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RESEARCH PAPERS

Optimum Design Parameters for Reciprocating Pumps Used in Natural Gas Wells

[+] Author and Article Information
Jeffrey J. Rudolf

 Husky Energy Inc., Calgary, Alberta, Canadajeff.rudolf@huskyenergy.ca

Ted R. Heidrick, Brian A. Fleck

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G8, Canadated.heidrick@ualberta.ca

V. S. Rajan

 Alberta Research Council, Edmonton, Alberta, Canadarajan@arc.ab.ca

J. Energy Resour. Technol 127(4), 285-292 (Apr 12, 2005) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2000274 History: Received September 25, 2003; Revised April 11, 2005; Accepted April 12, 2005

Experimental and theoretical investigation of a recently patented down-hole direct-acting reciprocating pump system is presented. The technology, (US Patent No. 5,860,795) consists of operating a gas well with gas and liquid phases being produced separately by using the gas phase to power a pump to bring the liquid phase to the surface. This would increase the duration of profitability of many gas wells in North America. Experiments and modeling were used to determine optimum design parameters to maintain flow at a minimum reservoir pressure; an optimum area ratio for the gas/liquid pistons is approximately 40. The effect of friction in the pumping system was predicted to have a small effect on this optimum design. The results of this investigation will now be used to design and construct a prototype for field testing.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of the direct acting reciprocating pump application in the ARC technology

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Figure 2

Schematic of the direct-acting reciprocating pump

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Figure 3

Schematic of the gas flow loop

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Figure 4

Schematic of the liquid flow loop

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Figure 5

Thermodynamic efficiency as a function of normalized pressure for a gas-powered, direct-acting reciprocating pump

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Figure 6

Effect of friction on pump thermodynamic efficiency

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Figure 7

Experimental and mathematical model gas-liquid volume rations for a physical pump model

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Figure 8

Pump friction results for singal and two-stage pump operation (PPUMP=925kPag)

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Figure 9

Thermodynamic efficiency of experimental pump at PPUMP=925kPag

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Figure 10

Effect of area ratio on normalized minimum reservoir pressure for constant liquid production rate of 7m3∕day

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Figure 11

Effect of area ratio on normalized minimum reservoir pressure for constant gas:liquid production ratio of 3671

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Figure 12

Optimum area ratio for typical Alberta gas well at constant gas-liquid production rate of 7m3∕day

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Figure 13

Normalized reservoir pressure for optimum pump area ratio at constant gas-liquid production rate of 7m3∕day

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Figure 14

Optimum pump area ratio at constant gas:liquid production ratio of 3671

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Figure 15

Performance of optimum area ratio for typical Alberta gas well at constant gas:liquid production ratio of 3671

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Figure 16

Optimum area ratio with and without friction for typical Alberta gas well at constant production rate of 7m3∕day

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Figure 17

Effect of friction on normalized reservoir pressure for optimum area ratio at constant gas-liquid production rate of 7m3∕day

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