Well Head Compression for Marginal/Low Producing Wells
Gas-Assisted Plunger Lift (GAPL)
Plunger Lift is a versatile and commonly used form of Artificial Lift that relies on the gas-liquid ratio (GLR) to lift liquids from the well to the surface. As the well's pressure declines, compressors are utilized to inject gas down the annulus resulting in reduced tubing pressure, lower formation back pressure, and increased well production. Wells with low gas-liquid ratios (GLR) can significantly benefit from compressor injected gas to improve plunger lifting capabilities and maximize production or overall fluid recovery. Lower GLR wells typically have a lower bottom-hole pressure, require less injection gas to assist the plunger, and reduce the horsepower and discharge pressure requirements.
The compressor intermittently injects gas as needed to assist the plunger in lifting fluids to the surface. As production decreases and the well loads, the plunger falls, and gas is injected into the annulus, raising the pressure and lifting the plunger back to the top of the well, and production resumes.
Gas Lift is widely used in the industry and is one of the most preferred Artificial Lift methods. Typically, multiple gas lift valves are placed at varying depths attached to the production tubing. Compression is integral in the gas lift process and is usually used in conjunction. By optimizing the overall artificial-lift system and a gas-lift design used in conjunction with a gas lift compressor, higher production rates can be observed.
Many Gas Lift wells are produced with supplemented continuous-flow gas injection from another source, such as a compressor. In these wells, gas is continuously injected into the production tubing to assist in reducing the bottom-hole pressure at the tubing and allowing the fluid to flow into the well. Compressors provide an important component to assist in the well's overall production rates and success. Larger horsepower units are also used on multi-well pad locations to provide a single source of compressed lift gas.