Conventional ball valve systems and insert-guided cages compromise performance due to gas interference, solids accumulation, and ball vibration that shortens the life and efficiency of conventional traveling and standing valve cages. The analysis of the flow profile around a common ball valve resulted in the design of a new proprietary pump system that maximizes fluid flow, creating a vortex profile that extends service life while increasing production.

The proprietary vortex fluid pump system was compared against conventional inserts during in-house testing and in a laboratory flow loop. Minimum to maximum flow rates were digitally measured to calculate the pressure drop at each flow rate with and without injecting gas. The transparent flow loop tubing allowed a visual qualitative assessment of fluid flow.

During laboratory testing, conventional inserts measured high ball vibration with excessive pressure drop. The proprietary vortex fluid pump system had no ball vibration, with a significant pressure drop decrease, and gas remained entrained as it cycled through a vortex flow. The results from laboratory testing showed an average 40–46% pressure drop decrease compared to conventional inserts.

Laboratory data were confirmed in numerous field applications as well as four case studies from four different fields for four separate operators. The vortex fluid pump system showed greater pump efficiencies and pump longevity. After installation of the system, cumulative results were combined to show an average 46% production increase over 485 wells in North America in 1 year.

The proprietary vortex fluid pump system decreases erratic velocity profile and reduces vibration in the valve system resulting in improved efficiency and reliability of sucker rod pumps. The design optimizes flow dynamics enabling the ball to remain stationary, allowing smaller and lighter balls and increasing the cross-sectional flow area in the most restrictive pump section. The design reduces solids accumulation, lessens cage wear, improves pump efficiency, and increases production. The vortex fluid pump system replaces all conventional valve systems.

Sucker rod pumps are common reciprocating downhole pumps used globally to produce oil and gas. A reciprocating pump produces fluid by cyclically opening and closing two ball-type check valves, the standing and traveling valves, housed inside a pump barrel. The standing valve is affixed to the base of the barrel, whereas the traveling valve is affixed to a moveable plunger inside the pump barrel. This simple yet reliable mechanical system has challenges maximizing efficiency and extending service life.

There are several known factors, acting alone or in combination, that may decrease pump efficiency. Operators are familiar with the issues presented by gas, solids, corrosion, high pressure, and/or scale that can reduce the efficiency of downhole pumps’ standing and traveling valves. Cox and Williams (1989) elaborate on the factors that affect pumping supported by case studies and methods to improve pumping efficiencies. Williams (1995) explores particulates in rod pumping and notes the importance of barrel and plunger metallurgy. Fakher et al. (2021) provide a comprehensive overview of sucker rod pump components, diagnostics, mathematical models, failure mechanisms, and mitigations.

For a sucker rod pump, there are numerous methodologies to optimize operations and strengthen mechanics; one focus has been on ball valve systems. Conventional ball valve systems typically contain a ball and seat valve, an insert, and a cage body creating a guided cage run between 0° and 60° in a wellbore. These guided cages are usually a single-bar insert (Fig. 1) or a cross-bar insert (Fig. 2). Unguided cages, comprising a one-piece hard-lined cage design, are another alternative (Fig. 3).

Fig. 1

Single-bar insert guided cage.

Fig. 1

Single-bar insert guided cage.

Close modal
Fig. 2

Cross-bar insert guided cage.

Fig. 2

Cross-bar insert guided cage.

Close modal
Fig. 3

Unguided one-piece hard-lined cage.

Fig. 3

Unguided one-piece hard-lined cage.

Close modal

Guided cage systems are commonly used but have efficiency limitations. They have shown reduced pump efficiency from harmful gas breakouts and large pressure drops and exhibit higher susceptibility to solid damage, ball wear, and cage failure (Coyes 2019; Cutler and Mansure 1999). These guided cages evolved, intending to improve service life, by reducing ball impact damage to the cage. This evolution resulted in a more restrictive flow path, therefore, increasing pressure drop and downstroke forces (e.g., compressional loads) on the rods. Impact damage to traveling and standing valve balls and seats is particularly due to excessive ball vibration in the cage as fluids flow past the ball (Del Pino et al. 2020). Beyond operational and mechanical mitigations or metallurgical alternatives for reducing damage, considering fluid flow and flow dynamics in the ball valve system presented an opportunity to increase pump efficiency while extending run life (Cutler and Mansure 1999; Zeidler 1972).

