Flaring has received significant attention over the past few decades and has become a major concern for many operators today. One of the contributors to hydrocarbon flaring is well clean-up operations, where traditionally oil and gas are disposed by flaring at the wellsite.
This paper will share in detail how integrating various technologies allowed to come up with a cost effective, zero flaring solution for well clean-up operations, that substantially reduced overall field carbon footprint.
A common alternative to flaring is to store the crude in tanks and/or pump crude into production line, if available. However, the associated gas is typically flared off, as using gas compressors to inject gas into production line is extremely cost intensive and operationally complex.
As an alternative, fit for purpose multiphase pumps, specifically designed to handle clean-up operations and combined with a high-pressure surface well testing package proved to be a successful, innovative and cost-effective solution to bring new wells to production without gas flaring. The pumps, installed at the inlet of a high-pressure separator, boost the pressure such that both oil and gas can flow directly into the production line, while water and spent acid from well stimulation treatment are separated out onsite into water tanks.
The method does not require any hydrocarbon flaring, thereby drastically reducing emissions for well clean up and start up operations. The solution enabled a reduction of an average of 24 Kilo-Tonnes of CO2equivalent of emissions per well clean up, when compared to 100% flaring, resulting in a very significant and measurable positive environmental impact.
The pumps proved to be reliable and fit for purpose, by toleranting high gas-volume-fraction (GVF)conditions and unstable flow, which is vital for clean-up operations. In addition, the setup proved to be anefficient pressure-boosting package, to gain additional production, by overcoming the high backpressurefrom the production lines network. The package was introduced in the giant Karachaganak oil and gascondensate field in Western Kazakhstan in high H2S environment, and was used in 13 wells over a twoyears period, resulting in significant net production gains for the operator.