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Artificial Lift

Why do we need it?


How does it work?
Whats in it for us?

Objectives
At the end of the session, you should be able
to:
Describe what artificial lift is
Describe alternative artificial lift techniques
and how they work
List the advantages & disadvantages of each
system

Artificial Lift
Why do we need it?
How does it work?
Whats in it for us?

Objectives
At the end of the session, you should be able
to:
Describe what artificial lift is
Describe alternative artificial lift techniques
and how they work
List the advantages & disadvantages of each
system

Artificial Lift
Artificial lift is the process by which oil
wells are assisted to flow, when the
reservoir pressure is not sufficient to lift the
wells naturally.
i.e. a well is lifted artificially

Pressure Losses In Oil Production

Main Types of Artificial Lift

Gaslift
Beam Pumps
Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESP)
Hydraulic Pumps

Gaslift
Process by which gas is injected into the
tubing, to reduce the hydrostatic head and
thus reduce the bottomhole following
pressure.
Gaslift can be continuous (most common)
or intermittent
Gas is injected through gas lift valves, set in
side pocket mandrels

Gas Lifted
Well

Kick-off (Continuous)

Gas Lift
Advantages
No volume constraints
No solids problems
Low life cycle cost
No deviation constraints
No GOR limits

Disadvantages
Requires high pressure gas
Inefficient at low rates
Limited drawdown
capability
Requires integral casing
Safety aspects of high
pressure gas

Beam Pumping
Also known as rod pumping or sucker-rod
pumping and recognised by nodding donkeys
As motor turns at surface, the horse head moves
up and down, reciprocating downhole pump
On upstroke, travelling valve closes, standing
valve opens - oil enters well and is lifted to surface
On downstroke, travelling valve opens, standing
valve closes - oil is driven above the travelling
valve in the tubing

Beam Pumping
Advantages
Simple system
Reliable
Very low pressures
achievable
Flexible
Cheap
Easy pump
replacement

Disadvantages
Deviation limited
Cannot handle high
amounts of solids or high
GOR
Depth limit (2000m)
Cannot be used offshore
Obtrusive
Cannot handle high rates

Electrical Submersible Pumps


Rotating impeller pumps submerged in the
well and driven by an electric motor
Each pump can be designed specifically for
rates and pressures in a specific well
Once in place, rate can be varied by
adjusting power to motor

ESP with
Y-Tool

Electrical Submersible Pumps


Advantages
Can handle high
volumes
Unobtrusive
Simple to operate
No deviation problem
Cheap
Rapid hook-up

Disadvantages
Requires source of
electricity
Impractical in shallow, low
rate wells
Electric cable unreliable
Cannot handle high
amounts of solids or high
GOR
Inflexible
Minimum rate 25m3/d

Hydraulic Pumping
Pump a hydraulic fluid (dead oil) downhole to an
engine, which drives a pump and both fluids
return to surface
Pump is run on tubing or can be set in tubing
Similar system called the Jet pump has no
moving parts and converts pressure into kinetic
energy through a nozzle (Bernouille Principle)

Hydraulic Pumping
Hydraulic Pumping
System

Jet Pump

Hydraulic Pumps

Hydraulic Pumping
Advantages
No depth limit
No deviation problem
Unobtrusive
Flexible
Easy pump changeout
Low pressures
achievable

Disadvantages
Requires power fluid
Cannot handle high
amounts of solids or
high GOR

Selection of Artificial Lift


Main considerations include:
Reservoir parameters (pressure, PI, water cut,
sand, GOR)
Well parameters (deviation, completion design)
Location (onshore/offshore)
Cost
Reliability
Local experience, availability of resources,
workover possibilities, standardisation

Summary
Defined what artificial lift is
Discussed the 4 main types used

Gaslift
Beam Pumps
Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESP)
Hydraulic Pumps

Listed the advantages & disadvantages of


each system