Society of Petroleum Engineers

SPE 23707
New Experience with Electrical Submersible Pumps in Heavy Oil
L. Sortolin· and E. Uzcategui, Maraven, SA
• SPE Member


Copyright 1992, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Inc


This paper was presented at the Second Latin American Petroleum Engineering Conference, II LAPEC, of the Society of Petroleum Engineers held in Caracas, Vene2lJela, March 8-11, 1992


This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper as presented
have not been reviewed by the II LAPEC or the SPE and are subject. to correction ~y the author(s). The material, ~s presented, does not necessarily reflect any position of the II LAPEC or the SPE:
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Q:>ti mi zation of li fti ng mt:hoci; has been. used
in the oil indtEtry to study roth the oil well
-orod'lCtion and to detennine a c:a.tpmys optinal
j r lVes1::rre1.t rolicies.
'!he hlcper o::Ets t:eL~ted with new fadlities and
arti ficial li ft installaticns for new field;
have created the ne::essi ty to rev:i e.I the latest
tedllnlogy availaole
from diffen:nt lifting
matmds, especially from the electrical supmarsjble p.lITp (ESP).

rave been plblisted in the area of
heavy crude on yrocb:::tim cptimizaticn using
Es?'s as a lifting mth::rl. '!his l?ClJ?er describes
the results of a project pp.rfontEd jn two
diffen:nt fields and will study the parfornance
of the e:ru:i!;llBlt and the t:elated apllcatien
range. The equi p!lB.1.t studied was installed in
catpletims to depths ranging from 6000 to 11000
feet, ..n th ·:m.rle gravi ties on the order of L5 to
21. °AoI and b.::>tt:c::xrtnle 1:eIlperatures ab:Jve 180 of.
Fe.., studies

9:>ma CO'lClusi oos have s}n.n that the l=S? SJUi p5i mi lar crudes -Iii th even
1::1.4& °API's, despj te a redlCtion in the PUilP'S
effj cj encl. 'iIi gr.er flui d pro1ucti en rates are
also P')Sslble t') aclrieve.

men t can perfonn in

'Ttti s snrveyand s:lPp-:>rting- data ,~nl cn1.firm the
s'IDrersible f.lllYl> to be an alternative rretlnd for
lifting heavy crude oil from relatively deep
:resenoi rs.

Pro<i:lCtion of heavy crude on using the liS?



lluc;tratioos at end of paper.

mtind appears to be an attractive alternative
far wells wi th hlgh production :rates wh=re surface facHj ti es for gas li ft and other artifidal li ft m"\:b:)ds are not available.
The eI1aluation of the EEP systerlS fucused on
two fields, M!\m and 13ARJA-MJrAT1\N. '!he ~
field, located norttwest of :take Maracaibo, was
tested in the cretaceous Fbrrratien. Five-wells
p:rodlx::e cnXie oj 1 wi th a gravi ty on the order
of 15 °API. tells located in this area have
been shut in for 1on,J feriods dJ.e to narket
eanoorl cs and li mi. tati oos. 0Jer a :Y63X ag:> the
well.s were :re-qa:ted dle to incI:ea.Sed prod.lctim :requ:irenents.
rue to the fields' irte~ar prodlction, a st:udy;.ras ferlomend
determine an acx::eptable li fting rretlnd far
these wells. R=Sul ts indicated the ES? to be
m:st appropiate rcetind of artificial lift.

'!he BARJA-MJI'M'I-\N field located soo.theast of
take Maracaibo, was :re-activated in 1951. rurj ng start up, the;.rells were originally produced
wi th CJlS lift as the mtiDd ·::>f artifidal lift.
Tod:I.y 42 wells producing crude oil with gravitie; on the order of 18 to 21 °p,pI ate (>rodlcinq and requiere 70 M>'l. scfd to naintaln the
prodlction. I-bNever, the g;lS cnxp:ression capacity is not available.
A ted:lrti cal and eonni c study to provi de the
desimd CJlS lift system revealed this '!idS not
.3.n ea:nomical solution.
An E9? s~tem (lIDvided
a note appn:priate mthod fur eliminating the
g2.s cx:xnpressim capaci ty :requirem:nts, whHe
tTBJd mi zj ng the :reser'lOj r' .5 :recovery w.i th a
S] gli fj cant redlcti en in the Nells'
:f1.o..li ng
lnttollix>le pmssure.

