Trinidad and Tobago offshore platforms have been producing oil and natural gas for over a century. Current production of over 1500 Bcf of natural gas per year (Administration, 2013) is due to extensive reserves in oil and gas. More than eighteen of these wells are high-producing wells, producing in excess of 150 MMcf per day. Due to their large production rates, these wells utilize unconventionally large tubulars 5- and 7-in.
Furthermore, as is inherent with producing gas, there are many challenges with the production. One major challenge occurs when wells become liquid loaded. As gas wells age, they produce more liquids, namely brine and condensate. Depending on flow conditions, the produced liquids can accumulate and induce a hydrostatic head pressure that is too high to be overcome by the flowing gas rates. Applying surfactants that generate foam can facilitate the unloading of these wells and restore gas production.
Although the foaming process is very cost effective, its application to high-producing gas wells in Trinidad has always been problematic for the following reasons:
Some of these producers are horizontal wells, or wells with large deviation angles.
They were completed without pre-installed capillary strings.
They are completed with large tubing diameters (5.75 in., 7 in.).
Recognizing that the above three factors posed challenges to successful foam applications, major emphasis and research was directed toward this endeavor to realize the buried revenue, i.e., the recovery of the well's potential to produce natural gas. This research can also lead to the application of learnings from the first success to develop treatment for additional wells, which translates to a revenue boost to the client and the Trinidad economy. Successful treatments can also be used as correlations to establish an industry best practice for the treatment of similarly completed wells.
This paper will highlight the successes realized from the treatment of three wells. It will also highlight the anomalies encountered during the treatment process, as well as the lessons learned from this treatment.