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SPE 141251

Performance Evaluation of a Plunger Assisted Intermittent Gas Lift System


O. Bello/Texas A&M University, G. Falcone/Texas A&M University, J. Xu/Shell Exploration & Production, S. Scott/
Shell Exploration & Production
Copyright 2011, Society of Petroleum Engineers

This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE Production and Operations Symposium held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, 2729 March 2011.

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been
reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its
officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to
reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

ABSTRACT
Several techniques have been investigated to date to alleviate the detrimental effect of liquid loading in gas wells.
However, relatively little is known about the theoretical and operational aspects of plunger-assisted intermittent
gas lift for gas well deliquification. This study presents an analytical approach for modeling the performance
plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift system using conservation equations (continuity and momentum),
thermodynamic principles and material balance.

Numerical examples are presented to illustrate the performance of the model using field data. A sensitivity study
is then performed to assess the influence of different parameters on the performance of the plunger-assisted
intermittent gas lift system.

INTRODUCTION
The problems associated with liquid loading represent a threat to current and future production of natural gas.
Plunger lift is the most commonly used gas well deliquification technology worldwide, even though its efficiency is
adversely affected by the decrease in gas-liquid ratio (GLR) and reservoir pressure. One way to mitigate the
impact of GLR and reservoir pressure on plunger lift cycle performance is by combining plunger lift operation with
intermittent gas lift. The working principle of a plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift system consists of increasing
the annular pressure by injecting gas into the annulus between tubing and coiled tubing, and then releasing it to
lift the liquid slug and plunger up the coiled tubing. The performance of plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift
depends, among the others, on gas injection rate and pressure, well completions design, and plunger fall and rise
velocities. There are only a few studies on plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift well operation.

White (1982) conducted a systematic experimental investigation on intermittent gas lift with and without a plunger.
White concluded that using a plunger enhances lift efficiency and reduces liquid fallback. He also found that a
plunger with a hole through the center area has a more positive effect on lift efficiency.

Hernandez et al. (1993) developed the framework for combining laboratory and field data to test and adjust simple
theoretical models required to analyze liquid fall-back in intermittent gas lift with plungers. In their study, the
authors recognized the relationship between the plunger rise velocity and the liquid fall-back.

Chacin et al. (1992) presented a mechanistic model and a numerical approach for predicting and optimizing
plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift installations. The scope of their work was to analyze the interactions between
different phases (accumulation of reservoir fluids in the wellbore, annulus pressure buildup, plunger/liquid slug
rise, liquid production into the flowline) in the complete production cycle. To model their interactions, they
considered important parameters such as reservoir pressure, inflow performance, tubing and flowline
characteristics, available injection pressure, surface injection choke design, gas lift valve design and performance.
The results obtained from the research done at a later stage of the project were reported in a subsequent
publication (Chacin et al., 1995).
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The focus of the previous studies has been on plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift where the lifting energy is
provided by compressed gas that flows into the production tubing though a gas lift valve.

However, the focus of this specific study is on gas injection into the production-coiled tubing annulus. Liquid lifting
takes place in the coiled tubing, while natural gas from the reservoir is continuously produced through the casing-
production tubing annulus. Conventional plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift methods do not account for this type
of well configuration.

Thus, the aim of this study is to develop a methodology to determine the performance of plunger-assisted
intermittent gas lift and use the obtained liquid lifting performance data to evaluate different designs for a synthetic
gas well. This paper presents a model which has the capability to assess the feasibility of a field trial of plunger-
assisted intermittent gas lift and help assist with its design.

SYSTEM DESCRIPTION

The operation cycle of the plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift system is divided into four parts: shut-in stage, gas
injection and pressure build-up stage, liquid unloading stage (by plunger and by high-pressure gas expansion)
and well blow-down.

Figures 1 to 2 illustrate the shut-in stage. During this phase, the flowline motor valve closes, the flow is shut-in,
the plunger falls down the coiled tubing and liquid influx into the wellbore increases while the standing valve at the
bottomhole remains open. The plunger falls through the accumulated liquid in the coiled tubing and comes to rest
on the bumper string. At this stage, the liquid level can either be calculated from the value of liquid that has
passed through the standing valve during the plunger fall (using an orifice relationship), if the differential pressure
across the valve, the plunger fall time, and the liquid influx into the wellbore are known, or it can be assumed
based on the desired lifting capability of the system. If the liquid level is assumed, the static pressure at the
bottom of the coiled tubing can be calculated from the wellhead pressure and the static head. The time for the
plunger to reach the bumper spring can be calculated using an average fall velocity (e.g., 200 ft/min.) depending
on the plunger type operated in the well. With the plunger at the bottom of the coiled tubing, and the standing
valve closed, the gas injection and pressure build-up stage is initiated.

