A production choke is essential in regulating the pressure and flow rate of the produced hydrocarbon stream from a well in a field production system. Regulating the pressure and flow rate is necessary to achieve the production objectives of a field, which are to meet customer demand and optimally manage the reservoir over its life cycle. It is therefore important to have a means of effectively monitoring production choke performance to identify the onset of choke wear. Choke wear results from erosion of the choke due to impingement of particles carried in the produced hydrocarbon stream as it passes through the choke body. Choke wear increases the production rate and downstream pressure of a producing well, thereby upsetting the balance of the production system and resulting in ineffective field pressure management. Taking immediate action to replace a worn choke is therefore necessary to restore the production balance and achieve optimal pressure conservation of the production system. Choke performance monitoring is more critical for gas producing wells than oil producing wells because the velocity of gas is typically much higher than the velocity of oil, and consequently the risk and frequency of choke wear is much higher. Physical inspection of the production chokes to confirm wear for offshore gas wells is more laborious and time consuming due to the need to interrupt production, depressurize the flowline, decouple the choke body from the flowline, and ship the choke body onshore to the manufacturer's workshop for component inspections to confirm choke wear and, if necessary, choke replacement. A way to remotely monitor production choke performance and correctly detect choke wear for offshore gas wells without interrupting production is therefore operationally expedient, reduces exposure of personnel to unsafe rough sea conditions, and saves the cost of unnecessary physical choke inspections. The authors present a graphical method of monitoring the production rate and flowing tubing head pressure trends, with the choke size, of offshore high rate dry gas wells to detect choke wear using real-time production data. Examples of successful application of the method, which demonstrates that innovation can be simplification of processes, to detect choke wear and perform timely choke replacement are highlighted.

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