Artificial Lift for Natural Gas

For many years, multiple methods have existed to artificially lift oil from reservoirs, including electric submersible pumps (ESPs), plunger lift, sucker rod pumps, gas lift systems, hydraulic pumping systems and progressive cavity pumps. However, until now, there were no artificial recovery methods for natural gas. Why is that?

Oil vs. Gas

Historically, significant investments were made to recover oil, and gas was simply a byproduct of those investments. However, a shift is underway in favor of natural gas, primarily due to its cleaner burn profile, its ability to meet 2025 emissions standards and its abundance in the United States and other energy producing countries. Natural gas is replacing coal in power plants globally. Technologies are being developed to convert natural gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG), and ports are being developed to handle and transport gas products around the world.

Market Shift Meets Technological Advancement

As market dynamics are shifting, technologies are advancing, opening up new opportunities in areas once considered out of reach, including the work done by our Parent Company, Calnetix Technologies. Prior to Upwing Energy’s formation, over three years have been spent on the development of an economical subsurface compressor system for the artificial lift of natural gas.

Previously, only about 60 percent of the natural gas from reservoirs could be recovered from conventional wells and only about 10 percent from unconventional wells. When the natural pressure of the gas below the earth diminished, there was no other option but to cap the well. Now, our Upwing Subsurface Compressor Systems (SCS) can be utilized to increase the rate of production from existing gas wells, and to deplete the natural gas reservoir down to unprecedented levels cost effectively.

Onshore Wells

Conventional Wells

In a conventional gas well, the reservoir pressure must overcome the wellbore pressure for gas to be produced. As the well matures and the reservoir pressure depletes, it becomes more difficult for the gas to naturally flow into the wellbore.

Our Upwing Subsurface Compressor Systems (SCS) decrease bottom hole flowing pressure at the intake of the compressor, increasing gas production due to higher reservoir drawdown. This increases the production rate by up to 74%, which increases cash flow and net present value. This also improves hydrocarbon recovery significantly, extending the well life and providing a healthier balance sheet.

Unconventional Wells

In an unconventional gas well, the reservoir is hydraulically fractured and can be as far as 25,000 ft. from the wellhead. Gas production in unconventional wells declines much faster than that of conventional wells in the initial production years.

Our Upwing Subsurface Compressor Systems (SCS) are the only method of artificial lift that can increase gas, condensate, and natural gas liquids production from unconventional wells by dramatically increasing the drawdowns in the wellbore. The higher kinetic energy and fluid velocity at the intake of the compressor will eliminate liquid loading in the horizontal sections of a multi-stage fractured well. While the higher kinetic energy (pressure and velocity) and added thermal energy at the discharge of the compressor will avoid liquid loading and condensation in the vertical section of the well. The lowered downhole flowing pressure and efficient liquid unloading will enable operators to improve recoverable reserves, extend the life of gas wells, and fundamentally change the methodology of producing unconventional resources, significantly improving economics.