Under this project, Peden Energy will install a microturbine in the oilfield, connect this turbine to a natural gas supply line, connect electric lines from the turbine output to an oil well, and generate electricity to operate two oil/natural gas wells.
The project was selected under the Research with Independents solicitation, DE-PS26-02NT15377. The program is intended to assist small independent oil producers in testing higher-risk technologies that could keep oil flowing from thousands of U.S. fields.
Maintenance costs and life expectations for the microturbine are predicted to be more favorable then those for internal combustion (IC) engines (generators) and therefore offer a more favorable life-cycle cost and performance. Currently available options for power supply in the oilfield are traditional electric grid power delivered through power lines or IC enginers at the wellsite. Grid-supplied power is typically one of the highest operating costs associated with a producing oil/gas well and is subject to disturbances or outages. IC engines are typically 30% or less efficient and require frequent refueling with gasoline/diesel.
The microturbine that Peden Energy utilized is an advanced model that will burn a portion of the natural gas from production and reportedly has an efficiency level of 50%. An effort was made to recover the heat in a combined heat and power mode that can increase overall efficiency to 75-80%.
The use of a microturbine and a variable frequency drive has several benefits:
1) production can be increased; 2) mechanical stress is decreased, 3) electrical and capital expenses for motors, switches, etc. can be reduced; and 4) electricity costs are cut. Potential improvements of 10% increase in production and 20% in energy savings are expected.
In conjunction with the microturbine, this project installed two variable-frequency drives with computerized pump-off controllers onto two pump jacks. A variable frequency drive adjusts and varies the pumping speed of the well based upon downhole torque demand. The greater the torque, the faster the pumping; as torque demand decreases, the pump speed is decreased.
This variable speed drive-enabled pump control capability enables the operator to:
The project has been completed, and the final report is in progress.
$125,314 (56% of total)