This paper will explore the benefits a smart gas lift field can offer in terms of operational efficiency, flexibility and production improvements, whilst focusing on health and safety improvements and risk reduction. Existing gas lift technology will be evaluated to give a summary of the operational aspects of the fundamental design and the methods used to control and change gas injection rates. The limited operational range of the existing gas lift technology will be compared against that of an intelligent gas lift system where these constraints are removed.
The increased flexibility of operation and field wide management aspect of a new intelligent gas lift system will highlight the limitations of the existing technology. It will be concluded that existing gas lift technology provides increased production of fluids when deployed in the correct fixed design conditions.
It will be observed that current gas lift technology does not have a particular focus on increased operational efficiencies on a field wide scale. It will also be observed that the current difficulties faced by the industry places scrutiny on operational efficiencies and the potential advantages new technologies offer. This provides opportunities to demonstrate how a step change in field wide management and the application of intelligent gas lift technologies can lead to better informed decision making and faster reaction speeds resulting in improved production efficiency.
The paper will discuss field wide design considerations that are only able to be made with a revolution in gas lift technology. The paper is aimed at inspiring the industry to reconsider conventional thinking.