Abstract

In an effort to maximize the oil production of the G. H. Arledge "C" Lease, Scurry County, Texas, Sun Oil Company embarked on a program to install submersible pumps as the primary mode of artificial lift. This paper describes the four year period during which the changes were made.

The study indicates that the submersible pump installation program helped stabilize lifting pump installation program helped stabilize lifting costs, increased lift efficiencies and improved oil recovery.

The broad guidelines developed by this paper will aid in the review of other gas lift operations for the possible application of submersible pumps.

Introduction

The G. H. Arledge "C" Lease is located in the Kelly-Snyder Field, approximately 15 miles southwest of Snyder, Texas. It is a 611-acre lease with eight producing and three injection wells. The productive producing and three injection wells. The productive formation is the Canyon Reef at approximately 6700 feet.

The Arledge Lease was drilled in the early to middle 1950s. Initially, and for many years to follow, the wells flowed on small chokes. During the years of reduced allowables, the wells flowed for only a few days each month. As some of the wells began to make water, they would not kick off and flow at the first of each month. To eliminate swabbing, these wells were shut in and their allowables transferred to other stronger flowing wells on the lease.

By the late 1960s, it was apparent that an artificial lift system would be necessary to maintain production. In 1969, two 230 hp compressors were installed to supply high pressure gas lift gas. After two years of successful operation, a third compressor was installed to increase the lift capability. In 1973, the three compressors were supplying a daily average of 2.8 million cubic feet of gas at 1000 psi to operate four gas lift wells.

PRODUCTION HISTORY PRODUCTION HISTORY In January of 1973, the lease was producing 1250 BOPD and 2000 BWPD (Fig. 1) from seven wells, of which three were flowing and four were on gas lift. The 2000 barrels per day of produced water was injected into one Canyon Reef injection well. In October of 1973, one of the last three flowing wells would not produce its allowable. It was placed on gas lift with four other wells. Five placed on gas lift with four other wells. Five wells were the maximum the system would lift on a continuous basis.

During 1974, it became apparent that additional artificial lift would be needed to maintain the desired oil production. Experience had shown that a 1000 to 1 injection gas to fluid ratio worked well and that fluid volume of 900 barrels per day per well was feasible. Under these operating conditions it would require one $75,000 compressor for each well. It was decided that this was prohibitively expensive, and alternative lift methods were considered.

In June of 1974, the first submersible pump, a 70 hp unit, was installed on the lease. At the time of installation the well was producing 39 BOPD and 737 BWPD on gas lift. After the pump installation, the well tested 95 BOPD and 1239 BWPD for a 7.1% oil cut, as compared to the 5% oil cut prior to the installation. This increased oil cut prior to the installation. This increased oil cut held true in every new increased volume submersible pump installation on the lease. pump installation on the lease. In January of 1975, the one low volume well on the lease was placed on rod pump. As seen in Fig. 2, this was to be the only rod pumped well on the lease.

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