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Gas Well Deliquification Workshop

Sheraton Hotel, Denver, Colorado
February 17 – 20, 2013
Intrinsically Safe Acoustic
Instrument Used in
Troubleshooting Gas Lift Wells
Lynn Rowlan, Echometer Company
Carrie-Anne Taylor, Echometer Company

Technician’s Van & Wellhouse: Alaska’s North Slope
Stringent safety requirements, by major operators when fluid level
measurements are performed offshore or in enclosed wellhead spaces
such as in Alaska’s North Slope, create procedural complications.
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Feb. 17 – 20, 2013
2013 Gas Well Deliquification Workshop
Denver, Colorado
Offshore Platform Santa Barbara California
1. Some operators require “Safe”
instruments in certain locations, most
offshore platforms and certain fields.
2. Some Countries and States require
“Safe” instruments in all oil and gas
related operations.
3. Gas Lift is common artificial lift method
for high rate wells

Intrinsically Safe
Acoustic Instruments
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2013 Gas Well Deliquification Workshop
Denver, Colorado
Fluid Level on Gas Lifted Horizontal Well
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Liquid Level at Measured
Depth of 10061 Feet
Above Packer (10081’) and
Bottom Valve (10041’)
128 BL/D
140 Mscf/D
Liner
Top
Echoes from Gas Lift Mandrels Do Not Lineup
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Average Acoustic Velocity 1134
ft/sec from Echo off 4.5” Liner Top
Press = 513 psig
Temp = 70Deg F
Press = 688 psig
Temp = 180Deg F
Liner Top Used for Distance to LL
E
Acoustic Velocity Increases from 1072 ft/sec @ Surface
to 1238 ft/sec at the 10061 ft Liquid Level Surface
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Denver, Colorado
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Press = 513 psia
Temp = 70Deg F
Press = 688 psia
Temp = 180Deg F
Anomaly Marker Analysis Method
• Purpose – Accurately calculate the distance to the
liquid level plus other downhole reflectors such as
gas lift valves, tubing collars, subsurface safety
valves and possible holes or other problems.
• Distances – Determined using echoes from gas-lift
valves at known distances from the wellhead.
• Accounts for – Variations of acoustic velocity
commonly observed in most wellbores due to
variations of temperature, pressure and gas
composition as a function of depth.
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Anomalies are Markers in the Well at
Known Distances
• Anomaly distances are entered as Well Marker Info
• Initially based on an estimated acoustic velocity, tick
marks along the depth axis are located at distances that
would correspond to the location of the anomaly echoes.
• Anomalies don’t match echoes, relocates each tick mark
to match exactly the beginning of the echo for a specific
anomaly.
• Anomaly echoes are fixed to known depths – by starting
from the first anomaly, then from the first anomaly to the
second anomaly and so on until the distance to the
liquid level is accurately determined.
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Anomaly Analysis Example
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Feb. 6 - 10, 2012
2012 Gas-Lift Workshop
Collars
Anomaly Echo
Noisy Initial Acoustic Trace With Anomaly Echoes
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Scale up trace to see better.
See Echoes Better by Removing Noise From Acoustic Trace
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Identify/Select Correct Liquid Level Echo
Move the LL marker to the “knee” of the kick.
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Liquid Level Depth is Approximate
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Known Depth of Anomalies
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Make Depth Accurate by Identifying Each Anomaly
SSSV
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At first glance, it appears the
automatic pick of marker is a
little to the left of the kick.
Next Anomaly Automatically Selected
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But we also see a kick to
the left of the marker.
Some quick calculations
tell us that this is not a
repeat.

Select Interval Left to get a
clear picture of the
reflection located just
below the 6 second mark.
Fine Tune Location of Selected Anomaly
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This is a much more likely
position for the placement
of the next marker.
Examine the Acoustic Trace and Select Correct Echo
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Continue Down Trace Selecting Anomaly Echoes
If the correct marker is not
selected, then move window to see
the marker echo.
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Continue Down Trace Selecting Anomaly Echoes
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Scale UP if needed to verify
that this is the last marker
before the liquid level.
Continue Down Trace Selecting Anomaly Echoes
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Gas Lift Mandrel 8 and the
Packer are below the liquid
level marker so these last two
markers can be skipped.
Anomaly Echoes Below the Liquid Level are Negligible
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Accurate Distance to Liquid Level Using Anomaly Depths
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Discussion of Anomaly Analysis
• New Technology Does the Calculations on
the Acoustic Trace for You
• Identifying Anomaly Echoes is Simplified
• Marker Depths are Automatically Determined
• Manual Adjustments Required For Accuracy
• Data is digital and not on a Strip of Paper, so
Safe Backup of Information is Done
• Recall of Data and Re-analysis is a Straight
Forward Process
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2013 Gas Well Deliquification Workshop
Denver, Colorado
Feb. 17 – 20, 2013
Intrinsically safe equipment and wiring
shall not be capable of releasing sufficient
electrical or thermal energy under normal
or abnormal conditions to cause ignition
of a specific atmospheric mixture in its
most easily ignited concentration.
Intrinsically Safe Equipment
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2013 Gas Well Deliquification Workshop
Denver, Colorado
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Classification of Hazardous Zones
Rod Pumped Well: API-RP500

