Enhanced gas lift valve performance for sharp edged seat using larger ball sizes



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The required stem travel to achieve minimum fully open is so dependent on the stem size and geometry and the ball size. Six different port diameters (3/16”, 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 7/16” and 1/2") can be configured inside 1.5” gas lift valves (GLV) in which the ball size is 1/16” in diameter larger than the port size. Laboratory testing for sharp edged seats showed that the actual flow area is smaller than theoretically calculated area. This is due to Bellows stacking before the stem reaches its fully open position. Consequently, the valve stem and the ball in partial restrict the flow causing the flow rate through the valve to decline. The purpose of this work is to examine the possibility of improving the efficiency of the GLV by using larger ball size than conventionally used. For each port, different ball sizes were tested at different stem positions under the same injection pressure & temperature. Results obtained from benchmark valve testing displayed an increasing trend in the flow rate as the ball size increases under the same stem travel.



Gas lift valve