Electrical Submersible Pump Material Compatibility for High TDS Application

Kalu-Ulu, Torty (Saudi Aramco) | AlBori, Mostafa (Saudi Aramco)



The selection of completion equipment for artificial lift string for any field in the oil and gas industry is important for the safe and reliable operations of such a field. This is critical to the management and overall profitability of the oil and gas asset, especially in areas where artificial lift is the predominant means of water injection and hydrocarbon production. This paper focuses on why it is important to understand the saline subsurface and the total dissolved solids (TDS) of the environment in which the artificial lift completion is to be deployed and its impact on equipment selection.

High concentration of corrosive components in the well fluid such as hydrogen sulfide, chlorine and total dissolved solids makes the well fluid conducive for electron migration. Such migration causes heavy corrosion, especially when dissimilar metals are used in artificial lift well completions. Carbon steel tubulars and casing are easily affected by such corrosive composition and leads to premature failure of artificial lift completions, which poses safety and operational issues. This type of environment is intense in electrical submersible pump completed wells because of the electromagnetic field generated by the current passing through the electrical cable of the pump system.

A combination of field and laboratory data gathering, and analysis was utilized to determine the effect of the aggressive components of the produced fluid on electrical submersible pumps assembly. The contributions of the high total dissolved solids in the conductivity of the well fluid, and in the electrochemical process for metal corrosion were analyzed. It was evident from both forms and approaches utilized in the analysis that well fluid becomes an electrolyte that provided the desired path for electron flow, which was enhanced by the magnetic field of the ESP system cable.

This paper highlights the integration of three approaches of geochemical analysis of well effluent, Anodic Index differential and tubular internal coating in corrosion prevention and electric submersible pump runlife elongation in wells with corrosive compositions including high total dissolved solids.