A gas lift valve quality assurance program has been in place for the Eastern Operating Area (EOA) of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska since 1981. The program has involved data gathering, analysis and direct involvement by the field operator in the set-up of live gas lift valves.
The quality assurance program results have prompted a change in gas lift design methodology. Future gas lift designs will incorporate higher pressure drops between unloading valve surface closing pressures to avoid valve interference. Gas lift valve vendors have been given important feedback on minor problems that appear to be supplier specific. The design modifications, vendor equipment modifications, and valve set-up changes resulting from the quality assurance program have improved the reliability of Prudhoe EOA gas lift designs.