PEH:Progressing Cavity Pumping Systems - PetroWiki


The basic system components include the downhole pump, sucker rod and production tubing strings, and surface drive equipment, which must include a stuffing box. However, a PCP installation may also include different accessory equipment, such as gas separators, rod centralizers, tubing-string rotator systems, and surface equipment control devices. The following sections describe the various components of a PCP installation in further detail. Figure 1.5--Cross sections of conventional and modified 2:3 multilobe PC pumps. Figure 1.14--Speed vs. torque characteristics for a squirrel-cage induction motor. This section outlines some auxiliary equipment commonly used with PCP systems. A tag bar or "rotor stop" is normally required to facilitate installation and spaceout of the rod string. Several different tag bar designs are available, but they usually consist simply of a steel rod or bar (approximately 25 mm [1 in.] in diameter) fastened widthwise across the middle of a short (e.g., 0.6 m [2 ft]) perforated tubing pup joint that is threaded to the pump intake. In some designs, the rod is replaced with a steel plate with holes to permit fluid flow. The number and shape of the perforations in the pup joint vary among manufacturers. A large perforated area is particularly important in highly viscous fluid applications to minimize flow losses and to facilitate sand flow to the pump intake. The pump vendor usually supplies a tag bar joint with the PC pump. Although the tag bar pup is usually the bottom component of the tubing string in a PC pump completion, an additional length of tubing is sometimes run below the tag bar as a tail joint to lower the pump intake. For example, in horizontal wells, the pump may be seated in the vertical section to alleviate wear problems while a tail joint is installed to allow fluid to be drawn from the curved or horizontal sections of the wellbore. This technique can also be used effectively to increase the fluid flow velocity below the pump, which can be important for maintaining solids in suspension. In some cases, tail joints can be used to reduce the gas-to-liquid ratio at the pump intake, although the pressure losses through the tail joint may lead to additional solution gas breakout, resulting in little or no improvement in volumetric pump efficiency.