UK COMPANY Corac Group is looking for new participants to join an ongoing JIP that will further develop its innovative Downhole Gas Compressor (DGC) technology.
Having secured investment from member companies of the North Sea’s Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF), the technology has undergone rigorous full-scale testing and results indicate it has the potential to increase production by up to 40% and significantly impact ultimate recovery.
In the past, most downhole artificial-lift technology has focused on oil production, with major advances in equipment such as gas lift, electrical submersible, progressive cavity and hydraulic lift pumps. Whereas current systems for gas wells focus on the removal of water from the wellbore, thereby allowing the gas to flow once again, the DGC aims to boost production beyond that of natural flow.
The DGC system comprises Corac’s proprietary gas bearing system and its direct-drive, gas-filled, high-speed permanent magnet motor. Together, these technologies allow a turbo-compressor to achieve the necessary speed and power density for effective wellbore compression.
Moreover, DGC promises to deliver substantially improved production from both new and maturing gas fields through increased production rates, as well as greater total recovery from the reservoir – ultimately, the DGC will lower reservoir abandonment pressure.
Corac’s project director, Norman Liley, told Energy: “For the first time, a powered artificial-lift method exists for gas wells that can be applied at any time, although it will find particular favour during mid to late life. As it has the ability to handle liquids, the DGC will offer a deliquification solution to the industry while also increasing production beyond that previously possible.”
Corac’s joint industry project was kicked-off four years ago when support from three operating companies was secured by ITF.
The last 16 months has seen Corac performing full-scale testing at a purpose-built flow loop in the north of England and field trials are scheduled for the end of the year.
Liley said: “The results of testing to date have been positive, and with field trial commitments from two of our JIP participants, we hope to be able to bring the DGC technology to market within 18 months.
“At this stage in the technology’s development, the direct participation of further major industry players is vital to ensure the system specification meets the wider market need and ensures we can capitalise on their experience of deployment and associated completions hardware.”
ITF’s technology manager, David Liddle, said: “When the facilitator was established, it was given the remit of facilitating innovative new technologies that would extend the life of the North Sea oil&gas industry, and this technology certainly has the potential to fulfil those criteria. In addition to augmenting ultimate recovery, Corac’s DGC is able to offer a potential solution for the development of otherwise sub-economic gas assets.
“This game-changing technology has the potential to fundamentally alter the production strategy for natural gas recovery. It could lead to a significant reduction in the number of infill wells drilled to maintain production as the asset declines. It may also encourage drilling larger-diameter wells which would enable greater installable power downhole, thereby further enhancing hydrocarbon recovery.”
To find out more about this important JIP or other projects currently under ITF’s wing, or proposed, contact David Liddle at email@example.com. You can check out the DGC on Corac’s website at www.corac.co.uk