The gas injection starts from a system pressure of 550 psi and builds up to a desired injection pressure (e.g. 800
psi) through the coiled-production tubing annulus as the volume of injected gas increases. During this phase, it
will be assumed that the liquid level stays constant both in the coiled tubing and in the coiled-production tubing
annulus. In reality, as the gas in the annulus is pressurized, the liquid level in the annulus will move down a little
bit, and that in the coiled tubing will move up because the closed gas volume in the coiled tubing will pressurize
and shrink.

Compared with the traditional plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift systems, the unique feature of the current
design is the condensing liquid (as shown in blue color) that accumulates in the U-shaped tank formed between
the coiled-production tubing and coiled tubing. The schematics of the U-shaped tank presented in Figures 3 and 4
are used for performance system analysis.

The unloading phase starts when the gas injection valve closes after reaching the desired injection pressure (800
psi), the flowline motor valve opens and the expansion of the high pressure gas that is stored in the coiled-
production tubing annulus begins.

The sudden expansion of the injected gas in the annulus provides the kinetic energy and buoyancy effect which is
needed for lifting the accumulated liquid and the plunger to surface. It is assumed at this point that the standing
valve does not open when the plunger is released with the opening of the surface production valve. Snapshots of
the unloading phase are represented in Figures 5 to 7.

The arrival of plunger and liquid slug at surface marks the beginning of the blow-down phase. The end of this
phase is when pressure decreases till the standing valve re-opens, the liquid heights in the coiled tubing and in
the coiled-production tubing annulus increase, and then the cycle starts again.
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Fig. 1: Schematic of the plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift (plunger falling)


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Fig. 2: Schematic of the plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift (plunger at bottom)


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Fig. 3: Schematic of the plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift (gas injection process)
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Fig. 4: Schematic of the plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift (U-shaped tank)


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Fig. 5: Schematic of the plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift (U-shaped tank)


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Fig. 6: Schematic of the plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift (during gas expansion)
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Fig. 7: Schematic of the plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift (two-phase below plunger)
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MODELING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE PLUNGER-ASSISTED INTERMITTENT GAS


LIFT SYSTEM
A simple model for predicting a plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift system performance under steady-state
assumptions was developed using the well completion schematics shown in Figures 3, 4, 5 and 6, and described
below.

Model Assumptions
The assumptions behind the analytical model developed for this study are as follows:
- The mixture has the properties of a real gas and flows under steady-state conditions.
- Temperature changes along the system are negligible.
- The initial liquid levels are assumed based on the desired lifting capability.
- With no information on the reservoir, the standing valve is assumed to remain closed while the plunger is
rising.
- The standing valve opens when the pressure of the fluid mixture on the downstream side of the valve is
such that the pressure drop across the valve becomes equal to the minimum pressure drop that sets the
valve open.
- There is a flat gas-liquid contact both in the coiled tubing and in the annulus.
- Gas and liquid form a homogeneous mixture in Region 2.
- The compressibility of the gas-liquid mixture in Region 2 is considered to be negligible.
- There is continuous production from the reservoir.
- The plunger fall velocity is assumed from the smart plunger measurement from the field
- All perforations are modeled as one equivalent perforations set.

Development of the Analytical Model

Let us a vertical, concentric wellbore partly filled with liquid, and let the wellbore have a height of L, as shown in
Fig. 3.1. Since the coiled tubing and coiled-production tubing annulus are filled to static heights of hSCT and hSAL,
by neglecting the velocity of liquid and the wall friction factor, the static pressure (PSTAT) at the bottom of the
vertical well section is given by Bernoullis equation as follows:

Where is the liquid density, is the wellhead pressure, is the gas injection pressure.

Material balance equations are used to calculate the differential gas volume before and after gas expansion in the
U-shaped tank system:

, , 3

where i = node number.

The relationship between the differential mass flow rate and the differential pressure drop can be described as
follows:

4
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The real gas equation of state (Equations 6 and 7) is used for calculating the differential volume due to expansion
of the injected gas in the annulus from a high pressure to a lower pressure:

The whole volume of liquid in the U-shaped tank must be drained before the injected gas in the coiled-production
tubing annulus can expand into the coiled tubing at bottomhole pressure and temperature conditions.

