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Gas lift valve failure mode analysis and the design of a thermally-actuated positive-locking safety valve

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dc.contributor.advisor Franz Hover. en_US
dc.contributor.author Gilbertson, Eric (Eric W.) en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2011-06-20T15:58:09Z
dc.date.available 2011-06-20T15:58:09Z
dc.date.copyright 2010 en_US
dc.date.issued 2010 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/64599
dc.description Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2010. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 131-135). en_US
dc.description.abstract Gas-lifted oil wells are susceptible to failure through malfunction of gas lift valves. This is a growing concern as offshore wells are drilled thousands of meters below the ocean floor in extreme temperature and pressure conditions and repair and monitoring become more difficult. Gas lift valves and oil well systems have been modeled but system failure modes are not well understood. In this thesis a quasi-steady-state fluid-mechanical model and a transient thermal model are constructed to study failure modes and sensitivities of a gas-lifted well system including the reservoir, two-phase flow within the tubing, and gas lift valve geometry. A set of three differential algebraic equations of the system is solved to determine the system state. Gas lift valve, two-phase flow, and reservoir models are validated with well and experimental data. Sensitivity analysis is performed on the model and sensitive parameters are identified. Failure modes of the system and parameter values that lead to failure modes are identified using Monte Carlo simulation. In particular, we find that the failure mode of backflow through the gas lift valve with a leaky check valve is sensitive to small variations in several design parameters. To address the failure modes studied, a positive-locking, thermally-actuated safety valve is designed to shut off flow through the gas lift valve in the event of failure. A prototype of the positive-locking valve is constructed and thermal actuation is tested. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Eric Gilbertson. en_US
dc.format.extent 135 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Mechanical Engineering. en_US
dc.title Gas lift valve failure mode analysis and the design of a thermally-actuated positive-locking safety valve en_US
dc.title.alternative Design of a thermally-actuated positive-locking safety valve en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree S.M. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 727067763 en_US


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