Exhibit 13 summarize the initial results and first year
Amoco’s Midland Farm plunger In addition to the gas savings and
plunger lift installations,