Operators of natural gas wells have long used Turner equations to calculate critical gas velocity to keep gas wells unloaded. The original Turner method was developed for vertical wells with analysis performed using wellhead conditions. However, this methodology is only applicable to high-pressure, vertical wells with a simple completion geometry. Modern well design employs complex geometries, including slant, S-shaped, and horizontal well paths, as operators seek to reduce costs and the environmental footprint, while maximizing the production rate potential. Modern designs require special consideration in estimating critical velocity. The presentation will provide an overview of historical techniques for detecting liquid loading and modifications of the Turner method to address contemporary well designs.
Presenter: Robert Sutton
Robert Sutton is an independent consultant. He retired from Marathon Oil after a 35 year career. He has authored 27 SPE papers, 10 journal articles, and a chapter in the Petroleum Engineering Handbook. Sutton holds a BS in petroleum engineering from Marietta College and an MS in petroleum engineering from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He received SPE’s 2014 Production and Operations Award and was Distinguished Lecturer during the 2012-2013 lecture season.