Gas lifts are an artificial lift technique that involves injecting external gas into the produced flow path at a certain depth in the wellbore. The extra gas boosts the formation gas and lowers the bottom-hole pressure while flowing, which boosts the production of fluids. The amount of injected gas is calculated for dewatering gas wells so that, particularly for lower liquid-producing gas wells, the combined deposit and injected gas will be over the critical rate for the wellbore. The design process may resemble developing oil well gas lift procedures for higher liquid rates. Read More…
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Although a gas lift system may not reduce the flowing pressure more than a pumping system that is optimized, it still has several benefits that frequently make it the preferred artificial lift technique. First, particularly for gas wells, creating bottom-hole pressure using a gas lift may compare favorably with other dewatering techniques while producing a small number of liquids.
Types of Gas Lifts
Today's industry uses two basic forms of gas lifts which are:
- Continuous Gas Lifts
- Intermittent Gas Lifts
Continuous Gas Lifts
Through a downhole valve or orifice, a stream of gas with moderately high pressure is constantly injected into the generated fluid column in a continuous flow gas lift. Then, one or more of the following processes combine the injected gas with the product gas to lift the fluid toward the surface:
- Lowering the column weight and fluid density raises the pressure difference between the wellbore and the reservoir.
- Increasing the difference between the wellbore and the reservoir by expanding the injected gas to push liquid ahead of it will thereby decrease the column weight.
- Liquid slugs are displaced by enormous gas bubbles functioning as pistons.
Production rates are decreased because continuous-flow gas lifts create a reservoir with very high back pressure compared to pumping techniques. Additionally, power efficiency is subpar relative to some artificial lift techniques, and the high operational energy costs and the high initial capital expenses for compression result from this subpar efficiency. A well's performance can be predicted using continuous-flow gas lift numerical models.
Advantages of Continuous Gas Lifts
- A gas lift is the finest artificial lift technique for handling sand or other solid materials. Despite the installation of sand control, many wells still produce some sand. Only a small amount of created sand interferes with other pumping techniques, except for the progressive cavity pump. In contrast, most of it creates mechanical issues with the gas-lift system (PCP).
- Continuous gas lifts are adaptable.
- Equipment for wells below the surface is relatively inexpensive. In most cases, underground equipment has modest repair and maintenance costs.
- With a continuous gas lift, irregular or crooked holes can always be easily elevated. Therefore, continuous gas lift is crucial for offshore platform wells drilled in a specific direction.
Disadvantages of Continuous Gas Lifts
- Higher friction, liquid fallback, and gas fingering because lifting low-gravity crude is more challenging.
- The gas supply must be sufficient for the duration of the project.
- In a continuous gas lift, relatively significant backpressure may severely limit productivity.
Intermittent Gas Lifts
Intermittent flow gas lift is the periodic removal of liquid from tubing by high-pressure gas injection. The movement resembles when a bullet is discharged from a gun.
The bullet is shown by the liquid slug accumulated in the tubing. High-pressure injection gas passes the chamber, which is the tubing, and expands quickly when the trigger is pressed, opening the gas lift valve.
Some systems can produce up to 500 B/D; the intermittent gas-lift method is mainly utilized on wells that produce low volumes of fluid, which is about 150 to 200 B/D. The characteristics of wells when the intermittent lift is advised typically include low bottom-hole pressure (BHP) and high productivity index (PI) or low PI with high BHP. When gas wells have reached low evaporation rates and are being hampered by liquid loading, an intermittent gas lift can be employed in place of a continuous gas lift.
Advantages of Intermittent Gas Lifts
- The production of BHP in the intermittent gas lift is often much lower than that of continuous gas-lift techniques.
- With a relatively low production of BHPs, it can handle small amounts of fluid.
Disadvantages of Intermittent Gas Lifts
- Low-volume wells are the only ones in which intermittent gas lift is suitable.
- Power usage efficiency could be better. Per barrel of produced fluid, more gas is often utilized than it is with constant flow gas lift.
- Adjustments are needed frequently for intermittent gas lifts.
Applications of Gas Lifts
Fluids in wells where a large proportion of gas is generated alongside the oil can benefit the most from a gas lift. This benefit is because gas compressors are almost always installed to collect the produced gas and can be made to deliver the injection-gas pressure for the gas lift systems with relatively modest modifications. The gas lift valve is a straightforward system with minimal moving components. Well fluids that contain sand can be lifted without passing through the valve.
Limitations of Gas Lifts
The absence of an injection gas or formation gas source is the main constraint for gas lift operations. In addition, the use of gas lifts may be restricted by wide well spacing and a need for more space for compressors on offshore platforms. Because they are expensive, compressors require regular maintenance. In general, gas lift is less suitable for single-well installations and spaced wells than certain other technologies. In addition, gas lift operations become less reliable when wet gas is used without dehydrating it. Compressor maintenance, especially with small field units, can raise compressor downtime and the cost of gas lift gas.
Choosing the Proper Gas Lift Manufacturer
To ensure you have the most beneficial outcome when purchasing gas lifts from a gas lift manufacturer, it is important to compare several companies using our directory of gas lift manufacturers. Each gas lift manufacturer has a business profile page highlighting their areas of experience and capabilities, along with a contact form to directly communicate with the manufacturer for more information or request a quote. Review each gas lift business website using our proprietary website previewer to quickly learn what each gas lift business specializes in. Then, use our simple RFQ form to contact multiple gas lift companies with the same form.