The computational fluid dynamics model of Jalikop et al. (2020) mathematically describes fluid flow and material resistance under pump operating conditions. Those authors learned that damage mostly occurs where the ball and seat contact. However, in several cases, it was noted that damage can occur higher in the cage away from the valve seat where mechanical impact due to fluid loading could not have caused the damage. This leads the authors of this paper to wonder what causes the ball to uncontrollably roam within the valve above the seat with enough force to cause material damage and posit ball vibration as a factor. It was hypothesized that ball vibration could be minimized through vortex fluid flow dynamics. A novel approach presented in this paper shows successful production improvement and service life with a new style of insert based on vortex fluid flow dynamics (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4

Vortex insert.

Vortex valve systems in downhole applications have shown that a “whirlpool” around a sphere contained in a cylindrical boundary condition stabilizes the flow profile. This stabilized flow profile increases the flow velocity in the smallest cross-sectional area of a pump. Research revealed that stabilizing the flow profile increases pump efficiency and decreases gas breakout (Pennington 1998).

Obrigewitsch (1999) completed a set of field studies comparing standard vs. vortex pumps resulting in superior results from the vortex valve design. Hein (2016) noted that decreased pressure drop from vortex flow supported paraffin mitigation, prevented line freezing, and inhibited stagnant fluid in long lengths. Zhou et al. (2019) calculated the helical angle for a tested vortex tool thereby establishing the importance of specific helical angles.

Insert guided cages and one-piece unguided cages typically have an unstable and erratic velocity profile that imparts higher fluid flow forces, producing eddies downstream of the ball. Such eddies increase the frictional energy on the ball’s surface and in a nonuniform manner, causing the ball to vibrate (i.e., ball chatter). This unstable and erratic flow results in an increased pressure drop and decreases instantaneous kinetic energy. Figs. 5 through 7  are visual representations of flow through conventional valve inserts, as observed during flow run experimentation. Figs. 5 and 6  illustrate the eddy effect. Fig. 7  represents the axial upward flow through the spherical cross-sectional area or a vortex insert.

Fig. 5

Flow through single-bar insert.

Fig. 5

Flow through single-bar insert.

Close modal
Fig. 6

Flow through cross-bar insert.

Fig. 6

Flow through cross-bar insert.

Close modal
Fig. 7

Stabilized flow through vortex insert.

Fig. 7

Stabilized flow through vortex insert.

Close modal

Supporting Theoretical Equations Used as a Guide for Experiments

A vortex velocity profile optimizes the Bernoulli equation to reduce pressure drop. Bernoulli’s equation relates the pressure, speed, and height of any two points (1 and 2) in a steady streamline flowing fluid of density. Bernoulli’s principle helps explain the inverse relationship between pressure and speed at a point in a fluid flow. For this application, Bernoulli’s equation contributed to the laboratory design basis and was written as follows:

P1+12ρv12+ρgh1+F1=P2+12ρv22+ρgh2+F2.
(1)

The variables P1, v1, and h1 refer to the pressure, speed, and height of the fluid at Point 1. P2, v2, and h2 refer to the pressure, speed, and height of the fluid at Point 2. F1 and F2 refer to the frictional energy created by the fluid interaction with physical boundaries. F1 and F2 are empirical values included in the formula to indicate that friction was converted to kinetic energy as shown in the sound decibel reading data (see Fig. 14  in later in the paper). The equation can be simplified if there are no height differences between the points. The vortex velocity profile is designed to transfer frictional ball vibration energy to fluid kinetic energy while at the same time decreasing the pressure drop in ball valves.

The geometry around the vortex encapsulated in the boundary region was also considered in the design basis. Fig. 8  shows the geometry around the vortex in a pump as the limiting boundary conditions. This geometry with Eqs. 2 and 3 was used for consideration in testing and design.

Fig. 8

Geometry around the vortex in a pump as the limiting boundary conditions.

Fig. 8

Geometry around the vortex in a pump as the limiting boundary conditions.

Close modal
V=0A02πA2z2Brdrdθdz,
(2)
V=π[AB223A3].
(3)

Through the design process, it was discovered that the tangent of the angle to determine the slope of the vortex around a sphere in a cylinder equals π (3.14). The tangent of the angle equal to π at the outer radius is the ideal angle to produce a vortex flow around the sphere (Fig. 9). Therefore, to achieve this ideal geometric vortex shape inside a cylindrical boundary condition, the orientation of the fluid at the outer region must be equal to tan θ = π and the orientation of the fluid in the center of the inner region must be equal to tan θ = 0 (Fig. 9).

Fig. 9

Tangent of the angle equal to π at the outer radius generates vortex flow around a sphere.

