Artificial Lift

Artificial lift is used to produce 75% of wells in the world excluding the US, and 90% including the US.

What is Artificial Lift?

Artificial lift refers to the use of surface energy (hp) to lift fluids from a wellbore. Artificial lift systems are used to decrease bottomhole pressure on the formation to increase the flow of fluids, such as crude oil, water, or natural gas from a producing well. Artificial lift is used in wells that have insufficient pressure from the reservoir to force the formation fluids (hydrocarbons) to the surface but can also be used in naturally flowing wells (that technically do not need it) to increase the flow rate above what would flow without lift.

Generally, artificial lift employs a mechanical pump inside the well, which is used to decrease the hydrostatic column of fluid in a wellbore that is exerting backpressure on the reservoir. The fluid pumped from the well may be oil, water, natural gas, or a mixture of some or all of these.

Types of Artificial Lift Systems

  • Sucker Rod Pump uses a system of reciprocating rods to actuate a downhole positive-displacement pump.
  • Electric Submersible Pump (ESP) is a submerged multistage centrifugal pump that is installed on the end of the production tubing. A downhole electric motor is supplied power via a cable that is run from the surface and is banded to the outside of the tubing.
  • Gas Lift uses a compressor and a system of mandrels to inject natural gas into the wellbore and lighten the column of fluid holding backpressure on the formation.
  • Progressing Cavity Pump (PCP) uses a system of rotating rods to actuate a downhole positive-displacement pump.
  • Hydraulic Jet Pump uses fluid power from a surface pump to power a downhole Venturi Pump.
rendering of a surface pump

Artificial Lift Systems for Challenging Wells and Applications

The JJ Tech team has been providing effective artificial lift solutions in challenging wells for over 20 years. If challenging well conditions are compromising the production of your well, contact JJ Tech. An analysis of your current artificial lift system is the first step in overcoming your well production challenges.

JJ Tech provides artificial lift solutions that enable wells to be produced effectively despite a range of downhole issues:

Horizontal or Deviated Wells

When a wellbore is crooked or deviated, the working life of most artificial lift systems is drastically shorter due to excessive wear on the moving (reciprocating or rotating) components. Also, other forms of artificial lift are subject to damage during installation in deviated wells.

Hydraulic Jet Pumps have no moving parts downhole, therefore downtime is greatly reduced between costly workovers.

Frac Evac Diagram

Liquid-Loaded Wells

Common in the later stages of a well’s lifecycle, particularly gas wells, liquid-loaded wells are characterized by an accumulation of fluids from water and hydrocarbon condensates. This condition significantly decreases the well’s performance and efficiency. The accumulation of liquid can form a column in the well, creating backpressure on the formation that slows down or even halts the flow of gas to the surface.

JJ Tech’s hydraulic jet pump solutions have proven extremely effective in liquid-loaded wells that need extra power to push fluid to the surface.

Massive amounts of frac fluid (2000-4000+ BBLS/day) can be removed from a wellbore in very short periods of time. These frac fluids most always contain some concentration of abrasives (proppant/sand) which can be damaging to most forms of artificial lift.

JJ Tech’s FRAC-EVAC solution combines a SELECT-JET Pump with the Hydra-Cell Diaphragm Pump to offer the most reliable flowback pumping system. The surface power for FRAC-EVAC is provided by JJ Tech’s ULTRA-FLOW production system. This patented process (US Pat. 7,255,175) combines the JJ Tech Hydraulic Jet Pump with a Hydra-Cell Positive Displacement Diaphragm Pump manufactured exclusively by Wanner Engineering Inc.

infographic showing beneifts of using gas lift for gas well dewatering

Gas Well Dewatering

Gas well dewatering, also known as gas well deliquification (GWD), is the general term for technologies used to remove water buildup (hydrostatic head) from producing gas wells. Because the gas velocity in the production tubing decreases over time, the volume of liquids carried by the gas decreases as well. This results in “liquid-loading” of the well. This loading will hinder or even halt gas production. JJ Tech’s Concentric Jet Pump solution is designed specifically to reduce this liquid-loading of the wellbore, increasing the flow of natural gas to the surface.

JJ Tech’s jet pump is combined with the Wanner T100 high-pressure diaphragm surface pump to provide a powerful combination of reliability and performance optimization.

We needed the well to produce 250 bbls/day of fluid and maintain the same oil production rate. We were pleased to see that this system increased fluid production by 20%, to 300 bbls/day, while maintaining the same oil cut. The jet pump operated without any down hole maintenance for three years. Our operational cost has been greatly reduced, and this well continues to operate profitably to this day.

Mickey Berg

Partner, Philberg Oil Company
The [Wanner] surface pump has proven to be very reliable – no messy leaks, and very little downtime. Chris Lamberth and Jon Mullins have done a great job for us. We are very satisfied with the service as well as the system.”

East Texas Operator

High Solids Producing Wells

Wells that produce solids (formation or frac-sand) can be very challenging. These abrasives can quickly damage any moving components in various forms of artificial lift. Hydraulic Jet Pump systems do not have moving parts downhole, so this allows for much longer run-times without having to replace pumping components in the well.

