Vacu-Press International manufactured natural gas compression cylinders
that were fitted to walking beam oil pumps. The concept involved the
fact that natural gas under pressure could inhibit the flow of oil from
the reservoir to the well bore. Since this gas could in most instances
not be vented to the atmosphere, some way needed to be found to draw the
gas out of the annular space between the casing and the production
tubing and move it to a gas collection and sales line. Because this
gas was usually under relatively low pressure, (5-30 psi) the natural
pressure was not sufficient to "buck" a 200-psi gas transmission line.
The Vacu-Press cylinder drew gas from the well on the up-stroke of the
pumping unit under partial vacuum and forced it out on the down-stroke
under pressure up to that necessary to force it into a sales line.
The unique assets of the company included the plans for the
specialized brackets required to attach the cylinder to the pumping
unit and the methodology to accurately size the compression cylinder
and estimate the benefits to the producer of installing the unit.
IMS Quantum (then Fletcher Associates) developed the oil and gas
production decline model used to estimate the effect of reducing natural
gas pressure at the well bore. Increasing the pressure gradient from
the reservoir to the well increased the flow of oil. The Integrated
Decision Model computed increases in oil and gas production, fixed
and variable costs, and the discounted net financial benefits of
One aspect of the model that became very helpful in choosing
the appropriate size of unit for each application was a section of
the model that computed horsepower requirements for each unit under
specific pressures. The model automatically plotted power requirements
throughout the compression and vacuum cycles. One could easily decide
if the engine on the specific pumping unit had enough excess power to
drive a given sized cylinder at the desired pressures.
While other manufacturers offered similar units, the competitive
advantage that Vacu-Press enjoyed was the ability to engage the
engineering staffs of large oil companies in a technical conversation
concerning the concrete benefits of the product. The model also offered
the ability to study the unitís activity through time to evaluate its
IMS Quantum specializes in the development of technology-based
models that show how functionality relates to financial benefits.
These Integrated Decision Models can yield considerable competitive
advantage in technical markets where precise answers can be offered
to address the customerís major concerns.