The project involves the development of a Gas Compressor specifically designed for coal seam gas (CSG) wellhead operation and production uplift. CSG operators have long recognised that there is a need to have more control over well production by having a positive flow control and therefore maintaining gas pressure to network pipeline systems.
There are currently over 7,400 operating CSG wells in Queensland. Generally, wells are abandoned when flows decline to uneconomic rates ~50 psi (the level at which most of the supporting Queensland gas network operates), as there is insufficient pressure to enter the gathering network. Approximately 90% of gas is still available in the wells. To recover this gas, a compressor is needed to achieve required flow rates into the network. Lowering abandonment pressures significantly increases recovery factors in CSG wells.
The project aims to develop a CSG wellhead gas compressor and to lease the units to gas companies, with potential to make bigger units for nodal compression. Larger units would facilitate pull on 5 wells instead of one, making the process more efficient. Ultimately, the aim also is to use local manufacturers to produce the compressor units.
There is currently a small number of gas compressor manufacturers worldwide who have trial tested wellhead compression; however, there are no production units that have been designed specifically for CSG operation with wide rangeability, reliability and efficiency for these conditions.
This project will benefit CSG industry requirements by: