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The production phase is the next phase after drilling and it is initiated once the desired depth is attained and potential hydrocarbon bearing rocks are drilled. Basically, in this phase, the hydrocarbon fluids are brought up to the surface. Various equipment is installed in this phase that serves the purpose of production, separation, transportation and storage of oil and gas. Generally, majority of the oil and gas are driven to the surface of the Earth through the intrinsic pressure of the wells. However, the rate of flow of hydrocarbons depends upon the various factors that include oil/gas ratio, the viscosity of oil, properties of reservoir rock, pressure conditions beneath the Earth surface and temperature of the target area.
Some of these factors such as pressure and oil/gas ratio do not remain constant throughout the production.With the passage of time the natural driving pressure of hydrocarbon decreases which in turn reduces the production of commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. In order to maintain the pressure of the reservoir, various artificial lift techniques are applied. These techniques include injection of water and gas to supply additional pressure and pumping mechanisms. Nowadays the injection wells are drilled parallel to the production wells so that gas and water can be injected in the early times of production o enhance the recovery of oil and natural gas, optimize the production rates and to maintain hydrostatic pressure.
Apart from theses, the other techniques used to stimulate the production of oil and gas includes hydraulic fracturing and acid treatment. Both these techniques enhance the production by enlarging the flow channels. Upon reaching the surface, the hydrocarbons are directed towards the production facility for further processes. The type and the size of the installations typically depend upon the selected export option, nature and the type of hydrocarbon fluids and nature of the reservoir. The hydrocarbon fluid that flows to the surface from the wellbore is the mixture of water, gas and oil. The production facility is particularly installed these three components of hydrocarbon fluid. It is essential to remove any dissolved gas from the oil before it is distributed. Likewise, it is essential to remove hazardous components such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide from the produced gas.
Various routine operations on the producing wells include maintenance tasks, security programs and episodic servicing of down hole by the means of work over rig or a wire line unit. By primary recovery mechanism, only small portion of oil and gas can be retrieved. The remaining amount oil and gas reserves are produced through secondary recovery mechanism that includes gas injection and water flooding.
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