Report Example on Pressure Maintenance

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Sewanee University of the South
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Pressure maintenance can be described as the concept of injecting fluid into a well or reservoir to maintain the pressure. This pressure is usually at or near the bubble point or a critical pressure in the situation the volumes of the injected fluids are not enough to occupy the well void-age. The application of pressure maintenance concepts can be seen when applied as a non-thermal recovery technique in the oil industry. The recovery of oil can be realized in a process referred to as the artificial maintenance of formation pressure. This process involves the injection of fluid into an oil well to delay the decline of the pressure during the production of oil. Pressure maintenance helps in the increasing the amount of recoverable oil as compared to when there is no pressure maintenance.

Application of Nitrogen in Pressure Maintenance

Nitrogen has been extensively used in well pressure maintenance. This gas helps in maintaining well pressure of formations that have suffered reduce productivity after a wide period from the natural pressure depletion. Condensation in well prevents further production of condensate (Al-Anazi, 2007). To prevent condensation, the gas condensate formation will need to be pressurized above the hydrocarbon's due point. In well-involving oil production characterized with limited gas reserves, the reduced gas pressure can be improved supplying more pressure using nitrogen injection. In these operations, a higher nitrogen flow is required for a short period, and it is dependent on the material moved and the distance covered (Al-Anazi, 2007). The injection of nitrogen into wells helps in the decline of pressure, and therefore it is maintained within a specific limit. Nitrogen is most preferred as an economical alternative for the oil recovery using miscible gas displacement especially due to its low cost and the limitation of other alternatives such as natural gas and carbon dioxide. In general, nitrogen is utilized to augment gravity drainage in well to maintain pressure and also helps in in the formation of secondary gas gaps.

Application of Methane in Pressure Maintenance

Methane is used in pressure maintenance in a process referred to as methane pressure cycling. This process is employed in reservoirs after primary or water-flood production has been terminated. To contrast with the application of nitrogen gas in pressure maintenance, methane works to restore the mechanism for a solution-gas pressure gradient. The restoration of the solution-gas pressure gradient is done through the re-injection of a favorable volume of methane and then having it re-pressured into solution by the injection of water until a specific original well pressure is attained (Dong et al., 2006). This process replaces the produced oil by water in addition to recreating the primary well production conditions. While nitrogen has been used marinating pressure in general situations, methane is being developed for pressure maintenance in heavy-oil resources especially those situated in thin wells.

The Reasons for Fracturing of Wells

The fracturing of wells referred to as hydraulic fracturing is described as well stimulation technique in which pressurized liquid is used in fracturing of rocks. The process of fracturing of wells is used in increasing the rate of recovery of fluids from subterranean natural reservoirs (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2017). It is also applied in stimulating groundwater wells, inducing rock cave-ins mining, measuring stress in the earth and can also act as means of promoting waste remediation.


In the report, there has been a discussion of the application of nitrogen and methane in the maintenance of pressure in wells. Nitrogen is used in delaying pressure decline in wells. Methane, on the other hand, is used in the restoration of mechanism that allows solution gas drive. The application of fracturing has been discussed which involves increment of the rate of recovery of fluids from subterranean natural reservoirs.



Al-Anazi, B. (2007). Enhanced Oil Recovery Techniques and Nitrogen Injection. Official publication of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Retrieved 30 September 2017, from

Dong, M., Huang, S., & Hutchence, K. (2006). Methane Pressure-Cycling Process with Horizontal Wells for Thin Heavy-Oil Reservoirs. SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering, 9(02), 154-164.

United States Environmental Protection Agency, (2017). The Process of Hydraulic Fracturing | US EPA. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 30 September 2017, from


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