Evaluating the Performance of Advanced ESP Motor Technology in a Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage SAGD Field in Canada

Graham, John (Suncor) | Coates, Bryan (Baker Hughes) | Montilla, Carlos (Baker Hughes) | Padilla, Oscar (Baker Hughes)


A significant percentage of all ESP failures are electrical failures and this becomes even more noteworthy in harsh, high temperature applications such as Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD). For this reason, it is extremely important to continue the enhancement of ESP motor technologies that are specifically designed to address the challenging and unique SAGD environments that include wide bottom hole temperature ranges, abrasives and gas rich fluids. Through experience and testing, it has been learned that for these types of applications it imperative to design not only to a high temperature limit, but also to withstand extreme temperature cycles experienced on steam injection facility shutdown. A combination of historic evidence with controlled laboratory evidence yielded improvement areas for a new high-temperature ESP motor development. The new high ultra-temperature motor breaks paradigms and opens a new generation of motors that looks towards above 300 C downhole temperatures. This paper will review the performance of the motor at Suncor's Firebag SAGD field where 92 units have been installed since January 2015 in bottom hole (BHT) temperatures reaching 240 C. Description of the laboratory qualification, major design characteristics and field results will also be discussed on the paper.