Oil and Gas operators are catching on to new ways of improving the profitability of their pumping wells—both on initial production (IP) and after a few years of conventional artificial lifting—by focusing on eliminating gas locking, reducing workover frequency and maximizing ultimate drawdown.
Excellent Charlie Lake results
The Charlie Lake formation north of Grande Prairie Alberta has been under development for years, with horizontal fracking really taking off in the 2010’s. Production from this reservoir is characterized by large swings in oil, water and gas production—initially these wells can both flow and pump (“FLUMP”; “FLUMPING”) with surging, slugging flow regimes in both the wellbore as well as surface equipment, and these production characteristics present many challenges with respect to artificial lift design.
Operators in the Charlie Like have employed various strategies in this area in order to achieve stable production rates, including the installation of long-stroke pumps which favor displacement over efficiency, landing oversized conventional pumps higher in the wellbore (closer to vertical inclination), and landing downsized conventional pumps lower in the wellbore (attempting to maximize drawdown). These various configurations were subject to gas interference, gas locking, rod breaks, frequent workovers and lower than desired overall pumping efficiency and performance.
Becoming the rod pump artificial lift design choice of operators is Raise Production Inc’s HARPTM – High Angle Reciprocating Pump. The HARPTM is comprised of proprietary plunger and valve technology designed to eliminate gas locking and maximize drawdown. The HARPTM can be installed in high doglegs and at inclinations of up to and including horizontal (0-90deg). Along with a HARPTM install, Raise Production staff work with their clients to create a rod string and BHA configuration that aids in efficient rod pump stroke at high angles (up to 90⁰).
Operators have noted that prior to running a HARPTM, bottomhole pumps required significant operator time to mitigate gas locking such as putting pumps on a ‘hard-tap’ and then removing them from tap to prevent equipment damage, additionally, gas-locking resulted in a reduction of overall well productivity.
Due to changing wellbore conditions, the rod strings were subjected to large amplitude fluctuating stresses and premature failures. These conditions would also frequently cause failures of surface pumping units and cause bottomhole pumps to be frequently replaced and resized in attempt to stabilize initial production while maximizing drawdown.
The HARPTM system operates efficiently regardless of dynamic pump inlet conditions—i.e. wellbore slugging and the transition from flumping to pumping. This new artificial lift design augments the initial natural flumping tendency, maintaining its drive regardless of high gas rates through the pump. Predictable pump system performance has led to consistent fluid loads (low alternating stress amplitude) with the majority of the liquid being lifted to surface up the tubing, which contributes to improved rod string lubricity, reduced gas locking and smoother operation for the entire lifting system.
After the well’s high IP and flumping conditions subside, a HARPTM can be landed at an optimal depth to maximize drawdown without requiring a workover. Better overall system efficiency means a slower pump speed can be utilized later in the well life when operating at pumped-off conditions.
Raise Production provides complete High Angle Reciprocating Pump System – focused on the root Causes of wellbore challenges
- The High Angle Reciprocating Pump (HARP™)
- Horizontal Gas Separator (REAL™)
Raise Production was formed in 2011; the mandate was to develop artificial lift technology specifically for the horizontal and deviated wellbores drilled in North America. “At the time, drilling and fracking technology was advancing very quickly – artificial lift, however, was still comprised of long-standing, proven, yet intrinsically vertical technology, resulting in intakes being landed well above the producing interval. As we progressed through research and development, we began to understand the wellbore had to be broken down into manageable parts in order to properly address the unique production challenges.” – Eric Laing, President & CEO of Raise Production Inc.
The REAL™ technology separates gas in the horizontal, and greatly improves liquid level and fluid quality when landing intake (drawing down) right at or near the lateral – more information to come.
Industry Leading Distribution Network
With head office and facilities in Calgary, Raise has over 150 installations in various formations throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and the US. Their distribution partner, Q2 Artificial Lift Services, has 14 pump shops located throughout Western Canada, as well as 18 shops throughout the US.