As plunger systems become more sophisticated and people become more familiar with them, their credibility and usage is increasing. As a consequence, the spectrum of applications for these systems has begun to increase.

In the ongoing pursuit of lower lifting costs and reduced capital spending, creative engineering techniques have applied the principle of the plunger to some unique production problems. The purpose of this paper is to present a number of these along with some case histories.

The normal applications for a plunger are for Gas Wells, Hi-Ratio Oil Wells, Intermittent Gas Lift and Paraffin Removal.

Now, however, plungers are also being used to:

  1. Produce liquids in extremely low pressure reservoirs

  2. Produce liquids in retrograde condensate wells

  3. Remove water from coal seam methane gas wells

  4. Prevent paraffin buildup in dual zone wells

  5. Prevent paraffin buildup and increase lift efficiency in deviated gas lift wells with wide perforated zones

  6. Remove liquids from wells with no tubing

  7. Prevent down hole freezing problems in high pressure gas wells

  8. Remove water from wells in CO2 injected formations

Another application that appears to be highly probable is liquid removal from CO2 source wells.

The major obstacle to more widespread utilization of plungers has been a lack of education. This has been a problem not only with operational personnel, but engineering and management as well.

Hopefully, these additional applications along with the present increase in usage will make people even more cognizant of the potential savings offered by the plunger lift system.

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