Jim McCoy, Lynn Rowlan, Brian Ellithorp, Echometer Company

Tony Podio, Univeristy of Texas at Austin


Many sucker rod lifted wells are operating at less than 30% electrical efficiency, because the downhole gas separator installed in the well is inefficient.  Free gas interfering with liquid filling the pump is a major operational problem encountered in producing Sucker Rod Lifted wells.  Gas interference is when free gas at the pump intake enters the pump filling displacement volume with gas in place of liquid, then significant loss in liquid production, reduced drawdown, increased failures and inefficiency occurs.  Installing an incorrectly designed gas separator is the most common problem.  Installing very long separators does not increase separator capacity or efficiency.  Restrictions in the annulus above the pump intake such as tubing anchors result in reduced annular gas flow with gas preferentially entering the pump.  A downhole gas separator has a maximum liquid capacity.  Casing size restricts the maximum size gas separator that can be installed in a well.  The separator used in a well should be designed for the well configuration/conditions.  Gas Separators with high separation efficiency should be used to effectively produce sucker rod lifted wells.