The z-factors have been calculated using the correlation of Hall and Yarborough (1974). The other properties
have been calculated as described in Guo and Ghalambor (2005).

The contribution of the lift gas stored in the annulus to liquid lifting performance characteristics of the plunger-
assisted intermittent gas lift system are derived as follows:

, , 8

, 9

, 10

dPT dCT 11

CT CT
, 12

CT
, 13

where
,

To meet the liquid and plunger lifting capacity requirements, the pressure at the bottom of the U-shaped tank
must satisfy the following equation:

800
14
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where is the additional liquid height due to and is the mixture density. The slip-based gas volume
fraction ( ) is the ratio of the calculated volumes:
,
15
, ,

16

The well is completely blown-down when:

17

The following equations are used to verify if the standing valve will remain close while the plunger travels to
surface:

18

19

If (Standing valve is open) 20

If (Standing valve is close) 21

Calculation of Gas Flow Velocity during Venting Phase


The square root relationship between mass flow rate and differential pressure proposed in Perry Chemical
Engineers Handbook could be used for calculating gas flow during the blow down (venting) phase of the plunger
assisted intermittent gas lift cycle operation. However, it has not been used in the current analysis. The
expression is given as follows:

22

where
= Orifice coefficient
= Wellhead pressure during blowdown
= Line pressure
= Mass flow rate of gas
= System temperature

The gas velocity ( ) and blow down time ( ) are calculated as follows:

23

dCT 24

Calculation of Plunger Rise Velocity


The plunger rise velocity is calculated on the basis of the following assumptions:
- Lift, virtual mass and Basset forces are negligible.
- No gas is entrained in the liquid slug as the plunger rises.
- Coiled-production tubing annulus fluids only flow into the coiled tubing.
- Vapor condensation is not considered.
- Isothermal assumption is made in both in both the annulus and coiled tubing.
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The general momentum equation (Newtons Second Law of Motion) for the plunger/slug rising system can be
written as follows:

25

26

g 27

The above equation [27] can be re-written as:

28

where

29

30

31

32

Partial fractions of Equation [30] can be obtained as follows:

33

34

1 35

If , 36

then 37

If , 38

then 39

Integrating equation [30] with the initial conditions of and gives:

40

41
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Calculation of Total Time for One Cycle


The total time for one cycle ( TCYCLE ) is calculated as follows:
TCYCLE = TFALL + TINJ + TRISE + TBLOWDOWN 42

where the plunger fall time (TFALL) is calculated as:

hCT
TFALL = 1.1 43

u PFall

The time for gas injection (TINJ) is calculated as:


44
,

,
, 45

dPT dCT 46

The plunger rise time (TRISE) is calculated as:

hCT
TRISE = 47
u PRise

The time for well blow-down (TBLOW-DOWN) is calculated as:

48

Computational Methodology

Using the proposed model, a computational methodology was implemented to investigate the plunger-assisted
intermittent gas-lift system performance over an extended range of operations, typical of a synthetic gas well.
The integrated computational procedure is summarized in Figure 8 and is given as follows:

i. Input well geometry, system and operating parameters.


ii. Initialize all static pressures.
iii. Assume an initial value for .
iv. Calculate and from Equation [1] and Equation [2].
v. Calculate and from Equation [6] and Equation [7].
vi. Compute the value of and from Equation [11].
vii. Estimate , and , from Equation [12] and Equation [13].
viii. Compute the value and from Equation [15] and Equation [16].
ix. Verify equations [20] and [21].
x. Calculate barrel per cycle, time per cycle and barrel per day from Equations [12, 22]
xi. Repeat steps iii to x until Equation [17] is satisfied within an acceptable tolerance.
xii. Output the results and stop.
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Fig. 8: Flow diagram for the method used to estimate the system performance
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EXAMPLE CALCULATIONS
Base Case
Table 1 lists the well, production tubing, coiled tubing, operating and system input data used to test the proposed
model and to assess the feasibility of plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift. A typical blow down time of 50
minutes, obtained from a previous study on smart plungers, was used in this study.

