Pressure Control of Oil Wells
- E.H. Griswold (Marland Production Co.) | W.J. Wilkins (Marland Production Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Transactions of the AIME
- Publication Date
- December 1929
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 104 - 118
- 1929. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 1.7.5 Well Control, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.6 Natural Gas, 3.1.6 Gas Lift, 4.3.4 Scale
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Pressure control of oil wells may be defined as the adjustment of pressures within a well to obtain the most efficient and economic utilization of the natural gas energy with a minimum of sand troubles or irregular water encroachment. The purpose of this paper is to present the methods used by the writers in applying pressure control and a discussion of the various effects occurring within the wells affected. The benefits to be derived from the conservation of natural gas energy have been so adequately discussed and demonstrated in prior papers by various engineers that the effects on ultimate production will not be discussed other than to mention a few representative cases. The detrimental effects of irregular edge-water encroachment and of sanding up are of general knowledge to the industry.
Effect on Ultimate Production
One of the strongest objections voiced against pressure control is that of the danger or inadvisability of deferring oil production by cutting the rate of production. It has been our experience that such deferred production is returned within a few weeks or months rather than years and that an increased cumulative oil production is obtained in the early life of the well by conserving the natural energy. In many cases the rate of production is increased rather than decreased by the adjustment of pressures to obtain the minimum gas factor.
Fig. 1 shows the history of a Wilcox sand well in northern Oklahoma, which was pressure-controlled from completion. It is noted that during the early months while flowing naturally through the casing the gas factor was decreased rather than allowed to follow its natural tendency to increase. A string of 2 1/2-in. tubing was run to restrict the flow and resulted in a decreased gas factor with a more sustained rate of production. When first placed on gas-lift the gas factor again tended to increase, but after the proper pressure adjustments were made, remained approximately steady. It was necessary to defer 100 bbl. per day of oil production in order to maintain this low gas factor.
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