PNG 301
Introduction to Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

7.0: Lesson Overview


In this lesson, we will discuss the design of oil and gas wells. As we have discussed in earlier lessons, Production Engineers are concerned with optimizing production from a given well. To achieve this, production engineers are the key architects of well design. In this lesson, we will discuss several important aspects of well design considered by the production engineer. These well design aspects include:

  • well orientation
  • completion design
  • well stimulation
  • artificial lift

We will see that two of the main tools used in the well design have already been discussed in this course:

  • The Inflow Performance Relationships, IPR (Lesson 4 and Lesson 5)
  • The Tubing Performance Curves, TPC (Lesson 6)

While the initial well design is the design that the well will use for the majority of its productive life, it may change over the life of the reservoir. Routine modifications to the well in response to changing well or reservoir conditions are referred to as Well Interventions or Workovers. Modifications to the well design may also be proactive, such a well recompletion, in advance of a change in the reservoir management strategy for the reservoir or field.

Many of the design aspects of the well, such as well stimulation or artificial lift, can be included in the initial well design or may be applied later in the life of the well as part of a workover.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • list and understand the overriding well considerations of well design;
  • describe several of the more common well objectives of a well design;
  • discuss important well components in well design and how production engineers use the components to address the overriding well considerations and well objectives;
  • list and explain the different well orientations used in the oil and gas industry and discuss some of the common applications of these well orientations;
  • discuss the need for sand control in wells and what components of the well are used to address sand control;
  • list and discuss the mechanisms of unwanted fluid production from a well;
  • discuss the need for zonal isolation in wells and what components of the well are used to address zonal isolation;
  • explain the role of the well completion in a well;
  • list and discuss common pieces of well equipment and their uses in a well completion;
  • describe the role of production tubing in a well;
  • discuss how to determine the appropriate size of the production tubing for a well;
  • explain the significance of the Inflow Performance Relationship and Tubing Performance Curve in well design;
  • explain the need and role of well stimulation in well design; and
  • explain the need and role of artificial lift in well design.

Lesson 7 Checklist

To Read Read the Lesson 7 online material Click the Introduction link below to continue reading the Lesson 7 material
To Do Lesson 7 Quiz Take the Lesson 7 Quiz in Canvas

Please refer to the Calendar in Canvas for specific time frames and due dates.


If you have questions, please feel free to post them to the Course Q&A Discussion Board in Canvas. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help a classmate.