Artificial Lift Technologies for Production Optimisation

Course Outline


  • The life of the well: natural flow, leveraging well energy, adding energy
  • When is artificial lift needed?
  • Physical choices for how to lift liquids to surface
  • Lift technologies characteristics: plunger lift, foam lift, gas lift, rod lift, PCP, ESP, hydraulic lift
  • Production optimisation as a process

Reciprocating Rod Lift

  • Operating principles
  • Application limits
  • Components: rod pumps, rod strings (sucker rods, continuous rods), pumping units, VSDs, dynamometer cards, gas anchors

Progressing Cavity Pumps

  • Operating principles
  • Application limits
  • Components: pumps; drive-heads
    • Special configurations: charge/recirculation pumps, bottom-drive pumps (ESPCP), elastomerless (metal-to-metal)

Gas Lift

  • Operating principles: continuous flow and intermittent flow
  • Application limits
  • Components: mandrels; valves; running/retrieving tools
  • Optimizing gas lift

Electric Submersible Pumps

  • Operating principles
  • Application limits
  • Components: pumps (radial flow, mixed flow, multiphase), gas separators, motor seals, motors, power cable, surface equipment, complex configurations

Hydraulic Lift

  • Jet pumps
    • Operating principles
    • Application limits
    • Special applications: frac flow-back, formation powered pumps
  • Hydraulic piston pumps
    • Operating principles
    • Application limits

Plunger lift

  • Operating principles
  • Application limits
  • Components: plungers (pad, brush, solid ring, bypass), downhole assembly, surface lubricator, controllers
  • Special configurations: progressive (multiple) plunger systems

Gas Well Deliquification

  • Flow regimes
  • Velocity strings and dead strings
  • Surfactant/foam
  • Capillary systems
    • Special applications: long producing intervals, extended reach gas lift (beyond a packer)

Class exercise: 3 application examples for the class to select appropriate lift systems

Emerging Technologies: technologies on the horizon


Bill Lane

Bill Lane is vice president of Emerging Technologies for Weatherford Artificial Lift Systems and a member of the Weatherford Unconventional Resources Team. He has been with Weatherford and the former EVI for 19 years in various executive positions, including vice presidential positions over the Progressing Cavity Pump Business Unit, the Elastomers Business Unit, Artificial Lift Systems Engineering, Compression Equipment, and Completion Equipment.  Before joining Weatherford in 1994, Lane managed various engineering and manufacturing operations in the United States and internationally for Halliburton Energy Services. In 2003 he was the recipient of a Harts E&P Special Meritorious Award for Engineering Innovation. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering and an MS in mechanical engineering design, both from the University of Texas at Arlington. Lane has 37 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.