Image: Gas Lift Testing Facilities

The Gas Lift Valve Test Facility is part of the Gas Blowdown Facility.

Gas flow testing of gas lift valves is needed in order to verify valve operation and measure flow capacity. It is also important to be able to conduct the testing at pressures that are typical of those encountered in service. Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) operates the Gas Lift Valve Test Facility to conduct such testing.

The basic layout of the system generally follows the guidelines given in API Recommended Practice 11V2 and ISO 17078-2, Annex H and Annex O. Nitrogen gas from high-pressure storage vessels flows through the test section containing the valve to be tested. Control valves, located upstream and downstream of the test section, are used to regulate the test pressures and flowrate. Both of these valves are operated under automatic control, thus making it possible to achieve good pressure and flow control. Custom data acquisition and control software permits all of the common testing operations to be performed from a control room located outside of the immediate test area. The test section is designed so that a variety of gas lift valve sizes (1", 1.5", 1.75") can be accommodated.

Specific Gas Lift Valve Test Facility Capabilities

  • Flow rates in the range of approximately 0.2 to 10 MMScfd (million standard cubic feet/day)
  • Upstream pressure controlled up to approximately 2,800 psig (depending on flowrate)
  • Differential pressures over 2,000 psi
  • Gas source volume: 1,125 ft3
  • Gas source maximum pressure: 3,000 psig
  • All instrumentation calibrated at regular intervals

Related Terminology

API 14A  •  API 6AV1  •  ISO 10432  •  safety valve testing  • flow component testing  •  BS 6364  •  fugitive emissions  •  cryogenic valve  •  valve testing  •  flow products  •  cryogenic testing  •  fugitive emissions

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Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.