Fig. 9

Tangent of the angle equal to π at the outer radius generates vortex flow around a sphere.

Close modal

The vortex fluid pump system is an innovative vortex flow standing and traveling ball valve system designed for conventional sucker rod pumps. The patented design (CAD 2435601 and US 7069997 · Issued 21 July 2006; Coyes and Rowlandson 2006a, 2006b) decreases pressure drop (compared to conventional nonvortex designs), increases, and achieves more consistent pump fillage. The vortex fluid pump system adds value by increasing service life, minimizing gas breakout, and preventing damaging ball chatter.

The system positions the ball in a stable location, by transferring the fluid forces to an axial upward flow vector, from erratic flow to an orderly and stable vortex flow in a cylindrical boundary condition (Fig. 7). The volumetric flow rate is optimized so that energy transitions from the fluid to the ball’s surface to the semispherical insert face reducing the pressure drop across the valve.

With the vortex insert ball valve downhole, each time the pump is stroked, kinetic energy builds in the smallest cross-sectional area of the pump in the flow passage area past the ball valves. This in turn increases fluid flow velocity during each pump upstroke when the pump is filling. When gas is in solution below the standing valve and as fluid moves past the ball, a stable vortex flow allows the gas to remain in solution. Upstream of the standing valve, the vortex flow is modified by the shape of the vertical flange profiles to retain the gas in solution and control the risk of damaging traveling valve fluid pound.

The vortex valves were designed to American Petroleum Institute (API) specifications. The vortex fluid pump system can readily accept all common ball types including the smaller ALT (alternate) ball that is designed to allow more solids through a pump with reduced pressure drop.

The vortex fluid pump system is cast from a high chromium cobalt alloy for high fatigue strength and corrosion resistance. It comprises a bottom ring, angled ribs, a top ring, three flanges, and a cylindrical connection (Fig. 10). The system has several design features that optimize the vortex fluid flow while assuring the structural strength of the valve.

Fig. 10

Vortex fluid insert elements.

Fig. 10

Vortex fluid insert elements.

Close modal
  • Cylindrical connector: During the development of the insert geometry, the University of Calgary’s Research Centre finite element analysis concluded that the forces are distributed evenly to the top ring, the flanges, and the cage inner wall reducing cage wall failure.

  • Flanges have an expanded cross-sectional area for flow that increases the volumetric flow rate. The flanges protrude inward and upward to structurally distribute forces to the top supporting ring. The underside of each of the three flanges has a spherical shape to evenly distribute the forces and act as a spherically concave ball stop that minimizes flange wear, rib wear, ball wear, and cage damage. Every corner edge features a curved radius which also decreases the pressure drop.

  • Angled ribs create the vortex flow. They widen from the bottom ring to the top ring to distribute the load across a wider area of the cage preventing vibrational damage. The tangent of the outer rib angle is equal to π. This creates the vortex flow that holds the ball stationary and suspended in the fluid by nature of the vortex allowing more flow and causing less wear on the insert.

  • Rings are measured square, top to bottom, within 0.001-in. parallelism to achieve an optimal connection with minimal stress to the top and bottom rings. The ball’s position between the upper and lower rings has a maximum diameter precisely in the middle of the rings allowing for an improved cross-sectional area for flow (Coyes 2019). The increased upper and lower areas optimize the volumetric flow rate.

Prototypes based on the original hypothesis were tested in a preliminary engineered testing apparatus to observe fluid energy losses around a vortex insert vs. a conventional insert. An in-house open fillage test determined which vortex angles produced a higher fluid level when an equivalent atmospheric hydrostatic pressure was applied. Approximately 20 laser-etched hard polyethylene plastic vortex prototypes, each with a designated helical twist (lead angle) ranging from 45° to 90°, half turning clockwise and half turning counterclockwise, were tested in comparison with a standard bar bottom insert.

The testing apparatus included a hydrostatic basin with two exit ports and a lever to simultaneously release the ports (Fig. 11). Two inserts, one bar bottom and one vortex prototype, were loaded, each below one port with access to the same hydrostatic head. The lever simultaneously opened both ports, and water exited the basin, entered and flowed through the two ports and their respective inserts, and collected into individual cylinders to measure the flow rates of each insert for comparison. Each prototype was run five times and then swapped into the other port for a total of 10 iterations on each prototype. Each iteration had a bar bottom insert in the paired port for comparison. The results determined the most suitable lead angles for flow loop testing as 45°, 65°, 72°, and 90°. Both clockwise and counterclockwise lead angles had equivalent flow measurements; therefore, there was no Coriolis effect noted.