Division 1 Zone –


In the sump;
Hydrocarbon gases
heavier than air may
accumulate.
Division 2 Zone –


Surrounding the tree,
stuffing box, and a
portion of the flowline.
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Explosion Prevention Methods
• Explosion-Proof Enclosures
• Purging or Pressurization
• Encapsulation
• Oil Immersion or Powder Filling
• Intrinsic Safety
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Denver, Colorado
Requirements for Intrinsic Safety
• Simple Apparatus
– Thermocouples, RTD’s, switches, LED’s
– Strain Gage type pressure transducer,
dynamometer load cell transducers
• Intrinsically Safe Certified Apparatus
– Transmitters, current to pressure
converters, solenoid valves,
piezoelectric microphones
– Intrinsic Safety Barrier
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Denver, Colorado
Intrinsically Safe Field Devices
Gas Gun Acoustic Instruments
– Microphones used in the wellhead attachments
include piezoelectric crystals. Special intrinsic
safety barrier microphones are manufactured.

– Solenoid device on the remotely fire gas guns must
be Encapsulated and power line must be
Pressurized for intrinsic certification.

– So often the acoustic instrument will be manually
operated and fired.
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2013 Gas Well Deliquification Workshop
Denver, Colorado
Intrinsically Safe 5000 psi Gas Gun
Often used to Shoot Gas Lift Wells

5000 psi rated Gas Gun is
modified, as shown by the
engravings, with a special
microphone for use in
hazardous areas.
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Intrinsically Safe Fluid Level
Instruments
 Computerized Recorder or Strip Chart
Recorder

 Modified with safety circuits to limit
electrical energy output in the event of a
component malfunction.

 Must be installed in a safe area when
used with the certified gas guns that are
located in a hazardous area.

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Denver, Colorado
Installation Drawing for Instrument with
Intrinsic Safety Barrier
Intrinsic
Safety
Barrier
Intrinsically Safe Fluid Level Instrument
Located in Hazardous Area
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When
installed
correctly and
used in
conjunction
with a
certified field
device is
approved for
use inside
hazardous
environments.
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Conclusion
• Intrinsically Safe Field Instruments
– 1500psi Compact Gas Gun
– 5000psi Gas Gun, also design/construction materials meet
MR-01-75 to allow use in corrosive CO2 and H2S environments
• Intrinsically Safe Fluid Level Instruments
– Model M Chart Recorder (Install and operate within Safe Zone)
– Model H Digital Recorder (Can be operated within Hazardous
Zone)
• Intrinsically Safe Computerized Well Analyzer
– Model E (Install and operate within Safe Zone)
– Pressure Transducer, Strain Gage Dynamometer transducers
considered Simple Apparatus
Feb. 17 – 20, 2013 2013 Gas Well Deliquification Workshop
Denver, Colorado
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the Gas Well Deliquification Workshop, they grant to the Workshop,
the Artificial Lift Research and Development Council (ALRDC), and
the Southwestern Petroleum Short Course (SWPSC), rights to:
– Display the presentation at the Workshop.
– Place it on the www.alrdc.com web site, with access to the site to be
as directed by the Workshop Steering Committee.
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Workshop Steering Committee.
Other use of this presentation is prohibited without the expressed
written permission of the author(s). The owner company(ies) and/or
author(s) may publish this material in other journals or magazines if
they refer to the Gas Well Deliquification Workshop where it was
first presented.


Feb. 17 – 20, 2013 2013 Gas Well Deliquification Workshop
Denver, Colorado
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Continuing Education Course. A similar disclaimer is included on the front page of the Gas Well
Deliquification Web Site.
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Well Deliquification Workshop Steering Committee members, and their supporting organizations
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