The artificial mean of increasing fluidity of certain liquids is known as artificial lift. Various mechanical devices such as velocity strings and pumps achieve artificial fluidity of the liquids. Artificial lift provides the required amount of pressure in low reservoir pressure, which brings the crude oil to the surface, making it easy to collect. As it increases the natural flow of the liquids, they are often used in naturally flowing wells that naturally do not require artificial lifts. When you observe the market trends and forecasts of the artificial lift market, you understand that there is a great demand for these instruments. As a result, the market has some promising opportunities for growth in the near future.
Major Types of Artificial Lift
Most oil production reservoirs have sufficient potential to naturally produce oil and gas – which are light – during the early phases of production. Water – which is heavier than oil and much heavier than gas – often will eventually encroach into production, possibly causing the well to stop flowing entirely? In addition, reservoir pressure will decrease as many reservoirs deplete, reducing the natural flow to below a profitable rate. At some point, economics can justify the cost of an artificial lift market plan to continue or increase production. Most water-producing wells, by contrast, will need artificial lift from the very beginning of production because they do not benefit from the lighter density of oil and gas. Following are the major types of artificial lift:
Hydraulic Pumping Systems
Hydraulic pumping systems transmit energy to the bottom of the well by means of pressurized power fluid that flows down in the wellbore tubular to a subsurface pump. There are at least three types of hydraulic subsurface pump, which include reciprocating piston pump, jet pump and hydraulically driven downhole turbines or HSP.
Gas lift is another widely used artificial lift method. As the name denotes, gas is injected in the tubing to reduce the weight of the hydrostatic column, thus reducing the backpressure and allowing the reservoir pressure to push the mixture of produce fluids and gas up to the surface. The gas lift can be deployed in a wide range of well conditions. Gas lifts can cope well with abrasive elements and sand, and the cost of work over is minimum.
Rod pumps are long slender cylinders with both fixed and moveable elements inside. The pump is designed to be inserted inside the tubing of a well and its main purpose is to gather fluids from beneath it and lift them to the surface. The most important components include the barrel, valves (traveling and fixed) and the piston. It also has another 18 to 30 components, which are called as fittings.
Apart from these three, Electric Submersible Pumps (ESP) and Progressing Cavity Pumps (PCP) are widely applied in various industries.
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