Enhancing Production Using New Cable Deployed Electrical Submersible Pump – The First Trial and the Challenges Faced

Butt, Qasim (Baker Hughes Inc) | Kothari, Nikita (Baker Hughes Inc) | Boutamine, Tahar Zoubir (Baker Hughes Inc) | Roth, Brian (Saudi Aramco)

OnePetro 

Abstract

Coiled Tubing deployed Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESPs) have had a very short history in the oil and gas industry. The idea of installing a pump using coiled tubing was developed more than a decade ago which would allow the possibility of rigless operations and reduce the time for deployment/retrieval of the completion under “live-well” conditions. However, the initial attempts to define their economics were limited to comparing operational costs based on equipment and services, without considering the long term performance and gains over the life of the installation.

A new concept of power cable consisting of 3 mono-conductors has been developed in the past 2 years for deploying ESPs that eliminates the need for spooling and banding at the wellhead. The project has been a strategic development for ESP alternative deployment methods that would eliminate the need to move a work over rig on location to replace/service an ESP, making it more cost effective. A customer in Saudi Arabia has chosen the path of performing an initial recompletion of the well with this system with the benefits of the alternate deployment method during the periodic ESP replacements for resizing and wear out.

This paper outlines the details of the new cable deployed ESP system and the extensive considerations given to the deployment process to ensure safe and successful installation of the ESPs.

Introduction

Electrical Submersible Pumping Systems (ESPs) are becoming an increasingly important artificial lift method. As reservoir pressures deplete and water cuts increase, the need for high volumes of production remains, and this technology fills a critical need. One of the key challenges faced by operators is how to most efficiently deploy and maintain these systems. Deploying ESP's on conventional jointed pipe is adequate for low pressure onshore wells but higher pressure or even naturally flowing wells, especially offshore, can be problematic. In many cases, drilling rigs are being utilized for these ESP installations, which is both costly and an inefficient use of drilling systems.