Artificial-Lift-System Selection Guidelines for Horizontal Gas Wells

Topics: Artificial lift
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Many different artificial-lift systems (ALSs) are used in horizontal gas wells. Basically, most of them were adopted and evolved from those used in oil wells. This study presents a methodology to define the most-adequate artificial-lift technique on the basis of technical limitations, a suitability coefficient (based on an attributes table), and economic analysis toward horizontal well configuration.


The objective of the ALS in gas wells is to remove liquid from the wellbore, which is referred to as deliquification. The ALSs or deliquification techniques can be categorized into two groups, passive systems and active systems. Passive systems take advantage of reservoir energy. These ALSs include velocity strings, plunger lift, and foam lift. These methods are used when the gas velocity is insufficient to carry liquid naturally from the wellbore but sufficient energy remains in the reservoir to operate the method. The active systems include sucker-rod pump, progressing-cavity pump, electrical submersible pump, jet pump, and wellhead compressors. These methods add energy to the system and are generally used when the reservoir is depleted.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 181229, “Defining the Artificial-Lift-System Selection Guidelines for Horizontal Wells,” by J. Valbuena, E. Pereyra, SPE, and C. Sarica, SPE, The University of Tulsa, prepared for the 2016 SPE North American Artificial Lift Conference and Exhibition, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 25–27 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Artificial-Lift-System Selection Guidelines for Horizontal Gas Wells

01 July 2017

Volume: 69 | Issue: 7