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Subsurface Production Operations and Artificial Lift Technologies

14 December 2017 by Prof. Mahmoud Aly

From the perspective of somebody who has worked in the oil and gas business for more than 20 years, subsurface production operations (stimulation operations) and artificial lift technologies are important to improve the well productivity.  

The main elements of the subsurface production system include the reservoir, wellbore, tubing, perforation techniques, packer, SSSV, artificial lift equipment and wellhead. Understanding the integration between the elements of the subsurface production system along with the principles of the Inflow and outflow relationships is very important to be familiar with the well productivity and the production optimization. 

Formation damage has a great impact on the permeability in the area around the wellbore. Therefore, the formation damage reduces the productivity of the oil and gas wells. It is categorized by the mechanism of its creation as either natural or induced formation damage. The stimulation operations are used to remove the formation damage, improve the permeability and enhance the well productivity. The main question is what type of stimulation operation do we need for each formation damage type? Selection of the optimum method should depend on the technical assessment (formation damage type) and economical evaluation of the previous fieldsʹ applications. 

Artificial lift techniques are used to decrease the bottom-hole pressure and thus increase the production rate from the well. These techniques can be also used to generate flow from a well in which no flow is occurring. The various types of the artificial lift systems (Gas Lift, ESP, Sucker Rod Pump, etc.) along with their selection criteria should be studied to achieve production optimization. Each artificial lift method has relative advantages and disadvantages along with the applications and limitations considerations. Understanding the design of each artificial lift system is very important to have production optimization

PetroKnowledge have designed a Subsurface Production Operations and Artificial Lift Technologies course that provides an overview of well-performance evaluation leading to determination of well conditions necessitating application of artificial lift and stimulation operations. All causes of the formation damage (during drilling, cementing, production) and the remediation techniques will be presented. The practical aspects of the most important artificial lift methods will be covered. Several case studies including guidelines, approaches and procedures will be also presented for better understanding to the subsurface production operations and the artificial lift technologies.

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