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What is Swabbing in the Oil And Gas Industry?

Gas and oil wells produce fluid over the lifetime of a well. When a well is first drilled, it is “fracked” to help open productions zones. “Frac” fluids are recovered by swabbing to “kick” the well off. As fluids are lifted, the bottom hole pressure pushes the gas and/or oil up and out the well. About 40% of the fluids come back at kick off. The balance of frac fluids flow back with production over time.

Throughout the life of a well, fluids flow back with the natural gas or oil. Sometimes as a well ages, the bottom hole pressures fall off. There may not be enough pressure to push all the water or fluids out of a well. If water gets above the oil or gas, then production falls off. The well must be swabbed out to maintain production.

 

Swabbing is a process to remove fluids off the production zone from a gas or oil well. The operator must have the “feel” of the machine in sync with the well pressures, sounds and depth.

This process is accomplished by machines that have a winch with cable. A foldable mast with sheave or pulley on top and a drive system. Swab machines come in various sizes that are determined by the depth of the well to be swabbed.

A swab rig operator drives to the well to be swabbed or serviced. The operators raises the mast with sheave and aligns the mast with the centerline of a well. The operator then lowers cable and tools in and out of a well via the winch drum and mast crown pulley or sheave. The swab tools are used to support the swab cups. The tools are lowered into a well, down to the fluid level. Swab tools allow fluids to flow up through and past to above the swab cups, as the winch drum with cable lowers cable and tooling into the well into the fluids. Then the winch drum winds up the cable, tools, swab cups, and a column of fluids are lifted up and out of the well.

The accepted practice in the industry is to lift about 6 barrels of “dead” fluid or oil up and out of a well. This lifting is called a “run”. As fluid is removed, this relieves the hydrostatic pressures on the formation. Production gas or oil pushes up and out of the well.

The conventional swabbing winch drum has been driven or powered by an engine with a chain and sprocket transmission to turn the winch drum. Tiger General’s Swab Master Designs incorporate direct to winch drum hydraulic drives. Our hydraulic drives are far more efficient than old fashioned mechanical chain drive winch drums

There are several factors. One is efficiency. Tiger General Swab Master hydrostatic winches deliver in excess of 95% of mechanical torque efficiency. A mechanical chain drive winch system might provide higher reduction ratios, but they can lose 20-30% of torque through reduction drive train inefficiencies.

Swab Master Machines requires little maintenance, about 1/2 the maintenance of an old

fashioned chain drive rig. You get at least 15-year design life before overhaul. It’s easy and reasonable to rebuild and go again. Other rigs run about 5-8 years and may need overhauled. If they are maintained properly with clean oil, Tiger General Swab Master pumps and motors are rated for at least 20,000 hours before overhaul.

Get more fluid in the tank with Tiger Vision.

A Tiger General, LLC Patented Proprietary hardware/software data acquisition and monitoring system built on Microsoft Windows 7 platform.  It utilizes a standard solid state IP-66 touch screen computer to record, save, and display on screen incoming Swab Master and engine electronic data.  The data is displayed using sweeping analog/digital color coded gauges for the operator to monitor in real time truck engine and rig operating systems.

This system provides the operator with down hole information such as depth (in and out of the well), line speed, gross and net loads, system pressures, charge pressure, tubing and wellhead pressures.  Data output for the gauges can be selected and shown on the display in either English or Metric.

Programmable depth alarm warning horns are used to indicate when tooling is reaching the top of the well with warning light indicators. Set up is easily done with the help of Configuration screens.  All data can be down loaded to laptop or mobile devices.  Computer is powered with a 12V to 110V inverter, and protected with a battery power back up. Remote key board included

Optional Data logging allows anyone you choose to view the data in Real Time and print out on spreadsheet report, Anywhere in the world. Contact Mark Overholt at Tiger General LLC for more information to learn why Swab Master Machines delivers your very best value.

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