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 travelling and standing valve cages. 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 in a laboratory flow loop in over 1000 iterations with varying pressures, ball sizes and ball types. Maximum and minimum 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. Laboratory data was confirmed in numerous field applications as well as four case studies from four different fields for four separate operators.
During laboratory testing, conventional inserts measured high ball vibration with excessive pressure drop. The proprietary vortex fluid pump system had no ball vibration, with significant pressure drop decrease and gas remained entrained as it cycled through a vortex flow. Results from laboratory testing showed an average 40% - 46% pressure drop decrease compared to conventional inserts. When extended to field applications, 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 one 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, 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.