PBIOS - October 2021 - 118

Permian Basin Reports
Surveys Boost Gas Lift Performance
By Haseeb Janjua
and Jesse Hernandez
Unconventional wells typically follow
a hyperbolic decline curve, with many
wells' daily production dropping 40%80%
in the first year. This rapid decline
makes it essential to select artificial lift
methods that have a broad operating range
and low enough operating costs that they
remain economic even when the well approaches
the lower end of that range.
In the Permian Basin, gas lift has become
one of the most popular artificial
lift methods for mature reservoirs. Gas
lift has a relatively low cost in the Permian
because local wells' gas-to-liquid ratios
tend to increase linearly as they age,
FIGURE 1
Pressure POH
Data from Gas Lift Survey of Wolfcamp Well
Temperature POH
0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000
Pressure TIH
0 500 1,000 1,500 2,000
500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
3,000
3,500
4,000
4,500
5,000
5,500
6,000
6,500
7,000
7,500
8,000
8,500
9,000
9,500
10,000
PRESSURE_G_POH
-3 -2 -1 0
1
-3 -2 -1 0
PRESSURE_G_TIH
1
TEMP_D_POH
2 3
2 3
100 120 140 160 180
Temperature TIH
-0.25 -0.12 0.00 0.12 0.25
TEMP_D_TIH
100 120 140 160 180 -0.25 -0.12 0.00 0.12 0.25
Line Speed
0 50 100 150 200
which means less gas needs to be injected
to lighten the fluid and reduce the flowing
bottomhole pressure.
As gas lift has grown in popularity,
so has the importance of optimizing and
troubleshooting gas lift systems. Without
proper analysis, the systems frequently
underperform. It can be tempting to
handle gas lift issues by making decisions
based on incomplete data, especially as
the number of wells each engineer manages
grows. However, that can lead to
costly mistakes.
Gas lift surveys can give engineers
the tools they need to accurately visualize
system performance and implement best
practices that translate to lower costs and
greater profitability.
A Case In Point
Consider a well targeting the Wolfcamp
formation in Lea County, N.M. After operating
on gas lift for 10 months, the
well's production had declined to around
35 barrels a day, much less than the gas
lift lower-side design rate of 150 bbl/d.
The operator suspected that the rapid
drop in production came from a problem
with the downhole gas lift system, such
as a gas lift valve leaking because it had
been cut by flow or hanging open. Other
potential causes included packer or hanger
leaks or holes in the tubing.
The operator was prepared to address
these potential causes by pulling the
tubing, but that would have meant spending
thousands of dollars. Rather than risk absorbing
that cost unnecessarily, the operator
had a gas lift survey performed to determine
the root cause of the low production.
That proved to be a wise decision, for
the survey found no leaks, plugged valves
or holes. Instead, it revealed that as the
well matured, its downhole flowing pressure
had declined more quickly than predicted.
To boost production, all the operator
had to do was decrease the injection rate.
A Powerful Tool
The Wolfcamp well is far from unique
GLV 10
GLV 09
GLV 08
GLV 07
GLV 06
GLV 05
GLV 04
GLV 03
GLV 02
in benefiting from gas lift surveys. In
fact, periodic surveys are an essential
tool for optimizing gas lift wells. In addition
to detecting the aforementioned
problems, the surveys can help determine
if the amount of gas being injected is too
high or too low.
Gas lift surveys involve sending pressure
and temperature sensors down hole.
An effective survey can improve the gas
lift system's operating envelope, reveal
multiphase flow correlations, and obtain
valuable operational references for future
problems in the well.
With proper interpretation, the surveys
can provide the following information:
· Pressure and temperature measurements
at each gas lift valve can determine
the valves' operating condition.
This data is entered into valve mechanic
GLV 01
equations to pinpoint the valve's opening
and closing pressures.
· The Joules-Thomson cooling sig118
THE AMERICAN OIL & GAS REPORTER
Depth (ft)

PBIOS - October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PBIOS - October 2021

Table Of Contents
PBIOS - October 2021 - Intro
PBIOS - October 2021 - Cover1
PBIOS - October 2021 - Cover2
PBIOS - October 2021 - 3
PBIOS - October 2021 - Table Of Contents
PBIOS - October 2021 - 5
PBIOS - October 2021 - 6
PBIOS - October 2021 - 7
PBIOS - October 2021 - 8
PBIOS - October 2021 - 9
PBIOS - October 2021 - 10
PBIOS - October 2021 - 11
PBIOS - October 2021 - 12
PBIOS - October 2021 - 13
PBIOS - October 2021 - 14
PBIOS - October 2021 - 15
PBIOS - October 2021 - 16
PBIOS - October 2021 - 17
PBIOS - October 2021 - 18
PBIOS - October 2021 - 18A
PBIOS - October 2021 - 18B
PBIOS - October 2021 - 18C
PBIOS - October 2021 - 18D
PBIOS - October 2021 - 18E
PBIOS - October 2021 - 18F
PBIOS - October 2021 - 19
PBIOS - October 2021 - 20
PBIOS - October 2021 - 21
PBIOS - October 2021 - 22
PBIOS - October 2021 - 23
PBIOS - October 2021 - 24
PBIOS - October 2021 - 25
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PBIOS - October 2021 - 73
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PBIOS - October 2021 - 76
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PBIOS - October 2021 - 84
PBIOS - October 2021 - 85
PBIOS - October 2021 - 86
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PBIOS - October 2021 - 88
PBIOS - October 2021 - 89
PBIOS - October 2021 - 90
PBIOS - October 2021 - 91
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PBIOS - October 2021 - 116
PBIOS - October 2021 - 117
PBIOS - October 2021 - 118
PBIOS - October 2021 - 119
PBIOS - October 2021 - 120
PBIOS - October 2021 - 121
PBIOS - October 2021 - 122
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PBIOS - October 2021 - 125
PBIOS - October 2021 - 126
PBIOS - October 2021 - 127
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PBIOS - October 2021 - Cover3
PBIOS - October 2021 - Cover4
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