Continuous flow gas-lift wells are susceptible to hydrodynamic instability (heading), which causes cyclic variations of the wellhead pressure, oil and injected gas flow rates. Flow instability is an important issue in the design and operation of continuous flow gas-lift installations used in floating production systems. In such systems, the produced fluids from wells are transported through a flexible riser pipe to the Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel. In this paper, the influence of the riser design, the well design, and the gas injection system design on the stability of the production facility is studied. Gas-lift stability maps showing the operational and stability boundaries are presented. The application of different well stabilization techniques in offshore gas-lift installations is discussed.

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