Impact of Gas Lift Design in Unconventional Wells - A Delaware Basin Operator's Perspective

Kannan, Subash K (Anadarko) | Boyer, Matthew (Anadarko) | Dufresne, Jeff (Anadarko) | Gonzalez, Luis E. (Xenon Lift Services)

OnePetro 

Gas lift is becoming a predominant, intermediate term, artificial lift system in the Delaware and other basins. Besides the proper selection and management of the gas lift systems, design methodology is still a challenge due to the drastic change in flow conditions in the transient phase. The main objective of this paper is to develop a new methodology to design and optimize gas lift wells in unconventional reservoirs. A case study is provided to review, model, and analyze the current design over different stages of the well's production life. Consequently, application of new designs over different stages of the well's life will be implemented using a performance comparison which includes production and unloading scenarios. Actual well data will be used along with steady-state and dynamic modeling for unloading and production performance estimation. The models will be evaluated using actual data to perform history matching over different stages of the well's production life. This evaluation will also answer the following questions: Is the use of conventional mandrels the best option for these types of wells? Are the number of mandrels deployed using the traditional design methodology the correct solution? Are the tools used to design and analyze these types of wells sufficient? Most importantly, is more data required to create a better design and analysis? Also, this study compares the existing design to modified designs and justifies how the later could perform better. Integration of all data sources including historical performance, flowing bottom hole pressure, inferred dynamic IPR data, and the use of dynamic and nodal analysis tools for modeling while varying production conditions and unloading scenarios.