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Intermittent Gas Lift for Liquid Loaded Horizontal Gas Wells

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Course Credit: 0.15 CEU, 1.5 PDH

As the reservoir pressure drops in the vicinities of a gas well, the produced gas loses its ability to drag liquids to surface. This results in the accumulation of liquid in the bottom of the well, casing a flow assurance problem known as “liquid buildup”. Slugging patterns in the production profile of the well become accentuated and the volume of the produced hydrocarbons reduces with time down to unprofitable levels. Conventional artificial lift methods fail to remove the stagnant liquid in a sustainable and efficient manner, mostly because of their vertical well oriented original design and the large presence of gas and dispersed solids.

As an alternative solution to this problem, this work proposes a method called Backsweep, which relies on the use of intermittent gas injection in the horizontal section of the well. Contrary to conventional gas lift, this method uses low volumetric gas rates at large gas injection pressure across a simplified valve system, based on the principles on chamber lift. The objective is to remove the stagnant liquid in a controlled blowout, to regain the flow of gas to surface. Results obtained in an experimental flowloop, using a prototype model with water and compressed air, show liquid removal efficiencies (i.e., produced liquid volume / stagnant liquid volume) of about 75%. The liquid removal efficiency was improved by using different substances (Sucrose, xanthan gum and sodium chloride at different concentrations), to increase the surface tension between the injected gas and the stagnant liquid and improve the sweeping effect of the injected gas.

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Course Chapters

  • 1Intermittent Gas Lift for Liquid Loaded Horizontal Gas Wells - Chapter 1
    Media Type: Video


Earn credits by completing this course0.15 CEU credit1.5 PDH credits


Daniel Croce