Intermittent Injection of Gas in Gas-lift Installations
- Morgan Walker (Amerada Petroleum Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Transactions of the AIME
- Publication Date
- December 1929
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 151 - 161
- 1929. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 3.1.6 Gas Lift, 4.1.6 Compressors, Engines and Turbines, 4.6 Natural Gas
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Intermittent injection of gas in gas-lift pumping is a variation of thecommon practice in that the gas is delivered to the well for ashortperiod, called the "on time," followed by a period during which none isadmitted, called the "off time," instead of being admitted continuouslyat a constant rate or by intermittent flowing in which it is occasionallydelivered to the well in just sufficient quantity to flow off the accumulatedhead of fluid. The term "gas" is used throughout this discussion but itshould be remembered that in so far as the operation is concerned either air ornatural gas may be used.
The equipment at the well is the same as commonly used in gas-liftinstallations and gas may be admitted to either the tubing or the casing. Itseldom occurs that all the wells on a lease can be pumped economically byintermittent injection from one header. Wells that have flow characteristicswhich permit their being handled together have their intake lines grouped at acentral compressor station. Well groups may consist of two or more wells. Thetotal volume of gas delivered by each group of compressors goes to one well ata time through a quick opening valve, each well connected to the headerreceiving its charge of gas in turn. Special cases may require a deviation fromthis arrangement. The distribution of the gas to the different wells iseffected by an automatic timing device which operates quick-opening valves onthe intake lines. The timing mechanism may be actuated by electricity, liquidor gas pressure. The essential factor in the operation of the timing mechanismis that as one intake valve is closed another must be opened.
Water-Operated Timing Device
Timing devices operate the intake valves either directly, or indirectly bypilot valves. Of the former type one that is operated by water and has givensatisfactory service is shown in Fig. 1 and can be made on the lease. Thehorizontal cylinder is a piece of 10-in. casing about 7 ft. long, closed ateach end and free to oscillate about a fulcrum at the center.
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