Well Site – Problem With Use Of Intermitters

By 29 January 2017

The valve trim on the intermitter should be at least twice the diameter of the choke. When the intermitter valve opens it should not restrict gas flow from the well. Unfortunately, if the wellhead pressure builds to an excessive level, the sudden surge in gas flow when the intermitter opens may have two detrimental effects:

1. The flow recorder may be over-ranged to such an extent that it is damaged.
2. The high pressure separator may fill with liquid so rapidly that the dump valve may not be able to drain liquid down fast enough to prevent liquid carry-over into the instrument gas bottle shown in
Figure 1-3.

Ordinarily, the intermitter motor valve is controlled by a timer (Electronic digital timers with a variety of built-in. computer features are now available). The well may be set to flow on a 24 hour open/12 hour shut-in cycle. To prevent the problems described above, a highpressure over-ride is set to open the motor valve when the pressure build-up is more rapid than anticipated. The electronic timer mentioned
above already incorporates this pressure over-ride feature.

Intermitters relieve liquid loading in the tubing stream

The optimum time intervals for cycling between opening and closing the motor valve are learned from experimenting on individual wells. Once experience has shown that a well begins to load up with liquids after free flowing for 28 hours, the intermitter controller should be set to shut the well in for pressure build up after 30 hours of production.