Testi ng tte i n.Stallatio.l desi glS and related
EqU.l[Xl81t in these field:; with gravities en the
onier of 15 to 21 °WI allcwed tte operator to
(1) eval,J,'I.te the 5~tern a:.xtpnents and (2)

t:I"e wells were carpleted wi th the fol.. TOO productioo med1an. Tmse areas are ~ MUl\ and l3AlU\...lJ::M the wells to bu:i ld l. 2). B:lSed <n this.tioos were specified accordi ng to the o:ndi ticns of the well. ~4h:i le the average well depth and lx>ttonOOle teJxt:erature are 1)980 feet and 180 OF (Tcilile 1).on nechanism is through :r:oc:k and fluid exp:msioo. Productioo of ~~ll c was 1500 BID wi th a wataI' rut of 8% and a CDR of 320 scf/bbl. operanti1l. so they could then be opE!Il.. Cl:XlSidering the prodI. . MIlti-sta~d CBntrifugll.l> pressure. Gas sep3rator: Punp: PSI: cpti ooal. ~ \'aile. Altb:>ugh t:l"ere was an increa. Di-p:>le.€rl and pn:xb:ed for anot:ler p:!riod.1l>letims. 'l1E fluid visasi ty ranges between 1.as 10 30 :aID wi th a water cut of 7% and a (DR of 800 sef/bbl.l at 3500 rpm in 60 Hz s}5tens.52 ~ at 233 OF.. tha na.. two addi tiooal wells 'Here selected for the project.1pired to the 430 13/0 procbced wi th natural fl. seal: IJJcated betNeen the rotor and tl-Je pm:p stori ng tha notor ai 1.ell 0 was 2500 BID 'Iii th a water rut of 12% and CDR of 130 scflbbl.4'as to be the first installatioo of the ES? EqUiplBlt.lo.. otlv::!r prrameters such as water cut and CDR were not affected.. Sl'RIlG CXH'QBfI'S M:>tor: 'Ibree-phase.t dCOlrate and reliable data.e in prodJctian. "PrOdx:tien for -.?:r:esented a gah in prodJctim of UOO BID OJI. each with different reservoir cooditioos. R:!Servoir exnditicns d:laracterlzing the .aro:uAMOl'Mm Field c::an:eEPOTld to an"!'. The average well depths are 9500 feet (Table 2). four COITpletioos and their exxtp:nents were desi gwd usi tlt:J the sane cri teri a. different desig:lS were 1IB. P. Jootion BllC: well A '!his well '.RA Field. In ~ case of the ~ Field.a. The prodlx::ti.ted to these wells area listed below: t~ll Desi'. '!his m. Cl:>ap:nents used in the four insta.tem for the ci:::wllDle 9:lUi fUB'lt..Acx::ordi ng to the respecti ve data for each well. From this fi eld. were selected for the project from the M!l.x:tien ·1IaS on ~ order of 1600 aiD. lx>th '!he four ESP o:::&rp1etioos installed are located in different areas near rake M3raca:ilx> (Rig. five wells are curr:ently prodl. Pro<ilctien rates. . the !fu:>.35 CFS at 180 OF. 'Ihe o::npnents desiCJ1ed for this well a:::nsisted of the folis.d be presented by the eqWfUB'lt aurin:} start up.l. the proWoed flui d vi scxx::i ty is on the order of 26 .lI:e and tem- perature..acecu.ll.ens V«lUl.rodlction for ':~ll A was 430 aID wi th a water cut of 6% and a Gas Oil Rltio (GOR) of 600 sef/bbl.eratimal o:ntroiler Nh:i le acting as a protective sy. prodI.80 and 8. 102 sta.lS are p:roc:ilcing crude oil wi th qravi ti es en the order of 18 to 21 oPEl. 'While experiencing scma difficulty in production rue "to the pm.S?E 23707 2 determine the c:xxtpXlent's range of applkatioo and p::>tentia1 for ~ng future rea.19" ProdJctim (13/0) .de for each well. Becduse of the l. roth wells were naturally prodlcing. forma. reservoir data and types of OOI. prj or to cmpletion.-MCIl'ATAN fields.i flui d prod!x::ti 00 . Ole to this.robl. From thi s.\BS verified so that no o.m in 'Iable 3.lN- ing: M:>tnr: 260 HP PImp: XX--4800. &ich well was a:::nsuming aromd 3MM sefd of injectien g:LS. M:sSures oottonOOle plESSl.9=S ('ab1.x:tien data. PrOductien for 'Nell B r. avai lable was dlasen in order to pravi de a gxXi desi gn.bCene resenoir wlEre 42 active we1.e: 'it 1 lbund Cbntroller: 3300 volts ~tor seal ~oo Gas A 3800 B 5000 C 2500 0 5000 Adli tiooal detai Is of the producti en are sto. 1). en start up.works as an q. Cbntroller: Or variable speed drive (Vs» . p:!rfumance. two punp. rel. were installed in the Mt\PA and BARl!\-MJrATAN Fields.Jjng cx:xrp:nents (Fig. a:nsiderin:} the 1a-1 gravi ty and the dl1ticip:tted effect on the p:mp'.x:inq from the eret..o4. Transforrta'S: Vary t:I"e voltage needed for notor.vy crude oU reservoirs.sure dEcline.re t:I"e surface cable is a:nnected to the cbmlnle cable.ism for this ~ir is a solutioo g:LS dri ve.o.c. 'lhese wells had "to be slut in en several OCXBSicns in orOer to a. T~ p:!rformance of the pri nary energy system \.tien with lIPl gravities of 15 °}pl. paraneters The ES? installation was desi <]led to ~rodx:e 3800 BID at 60 Hz.

