Gas Well Deliquification - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780750677240, 9780080477985

Gas Well Deliquification

1st Edition

Solutions to Gas Well Liquid Loading Problems

Authors: James Lea Henry Nickens Mike Wells
eBook ISBN: 9780080477985
Imprint: Gulf Professional Publishing
Published Date: 21st July 2003
Page Count: 314
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No other book on the market offers such a turnkey solution to the problem of liquid interference in gas wells. Gas Well Deliquification contains not only descriptions of the various methods of de-watering gas wells, but also compares the various methods with a view toward explaining the suitability of each under particular circumstances. The material is presented as practical information that can be immediately applied, rather than a theoretical treatment. And, includes useful historical methods, but focuses on the latest techniques for de-watering gas wells.

Key Features

  • Only book on market to offer a turnkey solution to the problem of liquid interference in gas wells

  • Contains descriptions of the various methods of de-watering gas wells, as well as comparing the various methods with a view to explaining the suitability of each under particular circumstances

  • Introduces material as practical information that can be immediately applied, rather than a theoretical treatment.


Operating engineers and reservoir engineers, consulting engineers, service companies that supply equipment for gas wells, academic market

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: Introduction 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Multiphase Flow In A Gas Well 1.3 What Is Liquid Loading? 1.4 Problems Caused By Liquid Loading 1.5 De-Liquefying Techniques Presented 1.6 Source Of Liquids In A Producing Gas Well 1.6.1 Water coning 1.6.2 Aquifer water 1.6.3 Water produced from another zone 1.6.4 Free formation water 1.6.5 Water of condensation 1.6.6 Hydrocarbon condensates 1.7 References

Chapter 2: Recognize Symptoms of Liquid Loading in Gas Wells 1.2 Introduction 2.2 Presence of Orifice Pressure Spikes 2.3 Decline Curve Analysis 2.4 Drop In Tubing Pressure with Rise in Casing Pressure 2.5 Pressure Survey Showing Liquid Level 2.6 Well Performance Monitoring 2.7 Annulus Heading 2.7.1 Heading cycle without packer 2.7.2 Heading cycle with controller 2.8 Liquid Production Ceases 2.9 Summary 2.10 References

Chapter 3: Critical Velocity 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Critical Flow Concepts 3.2.1 Turner droplet model 3.2.2 Critical rate 3.2.3 Critical tubing diameter 3.2.4 Critical rate for low pressure wells-Coleman model 3.2.5 Critical flow nomographs 3.3 Critical velocity at depth 3.4 Critical velocity in horizontal well flow 3.5 References

Chapter 4: Systems Nodal Analysis 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Tubing Performance Curve 4.3 Reservoir Inflow Performance Relationship (IPR) 4.3.1 Gas well backpressure equation 4.3.2 Future IPR curve with backpressure equation 4.4 Intersections of the Tubing Curve and the Deliverability Curve 4.5 Tubing Stability and Flowpoint 4.6 Tight Gas Reservoirs 4.7 Nodal Example-Tubing Size 4.8 Nodal Example-Surface Pressure Effects: Use Compression to Lower Surface Pressure 4.9 Summary Nodal Example of Developing IPR from Test Data with Tubing Performance 4.10 Summary

Chapter 5: Sizing Tubing 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Advantages/Disadvantages of Smaller Tubing 5.3 Concepts Required To Size Smaller Tubing 5.3.1 Critical rate at surface conditions 5.3.2 Critical rate at bottomhole conditions 5.3.3 Summary of tubing design concepts 5.4 Sizing Tubing without IPR Information 5.5 Field Examples #1-Results Of Tubing Chang-Out 5.6 Field Examples #2-Results of Tubing Change-Out 5.7 Pre/Post Evaluation 5.8 Where to Set the Tubing 5.9 Hanging off Smaller Tubing from the Current Tubing 5.10 Summary 5.11 References

Chapter 6: Compression 6.1 Introduction 6.2 Nodal Example 6.3 Compression with a Tight Gas Reservoir 6.4 Compression with Plunger Lift Systems 6.5 Compression with Beam Pumping Wells 6.6 Compression with ESP Systems 6.7 Types of Compressors 6.7.1 Rotary lobe compressor 6.7.2 Re-injected rotary lobe compressor 6.7.3 Rotary vane compressor 6.7.4 Liquid ring compressor 6.7.5 Liquid injected rotary screw compressor 6.7.6 Reciprocating compressor 6.7.7 Sliding vane compressor 6.8 Gas Jet Compressors or Eductors 6.9 Summary 6.10 References

