August 2, 2016
ETC is excited to announce that a new patent No. US 9,297,238 B2 has been granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The patent titled “Method and Apparatus for Control of a Plunger Lift System” compares the rise time (average velocity) of a plunger to a target time and makes adjustments proportional to the current flow/close time to maximize production and reduce operator intervention.
This patent is implemented as Adaptive Seeking Velocity Optimization™ in select ETC plunger lift controllers and is designed to maximize production of oil & gas wells. The algorithm adapts to current well conditions reducing the need for operator intervention (thus eliminating opportunities for human error) by making continuous adjustments that are proportional to the current flow/close time. Each time that the plunger arrives, the rise time is compared to a desired target and adjustments are made to move towards the target in subsequent cycles. This method was used to double gas well production in a 2015 case study.
A follow up patent has also been filed that applies the same principle of operation to plunger surface velocity. In this case, the surface velocity as measured by the Sasquatch plunger velocity sensor, is compared against a target velocity. Adjustments proportional to the current flow/close time is made to change the surface velocity of the plunger on the next cycle.
For more information on Adaptive Seeking Velocity Optimization™, visit the ALiEn² plunger lift controller webpage.
The patent for invention number 9,297,238 provides full details here.