PCP systems for high viscosity oil production - PetroWiki

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Production of high-viscosity fluids can result in significant flow losses through the production tubing and surface piping. In some instances, the pressure requirements generated because of flow losses can exceed the hydrostatic head on a well. It is critical that system design account for the "worst-case" flow losses, particularly the selection of the pump (pressure rating), rod string (torque capacity), and prime mover (power output). Over the past decade, progressive cavity pump (PCP) systems have become a very popular artificial-lift method for producing heavy oil (API gravity 18) wells throughout the world.[1][2] Fluid viscosity under downhole conditions can range from a few hundred centipoise to 100,000 cp in these applications, and the production rates also vary significantly although low rates are far more typical.