American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc.

Abstract

Sour gas condensate production was discovered in the Smackover lime of New Hope Field, Franklin County, Tex., in 1953. The gas contained 13 percent hydrogen sulfide and 5 percent carbon dioxide, which results in a very percent carbon dioxide, which results in a very corrosive environment. In addition to corrosion, equipment was especially susceptible to failure from hydrogen embrittlement because of the relatively high operating pressures.

Experience has shown that this combination of conditions can be controlled economically and safely with a well planned corrosion inhibition program, standard, readily available program, standard, readily available materials can be used for most applications. Procedures can be established for monitoring the Procedures can be established for monitoring the condition of equipment that will forewarn of impending failure. This, in conjunction with a good safety program, will afford effective protection to operating personnel. protection to operating personnel

Introduction

In 1953, when the first well penetrated the Smackover lime in the New Hope field, two important questions came to the minds of those involved. The first was, will it produce? The second was, if it does produce, how severe will be the operational problems? Core analysis showed the formation was very tight, with porosity ranging between 5 and 8 percent and a porosity ranging between 5 and 8 percent and a composite average permeability of 0.12 md. The reservoir fluid contained 13 percent hydrogen sulfide and 5 percent carbon dioxide at a pressure of 6,000 psi and a temperature of pressure of 6,000 psi and a temperature of 275 degrees F. The question of productivity was partly answered when acidizing indicated partly answered when acidizing indicated that the meager flow rates from the initial drillstem test could be improved. At the time there was very little industry experience to draw from to answer whether sour gas, at these pressures, could be safely and economically pressures, could be safely and economically produced and processed. This would have to be produced and processed. This would have to be determined by experimental work and in the field itself.

Development drilling proceeded and, by 1957, the productive limits were substantially defined to cover some 3,200 acres. The structure is an anticline with a water level at approximately 12,400 ft. Maximum productive thickness at the crest is 600 ft.

While drilling was going on, studies were made to determine the best method of recovery and indicated that cycling would be necessary. In mid 1957, a pilot plant was constructed to evaluate the cycling possibilities and methods for controlling the sour gas. At this time, no provisions were made for removing the hydrogen provisions were made for removing the hydrogen sulfide. After stripping the condensate, the sour gas was injected into the reservoir.

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