Whether in a gas well, oil well, or gas lift well, the mechanics of a plunger-lift system are the same. The plunger, a length of steel, is dropped through the tubing to the bottom of the well and allowed to travel back to the surface. It provides a piston-like interface between liquids and gas in the wellbore and prevents liquid fallback—a part of the liquid load that effectively is lost because it is left behind. Because the plunger provides a “seal” between the liquid and the gas, a well’s own energy can be used to lift liquids out of the wellbore efficiently.
Plunger lift commonly is used to remove liquids from gas wells or produce relatively low volume, high GOR oil wells. Plunger lift is important and, in its most efficient form, will operate with only the energy from the well. Fig. 2 shows a schematic of a plunger lift installation. A free-traveling plunger and produced liquid slug is cyclically brought to the surface of the well from stored gas pressure in the casing tubing annulus and from the formation. In the off cycle, the plunger falls and pressure builds again in the well. A new two-piece plunger (cylinder with ball underneath) can lift fluids when the components are together, but both components are designed to fall when separate. Use of this plunger allows a shut-in portion of the operational cycle that is only a few seconds long, resulting in more production for many wells
Pump Projects offers high-efficiency plunger lift systems built to API specifications. Our plunger lift equipment has the following capabilities:
- Sweet or sour service equipment options
- Lubricators capable of up to 10,000 psi working pressure rating
- Controllers that optimize and monitor all system functions
- Plungers designed for variable downhole conditions and tubing sizes
- Bottom hole bumper springs to absorb plunger impact
These systems are environmentally friendly and well-suited to the following applications:
- Dewatering liquid loading gas wells
- Wells with high gas-oil ratios
- Wells with marginal production
- Wells currently being soaped
- Paraffin and hydrate control
Plunger Lift Monitoring
Pump Project’s live plugin driver system can quickly integrate new plunger-lift systems. Full control and live view of the plunger enables technicians to remotely monitor and tune their plunger-lift systems.
Custom reports allow technicians to plot plunger states along with pressures and flows to better tune and optimize your well.
- – Multiple sensors, states, and plunger events all included in monitoring plans.
- – Alarms notifying technicians or operators of plunger non-arrivals.
- – Clean easy to understand graphing to better understand the plunger states and pressures.
- – Full plunger control to tune and adjust set points based on selected algorithm.
Plunger Lift Advantages
- Requires no outside energy source- uses well’s energy to lift
- Dewatering gas wells
- Rig not required for install
- Easy maintenance
- Keeps well cleaned of paraffin deposits
- Low cost artificial lift method
- Handles gassy wells
- Good in deviated wells
- Can produce well to depletion
Plunger Lift System Limitations
- Specific GLR’s to drive system
- Low volume potential (200 bpd)
- Requires surveillance to optimize