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Hydraulic pumping system design

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This page provides examples including calculations involved in the design and optimization of hydraulic pumping systems for artificial lift. Examples are included for both jet pumps and reciprocating hydraulic pump types.

Jet pumping system

The following is an example of a design for a well using a jet pumping system. The design data must be carefully collected and is shown in Table 1. Because there are numerous possible combinations, and a design typically requires many iterations, current design methods utilize computer software programs.

A jet pumping system was chosen because of the remote location, the advantage of the free-pump system to reduce pump pulling costs, and the advantages and flexibility of a central system to produce several wells drilled in the same field. There are no gas-sales lines, and the produced gas is used to provide the necessary energy to drive the prime movers. The wells are 5,400 ft in depth and have a static reservoir pressure of 2,050 psia. The jet hydraulic pumping system has been operating successfully for 5 years with low operating expenses.

One well was producing only 150 B/D, and a pressure buildup survey and production test indicated a skin of 50. Following a successful reperforating and stimulation treatment, the well is capable of producing significantly higher rates. By running the original jet combination and matching the power fluid, injection pressure, and total production, a new pump intake was calculated, and a new inflow performance relationship (IPR) curve was determined.

A design was made to find what could be produced with the existing horsepower and also what might be achieved if excess horsepower from a second well was used. A throat and nozzle (10B) with an annulus of 0.0503 was determined to be a good fit for both cases. The selected jet has an ability to produce 1,063 B/D using 1,720 B/D of power fluid at 2,500 psi injection or 81 hp. See Table 1. If the power-fluid injection pressure is increased to 3,000 psi, the power-fluid volume is increased to 1,896 B/D, and the pump intake pressure is reduced to 850 psig, then 1,200 B/D of production is feasible, which will take 108 hp.

The predicted performance of the jet pump system for this well is shown in Fig. 1. Line 1 on the graph represents 2,500 psi injection and 81 hp. Line 2 represents 3,000 psi and 108 hp. If pressure is increased to 3,500 psi, the pump will go into cavitation, and damage might occur to the jet nozzle throat.

Reciprocating hydraulic pump system

Currently a 12,000-ft well is equipped with a sucker rod beam pumping system with the pump set at only 9,000 ft. The design data, plus the well completion and pump installation data summary and a pump performance summary, are shown in Table 2. The well is deviated with a severe dogleg at 9,100 ft and produces only 100 B/D with a pump intake pressure (PIP) of about 1,000 psi. Workover rig cost is high, and a free-pump installation is desirable to reduce maintenance costs. Furthermore, a production increase is essential for this remotely located well. A review of the IPR data shown in Fig. 2 indicates that production can easily be increased from 100 B/D to 350 B/D, if the well can be pumped with a Pwf of 500 psi without significant gas interference. Pressure maintenance operations have begun in the field, and further decrease in the reservoir pressure is not expected. An economic analysis indicates a payout from changing to the hydraulic system in less than 3 years.

The 5½-in. casing has a significant effect on the proposed design. Considering the casing size, depth, production requirements, and reservoir conditions, a casing free-pump system was selected. Power oil is pumped down the tubing and returned up the casing-tubing annulus with the oil, water, and gas production. The 2 ⅞-in. [2.441-in. inside diameter (ID)] N-80 tubing now in the well has ample tension, burst, and collapse strengths and will be used. The pump is set at the lowest possible depth (12,000 ft) in order to achieve an operating pressure of 500 psi at the perforations. At design conditions, a pump displacement of about 580 B/D is required to produce the oil and water liquids, plus the free gas. In order to decrease the number of pump failures, the strokes per minute are limited to 33.4.

The selected pump is designed to run at 46.3% of rated speed, requiring a power-fluid volume of 741 B/D and an injection pressure of 3,211.8 psi. Horsepower required for this well is 44.9 hp, and a 60-hp system is selected to provide more flexibility and compensate for wear and possible higher gas volumes.

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See also

Hydraulic pumping

Downhole hydraulic pump installations

Downhole hydraulic pump types

Hydraulic pumping surface equipment

Hydraulic pumping systems for single wells


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