Gas Well Deliquification

Gas Well Deliquification

Solutions to Gas Well Liquid Loading Problems

1st Edition - July 21, 2003

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  • Authors: James Lea, Henry Nickens, Mike Wells
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080477985

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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

Product details

  • No. of pages: 314
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Gulf Professional Publishing 2003
  • Published: July 21, 2003
  • Imprint: Gulf Professional Publishing
  • eBook ISBN: 9780080477985

About the Authors

James Lea

James F. Lea, Jr. is currently an independent consultant for both academic and corporate facilities aiding in production projects and teaching seminars. He was previously the Chair of the petroleum engineering department of Texas Tech University, where he 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, has co-authored 2 books, and was awarded the SPE Lifetime Achievement Award as a "Legend of Artificial Lift". Dr. Lea earned a BSME and MSME from the University of Arkansas and a PhD from Southern Methodist University. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engieers and ASME.

Affiliations and Expertise

Independent Consultant, PLTech LLC, Texas, USA

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

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  • Anonymous Thu Nov 01 2018

    Great Book!

    This book is very educational; I learned a lot about the de-watering process! Nevermind that I didn't read it, but I'm sure if I did, it wouldn't be too hard of a read. Easy to get through, too! Great job!