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ARTIFICIAL LIFT

Most oil wells and even a few gas wells will probably require some sort of artificial lift
before abandonment. Reservoir pressure normally declines andor watercut increases wit!
a decrease in gas" liquid ratio# w!ic! reduces t!e drawdown and t!e flow rate until t!e
well ceases to flow. In some cases# artificial lift is installed before t!e well dies in order
to increase drawdown and t!us increase production.
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$election of t!e artificial lift met!od is very important to future profitability. In suc! a
selection# t!e t!ree ma(or economic factors in order of importance are )
Revenue due to oil and gas production
&pening cost
T!e initial capital cost
T!e lift s!ould produce t!e reserves in a timely fas!ion wit! minimum operating costs.
An efficient system is normally wort! some additional capital cost.
Ma*ing a bad selection will adversely effect t!e net income may even result in !aving
to c!ange to a different type of artificial lift. Ma*ing a bad selection will adversely effect
t!e net income and may event result in !aving to c!ange to a different type of artificial
lift.
T!e initial capital cost estimate s!ould be easy and s!ould be relatively accurate. A
production rate prediction over t!e well life for t!e specific lift met!od is required. A low
rate met!od suc! as suc*er rod pumping may result in a flat production rate life for some
time period followed by an e+ponential decline. A good price estimate for future oil and
gas production is essential.
T!e most difficult part of t!e artificial lift analysis is obtaining good operating cost data
over t!e well life. %nergy cost can be easily estimated# but repair and maintenance cost
very significantly. Analog data from similar wells s!ould be used if at all possible. ,it!
above data - plus assumption on salvage values# inflation# and ta+es " t!e profitability of
t!e specific artificial lift met!od can be estimated.