Plunger Lift - PLS

Discipline: Production and Completions Engineering
Level: Intermediate
Instructors who teach this course:
  • Dr. James F. Lea


  • About the course
  • Designed For
  • You will learn
  • Course Content
About the course
There are about 400,000 gas wells in the USA and most are liquid loaded. Solving this problem may increase production as much as ~40%. Plunger lift is a very popular method of gas well dewatering as it is initially inexpensive and can last a long time with no outside energy required for many wells. The components of each system are described and the cycles of each method are shown in detail and tools for analysis are provided to the attendees. Methods of analysis include analysis by shape of the SCADA traces of CP, TP, rate, and LP. Also, analysis of the cycles is facilitated by use of a provided spreadsheet that allows determination of the cycle slug size, the CP required to lift it at the correct speed, the minimum time for shut-in for the plunger to fall, the maximum liquid possible, the cycle times, and other information on the plunger cycle. Other details of plunger lift operation are presented with the focus on trouble free cycles and more gas production. The course will consist of slide presentations, example problems, and discussion. Some film will be shown. Some programs and SS will be distributed to the attendees. Effects of deviation on operation are presented. One personal computer is provided, at additional cost, for each two participants.
Designed For
Engineers and field technicians.
You will learn
How To:
  • Recognize liquid loading in a gas well using field symptoms, critical velocity, and nodal analysis
  • Understand the advantages and disadvantages of various methods of solution, including plunger, and under what conditions each will work
  • Apply, design, and diagnose continuous plunger lift and conventional plunger lift
  • Increase production when operating plunger lift
  • Know when conventional plunger ceases to work, what are other workable plunger related systems to switch to for continued production
Course Content
  • Introduction of loading, solution methods
  • Comparison of various AL methods to drawdown capabilities
  • Continuous Plunger Lift: cycle, components, types of plungers used for well conditions, when to use and when switch to conventional, benefits/problems, diagnostics, safety
  • Conventional Plunger Lift: cycle, components, types of plungers used for well conditions, when to use, diagnostics using CP/TP plots and SS, methods of tracking plungers from surface, other troubleshooting, evaluating effects of compression, effects on production of wear, setting EOT, safety
  • What systems to use when conventional plunger no longer works
  • Selection techniques for AL for loaded gas wells