The undulating trajectories common to horizontal wells are the source of one of their greatest pain points—gas slugs. When these fast-moving accumulations reach the internals of an artificial lift system, a best case result may be a momentary pause in production. On the other hand, a gas slug could represent the bitter end for a lift system that may have cost an operator a sum in the low six figures.
The problem has been serious enough to drive operators in the Permian Basin to adopt an artificial lift strategy not historically used there. Manufacturers have responded to the challenge by trying to make pumps more slug-tolerant, while others are marketing automatic shutdown systems for asset protection.
HEAL Systems has taken a different tact with a technology that it says removes slugging from the production equation by separating the horizontal from the vertical well sections and regulating the flow between them. The emerging innovation is called a horizontal-enhanced artificial lift (HEAL) system. It has no moving parts, and can be connected to any variant of lift system....
With Over 200 Shale Well Installs, This Slug-Smoothing Lift Technology Is Boosted By Schlumberger JV
Trent Jacobs, JPT Digital Editor
15 June 2017