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Open AccessArticle

Revised Estimation Method for Emissions from Automated Plunger Lift Liquid Unloadings

1
Chevron U.S.A. Inc., Houston, TX 77002, USA
2
Center for Energy and Environmental Resources, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78758, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2020, 7(4), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments7040025
Received: 22 February 2020 / Revised: 20 March 2020 / Accepted: 28 March 2020 / Published: 31 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Measurement of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Natural Gas Systems)
A variety of liquid unloading techniques are used to clear accumulated liquids from the wellbore to increase production rates for oil and gas wells. Data from national measurement studies indicate that a small subset of wells with plunger lift assist, that vent with high frequency and short event duration, contribute a significant fraction of methane emissions from liquid unloading activities in the United States. Compared to direct measurement of emissions at 24 wells in a field campaign, the most commonly used engineering emission estimate for this source category, which is based on the volume of gas in the wellbore, does not accurately predict emissions at the individual well (R2 = 0.06). An alternative emission estimate is proposed that relies on the duration of the venting activity and the gas production rate of the well, which has promising statistical performance characteristics when compared to direct measurement data. This work recommends well parameters that should be collected from future field measurement campaigns that are focused on this emission source. View Full-Text
Keywords: methane; liquid unloading; automated plunger lifts; oil and gas methane; liquid unloading; automated plunger lifts; oil and gas
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pacsi, A.; Sullivan, D.W.; Allen, D.T. Revised Estimation Method for Emissions from Automated Plunger Lift Liquid Unloadings. Environments 2020, 7, 25.

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