The increasing recognition of Plunger-Lift as a viable method for producing many wells, has brought a number of changes to the technology involved. The importance of proper plungerlift performance criteria (as reported in an earlier SPE paper) has been recognized and steps taken to incorporate this information into modern day control systems.

This paper discusses the usage of plunger velocity in establishing operating cycles for gas wells and for oil wells. When used in conjunction with state of the art electronic microprocessors. the results are increased production, extended economic limits. less down-time, and many others. This has been proven to be the case in both conventional and slim-hole wells.

Primary areas of discussion are:

  1. Relativity of plunger velocity insofar as efficiency is concerned.

  2. Standard approach historically taken to achieve maximum production.

  3. New software design that automates cycle changes while increasing production and reducing both man-hours and down time.

  4. Test results and case histories.

Results, Observations and Conclusions:

Significant production increases have been realized in the vast majority of wells produced via this method. Modest increases were realized on the remainder of wells tested. Optimization, by using plunger travel velocity has proven to be highly successful. Increases in excess of 100% realized on many gas wells. Reducing down-time, saving man-hours, increasing production rates, handling line pressure changes and generally eliminating the most common problems associated with plunger-lift are the result of this approach.


  1. Gas well dewatering, even for marginal producers. For both conventional and slim-hole wells.

  2. High GLR wells.

  3. Wells with high or fluctuating sales line pressures.

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