Chapter 7: Plunger Lift 7.1 Introduction 7.2 Plunger 7.3 Plunger Cycle 7.4 Plunger Lift Feasibility 7.4.1 GLR rule of thumb 7.4.2 Feasibility charts 7.4.3 Maximum liquid production with plunger lift 7.4.4 Plunger lift with a packer installed 7.4.5 Plunger lift Nodal Analysis 7.5 Plunger-Lift System Line-Out Procedure 7.5.1 Considerations before Kickoff Load factor 7.5.2 Kickoff 7.5.3 Cycle adjustment 7.5.4 Stabilization period 7.5.5 Optimization Oil well optimization Gas well optimization Optimizing cycle time 7.5.6 Monitoring 7.6 Problem Analysis 7.6.1 Motor Valve Valve leaks Valve won't open Valve won't close 7.6.2 Controller Electronics Pneumatics 7.6.3 Arrival Transducer 7.6.4 Wellhead leaks 7.6.5 Catcher not functioning 7.6.6 Pressure sensor not functioning 7.6.7 Control gas to stay on measurement chart 7.6.8 Plunger operations Plunger won't fall Plunger won't surface Plunger travel too slow Plunger travel too fast 7.6.9 Head gas bleeding off too slowly 7.6.10 Head gas creating surface equipment problems 7.6.12 Well loads up frequently 7.7 New Plunger Concept 7.8 Casing Plunger for Weak Wells 7.9 Plunger with Side String: Low Pressure Well Production 7.10 Plunger Summary 7.11 References

Chapter 8: Use Of Foam to De-Liquefy Gas Wells 8.1 Introduction 8.2 Liquid Removal Process 8.2.1 Surface de-foaming 8.3 Foam Selection 8.4 Foam Basics 8.4.1 Foam generation 8.4.2 Foam stability 8.4.3 Surfactant types Nonionic surfactants Anionic surfactants Cationic surfactants Foaming agents for hydrocarbons 8.4.4 Foaming with brine/condensate mixtures Effect of condensate (aromatic) fraction Effect of brine 8.5 Operating Considerations 8.5.1 Surfactant selection 8.5.2 Bureau of Mines testing procedures 8.5.3 Unloading techniques and equipment Batch treatment Continuous treatment 8.5.4 Determining surface surfactant concentration 8.5.6 Chemical treatment problems Emulsion problems Foam carryover 8.6 Summary 8.7 References

Chapter 9: Hydraulic Pumps 9.1 Introduction 9.2 Advantages and Disadvantages 9.3 The 1 ¼" Jet Pump 9.4 System Comparative Costs 9.5 Hydraulic Pump Case Histories 9.6 Summary 9.7 References

Chapter 10: Use of Beam Pumps to De-Liquefy Gas Wells 10.1 Introduction 10.2 Basics of Beam Pump Operation 10.3 Pump-Off Control 10.3.1 Design rate with pump-off control 10.3.2 Use of surface indications for pump-off control 10.4 Gas Separation to Keep Gas Out Of the Pump 10.4.1 Set pump below the perforations 10.4.2 "Poor-boy", or limited-entry gas separator 10.4.3 Collar sized separator 10.5 Handling Gas through the Pump 10.5.1 Compression ratio 10.5.2 Variable slippage pump to prevent gas lock 10.5.3 Pump compression with dual chambers 10.5.4 Pumps that open the traveling valve mechanically 10.5.5 Pumps to take the fluid load off the traveling valve 10.6 Inject Liquids below a Packer 10.7 Other Problems Indicated By the Shape of the Pump Card 10.8. Summary 10.9 References

Chapter 11: Gas Lift 11.1 Introduction 11.2 Continuous Gas Lift 11.2.1 Basic principles of continuous gas lift 11.3 Intermittent Gas Lift 11.4 Gas Lift System Components 11.5 Continuous Gas Lift Design Objectives 11.6 Gas Lift Valves 11.6.1 Orifice valves 11.6 2 Injection pressure operated (IPO) valves 11.6.3 Production pressure operated (PPO) valves 11.7 Gas Lift Completions 11.7.1 Conventional gas lift design 11.7.2 Chamber lift installations 11.7.3 Horizontal well installations 11.7.4 Coiled tubing gas lift completions 11.7.5 A gas pump concept 11.7.6 Gas circulation 11.8 Gas Lift without Gas Lift Valves 11.9 Summary 11.10 References

