The challenges of producing and lifting unconventional oil and gas economically is probably the most daunting phase of unconventional oil and gas development. The traditional approach of lift selection is no longer sufficient to manage unconventional wells effectively, with high decline rates between 40 and 80% in the first year. This paper presents an artificial-lift selection process to maximize the value of unconventional oil and gas assets.
As the industry began developing unconventional oil and gas, the only options available for lift were the traditional artificial-lift systems that were developed for conventional oil and gas applications. These were adopted and applied to unconventional wells without major changes in technology or application. The result was obvious; lift systems that had performed efficiently in various environments and well conditions for decades struggled to work well in this new unconventional application.
This paper presents some of the lessons learned and a holistic approach to artificial-lift selection strategy. The presentation includes a case study from the Permian Delaware Basin unconventional formations. The lift-evaluation process, which considers a combination of reservoir-fluid properties and well performance, was used to analyze the effect of various artificial-lift selection options on well value.
The paper describes the three distinct and important periods of unconventional-well life and the effective artificial-lift systems applicable during each period. An artificial-lift system is phased over the life of the well on the basis of current and expected production-rate requirements and lift-method capability....
Artificial-Lift Selection Strategy To Maximize Value of Unconventional Oil and Gas Assets
01 July 2017