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					                                                                                         Plunger Lift
                                                                         Plunger Lift Applications



                       A plunger-lift system is a low-cost, efficient method of increasing and
                       optimizing production in oil and gas wells, which have marginal flow
                       characteristics.

                       Functionally, it provides a mechanical interface between the produced
                       liquids and gas. Using the well's own energy for lift, liquids are pushed to
                       the surface by the movement of a free-traveling piston (plunger) traveling
                       from the bottom of the well to the surface. This mechanical interface
                       eliminates liquid fallback, thus boosting the well's lifting efficiency. In turn,
                       the reduction of average flowing bottomhole pressure increases inflow.




Plunger travel is normally provided by formation gas stored in the casing annulus during a shut-
in period. As the well is opened and the tubing pressure is allowed to decrease, the stored
casing gas moves around the end of the tubing and pushes the plunger to the surface. This
intermittent operation can be repeated several times per day. Plunger-lift is especially
appropriate in these four applications:



Gas Wells

Eliminates liquid loading. As production velocity drops, wells tend to be less efficient in carrying
their own liquids to the surface. The introduction of a plunger in this type well re-establishes the
original production decline curve, increasing the economic life of the well. At the same time, it
generally reduces the volume of injection gas required.

High Ratio Oil Wells

Increases the economic life of this type well. By producing the well in an intermittent fashion, the
wells own energy can be used. The need for other, more costly, lifting options can be
eliminated.


Your Specialists in Optimized Pumping Systems                                          510, 407 – 2nd Street SW
                                                                                          Calgary, AB T2P 2Y3
                                                                       Tel: (403) 234-7033 Fax: (403) 234-7014
                                 Drayton Valley (780) 542-5419
                                 Edmonton (780) 462-7124                         Grande Prairie (780) 830-2475
                                 Slave Lake (780) 849-6822                         Peace River (780) 624-0035
                                 Red Deer (403) 356-9774                          Fort St. John (250) 262-2019
                                                                                       Plunger Lift
                                                                      Plunger Lift Applications



Intermittent Gas Lift Wells

Most intermittent gas-lift wells suffer from liquid fallback. This fallback tends to increase the
average flowing bottomhole pressure, thus reducing production. With the plunger serving as a
mechanical interface, liquids cannot fall back, but are all brought to the surface.

Paraffin and Hydrate Control

Most plungers have sealing elements that make contact with the inside walls of the tubing. As
the plunger travels from the bottom of a well to the surface, the tubing is kept wiped clean,
therefore eliminating the buildup or accumulation of paraffin, hydrates, scale, etc.



The installation of a Prime Pump plunger lift system serves as
a cost effective alternative to other technologies and yields
significant, economical and environmental benefits. The
extent and nature of the benefits depends on the old liquid
removal system that the plunger lift is replacing. Some typical
benefits include:


Lower Capital Cost vs. Installing Beam Lift Equipment
The costs of installing and maintaining a plunger lift are
generally lower than the cost to install and maintain a beam
pumping unit

Lower Well Maintenance and Fewer Remedial Treatments
Overall well maintenance costs are reduced because periodic remedial treatments such as
swabbing or well blow downs are reduced or no longer required with a plunger lift system.

Continuous Production Improves Gas Production Rates and Increases Efficiency
Plunger lift systems can conserve the wells lifting energy and increase gas production. Regular
fluid removal allows the well to produce gas continuously and prevent fluid loading that
periodically halts gas production or kills the well. Often, the continuous removal of fluids results
in daily gas production rates that are higher than the production rates prior to the plunger lift
installation.




Your Specialists in Optimized Pumping Systems                                        510, 407 – 2nd Street SW
                                                                                        Calgary, AB T2P 2Y3
                                                                     Tel: (403) 234-7033 Fax: (403) 234-7014
                                Drayton Valley (780) 542-5419
                                Edmonton (780) 462-7124                        Grande Prairie (780) 830-2475
                                Slave Lake (780) 849-6822                        Peace River (780) 624-0035
                                Red Deer (403) 356-9774                         Fort St. John (250) 262-2019
                                                                                     Plunger Lift
                                                                    Plunger Lift Applications


Reduced Paraffin and Scale Buildup
In wells where paraffin or scale buildup is a problem, the mechanical action of the plunger
running up and down the tubing may prevent particulate build up inside the tubing. As a result,
the need for chemical or swabbing treatments may be reduced or eliminated. Many different
types of plungers are manufactured with scraping performance.

Other Economic Benefits
In calculating the economic benefits of plunger lifts, the average savings from avoided
emissions are only one of many factors to consider in the analysis. Additional savings may
result from the salvage value of surplus production equipment and the associated reduction in
electricity and work over costs. Furthermore, wells that move fluids continuously out of the well
bore have the potential to produce more desirable product.




Prime Pump Industries is a master distributor of:

Your Specialists in Optimized Pumping Systems                                      510, 407 – 2nd Street SW
                                                                                      Calgary, AB T2P 2Y3
                                                                   Tel: (403) 234-7033 Fax: (403) 234-7014
                                Drayton Valley (780) 542-5419
                                Edmonton (780) 462-7124                      Grande Prairie (780) 830-2475
                                Slave Lake (780) 849-6822                      Peace River (780) 624-0035
                                Red Deer (403) 356-9774                       Fort St. John (250) 262-2019

				
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posted:5/17/2011
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