Fig. 11

Preliminary testing apparatus.

Fig. 11

Preliminary testing apparatus.

Close modal

With a better understanding of ideal lead angles, laboratory testing was completed at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology’s flow run laboratory. Testing was planned in two stages. First, inserts with lead angles from the in-house test of 45°, 65°, 72°, and 90° were compared in the flow runs to establish which lead angle created the ideal vortex and fluid flow properties. Second, the pressure drop was simultaneously compared between the ideal lead angle vortex insert and a bar bottom insert at various fluid and gas injection rates.

The flow loop included a tank with a centrifugal pump that supplied water to the flow apparatus. The flow apparatus comprised two transparent, parallel flow runs with two ports. Each port could be loaded with either 1¾-in or 2¼-in. standard pump size inserts. A computer controlled the flow rates and provided flow rate readouts. Manual valves on the flow run controlled gas flow. A Coriolis meter measured the density of the fluid as an indicator of the amount of gas in the system. Fluke digital readouts measured pressure drop across the inserts with or without gas in the system. A manually controlled decibel meter measured the sound level to monitor ball vibration (chatter). Data were manually gathered into a spreadsheet (Fig. 12).

Fig. 12

Flow loop apparatus.

Fig. 12

Flow loop apparatus.

Close modal

Determining the Ideal Lead Angle

Flow apparatus results on the lead angles are shown in Table 1 . Through the transparent flow loop, all lead angles had observable ball vibration except at the 72° slot angle. At 72°, the ball had no visible ball chatter (the ball was not moving) regardless of any flow rate. The decibel reading matched the room noise at 55 dB for flows of 20 and 30 gal/min. The increase to 56 and 58 dB at 40 and 50 gal/min flow rates on the 72° slot angle was attributed to fluid noise, not ball vibration. The results demonstrate that the optimal lead angle of the vortex insert is 72°.

When this ideal vortex is generated in the given boundary region, it perfectly matches the profile of the ball, effectively pinning the ball in place, minimizing frictional losses and ball chatter, and optimizing fluid flow. Further work is to be done using computational fluid dynamics and fluid dynamic equations to mathematically model this fluid vortex flow behavior.

Pressure Drop and Ball Chatter

With the confirmation of the ideal lead angle at 72°, a second set of testing was completed to observe the effects of a simulated downhole environment with single phase and multiphase flow. The cross-sectional clearances between the ball and ribs of both the bar bottom and vortex inserts are equivalent; therefore, bar bottom inserts were the best comparison to the vortex inserts in laboratory testing. Bar bottom inserts and vortex inserts both have 45 thousands of an inch clearance between the ball and the rib. Cross-bar inserts were excluded from laboratory testing because cross-sectional clearances were smaller at 30 thousands of an inch.

Table 1

Decibel readings for flow angles.

2¼-in. Pump
(No Gas Injected)
Decibel Readings
(Room Noise Average–55 dB)
Flow Rate (gal/min) 45° Slot Angle 65° Slot Angle 72° Slot Angle 90° Slot Angle 
20 80 60 55 82 
30 87 63 55 89 
40 88 65 56 92 
50 89 69 58 93 
2¼-in. Pump
(No Gas Injected)
Decibel Readings
(Room Noise Average–55 dB)
Flow Rate (gal/min) 45° Slot Angle 65° Slot Angle 72° Slot Angle 90° Slot Angle 
20 80 60 55 82 
30 87 63 55 89 
40 88 65 56 92 
50 89 69 58 93 

The ports were loaded with a conventional bar bottom insert in one port and a 72° vortex angle insert in the other (Fig. 12). The test was completed with single-phase water (1000 kg/m3) and then multiphase water/air (950 kg/m3) through 1¾-in. and then 2¼-in. pump sizes. Each insert was run in both ports with water and then multiphase water/air at several flow rates (from 5 to 40 gal/min). Pressure drop, gas flow rateand decibel readings were recorded.

In the laboratory environment, the vortex fluid pump system decreased pressure drop by 40% (liquid) and up to 46% (liquid and gas), resulting in an average of 20% more flow than the bar bottom insert (Fig. 13). It was discovered that the vortex flow system enabled the gas to remain entrained in the fluid and reduced turbulent eddies from forming across the smallest cross-sectional area of the insert, minimizing pressure drop and ball chatter. The vortex flow profile overall increased pump system efficiencies for all fluid rates as shown in Fig. 13 .