Table 1: Input Parameters for the Plunger Model

Parameter Value (Oilfield Units) Value (SI Units)

Length of production tubing, hPT 13200 (ft.) 4023.4 (m)

Length of coiled tubing, hCT 13000 (ft.) 3962.4 (m)

Length of liquid column, hSCT (L) 200 - 400 60.96 121.9 (m)
Density of water, w 62.4 (Ib/cu.ft) 1000 (kg/m3)
Coiled tubing ID, DCTi 1.374 (in.) 0.035 (m)
Coiled tubing OD, DCTO 1.75 (in.) 0.044 (m)
Production tubing ID, DPTi 1.995 (in.) 0.051 (m)
Production tubing OD, DPTO 2.375 (in.) 0.060 (m)
Casing ID, DCi 3.92 (in.) 0.099 (m)
Gas specific gravity, G 0.623 (-) 0.623 (-)
Liquid specific gravity, L 1.02 (-) 1.02 (-)
Line pressure, pL 550 (psig) 3792116.504 (Pa)
Casing pressure, pMC 550 (psig) 3792116.504 (Pa)
Bottomhole pressure, pWFi 600 (psig) 4136854(Pa)
Wellhead temperature, TWH 90 (0F) 305.372 (K)
0
Bottomhole temperature, TWF 225 ( F) 380.372 (K)

Water-Gas Ratio (WGR) 40 (bbls/MMscf) 0.23 (m3/ E3m3)


Plunger fall velocity in gas, uPFG 200 (ft/min) 1.016 (m/s)
Plunger fall velocity in liquid, uPFG 194 (ft/min) 0.986 (m/s)
Effective wall roughness, k 0.0018 (ft) 0.000548 (m)
Gas injection rates, qLG 130 (Mcf/d) 0.043 (m3/s)
Gas injection pressure, pINJ 800 (psi) 5515805.824 (Pa)
Surface tension, 72 (dyne/cm) 0.072 (N/m)
Plunger internal diameter, dP 1.25 (in.) 0.032 (m)
Plunger height, hp 17.755 (in.) 0.451 (m)
Plunger weight, Wp 5 (Ibf) 22.24 (N)
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For this specific example, different initial liquid levels (200ft, 400ft and 600ft), injection gas pressure (800psi,
1100psi and 1300psi) and injection gas rates (300 MSCFPD, 500 MSCFPD and 700 MSCFPD) are
investigated.The static bottomhole pressures in the annulus and coiled tubing before and after fluid expansion,
liquid lifting capacity per cycle, plunger rise velocity, time per cycle and liquid lifting rate per day are calculated
using the analytical equations described above and implemented in an Engineering Equation Solver (EES) code.

The calculated static bottomhole pressures in the annulus and coiled tubing before and after fluid expansion are
presented in Figures 9 and 10. From the calculated static bottom hole pressure values, plunger lifting to the
surface (13000 ft) is possible for liquid slugs of 200ft (800psi), 200ft (1100psi), 200ft (1400psi), 400ft (1100psi),
400ft (1400psi), 600ft (1100psi) and 600ft (1400psi), respectively. However, plunger lifting to the surface would be
impossible for a liquid slug of 400ft and higher at an injection pressure of 800psi. This is because the calculated
static buttonhole pressure in the coiled tubing after fluid expansion is greater than the annular pressure under
these specific conditions. Table 2 shows the final and intermediate results for the three static liquid levels, two
injection gas pressures and three injection gas rates. In this example, plunger rise velocities of 1113 ft/min, 1022
ft/min, 924 ft/min, 781 ft/min, 717 ft/min, 632 ft/min and 581ft/min are calculated for a liquid level of 200ft and gas
injection pressures of 1400psi, 1100psi and 800psi; liquid level of 400ft and gas injection pressures of 1400psi
and 1100psi; liquid level of 600ft and gas injection pressures of 1400psi and 1100psi, respectively. For the
maximum injection gas rate (700 MSCF/D), a higher liquid lifting rate per day is observed. This is attributable to a
lower injection time that translates into a higher number of cycles per day. When the injection gas pressure is
reduced from 1400 psi to 800 psi, the liquid lifting performance is reduced from 4.6bbl (200ft), 7.9 bbl (400ft), 11.2
bbl (600ft) to 3.9bbl (200ft), 0.0 bbl (400ft) and 0.0bbl (600ft), respectively.

Parametric Study
The EES code was run for an array of 120 datasets. The combined effect of slug height and gas injection
pressure (varied from 800 psi to 1400 psi) on plunger rise velocity is presented in Figure 11. The plunger rise
velocity increases with injection gas pressure, although not significantly. The difference in plunger rise velocity
between gas injection pressures of 800 psi and 1400 psi at high static liquid level is less than 50ft/min. For a
given gas injection pressure, the plunger rise velocity decreases with increasing static liquid levels.