c:wing sp:!Cificatirns: 225 HI? }Q{-3200. '·. . the EqUlf1. 'feSt results il')d:icated that the values rreasured for t. ~ A and B am prodtcing the same ~v. g:lS produced and the d}Oaltti c fluid level. performances are similar. even at a higher frecuency for which it was desi 9'led..1s the total volune the pmp slDuld handle p& the ~:icp and the mlume that was r. which was agajn found to be hi ~ than the value calculated in the original design. Ba.. Q1ce ag9.jred prodx:tioo.'ijng start!.. detected a rupture of the shaft at ~ level.rati015 that nay fatigue the shaft along the purrp. ·wi th no s:i q1s of debri s.(D at 60 H~. Fbr the detectioo. the acbBl productioo. tests were onducted jn the fjeld.:i ng to correlate carrectioo. and corrpares j t to '.ms 5000 P. and c0mparing l:x:>th product:im rates...mp while creating v.mp.. nnd oorrpar.rmt was actua1l. 'Ih:is js dre to the fact that -.'i- Olble: N 1 fbl... '1h:is indicated that the J:UTP tYaS n0t handl:i ng the prodootion as j t sOOuld mve. the installati01.as rrade to resIze the J:UTP as in Well At and ag9. . the .in.llB1t was ~e of na3Suring the fluid level every tIo\U tlUnutes as the frequeocy increased on the vso. H::Mever. tests were also o:ndlcted dIe to the 1.c.)lStem msul ts in a 31% efficiency :f. the correction factor cuuld be the rn3. An anal:>sis of the p.erve the effect of the 0 lIPI grav. r... No changes . is lcx::ated on the left side of the <bNn t:hrust cx:ndition. ~'lhen the E9' was pllled. ruring a sjx nmth evaluatim period.ity whlle try.xcessive wearing of the p.'lents: jn thl swell t:as ~ptor: 360 HP ~ ~~OOO. After the jnstallatiol'l. l\ cause fur th:is la. a suggestion ·. From the graIil. and mrrection factor applied to the des:ign.. O1ce ag:rin the dYlamic fluid level was hi qher thaI') anti d p:1 ted.. fai led indicating an "underload" o:ndition.vere agtin o:nducted :in the field t> rre:lSure pararreters such as voltages. of (X)t'1tiU1.lOllS evaluation of the €q. a 9:Uld * R tx:x:>l.i gum 6. '!he purrp efficieoc:y in th:is well .. 'Iak. there is sti 11 SOfie dev.iatim in the :results obtained in th:is d..icp. jndicating '{XXl'r plIllp perfornance..i ty :influence:. h:Eed on Nitrogen injectioo.ed on these values.04 productim. an inspectioo. and mn:i tori ng of the d}Odmi. Q:nsidering the ~h in F.rodlJced and the d}Oalttic flul d level. the ES? New cxrrection factors from acbBl field futa could also be calculated.'1e fIObr a.i -. 'It> jncrease fluid productioo. the efficiency of the s. '!he EqUlf"lBlt installed has the fo1J.<.iscosity. R>r this '!lel1.'ier-thanelCPE!Cted perfbmance could be :related to the c:t'11<i:!'S qrav. an eff:iciency factor was calcn1. notor anq:erage. rue to these circumsta~. factors .l"lnt presented a faUum of the cable whi d1 bu6.y prod:Iced.ing th:is into acoomt.7] th :res1J.lts 0btai ned from the fi eld.rforrrance.. The dif:fe:rerx:e in m- unes is ~uately 6500 BID.ed and had to be :replaced. 