AAPG/SPE Africa Energy and Technology Conference

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Innovations of Gas Lift in Prolific, Long-perforations, and Multilayered Wells, Case Study in Sudan


Jake field, discovered in July, 2006, contains 10 oil-producing and 12 condensate gas-producing zones. The wells have high flow capacities, producing from long-perforation interval of 3,911 ft (from 4,531 to 8,442 ft). Production mechanisms include gas injection in downdip wells and traditional gas lift in updip, zonal production wells since the start-up of field in July, 2010. Following pressure depletion of oil and condensate-gas zones and water breakthrough, traditional gas-lift wells became inefficient and dead. Based on nodal analysis of entire pay zones, successful innovations in gas lift have been made since March, 2013. This paper highlights them in the following aspects: 1). Extend end of tubing to the bottom of perforations for commingled production of oil and condensate gas zones, in order to utilize condensate gas producing from the lower zones for in-situ gas lift. 2). Produce well stream from the casing annulus while injecting natural gas into the tubing. 3). High-pressure nitrogen generated in-situ was used to kick off the dead wells, instead of installation of gas lift valves for unloading. After unloading process, the gas from compressors was injected down the tubing and back up the casing annulus. 4). For previous high water-cut producers, prior to continuous gas lift, approximately 3.6 MMcf of nitrogen can be injected and soaked a couple of days for anti-water-coning. 5). Two additional 10-in. flow lines were constructed to minimize the back pressure of surface facilities on wellhead. As a consequence, innovative gas-lift brought dead wells back on production, yielding average sustained liquid rate of 7,500 bbl/d per well. Also, the production decline curves flattened out than before.