Texas Tech University

Production Optimization

Artificial Lift

With the advent of horizontal drilling, there are new challenges to artificial lift technologies to achieve efficient pumping techniques. We are currently testing and building new tools to increase the efficiency of Rod pump artificial lift. We have developed and patented a new tool for rod lift to better separate gas from the inlet of the pump. It is been tested successfully in one well to date and awaiting further use. A working agreement with Odessa separator has been executed to build these gas anchors. Research continues on quantifying various efficiencies with different tool construction and location within the horizontal wellbore.

Future work in other types of artificial lift are planned at the oilfield technology Center's 4000 foot test well. The test well has been utilized in the past for various rod lift experimental work utilizing the Lufkin conventional 456 unit and 9-5/8" wellbore design. This large wellbore with an elaborate wellhead design allows for a multitude of tubing string designs. This includes multi-strings of tubing and casing configurations.

Sucker Rod Pumping

Lloyd Heinze is chair of the SWPSC (Southwestern Petroleum Short Course). SWPSC holds the largest collection of papers concerning artificial lift in addition to a large volume of production operations papers. https://www.swpshortcourse.org/

ALEOC (Artificial Lift Energy Optimization Consortium) used big data analysis to optimize 25,000 sucker rod pumping wells (approximately one-fourth of the SRP wells) in the Permian Basin. The savings in operating cost exceeded $10 million.


Marshall Watson

Lloyd Heinze

Denny Bullard

Hossein Emadi

Smith Leggett

Refereed Papers:

Karmon, I., Panacharoensawad, E., Watson, M. (2019). Quantifying a New Horizontal Well Gas Anchor Performance (pp. SPE-195198-MS). Society of Petroleum Engineers, SPE Oklahoma City Oil and Gas Symposium, 9-10 April, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA.

Watson, M., Panacharoensawad, E., Gonzalez, G. (2018). New Gas Anchor for Horizontal Wells (pp. Proceedings of the Sixty-Fifth Annual Meeting April 18-19, 2018, pp. 239-248). Lubbock, Texas: Southwestern Petroleum Short Course.

Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering