Rod lift is the most widely implemented artificial lift type, deployed on horizontal and vertical wells. Due to its widespread use, a strong body of rod lift optimization best practices exists, but unfortunately lacks consistent application. When those operational best practices are followed, E&P companies see increases in field profitability on even the lowest producing wells.
Despite the physical differences between horizontal and vertical wells, there is a consistent logic and methodology across both that improve rod lift efficiency, and thus profitability. First, well diagnostic processes determine whether wells are underpumping, dialed in, or overpumping. Second, based on the well classifications, remediating actions increase production or lower the number of wasteful, damaging strokes into the system. The third and final step is to apply a change to the control system (i.e., POC, VFD, timer) and observe the before-and-after results to gauge success.
Ideally, the optimization workflow is performed for every well on a regular basis. However, it requires significant time and resources to accomplish, and even when done daily, a tiny fraction of available stroke data receives attention and contributes to decision making. The reality is that field personnel have too many wells, too little time, and not enough of the right analysis or technology to optimize wells sufficiently.
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