'F':i gure 3 sJ-o.. in order to ob:. th:is oould be :related to the o:nditi015 of the pr::>ductim fluid (19 OWl).i ng trus resultant productim rate to the desigl/de. . the dyamic fluid level was fOlnd to be higJ:er th=i:'l antidp3. 96 Stages N" 1 RJUnd VSO: 300 KVA Gas 9!para tor seal section 'lbe d:sicp calculated for th:is case slrwed.:p.lnd ()')ntroller: 3300 ::>lts Gas Senarator ~l sectioo.act. '!hi 5 perfonnance causes an p.?tted for the p&fonnance of the sy:.. '!he increase j n procb:::tioo 'vas on the order of 1070 BID comorred to 1030 BID obta:iaed \. 'ihe -. ~B me equi p:rmt used j ng conp:>.. and aqain study its pp.as to res:ize the p.ity of crude.llp'lalt. 916 p.lrfornence curve s:town :in F:i gn:e 4 indicates WM:re the acbBl production is and wtere it slnuld be aanrding to the de51 qn. j t can be seen th=it the rmP was ###BOT_TEXT###gt;IOrki ng 01 a (bm thrust ccndi ti 01..7ith t:ba qajn in prodJctioo. Thls \.6si!:lly result in seal dartage. 'The desi 9'l nroduct:i en for thls 'liell ". solution suggested ·.ted. The ioc:rease in prodlction WdS only 200 BID wlEa cnIplred to that obtained w:i th g3S l:i ft. ·. A. F. ~ults indicated that values for the notor amperage and the g:!S prodooed were '.7as not up to the des:i9'l eo.siCJl. the productim \vas on the order of 2100 SID. 84&a~ the folla. lblever. and plIllp efficiencyof the sJlStem in this well. tests -.rell to be capable of prodI. production :reua:ined at 1700 BID. and i t can be seen that l:x:>th pr:odrtioo.men the crnpletion and ~ts were d:sjg:ted.i ty.tem. In th:i s well we had the capabi l:i ty to vary prodlctim rates throUIh the use of a variable speed dri ve. l\fter 72 day:. was used. In adii tim. ~ults obtained fnxn aU tests indicated that values were in the design range except for the dYldIllic fluid level.rfo:rm:J1Ce curves used TlUSt be cxrrectedNi th a factor cxr:resp:nding to the crude's v.uc This well was the first of the two ES? :instal]atirns jn the area of B!UUA-MJIM'1\N.yater cut and ~R pararreters d:i d not change '.Jure 5 hdi cates the total volurre that the purtp sh::luld handle. or p::.l.cn whya. was found to be in the range of 1700 Wo. rate.cbla1 prodlctioo. :lc::x:nrdinq to the de. These tests ens:i sted :in me:'1'5urem:nts of paraneters such as m:>tor~.dS calculared to be 68%.ere ob:. wo. '!his EqUlf.:J('O(b::ed.ell's effidency resulted:in an effidency factnr 43 %.d ng 2500 Eblla.i.xpectati015.7ithin the llmits set by the d:s:i9'l.71 th natural flOfl.he PtlRP'S p:>.in evaluate the ~nn:mce to better understand heM the crude s grav. the well was tested and prodJctioo.c flui d level. Al tlnugh thl sis truch better than in the fi cst two wells.erved in the other proructim pararreters.rnp::rage and <JiS tm::)(lu~d 'tlere simi lar to tlnse calculated i n t:ha on g:i nal d:sjqn.ar.3 SPE 23707 obt:a:ined..