Fig. 13

Flow apparatus results for pressure drop.

Fig. 13

Flow apparatus results for pressure drop.

Close modal

Ball vibration was unrecordably low, indicating that the vortex valve is expected to extend downhole pump life, reduce gas interference and gas pound, and increase the run life of sucker rods and other downhole pump parts (Fig. 14).

Fig. 14

Flow apparatus results for ball vibration.

Fig. 14

Flow apparatus results for ball vibration.

Close modal

The first vortex fluid pump system was installed in 2002 in a shallow 500 m (1,640 ft) vertical well in rural Alberta. After 2 years, the pump was pulled for maintenance and showed no indications of wear or fatigue.

As of May 2022, there have been over one hundred thousand (>100,000) vortex fluid pump systems installed globally. Through field applications, right-hand lead angles distributed forces better with standard right-hand torque improving cage fit and makeup.

The field trial results in Table 2  represent the diverse application potential of the vortex fluid pump system and provide the most robust data sets. The information presented in Table 2  was obtained from four different clients on four long-term case studies in four different fields. The only variable that changed during the field trials was a shift from conventional inserts to vortex inserts. Both types of inserts used similar metallurgy consisting of cast cobalt alloy with high chromium content. All other pump parts and operating parameters remained the same. To understand how vortex flow behaves, larger statistically meaningful data samples over extended periods were analyzed to rule out fluctuating reservoir characteristics, varied pump designs and operating practices, multiphase flow, solids, and production interruptions due to pump maintenance.

Table 2

Vortex fluid pump system data from long-term field trials.

Oil Field NameBefore
(with Conventional Inserts)
After
(with Vortex Inserts)
% Increase
 Average Depth (ft) Average Deviation (degrees) Number of Wells Date Study Period
(months) 
Pump Sizes (in.) Average Gross Production
(B/D) 
Average Gross Production
(B/D) 
Gross
Production (%) 
Playto Field,
West Central Saskatchewan Canada 
2,500 60 200 2,019 12 1½ 17 87 
Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin 6,000 55 100 2,020 1¼
1½
13/4 
40 65 63 
North Dakota, USA, Red River Field 9,000 60 100 2018/
2,019 
12 1¾
21/4 
398 430 
Texas, USA, Midland and Delaware fields 10,000 150 2,022 12 1½
13/4 
63 78 24 
Total number of wells studied across four different fields 485   Total average increase in gross production across four different fields 46 
Oil Field NameBefore
(with Conventional Inserts)
After
(with Vortex Inserts)
% Increase
 Average Depth (ft) Average Deviation (degrees) Number of Wells Date Study Period
(months) 
Pump Sizes (in.) Average Gross Production
(B/D) 
Average Gross Production
(B/D) 
Gross
Production (%) 
Playto Field,
West Central Saskatchewan Canada 
2,500 60 200 2,019 12 1½ 17 87 
Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin 6,000 55 100 2,020 1¼
1½
13/4 
40 65 63 
North Dakota, USA, Red River Field 9,000 60 100 2018/
2,019 
12 1¾
21/4 
398 430 
Texas, USA, Midland and Delaware fields 10,000 150 2,022 12 1½
13/4 
63 78 24 
Total number of wells studied across four different fields 485   Total average increase in gross production across four different fields 46 

Table 3  provides additional information about well characteristics and challenges in each field. Data were gathered from operators and collected using a variety of methods: dynamometer, SCADA, daily fluid production levels, calculated effective downhole stroke length, and so on.

Table 3

Vortex fluid pump system additional comments from long-term field trials.

Oil Field NameWell CharacteristicsChallenges and Comments
Playto Field,
West Central Saskatchewan Canada 
Deviated. Foamy brine. Low tubing pressure The density of 905 kg/m3 gas breakout and the fluid pound was an issue before the vortex system was introduced. ALT ball sizes were used. 
Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin 50% water cut with low solids Sand Twister installed to handle additional solids. The vortex system used ALT ball sizes. 
Red River Field,
North Dakota, USA 
CO2 injection and waterdrive Wells struggled with incomplete pump fillage and experienced gas interference before the vortex system was installed. API ball sizes were used. 
Midland and Delaware fields,
Texas, USA 
Low producing end-of-life vertical wells Deeper wells in this area run smaller pump sizes and have lower pump efficiencies due to higher pressure drop. Average pump efficiencies are 51% for hard-lined cages and 79% for vortex system. API and ALT ball sizes were used for pumps in this area. 
Oil Field NameWell CharacteristicsChallenges and Comments
Playto Field,
West Central Saskatchewan Canada 
Deviated. Foamy brine. Low tubing pressure The density of 905 kg/m3 gas breakout and the fluid pound was an issue before the vortex system was introduced. ALT ball sizes were used. 
Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin 50% water cut with low solids Sand Twister installed to handle additional solids. The vortex system used ALT ball sizes. 
Red River Field,
North Dakota, USA 
CO2 injection and waterdrive Wells struggled with incomplete pump fillage and experienced gas interference before the vortex system was installed. API ball sizes were used. 
Midland and Delaware fields,
Texas, USA 
Low producing end-of-life vertical wells Deeper wells in this area run smaller pump sizes and have lower pump efficiencies due to higher pressure drop. Average pump efficiencies are 51% for hard-lined cages and 79% for vortex system. API and ALT ball sizes were used for pumps in this area. 

