Petroleum Technology Digest: Optimized flow device eliminates CBM lift equipment, reduces costs ///

Marathon Oil Co. successfully deployed new tools to convert coalbed methane (CBM) wells that were being mechanically dewatered to flowing gas producers. By eliminating downhole pumping equipment, variable and fixed LOE costs decreased dramatically – from an average $875 per month to $15 per month. Considering installed cost, the tools paid out in about seven months. Prior artificial lift equipment could be deployed in other CBM wells or sold for salvage. Some lost production was avoided with continuous, stabilized flow and elimination of water-entrained gas volumes that were ultimately vented. In two examples, since prior failures with associated downtime were eliminated, about 2.7 MMcf per year of deferred production was saved. This $10,000 cash-flow benefit alone essentially pays for tool installation.

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