Artificial lift can be defined as the process of bringing hydrocarbons to the well surface by artificially creating the high amount of pressure within the reservoir. The hydrocarbons rise upwards because of high pressure difference at the well surface and inside the wellbore. The purpose of using artificial lift is to exhaust or deplete the well reservoir completely.
When an oil well is drilled, there is good high amount of internal pressure available which rushes the hydrocarbons at a great speed towards the well surface which is at a lower pressure. With time, the pressure inside the well starts decreasing which results in decrease in the production levels and thus, oil operators tends to revamp or stimulate the production levels from such oil wells. In order to revamp the production levels, artificial lift techniques are used. Artificial lift can be considered as one of the process steps of Enhanced Oil Recovery Techniques (EOR).
There are various methods used in artificial lift such as:
- Beam pumping (most common artificial lifting procedure that uses sucker rod pumps)
- Electrical submersible pumping
- Gas lift
- Hydraulic pumping using reciprocating pumps
- Plunger lift
- Lift created using progressive cavity pumps