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Gas recovery apparatus, method and cycle having a three chamber evacuation phase for improved natural gas production and down-hole liquid management

Imported: 24 Feb '17 | Published: 06 Jan '04

Donald D. Reitz

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

Natural gas produced from a well by executing a multiple-phase gas recovery cycle which includes a phase during which a relatively lower evacuation pressure is applied within the entire well bore to assist in accumulating liquids at a well bottom. The relatively lower evacuation pressure augments the national earth formation pressure to produce natural gas and liquid more rapidly. The phases of the gas recovery cycle are also coordinated with the phase in which the relatively lower evacuation pressure is applied throughout the well to facilitate a greater natural gas production rate.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic and block diagram of a gas recovery apparatus of the present invention installed in a schematically-illustrated natural gas producing well, all of which also illustrates the methodology for the present invention

FIG. 2 is cross-section view of the well shown in FIG. 1, taken substantially in the plane of line

2

2 of FIG.

1.

FIG. 3 is a flowchart of a gas recovery cycle of a gas recovery apparatus and method of the present invention, comprising a liquid capture phase, a liquid removal phase, a production phase and a three chamber evacuation phase of a gas recovery cycle of the gas recovery apparatus and method shown in FIG.

1.

FIG. 4 is a simplified schematic and block diagram similar to FIG. 1 illustrating performance of the liquid capture phase of the gas recovery cycle shown in FIG.

3.

FIG. 5 is a simplified schematic and block diagram similar to FIG. 1 illustrating performance of the liquid removal phase of the gas recovery cycle shown in FIG.

3.

FIG. 6 is a simplified schematic and block diagram similar to FIG. 1 illustrating performance of the production phase of the gas recovery cycle shown in FIG.

3.

FIG. 7 is a simplified schematic and block diagram similar to FIG. 1 illustrating performance of the three chamber evacuation phase of the gas recovery cycle shown in FIG.

3.

Claims

1. A method of recovering natural gas from a well in a multiple phase gas recovery cycle which includes a liquid capture phase in which pressurized gas moves liquid from the well into a production chamber defined within a production tubing inserted into the well; a liquid removal phase in which pressurized gas lifts liquid from the production chamber out of the well through a lift chamber defined by a lift tubing inserted at least partially within the production chamber; and a production phase during which natural gas is removed from the well in a casing chamber defined by a casing within the well and the production tubing and during which natural gas is pressurized and is thereafter flowed into and through the production chamber and the lift chamber for delivery to a sales conduit; and a three chamber evacuation phase executed by:

2. A method as defined in claim 1 further comprising:

3. A method as defined in claim 1 further comprising:

4. A method as defined in claim 1 further comprising:

5. A method as defined in claim 4 further comprising:

6. A method as defined in claim 5 further comprising:

7. A method as defined in claim 5 further comprising:

8. A method as defined in claim 5 further comprising:

9. A method as defined in claim 8 wherein the pressurized gas used during the gas recovery cycle to lift liquid through the lift chamber is supplied by a compressor having a predetermined pressurizing capacity, and the method further comprises:

10. A method as defined in claim 8 further comprising:

11. A method as defined in claim 1 further comprising:

12. A method of recovering natural gas from a well extending from an earth surface to a subterranean earth formation from which gas and liquid are produced at a bottom of the well and transported from the bottom of the well through at least one of a plurality of separate chambers extending between the well bottom and the earth surface, the method executed by using a multiple phase production cycle which includes a liquid removal phase in which pressurized gas is introduced into one chamber to lift liquid from the well bottom through one chamber to the earth surface, and which also includes:

13. A method as defined in claim 12 further comprising:

14. A method as defined in claim 12 further comprising:

15. A method as defined in claim 14 further comprising:

16. A method as defined in claim 14 further comprising:

17. A method as defined in claim 16 further comprising:

18. A method as defined in claim 12 wherein the plurality of chambers include a casing chamber, a production chamber and a lift chamber which are separate from one another, the method further comprising:

19. A method as defined in claim 12 wherein the plurality of chambers include a casing chamber, a production chamber and a lift chamber which are separate from one another, the method further comprising:

20. A method as defined in claim 19 further comprising:

21. A gas recovery apparatus for producing natural gas from a well and delivering the produced natural gas to a sales conduit, the well extending from the earth surface into a subterranean earth formation where the natural gas and liquid enter the well, the apparatus including tubing inserted into the well to create a casing chamber, a production chamber and a lift chamber which are separate from one another within the well, the gas recovery apparatus further comprising:

22. A gas recovery apparatus as defined in claim 21 wherein:

23. A gas recovery apparatus as defined in claim 21 further comprising:

24. A gas recovery apparatus as defined in claim 23 wherein:

25. A gas recovery apparatus as defined in claim 23 wherein:

26. A gas recovery apparatus as defined in claim 21 further comprising a pressure-responsive one-way valve connected between the casing chamber and the production chamber at a bottom of the well within the subterranean earth formation, the one-way valve admitting liquids from the casing chamber into the production chamber except when the pressure within the production chamber exceeds the pressure within the casing chamber.

27. A gas recovery apparatus as defined in claim 21 further comprising:

28. A gas recovery apparatus for producing natural gas from a well in a multiple phase gas recovery cycle and delivering the produced natural gas to a sales conduit, the well extending from the earth surface to a subterranean earth formation from which the natural gas and liquid are produced at a bottom of the well, the gas recovery apparatus including a plurality of separate chambers extending between the well bottom and the earth surface, the gas recovery apparatus comprising:

29. An apparatus defined in claim 28 wherein the plurality of chambers are a casing chamber, a production chamber and a lift chamber which are separate from one another, the casing chamber is in fluid communication with the earth formation from which the liquid and gas are produced, and wherein:

30. An apparatus defined in claim 28 wherein the plurality of chambers are a casing chamber, a production chamber and a lift chamber which are separate from one another, the casing chamber is in fluid communication with the earth formation from which the liquid and gas are produced, and wherein:

31. An apparatus defined in claim 30 wherein gas and liquid from the earth formation are accumulated within the casing chamber at the well bottom during the evacuation phase, the apparatus further comprising:

32. An apparatus defined in claim 28 wherein the plurality of chambers are a casing chamber, a production chamber and a lift chamber which are separate from one another, the casing chamber is in fluid communication with the earth formation from which the liquid and gas are produced, and wherein:

33. An apparatus defined in claim 28 wherein the plurality of chambers are a casing chamber, a production chamber and a lift chamber which are separate from one another, the casing chamber is in fluid communication with the earth formation from which the liquid and gas are produced, and wherein:

34. An apparatus according to claim 28 wherein the plurality of chambers are a casing chamber, a production chamber and a lift chamber which are separate from one another, the casing chamber is in fluid communication with the earth formation from which the liquid and gas are produced, and wherein: