WorldWide Drilling Resource®

30 JULY 2020 WorldWide Drilling Resource ® Successful Field Trial of Downhole Compressor System Adapted from Information by Upwing Energy Upwing Energy is focussed on artificial lift technology, using proprietary permanent magnet motors and applying magnetic fields into the design of their tools. The company was eager to test its new Subsurface Compressor System™ (SCS) out in the field. Riverside Petroleum had just the location for the trial, a liquid-loaded unconventional shale gas well in Indiana. The first full-scale commercial field trial of the SCS resulted in a 62% increase in gas production along with a 50% increase in liquid production over its steady-state performance with a rod pump, prior to the SCS installation. Upwing’s SCS is a high-speed downhole compressor system that increases production and recoverable reserves by decreasing the bottom hole flowing pressure, causing higher reservoir drawdown. The SCS carries liquids to the surface by creating higher gas velocities throughout vertical and horizontal wellbores. It also prevents vapor condensation by increasing the temperature of the gas when exiting the compressor. Upwing’s SCS was deployed in an unconventional well with a 2000- foot vertical wellbore and a 5000-foot horizontal wellbore, where liquid had accumulated. The compressor was installed at the bottom of the vertical section with a tail pipe extending approximately 1000 feet into the horizontal leg to provide enough velocity to carry the liquids while minimizing friction losses. The installation was very similar to electric submersible pump sys- tems in that the SCS unit was tubing deployed, and the electrical cable with the instrumentation was secured around the tubing. The trial period started at the end of October, and the SCS was pulled out in early December. When the SCS operated at 30,000 RPM (revolutions per minute), the gas velocity increased to 29 feet per second, and a high rate of liquid was carried to the surface. The hybrid axial compressor was able to atomize the liquid into a very fine mist, which together with the increased velocity and heat generated from the exit of the compressor, helped carry the liquids to the surface. The compressor blades showed no sign of degradation despite moving a significant amount of liquids. Upwing is using the lessons learned from the trial to further strengthen the system, and will be increasing the capacity of the SCS by over five times in its next phase of field testing with partners later this year. DIR Deployment of the SCS during the proof of concept trials. An experimental prototype was deployed into seven-inch casings using sucker rods with the understanding that sucker rod deployment may not be the best approach.