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Shell Experience with Plunger Assisted Intermittent Gas-Lift (PAIL)

Author: Moncur, Charlie
Date Written: 2/25/2005
Date Added: 6/1/2008
Category: Gas Lift > General - Intermittent Gas Lift
Keywords: Shell International EP

Intermittent gaslift has not found much favour as an artificial lift technique in Shell Operating Companies. Shell has trialed and tested intermittent gaslift installations since 1962 in a number of its operating units. Success with intermittent lift has been limited due to the poor capabilities of the surface control units, hardware and the additional operational workload, which these systems generated. Intermittent gaslift was seen as an art rather than a science and placed in the “too difficult box”.

A specific intermittent lift technique PAIL (Plunger Assist Intermittent Lift) was developed and used in a Shell operating company over the last 2 decades. A total of 10 wells have been produced on PAIL with varying degrees of success. Despite the poor performance a number of wells have remained in production, for some 14 years, with PAIL systems. These wells have produced significant cumulative volumes of oil.

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