Reducing Danger and Increasing Efficiency with Bypass Lubricators for Plunger Lifts
As anyone in the oil and gas industry can tell you, it is far too common to hear of workers experiencing incidents or near misses due to trapped pressure and hydrates. Due to the design of non-bypass, conventional lubricators, there is a large risk of a plugged upper section from well contaminants such as hydrates, sand, wax, asphaltenes, and scale. In these situations, the well can experience failure, spill/release, and create dangerous conditions for workers.
Over the last year, PIT has been hard at work designing and testing lubricators with special new bypass features to reduce these risks.
The Risks of Cutting Out A Bypass
Due to the recurring issue of well contaminants, a number of issues can arise from your wellhead lubricator becoming plugged due to the contaminants having nowhere to go. As sand, wax, or hydrates build up, the lubricator has more force transmitted to its body and the absorption power of the cap spring is reduced. Every time the plunger arrives, the lubricator is further stressed. This constant and increased force can cause your wellhead or lubricator to fail and cause danger for anyone on site.
Hydrates and trapped pressure are the most prominent risk faced by well operators. Due to differential pressure, any released hydrates can move upwards at speeds approaching the speed of sound and create excessive force. These hydrates can cause serious mechanical damage, severe bodily harm, and, in some cases, even death. Bypass lubricators can greatly reduce this hazard with two flow paths, better enabling efficient flow throughout the wellhead down the line, reducing the risk of trapped or accumulated solids, hydrates, or pressure.
Wells without bypass lubricators can also have efficiency issues due to how high the plunger is capable of traveling. If a blockage occurs and the plunger does not reach the proper height within the lubricator, it is possible that the arrival sensor will not be tripped and the plunger will not be caught. In cases where the plunger still trips the arrival sensor and is caught, it may still restrict flow due to a partial or full blocking of the outlet.
The PIT Solution
Premier Integrated Technologies offers several safe, reliable, bypass lubricator designs to address the numerous concerns that can be found when utilizing other lubricators lacking a bypass flow port. Our design features a built-in, 2 port flow, with multiple injection ports capable of adding any desired methanol or chemical.
We have seen our bypass lubricator used on numerous types of wells. High flow rates with sand, wax, asphaltene, extreme sour, and water wells have all benefitted from the FlowFit lubricator in cost and operational efficiency. Our customers have provided us with feedback they feel more at ease using our bypass lubricators as they add increased safety, security and operational advantages for their operators for any well type.
All PIT bypass lubricators and other equipment are designed, manufactured, and tested in-house by Premier Integrated Technologies sister company, MVM Machining.