On January 27, 2011, the Minister of Western Economic Diversification (WD) and the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) entered into an agreement whereby WD would partially fund a project to review available technologies that claim to effectively and economically dewater natural gas wells. Under this arrangement, PTAC agreed to form a consortium of natural gas producers as well as representatives of the provincial governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan for the purpose of bench testing and field testing shallow natural gas well pumps from Canadian equipment vendors with a view to having a number of these vendors ensure their equipment was market ready, commercially available, and advertised to the upstream natural gas industry in general.
The consortium established a series of performance criteria required of an effective gas dewatering pump. These criteria were presented or sent to a general audience of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) requesting they propose a solution to the gas dewatering issue that would meet these criteria. In the end, 19 proposals from various SMEs were received and reviewed by the consortium. Six of these proposals were determined to be sufficiently advanced enough to warrant further investigation.
The consortium engaged C-FER Technologies (1999) Inc. (C-FER) to determine the operational functionality of the 6 candidates selected. C-FER was tasked to interview each pump manufacturer, design and build an appropriate bench testing apparatus, test the functionality of each pump, and report their results to the consortium. C-FER conducted bench tests on 5 of the 6 candidates selected. C-FER and the consortium observed the manufacturer’s test of the sixth pump and determined that an additional bench test by C-FER would be unnecessary. A brief summary of the results of these tests are included in this report.
Based on C-FER’s test results, the consortium selected 3 pumps for an extended controlled experimental field trial to confirm that observed laboratory bench test results could be duplicated with a full scale model. C-FER designed, planned, and executed the full scale model tests of 2 pumps, while Cenovus designed, planned, and executed the field test of the third pump. A brief summary of the results of these tests are also included in this report.
The program was completed on March 31, 2014 and concluded that of the 6 pumps bench tested by CFER, the 2 that were selected for full scale testing by C-FER (the jet pump and the modified plunger pump) are functionally satisfactory and commercially available.