2000
Tubing and annular pressures (psi))

1800
1600
1400
1200
1000
800
600
400
200
0
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
Liquid level (ft)
PCPT-P1 (initial) PCP-P2 (initial) PCP-P3 (initial) CT-P (initial)

Figure 9: Static bottomhole pressures versus liquid slugs at different injection


pressures (before fluid expansion)
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Tubing and annular pressures (psi)

1600

1200

800

400

0
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
Liquid level (ft)
PCPT-P1 (final) PCP-P2 (final) PCP-P3 (final) CT-P (final)

Figure 10: Static bottomhole pressures versus liquid slugs at different injection
pressures (after fluid expansion)

1800

1600

1400
Plunger rise velocity (ft/min)

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

0
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
Liquid level (ft)

950psi 1100psi

Figure 11: Effects of gas injection pressure on plunger rise velocity


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Table 2: Calculated liquid barrel per day for base case

Lift Gas
Initial Injecti liquid Plunger injecti Blow Total
slug on Injection barrel Cycle Lift rise Rise Fall on down cycle
height pressu rate percycle per liquid velocity time time time time time
(ft) re(psi) (Mscf/D) (bbl) day (BPD) (ft/min) (min) (min) (min) (min) (min)
200 800 300 0.40 9.76 3.943 924 14.1 71.5 11.9 50 147.5
500 0.40 10.1 4.075 924 14.1 71.5 7.17 50 142.7
700 0.40 10.2 4.135 924 14.1 71.5 5.12 50 140.6
200 1100 300 0.43 9.67 4.161 1022 12.7 71.5 14.6 50 148.8
500 0.43 10.1 4.333 1022 12.7 71.5 8.7 50 142.9
700 0.43 10.2 4.407 1022 12.7 71.5 6.3 50 140.5
200 1400 300 0.45 9.57 4.308 1113 11.6 71.5 17.3 50 150.4
500 0.45 10.0 4.515 1113 11.6 71.5 10.4 50 143.5
700 0.45 10.2 4.612 1113 11.6 71.5 7.4 50 140.5
400 800 300 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
500 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
700 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
400 1100 300 0.78 9.35 7.293 717 18.1 71.5 14.4 50 154
500 0.78 9.72 7.578 717 18.1 71.5 8.6 50 148.2
700 0.78 9.88 7.703 717 18.1 71.5 6.2 50 145.8
400 1400 300 0.8 9.27 7.422 781 16.7 71.5 17 50 155.2
500 0.8 9.70 7.762 781 16.7 71.5 10.2 50 148.4
700 0.8 9.90 7.917 781 16.7 71.5 7.3 50 145.5
600 800 300 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
500 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
700 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
600 1100 300 1.15 9.11 10.47 581 22.4 71.5 14.2 50 158.1
500 1.15 9.45 10.86 581 22.4 71.5 8.5 50 152.4
700 1.15 9.6 11.04 581 22.4 71.5 6.1 50 150.0
600 1400 300 1.16 9.06 10.51 632 20.6 71.5 16.8 50 158.9
500 1.16 9.46 10.97 632 20.6 71.5 10.1 50 152.2
700 1.16 9.65 11.18 632 20.6 71.5 7.2 50 149.3

CONCLUSIONS
In this paper, the performance characteristics of a plunger-assisted intermittent gas-lift system have been
presented under different operating conditions. For the assessment, a simple analytical model has been
developed to predict plunger rise velocity, liquid lifting capacity per cycle, time for one cycle and liquid lifting
capacity per day using a synthetic field dataset.

The main conclusions that can be drawn from the study are as follows:

The plunger rise velocity and liquid lifting performance of a plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift system
can be described by a simple analytical model.
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The increase in liquid lifting capacity per cycle obtained for the base case with injection gas pressure from
800 psi to 1400 psi resulted in less than 3 % increase in liquid removal.

It is not possible for the plunger to rise to surface at a gas injection pressure of 800psi and liquid slug of
400ft or higher.

The combination of low static liquid level and high gas injection pressure appears to be the most cost
effective for the given well completions and operating conditions.

Using the experience gained with a previous study on smart plungers, a generalized model could be used
to calculate the plunger rise velocity for this application.

