Continuous flow gas lift is one of the most common artificial lift method in the oil industry and is widely used in the world. A continuous volume of gas is injected at high pressure into the bottom of the tubing, to gasify the oil column and thus facilitate the extraction. If there is no restriction in the amount of injection gas available, sufficient gas can be injected into each oil well to reach maximum production. However, the injection gas available is generally insufficient. An inefficient gas allocation in a field with limited gas supply also reduces the revenues, since excessive gas injection is expensive due to the high gas prices and compressing costs. Therefore, it is necessary to assign the injection gas into each well in optimal form to obtain the field maximum oil production rate. The gas allocation optimization can be considered as a maximization of a nonlinear function, which models the total oil production rate for a group of wells. The variables or unknowns for this function are the gas injection rates for each well, which are subject to physical restrictions. In this work a MATLAB™ nonlinear optimization technique with constraints was implemented to find the optimal gas injection rates. A new mathematical fit to the “Gas-Lift Performance Curve” is presented and the numeric results of the optimization are given and compared with results of other methods published in the specialized literature. The optimization technique proved fast convergence and broad application.

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