Hanh Nguyen
PhD. Student
The University of Tulsa
Oklahoma, USA


Date of Presentation: April 11, 2024
Subject Areas: Impact of Emission Reduction Rules (Methane, GHG); New Technologies; Environmental Management Systems

Co-Authors: Hanh Nguyen, Eduardo Pereyra – The University of Tulsa

This paper presents a research proposal for a novel methane capture system for low-producing oil wells. The objectives of this study are as follows: (1) to remediate the venting in Marginal Wells, and (2) to optimize Natural Gas Utilization in the production system.
The research begins by optimizing the novel Artificial Lift method. The modeling and optimization of the pump system will be executed step by step, following a process that involves mathematical model development. Subsequently, experiments will be conducted under controlled conditions for the three consecutive stages of the pump at the University of Tulsa North Campus facilities to validate the model and further understand the system. At this stage, crucial factors directly influencing pump performance will be taken into consideration, such as differential pressure between the low and high-pressure lines, the distance between stages, and pump size. Synchronized video recordings will be employed to evaluate the synchronization among the stages. An acoustic system will capture the sound in both the high-pressure gas line and the return production line. The observed sound patterns will be utilized to distinguish various stages in the pumping system to develop diagnostic tools. The gathered data will be applied in the initial assessment, enhancement, and design of the large-scale test model. Afterward, the model will be tested with field data and further refined. Following that, the surface natural gas utilization system will be researched and optimized based on the extracted gas flow rate. The main research and development of this activity is related to a proper cooling system, materials compatibility, power generation, and deployment on the field in such a way that does not interfere with farming or other activities.
The expected result of the study is the successful development of a model for the methane system, which will be applicable to various extraction conditions, contributing to the extension of the operational lifespan of marginal wells. Additionally, the optimization of the production system, as well as the economical and rational utilization of natural gas, will be achieved.
The project offers numerous advantages: (i) preventing the release of vented gas, primarily methane (a potent greenhouse gas), into the atmosphere; (ii) creating an incentive for operators to increase profits while also promoting environmental stewardship; (iii) benefiting states and mineral owners by offering higher royalties from the sale of natural gas; (iv) decreasing the reliance on electricity needed for lifting equipment.

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