The analysis of the plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift system can be extended by accounting for
reservoir pressure and inflow characteristics.

Laboratory experiments or field testing should be conducted to verify the accuracy of the plunger-assisted
intermittent gas lift system performance prediction.

A thorough cost analysis of the plunger-assisted intermittent gas lift system should be performed with a
critical eye for savings opportunities.

NOTATIONS
pSTAT CT Static bottomhole pressure in coiled tubing (psi)
pSTAT CTP Static bottomhole pressure in production-coiled tubing annulus (psi)
p H Wellhead pressure (psi)
pGINJ Injection gas pressure (psi)
hG Static gas height in the coiled tubing (ft)
hSCT Static liquid height in the coiled tubing (ft)
hSAG Static gas height in the production-coiled tubing annulus (ft)
hSAL Static liquid height in the production-coiled tubing annulus (ft)
L Gas density (Ib/ft3)
G g Gas density (Ib/ft3)
g Acceleration due to gravity (ft/s2)
gC Unit correction factor (-)
hCT Coiled tubing depth (ft)
L Production tubing depth (ft)
mGBD Mass flow rate of gas (Ib/s)
VG,CT Total gas volume in the CT (ft3)
VW,CT Total water volume in the CT (bbl.)
VG, Gas volume due to gas expansion in the annulus (ft3)
V , Water volume displaced out of the annulus (bbl.)
V BP Water volume below the plunger (bbl.)
h Differential height of water displaced into the CT(ft)
pV Differential pressure across a downhole standing valve (psi)
pUP Pressure downstream of a downhole standing valve (psi)
h Additional liquid height (ft)
h Gas-liquid mixture height in the CT (ft)
Gas-liquid mixture density in the CT (Ib/ft3)
p Pressure drawdown value (psi)
pWF Pressure at the bottom of the U-shaped tank for a certain drawdown (psi)
HG Gas volume fraction - the ratio of the calculated volumes (-)
C Orifice coefficient (-)
PBH Wellhead pressure during blow down (psi)
PL Line pressure (psi)
T System temperature (0F)
A CT Cross-sectional area of CT (ft2)
D CT Internal diameter of CT (ft)
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D CT Outside diameter of CT (in)


D PT Internal diameter of production tubing (in)
D PT Outside diameter of production tubing (in)
DC Internal diameter of casing (in)
mPS Plunger/slug mass (Ibm)
uPS Plunger/slug rise velocity (ft/s)
uPS Plunger/slug rise velocity at t t (ft/s)
fS Slug friction factor (-)
F Total forces acting on a plunger/slug (Ibf)
FW Gravitational force acting on plunger/slug (Ibf)
FB Buoyancy force acting on plunger/slug (Ibf)
FDS Slug-wall interaction force (Ibf)
FDP Plunger-wall interaction force (Ibf)
TCYCLE Total time for one cycle (min.)
TFALL Plunger fall time (min.)
TINJ Gas injection time (min.)
TRISE Plunger rise time (min.)
TGBD Gas blow down time (min.)

REFERENCES
Chacin, J., Schmidt, Z., and Doty, D. 1992, Modeling and Optimization of Plunger Lift- Assisted Intermittent Gas
Lift Installations. SPE Paper # 23683. SPE Advanced Technology Series, Vol. 2, No.1.

Chacin, J., Schmidt, Z., and Doty, D. 1995, Modeling and Optimization of Plunger Lift- Assisted Intermittent Gas
Lift Installations. SPE Paper # 28162.

Falcone, G., Chava, G., Teodoriu. C. Plunger Lift Modeling Toward Efficient Liquid Unloading in Gas Wells.
Accepted in October 2009 for publication in the SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction Journal.

Guo, B., and Ghalambor, A. 2005. Properties of Natural Gas. In Natural Gas Engineering
Handbook. ed. B. Guo and A. Ghalambor, Chap. 2, 2-26. Houston, Texas: Gulf Publishing Co.

Hernandez, A., Marcano, L., Caicedo, S. and Cabunaru, R. 1993, Liquid Fall-Back Measurements in Intermittent
Gas Lift with Plungers. SPE Paper # 26556. Proceedings of the SPE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition,
3-6 October, Houston.

Lea, J.F., Nickens, H.V., Wells, M., 2003, Gas Well Deliquification, first edition, Elsevier Press, Cambridge, MA,
2003.

White, G. W.1982, Combine Gas-Lift Plunger to Increase Production Rate. World Oil. Pp. 69-76, November.