Chapter 12: Electrical Submersible Pumps 12.1 Introduction 12.2 The ESP System 12.3 What Is A "Gassy" Well? 12.4 Completions and Separators 12.5 Injection of Produced Water 12.6 Summary 12.7 References

Chapter 13: Progressive Cavity Pumps 13.1 Introduction 13.2 PCP System Selection 13.2.1 Rotor 13.2.2 Stator 13.2.3 Surface drive 13.3 Selection and Operational Factors 13.3.1 Important factors for sizing the system 13.3.2 Steps to size the PCP 13.4 Ancillary Equipment 13.4.1 Flow detection devices Flow meters Differential pressure switches Thermal dispersion devices 13.4.2 Rod guides 13.4.3 Gas separators 13.4.4 Tubing anchor/catcher 13.5 Trouble Shooting PCP Systems 13.6 Summary 13.7 References

Chapter 14: Other Methods to Attack Liquid Loading Problems 14.1 Introduction 14.2 Thermal Methods for Water of Condensation 14.2.1 Thermal lift 14.2.1 Thermal liner 14.2.3 Thermal Coating 14.2.4 With Packer Installed, Draw a Vacuum on the Annulus 14.3 Cycling 14.4 Tubing/Annulus Switching Control 14.5 Tubing Flow Control 14.6 Tubing Collar Inserts for Producing Below Critical Velocity 14.7 Summary 14.8 References

Appendix A: Development of Critical Velocity Equations A.1 Introduction A.2 Equation Simplification A.3 Turner Equations A.4 Coleman et al. Equations A.5 References

Appendix B: Development of Plunger Lift Equations B.1 Introduction B.2 Minimum Casing Pressure B.3 Maximum Casing Pressure B.4 Summary B.5 References

Appendix C: Gas Fundamentals C.1 Introduction C.2 Phase Diagram C3 Gas Apparent Molecular Weight and Specific Gravity C.4 Gas Law C.5 Z Factor C.6 Gas Formation Volume Factor C.7 Pressure Increase in Static Column of Gas C.8 Calculate the Pressure Drop in Flowing Dry Gas Well: Cullender and Smith Method C.9 Pressure Drop in a Gas Well Producing Liquids C.10 Gas Well Deliverability Expressions C.10.1 Backpressure equation C.10.2 Darcy equation C.11 References


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© Gulf Professional Publishing 2003
Gulf Professional Publishing
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About the Author

James Lea

James F. Lea, Jr. is the Chair of the Petroleum Engineering Department of Texas Tech University, where he has taught since 1999. Previous to his teaching experience, Dr. Lea worked in the industry for 20 years for Amoco as a special research associate and team leader of the Optimization and Production Group. He taught at the University of Arkansas from 1975 to 1978, and, before that, he worked as a senior research engineer at the famed Sun Oil Company in Richardson, Texas. Dr. Lea holds 8 patents and has co-authored 2 books, including one from Pennwell, and has himself authored numerous articles.

Affiliations and Expertise

Chair of Petroleum Engineering Department, Texas Tech University

Henry Nickens

Affiliations and Expertise


Mike Wells

Urgentiste, Professeur et consultant, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Witwatersrand, et Netcare Union Hospital Emergency Department, Johannesbourg, Afrique du Sud

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor and Chairman, Department of Pathology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK PLUERE Inc., CO, USA Specialist Emergency Physician, Lecturer and Consultant, Director of Emergency Ultrasound Training, Division of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Netcare Union Hospital Emergency Department, Johannesburg, South Africa


"...the only book in the market that offers a turnkey solution to the problem of liquid interference in gas wells.…It is a useful book for every engineer, scientist, and researcher who has ever faced the challenge of investigating gas well production and optimization. I will recommend that if you work in the artificial lift, gas field and well optimization area, you have this practical reference available." Saeid Mokhatab Chairman of Natural Gas Engineering Editorial Advisory Board Gas Well Deliquification by Professor James F. Lea, et al., introduces the subject of liquid loading problems and discusses how to distinguish them from other possible well problems. The book covers the methods of solving the problems, how to apply the various solutions, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. It describes various methods of dewatering gas wells, comparing them and explaining the suitability of each under particular circumstances. The material is presented as practical information that can be immediately applied, rather than simply theory. Useful historical methods are discribed, but the focus is on the latest techniques. Solutions range from simple application of smaller ID tubing to complex artificial-lift methods.-World Oil, February 2007