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Flow Assurance Principles Applied to Unconventional Gas Well Deliquification

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Course Credit: 0.1 CEU, 1 PDH

The lateral section in the horizontal wells used to develop unconventional reservoirs is analogous to a surface flowline. In the case to the well, the lateral reaches out into the reservoir a mile or more to access reserves and deliver production to the well. At the surface, flow assurance disciplines are employed to ensure adequate performance of a flowline/pipeline. It is only logical that these principles be applied to the downhole horizontal lateral.

Many operators are drilling toe up laterals. One thought behind this is the water will drain to the heel where it can be pumped from the well. The resulting multiphase flow scenario results in a situation where undersaturated natural gas in contact with water in the lateral can result in significant vaporization of the free water. The resulting concentrated salts can result in salt/scale deposits that could block the lateral. Traps along the lateral are a likely location for this to occur. Most of the wells have multiple traps along the lateral and the fraction of the lateral beyond the first trap from the heel can be significant. Given the projected long life of the well and the need to operate at low bottomhole pressure, a flow assurance problem results requiring more than a simple deliquification strategy.

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Course Chapters

  • 1Flow Assurance Principles Applied to Unconventional Gas Well Deliquification - Chapter 1
    Media Type: Video


Earn credits by completing this course0.1 CEU credit1 PDH credit


Rob Sutton