Region: West Africa
Content Types: Interview


In the build-up to the Offshore Well Intervention West Africa conference, Offshore Network spoke to Silverwell Energy, a global provider of Digital Intelligent Artificial Lift (DIAL), as the company prepares to deploy its first systems to the region in 2022.

Explaining the inspiration behind the solution offered by the company, which will be making its way to West African waters soon, Abdel BenAmara, Vice President for Silverwell’s Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, stated “The majority of the world’s gas lifted wells are under-optimised. This incomplete production optimisation, coupled with excessive intervention costs and risks, presents an opportunity to re-imagine gas lift well design and operating principles. It has been estimated that addressing this opportunity delivers a production uplift approaching 20%. Optimising gas lift systems with existing technology is typically time consuming, costly and risky.”

BenAmara elaborated on the subject of well intervention and commented that frequent interventions are required with associated lost and/or deferred production. Traditionally it was not possible to make on-demand in-well adjustments to gas lift injection depth and rate to address these challenges. Further, it’s not easy to make data-driven decisions about these adjustments to assure continuously maximised and stable production.

Silverwell has therefore sought to overcome the production constraining limitations of existing gas lift technology with the development of their digital in-well integrated interventionless gas lift optimisation system called DIAL (Digital Intelligent Artificial Lift).

BenAmara continued, “The system consists of multiple DIAL units, tubing conveyed and installed along with the tubing string during a workover operation. Each DIAL unit can include up to 6 independent injection orifices, each individually controlled from the surface, with a large spectrum of gas injection rates. The operator can vary the gas injection rate by opening or closing valves, in any combination, which can each have a different port size, giving the operator a huge range of possible injection rates.”

“The system is controlled by a Surface Control System (SCS), connected to all DIAL units, in a multidrop configuration through a single downhole electrical control line (TEC) which is typically ¼” in diameter. DIAL units are spaced using maximum available surface gas injection pressure, without any pressure drop required between each station, since the opening of the valves are digitally controlled and not impacted by downhole pressures or temperature. The upper units in the completion are typically used for well unloading requirements and the lower units are the operating units - used to adjust gas injection depth and rate based on reservoir pressures and other well parameters. Each DIAL unit is also equipped with pressure and temperature sensors giving full visibility of the well’s downhole conditions.”

DIAL systems in operation

DIAL systems were successfully installed in America, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions, and these deployments resulted with average oil production gains of 10 - 20% for single string completions and 40%+ for dual string completions. Other benefits also included gas consumption reductions and significant OPEX savings by avoiding intervention costs typically required for gas lift operations.

Silverwell will be deploying its first systems offshore West Africa in 2022, with a Major IOC, marking the start of its operations in the region, with ambitious development plans beyond these initial deployments.

BenAmara added, “This disruptive technology has the potential to revolutionise gas lift operations in West Africa, which is one of the major artificial lift techniques used in the region. By digitising gas lift operations, and eliminating well intervention requirements, it will enable gas lifted wells to reach their full potential.”

To hear more about the offshore well intervention opportunities and challenges in West Africa, follow this link:

About Silverwell:

Silverwell is the global developer, manufacturer, and installer of digitally intelligent gas lift production optimisation systems for the oil & gas industry. They are a leader in automation of gas lifted production and apply patented technology so that more data for less uncertainty in production management decisions enables more production with less intervention.

Silverwell is certified to ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System and ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health & Safety.