Reviving Dead Gas Wells
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Method and Apparatus to Revive Dead Gas Wells (Self-Agitating Soap Stick)

A method and apparatus for reviving water-plugged gas wells.

The method utilizes chemicals delivered downhole to diminish the magnitude of the water plug.

Practically all gas wells produce some water along with the natural gas. As long as the quantity of water is small, and the gas pressure and velocity are sufficiently high, the gas will carry the water out of the well. However, as gas is produced from the well, the gas pressure drops and its velocity diminishes. With time, water begins to accumulate and obstruct further gas production. Eventually, the hydrostatic pressure of the column is high enough to completely plug the well and stop gas production.

The water must be removed in order to restore gas production. Current water removal methods have significant disadvantages: some may require energy to pump it out; others pump in a displacing gas; still others can be quite expensive if special equipment is required, i.e.,swabbing.

Altachem/Select has developed a new technique for dealing with the water-plug problem.The first step is to customise a mixture of chemicals for each well based on the pH of the downhole water and other measurable characteristics. The mixture is then delivered to the bottom of the water plugged wells.

The intervention instantly transforms the static column of fluid into a column of foam, which allows the existing bottom hole pressure to restart flow from the well. When enough water has been removed by the technique, the natural gas pressure becomes sufficient to permit renewed gas production, which will continue without constant treatment.

The chemicals for treating one well cost approximately ???. The well treatment process is simple, and it does not require using complicated machinery with moving parts. Results in field tests have been excellent. The system was successful in restoring gas production to over 90% of water- plugged wells treated. The process is simple enough to permit an operator ‘s on-hand personnel to treat wells, thus eliminating additional labour costs.

In view of the excellent results from field tests, the ease and the attractive economics of utilizing this technology, it should soon assume a significant market share. World-wide, the problem of water plugging is increasingly expensive to correct, and this new technology should enable economical extension of the productive lifetime of an estimated 100,000 gas wells. Thousands of these are domestic wells that are suitable candidates for this procedure. This technology can be regarded as proven.