Often the biggest drawback to plunger-lift operations is the time and expertise required to optimize and maintain that optimization. The cycle selection process is generally a time-consuming process that can tie up valuable man-hours and require numerous trips to the well. Additionally, there is an ongoing requirement for optimization to keep the plunger operating efficiently.
With continuous changes in the sales line pressure, the normal production decline of a well, and with the changing efficiency of the plunger's seals due to wear, maintaining correct cycles can become a service-intensive process. As a result, it is not uncommon for plunger-lift cycles to be set very conservatively to account for these changes. While setting conservative cycles can help keep the plunger running, it is a costly method of doing so. The cycles required in maintaining such an operation are usually so conservative, they are highly inefficient, thus costing in production.
The AutoCycle™ electronic controller is a combination of the patented Auto-cycle algorithm and the very latest in electronic hardware. This controller is designed for plunger-lift applications, and makes the optimization an automatic process. It is a stand-alone controller that requires no external energy source. Operating on DC current, with a rechargeable battery and solar panel, the AutoCycle™ can be used in even the most remote locations
Built to tough oilfield standards, the AutoCycle™ can be wellhead mounted and can withstand extreme weather conditions. Enclosed in a stainless steel housing and controlled by a stainless steel Piezo panel keypad, it is not only a durable but a very attractive controller. Ferguson Beauregard's ISO 9001 certification ensures strict compliance to quality standards and controls that ensure the very best products, all the time.
The operation of the AutoCycle™ controller is triggered by the performance of the plunger as it travels. Experienced plunger-lift operators and technicians have learned that plunger speed, or velocity, is a very key element in optimization. By tracking velocity, the AutoCycle™ automatically changes its own operating cycles should the plunger begin to travel outside an acceptable range.
This monitoring takes place on every cycle, 24 hours a day. Therefore, if there are fluctuations in the sales line pressure, the AutoCycle™ will change its cycles to account for it. As the well declines, this is taken into account and the cycles are modified automatically. Likewise, as the plunger starts to wear out and the seals begin to become less efficient, the cycles are automatically corrected.
This operation is kept simple and easy with Ferguson Beauregard's new menu-driven program. It includes normal single-valve plunger-lift operation and multiple-valve operation, such as when a vent or injection valve is required.
If plunger-lift is the method of operation for your well, it makes sense to ensure that the plunger-lift system operates at its highest level of efficiency. To do that requires two major components, a plunger with a very good seal and the AutoCycle™ controller.