Intelligent Gas Lift - Benefits over Traditional Gas
Lift Valves and First Installation Results from Oman
Peter Watson, Camcon Oil
Cameron Laing, LETS Ltd
For decades, gas lift optimization has proved to be one of the most rewarding and yet one of the most
frustrating forms of artificial lift optimization.
While optimizing gas lift operations is amongst the cheapest and most effective ways of making
significant production gains, due to gas lift’s versatility in a wide range of well conditions, gas lift’s
ability to handle high volume and HT/HP wells and deeper gas injection in the tubing as well as
change the depth of injection and gas allocation has proved to be notoriously difficult.
Reasons are a weak equipment and operational design and its labour intensive nature where, in the
case of side pocket mandrel-related gas lift, wireline interventions are required to change depth and
port size. There is also the lack of real-time access to pressure and temperature information at the
point of gas injection. The result is that operators are left facing frequent wireline problems and having
to make assumptions about field conditions, such as reservoir pressures, temperatures and flow
rates, and then determine their gas lift design and strategies accordingly.
In this presentation, Peter Watson from Camcon Oil will introduce a new digital approach to gas lift
and will reference recent experiences from its first deployment on an onshore well in Oman.
Peter will be supported by independent gas lift consultant, Cameron Laing, who will examine the
market as a whole, the limitations of traditional gas lift valves (using examples from the North Sea)
and conventional valve operating limits, and the need for injection rate flexibility. Cameron will also
introduce the Gas Lift Rate Stability Concept and stress the need for surface controlled, multi-ported,
solenoid operated gas lift valves.
The presentation will also look at a new digital solution based on Camcon’s Binary Actuation
Technology, consisting of a low energy pulse control that signals to switch an actuator between two
stable positions to digitally operate a valve. In this way, the solution eliminates the need for side
mandrel units and wireline intervention processes to initiate gas injection changes and also allows
operators to vary injection rates and depth in real-time without production interruption and well
intervention. Peter will provide an outline of the solution and its application in single subsea wells,
multi-well onshore fields, dual gas lift completions, and deepwater wells.
In the case of Oman, the deployment of the intelligent gas lift method is part of a normal work over
program for a high productivity well where the new technology is being used to improve the
production performance of the well and has seen 3 months continuous operation to date.
Although a test installation, the equipment has been selected as the chosen method of lifting for the
well. In his part of the presentation, Peter will discuss experiences and challenges from the installation
and how these will influence the next stage of commercial development and roll-out.
The paper will be of interest to all operators and gas lift specialists looking for greater control over gas
lift operations and looking for scenarios where operators can access variable operating valve
combinations, where decisions and modifications can be made in real-time without the need for
intervention, and where threats to productions and well instability can be pre-empted.