JJ Tech offers highly resistant components such as Tungsten Carbide and Boron Carbide cladding of 420 Stainless Steel. It is not uncommon to have three to five years of uninterrupted production from our artificial lift solution.

Highly Corrosive Wells

Some wells produce corrosives, such as hydrogen sulfide or carbon dioxide, that can damage the wellbore components if they are not properly treated. These corrosives can also damage artificial lift systems components if they are composed of vulnerable materials.

Hydraulic Jet Pump systems help protect casing, tubulars, and artificial lift components by continuously injecting corrosion inhibitors downhole. JJ Tech offers artificial lift components manufactured of materials that endure different types of corrosives. Our standard material is 17-4 PH stainless steel, but we offer more corrosion-resistant materials such as Inconel and Hastelloy to reduce or eliminate corrosion-stress cracking.

image of a saltwater disposal system in the field

JJ Tech Jet Pump Technology to Find Your Artificial Lift System

Jet pumps systems work by utilizing a surface pump which pumps fluid (power fluid) to the downhole jet pump in a continuous loop. The jet pump bottomhole assembly is set above a packer because all jet pump systems need two fluid conduits to work. Upon entering the jet pump, the high-pressure power fluid passes through a nozzle, where the resulting pressure drop allows formation fluid (produced fluid) to pass through a standing valve and enter the jet pump. The power fluid and produced fluid combine together in the “mixing tube” and the combined fluids return to the surface by the casing.

JJ Tech’s SELECT-JET Jet Pump enables quick nozzle and mixing tube changes because of the simplicity of the tool and small, easy-to-handle JJ Tech Carrier design. In addition, you can circulate downhole gauges (pressure bombs) in and out of the wellbore without the use of wireline.

JJ Tech’s Concentric String Jet Pumps that are commonly used for GWD can also be used for slim-hole applications when casing integrity becomes a problem. The jet pump carrier is easily brought to the surface by pumping in reverse.

JJ Tech’s Adaptation and Retrofit versatile jet pumps for artificial lift applications can be adapted to fit inside any jet pump BHA or sliding sleeve on the market. Numerous adaptations are ready to ship worldwide including normal and reverse flow configurations.

JJ Tech’s Jet Pump Analysis Software ensures maximum performance, reliability, and efficiency to maximize run-time and overall profitability for your artificial lift system.

High and Low Pressure Hydra-Cell Diaphragm Pumps

JJ Tech’s Patented Ultra-Flow production system is unique to the industry in that it combines a Hydra-Cell Diaphragm Pump to power the JJ Tech downhole Jet Pump. The Hydra-Cell pump has no packing to wear or leak, and the plungers never come into contact with the fluid being pumped. These features reduce the overall maintenance costs associated with operating the system.

Hydra-Cell Pump T&Q Series Diaphragm Pumps are manufactured in the US by Wanner Engineering and are available in 100, 155, 200, 330 Horsepower. Hydra-Cell Pumps have pressure capabilities up to 5000 psi.

T&Q Series Low Pressure Pumps are also used for saltwater disposal and are capable of pumping from 2300 up to 11,200 BPD.

High and Low Pressure Hydra-Cell Diaphragm Pumps for Saltwater Disposal

Most oil and gas wells produce significant amounts of water. This produced water has little to no value and is injected into a well approved for saltwater disposal. Large scale hydraulic fracturing of oil and gas wells can result in more than 100,000 barrels of produced water. Oil and gas are typically entrained in this water which are separated out and then sold. The produced water is injected into a disposal well.

The unique features of the Hydra-Cell Diaphragm pump make it the perfect choice for low-maintenance saltwater disposal. By design, these pumps have no seals or packing to wear and leak.

JJ Tech offers saltwater disposal pump skids in various types to best fit your needs.

Artificial Lift Systems Frequently Asked Questions

Why Oil & Gas Wells Need Artificial Lifts?

Artificial lift is required to produce wells at a rate in excess of what might be obtained through the natural flow of hydrocarbons from a reservoir’s pressure alone. This includes wells that flow naturally but at rates that are not economically viable.

What are the types of artificial lift pumping systems?

Artificial lift pumping systems include sucker rod pumps, electrical submersible pumps (ESP), gas lifts, progressive cavity pumps (PCP), and hydraulic jet pumps.

What is the most common artificial lift system?

Sucker rod pumping is the most common artificial lift system. These systems are usually less expensive, but have a lower production rates.

What are the advantages of using jet pumps for wells?

Jet pumps are characterized by high production rates and gas to oil ratio (GOR). They also have the highest mechanical reliability, because all the jet pump system’s moving parts in the diaphragm pump at the surface. The downhole components of a jet pump system have proven to last three, four or five years in situations where an ESP or rod pumped-well may need to be worked over every six months to a year.

What are the advantages of using diaphragm pumps for wells?

Positive displacement diaphragm pumps manufactured by Wanner Engineering,” have a seal-less design that eliminates the need for lubricating plungers and replacing worn packing, which greatly reduces maintenance and lease operating expenses. And, because diaphragm pumps operate on the surface, they also help protect the environment by removing any risk of packing failure, which can cause a hydrocarbon spill. The diaphragm pump’s leak-free operation, tolerance for abrasives and low operating costs have made it a favorite choice for saltwater disposal wells and waterflood injection wells.

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