Artificial lift R&D Council gas lift workshop. (March 2014)

Exxon on gas lift optimization potential. Petrobras’ Fortran/Python models. OVS for Wintershall.

The 37th annual ASME/ALRDC international gas-lift workshop held last month in Houston underscored the growing use of IT in modeling complex gas lift operations. In his keynote, ExxonMobil’s Mark Agnew revealed that around one third of Exxon’s worldwide wells, producing almost one million barrels per day, are gas lifted, and most of these have optimization potential. Exxon’s global artificial lift center of expertise is using CO2 tracers to analyze wells in real time. Exxon’s current focus is on optimizing its top tier gas lift wells.

Researchers from Petrobras and Brazil’s Unicamp research faculty presented a decade-long R&D program on a combined experimental and numerical simulator for intermittent gas-lift, a technique that is widely used in Brazil’s low pressure mature fieldst. Full physics models have been developed for key well components such as casing, gas core, liquid slug and more—a nonlinear system of some 20 plus equations. The modular codes were implemented in Fortran 90 and run under a graphical user interface developed in Python and the PySide/Qt library.

A joint presentation from OVS Group and Wintershall Libya showed how OVS’ ‘One virtual source’ product was used to fix data gathering and model calibration issues prior to a gas lift optimization and automation program. Solutions were developed for back allocation, virtual metering and optimization. More from OVS. Read the ALRDC presentations.

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