Examinations of the performance of a gas lift for oil well production
Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering and Engineering Technology, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria; School of Geography, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
Gas lift is a method of artificial lift that uses an external source of high pressure gas for supplementing formation gas to lift the well fluids. The primary limitations for gas lift operations are the lack of formation gas or of an outside source of gas, wide well spacing and available space for compressors on offshore platforms. Generally, gas lift is not applicable to single-well installations and widely spaced wells that are not suited for a centrally located power system. Gas lift can intensify the problems associated with production of viscous crude, super-saturated brine, or an emulsion. Old casing, sour gas and long, small-internal diameter flow lines can rule out gas lift operations. Wet gas without dehydration will reduce the reliability of gas lift operations. A model relating the factors affecting potential production rate along the tubing of a gas lift oil well was developed to optimize production using analytical approach. Modified Darcy equation was employed alongside some other equation of flow such as Fanning's equation, Reynolds' equation and a host of others which resulted in the developed model equation. Data from four wells were used in applying the model equation and it was found that, for the four wells and the square of the velocity of oil flow is equal to the oil production rate and both vary directly with the difference in pressure between the reservoir and the well bore. This implies, the lower the well bore pressure the higher the oil production rate and oil velocity. © 2006-2011 Asian Research Publishing Network (ARPN).