Conventional artificial lift systems are limited in their application by depth, borehole trajectory and chemistry of the produced media. This paper presents a concentric tubular pumping system, combined with an efficient hydraulic pump to overcome the limitations of existing artificial lift systems and to assure a cost-effective production.
This pumping system consists of a specially designed plunger assembly and barrel combination, which is driven by a hydraulic pressure unit from the surface without any mechanical connection. The hydraulic pump itself can be circulated into and out of the borehole or can be run by slickline, resulting in fast and low-cost operations. The pump is designed to be run as a concentric tubular pumping system with several advantages, especially in enhanced oil recovery and unloading of gas well operations. This new pump type is designed and manufactured in cooperation with the industry and tested at the Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria.
The performance tests have demonstrated the saving potential regarding energy efficiency as well as a reduction in CAPEX and OPEX. The unique design of this pump owns a very low number of moving parts, such no mechanical connection to the surface, and such providing minimal exposure to wear and corrosion. Tests have shown that the pump is very adaptable regarding production rate, which requires just a change in surface hydraulic pressure. Based on experience the concentric tubular pumping system is the best selection for unloading of gas wells to enhance the lifetime of the completions. As a result, of the natural phase separation of liquids and gases, the presented pumping system has shown to be the ideal choice for the usage in all types of wells.
This completely new pump type exceeds the performance of existing artificial lift systems for unloading of gas wells, increases the mean time between failures and reduces the lifting costs essentially. These major issues are most important in times of low gas price.