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Optimization of Wellhead Piping Design for Production Wells at Development of Steam-Water Geothermal Fields

A.N. Shulyupin1, A.A. Lyubin2, I.I. Chernev2

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At present, the exploitation of geothermal resources develops in a fair competition with other types of energy resources. This leads to actuality of questions which associated with the more efficient use of existing wells, because cost of their drilling is a significant share of geothermal projects. In domestic practice of development of geothermal resources the steam-water wells have greatest energy potential. One way to improve the performance of these wells is a providing of smooth change of direction of motion of steam-water mixture from the vertical, in the well, to the horizontal, in steam gathering system. Typical wellhead piping of domestic steam-water wells involves the removal of the mixture through a cross bar at a right angle. Cross bar can generate considerable pressure loss that increases the operating pressure at the mouth of the well and reduces flow rate. It seems reasonable to substitute the typical cross bar by smooth pipe bend. This reduces wellhead resistance coefficient by more than on 2. Increase of curvature radius of pipe bend reduces the pressure loss to a local resistance but increases the friction pressure loss. There is an optimal curvature radius of pipe bend for minimum pressure loss in view of a local resistance and friction in the pipe bend. Calculations have shown that the optimum value for the radius of curvature is found in the range from 1.4 to 4.5 tube internal diameters. However, for technological reasons it is recommended to choose the radius of curvature from 1.4 to 2.4 diameters. Mounting of smooth pipe bend on the wellhead can provide significant economic benefits. For Mutnovka field (Kamchatka), this effect is estimated at 17.5 million rubles in year.

Steam-water wells, wellhead piping, cross bar, smooth pipe bend, coefficient of resistance, radius of curvature

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1Mining Institute of the Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Khabarovsk, Russia
2Geotherm OJSC, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii, Russia

For citation:

Shulyupin A.N., Lyubin A.A., Chernev I.I. Optimization of Wellhead Piping Design for Production Wells at Development of Steam-Water Geothermal Fields. Georesursy = Georesources. 2017. V. 19. No. 1. Pp. 78-81. DOI: