Geared Centrifugal Pump Performance in an Enhanced Oil Recovery Field

Best, G. (Occidental Petroleum) | Delaloye, R. J. (ConocoPhillips Co) | Nicholson, B. L. (Occidental Petroleum) | Morrow, W. B. (Harrier Technologies Inc.)

OnePetro 

Abstract

Like all production companies Occidental Petroleum (Oxy) is continually searching for new and creative ways to increase production and lower operating costs. Artificial Lift is a major focus due to the large annual expenditures on equipment and electrical power consumption. Oxy faces unique challenges in its Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) operations in the Permian Basin where miscible carbon dioxide (CO2) and water flooding are utilized resulting in wells with high gas to liquid ratios (GLR) that challenge the gas handling capabilities of electrical submersible pumps (ESP's). While initially designed for high temperature steam flood applications Geared Centrifugal Pumps (GCP's) have several design advantages that make them attractive to use as an alternative lift option. A GCP is an artificial lift system which utilizes a Progressing Cavity Pump (PCP) drive head and rod string to drive an ESP style centrifugal pump through a downhole speed increasing transmission. The GCP design has the rate capacity of an ESP, but eliminates a downhole motor and power cable. By eliminating the downhole motor the GCP design delivers the ability to run a dip tube below the pump without a shroud through the perforations which should improve natural downhole gas separation. In order to test the performance of the GCP system Oxy chose to conduct a trial in three Permian Basin wells in one of its miscible CO2 floods. The key objective of the trial was to compare the performance of the GCP system with the previously installed lift methods to confirm if there is an opportunity to increase drawdown, increase daily up time, improve system efficiency, and increase run life. As of the writing of this paper two GCP systems have been installed as part of the trial with one of the installations still being in operation. This paper will present the details of the trial and the results that have been obtained thus far as well as challenges and lessons learned.