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Elegant in its simplicity, gas lift technology has benefited from many technological improvements over the years. Pressure, temperature and depth ratings have been extended, even as the valves were made more compact. Mandrels have been improved to facilitate change-out, and to enable their use in increasingly cramped diameters. Some of the latest improvements have been made to the valves themselves, including adding a Venturi choke to boost the injection gas velocity to achieve a critical flow regime. This prevents “heading” that causes instabilities in the gas flow leading to uneven mixtures of gas and liquid. The improvements have resulted in high-performance technology that has much broader operating limits.
Faced with severe production problems in one of its San Juan Basin Coal Bed Methane (CBM) wells in Colorado, BP resorted to versatility in the use of standard production equipment. The well was producing 400-500 Mcfd of gas and was experiencing liquid-loading problems...
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