University of Colorado at Boulder
BMP of Oil and Gas Development

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BMP ID: 4460
Title: Install Plunger-Lift Systems in Gas Wells.
Text: Table 1â€"Cost-Effective Options for Reducing Methane Emissions: "In mature gas wells, the accumulation of fluids in the well tubing can impede and sometimes halt gas production. Gas flow is often maintained by blowing the well to the atmosphere (venting), resulting in substantial methane emissions. Installing a plunger-lift system is a cost-effective alternative for removing liquids, maintaining production rate, and minimizing gas lost to emissions. A plunger lift uses gas accumulation at shut-in pressure in the well casing to push the plunger and a column of accumulated fluid up the well tubing. Natural Gas STAR partners have reported annual gas savings averaging 600 Mcf per well by avoiding blowdowns. In addition, reported gas production following plunger-lift installation increased by as much as 18 MMcf per well." [see Table 2 and 3 in the source document for cost, benefits and production characteristics]
Source Publication Name: Cost-effective methane emissions reductions for small and midsize natural gas producers
Citation Section: Table 1
Citation Page: 3
Supplemental Documents:  
Usage Type: Recommended
Timing: • Production / Operation / Maintenance
Oil / Gas Field:  
Surface Ownership: • Federal
• State
• Private
Mineral Ownership: • Federal
• State
• Private
Primary Contact: Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC  20460  United States
Phone:(202) 272-0167     Alt. Phone:(202) 272-0165
Fax:     E-mail: 
Alternate Contact:  
Categories: Air Quality and Emissions
Location: General / Federal
Vegetation Types:
General Comments:
Cost-Benefit Analysis: Cost & Benefits: Equipment Cost = $8,000 per well; O&M Cost = $1000 per well; Saleable Gas Saving (Mccf/d) = 12.9-50; Expected Payback = 1-4 month for price assumption $5/Mcf; Operating Requirements = Well shut-in pressure significantly higher than sales line pressure; Basis for Cost Savings = Installation of plunger lift system in one well; Other Benefit = Lower capital cost than beam lift. Less well maintenance;
BMP Efficacy:
Date Entered: 2009-04-08 07:48 UTC
Last Updated: 2011-07-17 13:50 UTC