Unconventional/complex reservoirs

Gas Production

Engineers thrive on making more from less, and this month’s paper selections highlight efforts to improve the efficiency of gas-production operations throughout the world.


When two black swans—weak industry fundamentals and a global pandemic—collided midair, a downward spiral became a freefall. Accompanied by the human tragedy of illness and financial hardship, industry employment shrunk at a pace not seen since 1986 and caused a contraction to the lowest international rig count since Baker Hughes started keeping records 43 years ago.

How has this upheaval affected the demand for the natural gas our industry supplies? Not very much.

Essential goods and services rose to the top of our attention in 2020, and natural gas has proved to be essential and reliable. Gas-fired electricity usage actually increased as stay-at-home orders nullified the economies of scale provided by shared workspaces. Natural-gas-powered delivery trucks bring things to us as we avoid crowded stores. While office buildings are kept cool or warm for a small number of onsite workers, work-from-home employees now demand a comfortable home 24 hours a day rather than just evenings and weekends. Worldwide demand is marginally lower because of curtailed economic activity, but that decline has been matched by the decrease in associated gas from shut-in oil wells.

While the selected papers were written before these developments, they each show the spirit of innovation and dedication to improving processes that will be required to rebound fully and continue to deliver the energy our world needs. Engineers thrive on making more from less, and this month’s paper selections highlight efforts to improve the efficiency of gas-production operations throughout the world.

Natural-gas suppliers continue to provide uninterrupted service despite fewer people and smaller budgets. Like other essential workers, they are heroes and deserve our sincerest thanks.

This Month's Technical Papers

Study Models Onset of Liquid Loading in Large-Diameter Deviated Gas Wells

New Multiphase Pump System Can Handle Up to 100% Gas Volume Fraction

Installation of Gas Ejector Provides Boost to Low-Pressure Gas Well

Recommended Additional Reading

IPTC 20033 Advanced Modeling and Sensitivity Analysis for Downhole Wet Gas Compressor Applications by Rafael Lastra, Saudi Aramco, et al.

IPTC 19619 Unlocking Field Potential Through Topside Optimization by Mahaganaapathy Magasvran, Petronas, et al.

IPTC 19855 Liquid-Film Mode for Prediction and Identification of Liquid Loading in Vertical Gas Wells by Arnold Landjobo Pagou, China University of Petroleum Beijing, et al.

OTC 29751 Thermal-Numerical Simulation of the Gas Offshore Production Undersea Facilities at the Amistad Field by Félix Gallo Cruz, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, et al.

SPE 198533 Flare-Gas Monetization by Martin Oakley, GTUIT

Scott J. Wilson, SPE, is a senior vice president for Ryder Scott in Denver. He specializes in well-performance prediction and optimization, reserves appraisals, simulation studies, custom software development, and training. Wilson has worked in all major producing regions in his 30-year career as an engineer and consultant with Arco and Ryder Scott. He served as cochairperson of the Reserves and Economics Technology Interest Group and chairperson of the Denver Section of the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers and currently serves on the JPT Editorial Review Board. Wilson holds a BS degree in petroleum engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and an MBA degree from the University of Colorado. He holds four patents and is a registered professional engineer in Alaska, Colorado, Texas, and Wyoming. Wilson can be reached at scott.wilson@ryderscott.com.