Balancing Artificial Lift, Chemical Injection To Achieve Production Goals Over Life of Well
- Rainer Phelps (Baker Hughes)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- October 2015
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 28 - 30
- 2015. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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Production engineers are often asked to manage both the artificial lift (AL) system and the upstream chemical injection program for a project. Frequently the two services are managed separately, without considering the implications of each on the achievement of targeted levels of high-quality fluid production over the life of the well. For example, how do chemical treatments for scale, asphaltenes, and paraffin affect the AL system? How does one maintain integrity while protecting the AL system metallurgy from corrosion?
One answer is to look at production holistically in an approach called production enrichment to determine what is necessary to meet production objectives without jeopardizing the electrical submersible pump (ESP) equipment. This approach requires
- Integrating chemical and AL expertise to understand the chemical composition of fluid streams and their effect on the AL system, and to deploy the best solution for chemical injection and AL
- Meeting production levels and fluid quality objectives over the life of the well
- Avoiding nonproductive time, well intervention, and equipment replacement costs
- Confirming safety and environmental sustainability
The first step in production enrichment is analyzing the fluids and operational parameters of the well to fully understand the reservoir and wellbore challenges, and the production system requirements. The fluid analysis and production operation assessment confirm that the chemical treatment addresses the production fluid challenges and the AL system metallurgy.
Integrated, remote monitoring and automation of the upstream chemical program and the AL system help ensure that chemical injection rates remain at optimal levels and the AL system remains unencumbered by scale, asphaltenes, or paraffin, and runs at its best efficiency point (Fig. 1). Additionally, remote monitoring and automation substantially reduce trips to wellsites to check chemical tank levels and artificial lift parameters.
An integrated incident review and analysis process optimizes field management. Safety and environmental sustainability are enhanced, and health, safety, and environmental risk is mitigated, by using chemistries specifically designed to minimize the environmental impact of production operations, and by safer AL systems that have less potential for surface leaks and emissions.
Operators are reaping the benefits of production enrichment in applications ranging from enhanced oil recovery (EOR) CO2 flooding to shale plays and ultradeepwater.
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