Combining these four studies, Table 2  shows that there is an average 46% increase in gross production at the same level of lease operating cost.

A review of data from 100 wells in four different oil fields with the vortex fluid pump systems over 1 year shows that there is a material benefit associated with decreased pressure drop and stable flows (avoiding ball chatter) for both the standing and traveling valves.

Data from both a controlled laboratory environment and in downhole field applications show a material increase in production and improved service life for downhole sucker rod pump systems. The laboratory data analysis concluded that the vortex fluid pump system achieves 40–46% reduction in pressure drop which increases pump efficiency. This significant benefit is due to the decrease in pressure drop as shown in Fig. 13 .

Cumulative analysis of the data shows an average 46% increase in gross production per day.

The unique insert geometry of the vortex fluid pump system shows that decreased pressure drop and stabilized flow around the cross-sectional area of a ball valve dramatically reduce ball chatter and increase overall flow, thereby extending run life. Additionally, vortex valves mitigate problematic entrained gas breakout through the smallest cross-sectional area of downhole pumps while handling more solids using smaller ALT balls without sacrificing run lives caused by ball vibration.

Data from field trials demonstrate that the vortex fluid pump system is effective in a variety of field conditions and well characteristics to show an average 46% increase in gross production across four different fields. Given the results of field trials, it is expected that the vortex fluid pump system will allow operators to run pumps deeper into the build sections of horizontals to produce residual oil production without the risk of leaking traveling and standing valves.

The vortex Ffuid pump systems have been expanded into horizontal wells, big bore wellbores, thermal wells, and in combination with other pump systems and are showing positive results.

     
  • F

    frictional energy

  •  
  • g

    gravity

  •  
  • h

    height

  •  
  • P

    pressure

  •  
  • r

    radius

  •  
  • v

    velocity

  •  
  • V

    volume

  •  
  • θ

    angle

  •  
  • π

    pi, 3.14

  •  
  • ρ

    fluid density

Corbin Coyes, Lead Author, acknowledges his father, Randy Coyes. Randy’s guidance and lessons around instrumentation in the laboratory fostered a shared space where Corbin and Randy shared accomplishments and found pride in each other’s hard work. Undoubtedly, Randy’s influence shaped Corbin’s professional excellence and inspiration for vortex technology.

The writing team wishes to acknowledge Lead Author, Corbin Coyes, for his ingenuity that brought this technology to market and tenacity to test and evolve his work in over 100,000 installations. His persistent inquiry, leadership, and encouragement kept the writing team engaged and willing to join him on his path of curiosity; Doug Quinn for commercializing this vortex technology and championing it into the worldwide artificial lift market; Michael Connor for introducing his experienced international oil and gas engineers and providing literary clarity when words were elusive; Benny Williams, a guru in artificial lift, believed in vortex technology and generously contributed his expertise to coauthor this paper; Jeff Saponja for his unique producer/inventor experience in every aspect of artificial lift and providing an impactful clean-eyes review of this paper; Camille Jensen brought her excellent technical writing skills, positive attitude, leadership, and ability to bring verisimilitude to shepherd a collaborative writing process; Bradley Link for his hard work, extra engineering hours, keen editorial eye, and quality assurance working with graphics; Colin Heidel wrangled information from the field and clients for the case studies; and Jordy Quinn for his technical oversight and outstanding engineering capability.

This paper (SPE 206908) was accepted for presentation at the SPE Middle East Artificial Lift Conference and Exhibition, Manama, Bahrain, 25–26 October 2022, and revised for publication. Original manuscript received for review 12 January 2023. Revised manuscript received for review 27 April 2023. Paper peer approved 2 May 2023.

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