Artificial Lift for Natural Gas
For many years, multiple methods have existed to artificially lift oil from reservoirs, including electric submersible pumps (ESPs), plunger lift, sucker rod pumps, gas lift systems, hydraulic pumping systems and progressive cavity pumps. However, until now, there were no artificial recovery methods for natural gas. Why is that?
Oil vs. Gas
Historically, significant investments were made to recover oil, and gas was simply a byproduct of those investments. However, a shift is underway in favor of natural gas, primarily due to its cleaner burn profile, its ability to meet 2025 emissions standards and its abundance in the United States and other energy producing countries. Natural gas is replacing coal in power plants globally. Technologies are being developed to convert natural gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG), and ports are being developed to handle and transport gas products around the world.
Market Shift Meets Technological Advancement
As market dynamics are shifting, technologies are advancing, opening up new opportunities in areas once considered out of reach, including the work done by our Parent Company, Calnetix Technologies. Prior to Upwing Energy’s formation, over three years have been spent on the development of an economical subsurface compressor system for the artificial lift of natural gas.
Previously, only about 60 percent of the natural gas from reservoirs could be recovered from conventional wells and only about 10 percent from unconventional wells. When the natural pressure of the gas below the earth diminished, there was no other option but to cap the well. Now, our Upwing Subsurface Compressor Systems™ (SCS) can be utilized to increase the rate of production from existing gas wells, and to deplete the natural gas reservoir down to unprecedented levels cost effectively.
Conventional Onshore Wells
In a conventional gas well, the reservoir pressure must overcome the wellbore pressure in order for gas to be produced. As the well ages and the reservoir pressure depletes, it becomes more difficult for the gas to naturally rise.
Our Upwing Subsurface Compressor Systems™ (SCS) decrease bottom hole flowing pressure, drawing the reservoir gas into the intake of the compressor and then pushing it up the production tubing to increase the flowing well head pressure and density. This increases the production rate by up to 50%, which increases cash flow and net present value. This also increases the rate of recovery significantly, increasing the production life and providing a healthier balance sheet.
Enhanced Flow with SCS (upon installation) (A) SCS (B) Higher well head pressure (C) Lower bottom hole pressure
Offshore Subsea Wells
Due to the high cost and logistics of offshore intervention systems, a single platform is utilized to gather gas from multiple subsea wells. These individual gas wells all tie in to a single manifold either at the seabed or on the platform or both. As the pressures deplete differently for each individual well, the manifold pressure has to be adjusted to the lowest producing pressure. Therefore, there is a rapid decline in total production.
Our Subsurface Compressors increase the pressure of the lowest producing well to stabilize the pressure of the subsea field and increase the manifold pressure to the highest pressure well, thus increasing the overall production rate and shortening the return on investment for the field.
In the subsea environment, there are longer distances between the surface equipment and the reservoir (the depth of the ocean plus the depth of the well). Our Subsurface Compressors are needed to overcome the opposing pressures created by these long step-outs, which topside compressors cannot achieve.
Subsurface Compressors also can be utilized to boost the pressure of the transportation line tied in to multiple subsea fields when transporting product onshore.