Gas Lift Unloading Sequence and SPM Design

Gas Lift Activation Series | Est. Length: 4hrs

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According to many industry experts Gas Lift (GL) is the least understood artificial lift method, but the reason behind that is not its complexity. While when you do things wrong on other artificial lift methods (e.g. ESP) your well will stop producing, a Gas Lift well will often keep on producing even with a bad design. Hence many operators often do not realize that their Gas Lift well is not producing at its full potential and don’t pay attention to it. There is therefore a very significant potential for production increase by understanding the principles of Gas Lift and this is a huge opportunity for any engineer willing to master this activation method.

This class is the third of the series of courses related to gas lift activation. It follows the courses “Forms of Gas Lift” and “Gas Lift equipment”. It details the Gas Lift Unloading Sequence (evolution of tubing and casing pressure profile, CHP, WHP and valves status during the Gas Lift well start up) with IPO and PPO valves.

Students will be guided to make the SPM design of a well (selection of side pocket mandrels depth) so that they can understand the principles behind that choice and how to select their parameters properly (e.g. kick off pressure). The last part of the training explains how to make such a SPM design using the software Prosper. Students will be guided within the “GL design new” form in Prosper (meaning of each parameter to be filled and recommendation on best option to be selected).

Course Curriculum:

  • Unloading the well basic principle
  • Initial unloading following a drilling or a WO (how to empty your casing of the mud/brine without damaging your valves)
  • Unloading sequence with IPO valves
  • Unloading sequence with PPO valves
  • GL unloading principle explained by counting bubbles of gas
  • Gas gradient formula and rule of thumb to quickly calculate your casing pressure at any depth
  • Put it all together with an exercise (inflow/outflow/SPM design)
  • Unloading sequence videos from suppliers
  • Why installing a GL mandrel in a well portion where deviation is higher than 60°
  • Side pocket mandrel design principles (where should you install your side pocket mandrels)
  • How to choose your kick of pressure
  • Guidelines to make a side pocket mandrel design with Prosper (how to fill the “GL design new” form in Prosper).

This course is designed for:

  • Production, Petroleum or Well Performance Engineers to understand how the GL unloading sequence works and how to make a SPM design
  • Field Production Personnel to understand how their GL well work and respond better to the questions of their support teams in town
  • Completion Engineers to understand fully the needs for mandrels in a GL well.


  • Understanding of the well production mechanisms (inflow & outlfow) is preferred
  • Knowledge of the existing forms of GL and GL equipment (especially GL valves)
  • Basic knowledge on well architecture
  • Awareness of the oilfield terms

Course Objectives:

Participants will acquire a deep understanding on how the Gas Lift unloading sequence works. They will be able to connect all well parameters during that production phase. This is a key knowledge to be able to troubleshoot any Gas Lift well. They will be explained the concept of a side pocket mandrel design through an exercise and will be coached so that they can perform such a design themselves using a software to assist them (Prosper).

Bonus Material:

  • The full video “Introduction to Gas Lift” (18 min) from my course “Introduction to Artificial Lift”
  • Gas lift presentation video from Weatherford
  • A flash application from ILS describing the unloading sequence
  • A document from PTC (available on their website as well) giving guidelines for GL design.
  • Links to download a GL manual from international supplier and a GL simulator from GL industry expert.

Your Instructor

Damien Leonard
Damien Leonard

With 10 years of professional experience in the industry, Damien is recognized subject matter expert in Well Performance topics, especially Gas Lift.

Damien holds a master degree from the top ranked French Engineering School “Ecole des Ponts ParisTech”.

He started his career working on Lean Management. From there he developed a culture of Optimization and Continuous Improvement. He then worked in Business and Management Consulting, which gave him a good culture of Performance. He capitalized on those experiences to improve Production while working in the Oil and Gas industry. He went through field position where he learned to optimize well production with a “hands-on” approach. Then he was selected to provide support by working as the Head of Well Performance for his company. There he showed fast progress and achieved significant production increase, not only on gas lifted wells, but also when working on Matrix Stimulation, ESP or other Activation Methods, Surface Debottlenecking, Well Intervention etc.

He is a Gas Lift instructor in his company where he was the first to provide an in-house training that received most positive feedback from its participants.

Damien is known for sharing the information and the knowledge with the people working with him. He gives himself the target of helping his colleagues to improve their analytic level as well as their general knowledge of the industry.

Class Curriculum

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Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does 12-month access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for 12 months - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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