led jn this well has ''Production Per:fu::::mm::e in C':reta. Cbrrectien factors p:tese1t true 4. lh the sElD'ld installation the cable -was d1anged fur a N° 1 flat.e its prodlCtivi ty range. The aan ti mal fl['O<ilCti en. IT2ELIS: '!he e::[Ui{Xtent instal.. M)s:xJE:RA..1. "FX~rienc:e '.F. A nuni:ler of ti nes the problem was related to 1:mned ci rrui t l::oard. .jE. 'fmioo en Pllt'P tests and fj eli perfonnance data. 1h the fi:tst installation the mtor burned out d1e to excessive starts. a VSD was also installed so that the p." paper on:: 5318 presented at the 1986 18th Annual (JlC!. S.1. as did the cable. were presented in the VSO _dle to circu:i t 1::naI:ds bIming out en several occasicns.mp might increa<.lperatm:e. Mal16is of the perfurna.a.mp :i s '~ng near i ts reo:::mrB1dad capaci ty range.n th the cable and notor.nce curve slnm jn Fi<pre 8 indicates that the pmp is l«Jrki ng in the recxmrended range at 70 ~. '!his -was also coofirnal t:hr:>ugh the use of SOlO1oqs. 0' 'lOCI. w:i th no change in the otl'ar prcXiuction p:iraneters. 2." at the 19a3 S?E and Elchi bi ti on.er. 131 stages N' 2 R>md 354 WA G3S geplla tor seal Se::ti en 2.A: "StOOyof the B:lCEne in B3r'Ja-r-Dtatan Field".led an increase of approxirrately 2000 EVD. . accnrding to the PSI.i gure 7. for the p.. 'iI1hen conp:u:ed to that of the original g:LS lift system.::wn thrust exnditicns causes p. -was found at the anticiy. '!he d}tlaJl'd c flui d level. EGFP CCNSlL'lOJE:>. o:tober (1990) 20.ceoos 'iells of Mira Field". Caracas D. AUcpst (l~) 236. '!he authors wish to thank the individuals were associated N'i th this project and . the p. M:iracaibo. After several nonths operantitXJ. After . the cable burned near the splice with the l( 4 not:::>r cable.tely re- p. the folJ. In the subsurface a:}Ui prent. the mrin problerr6 encoontered were '. '!he S16tem's effkiency qravi ty decreases.. seve:al pmblem.mp parforn:an:::e. creating vibraticns cap:lble of callSing seal daaage ·::>r shaft fati g.Je along the fUIIP. NeW SUbmrsible produced OJst. the well was tested and slnwed to be prodJcinq 4500 EVD. ex:tober 5-8. fboSton.mp6 fur proper Sizing and papar S?E 15425 presented tJ.the p.lbUst:ed this pafeI'. Olri ng the evaluation of the ES2. 4.<Ii th Electric 9l1::rtersible runp for TeSting ~vy Oil ~ servoirs from Floating Drilling Vessels. A PSI m:njtoring S15tem -was installed to antinoously m:njtor the oottxx!h:>le pressure and t.mp -was started. E. This happened became of the voltage variaticns at the VSI) i nplt. 'It> date results indicate that the ~ is respnding as per desi ql.mp wear..P.. TNO ES?'s were installed in this·!ie1. ES?'s can be used as an alternative llft nettnd j n heavy crude oi l.G:. S. sl'o.st Tedmical O:Jnference NY. Q:nsi dari ng the gI:afh slnnn in F.oA'ing oonclllsicns have been leached: 1. the follari ng speci fi caticns: lIIbtor: PImp: Oihle: V9): 300 HP XX-4000. CKSSIX. 'DSI 'lhis e::[Uip!Blt was desieped to pro<b:::e 5000 lVO. W.o1m MAPAvm. D.ted level. wenD 1. but the rrotor rerraj ned wi th the sane speci fi cations. ~<By 5-8.nnission to p. 3.B: "TeSting Pt. did not a~3.S?E 23707 4 ~t of the p:oblens ~ted during the evaluation of the eqlli:ptent ~d at the surface jn the VSD. 3. decreas~ as the 8PI and O'BRIEl~ .A. '!be efficiency calculated fur this well's p:mp 515tem is a:l the order of 90%. In adD tien.

00 20 1.TYPICAL ESP INSTALLATION ® DESIGN PRODUCTION • ACTUAL PROOUCTION 80~-------------------~----------~-------ReCOMMENDED HEAD sa/eeL) OPERATING 'RANGE rEEr 80 PUMP H P Err.0 2.50 2.n .75 20 2 OESIGN RATE: 3800 8/0 M 10 9 / 0 ~ 6 E A 60 2.t TIA JUANA TUBING AGUNILlAS CABLE PUMP LAK( GAS SEPARATOR MARACAIBO 11E5-I--.WEll A PERFORMANCE CURVE 9000 to . 70 0 __~~ LOAD TO T T 0 8 60 M 50 H 0 L R T E 60 .TRANSFORMERS ~ MARA MARACAIBO CASING CABIMAS DRAIN VALVE .SEAL BARUA MOTATAN MOTOR fiGURE 1 .GEOGRAPHIC FIELDS LOCATION GOR CONSTANT (600 9 10 ---.25 2. SURfACE RATE (WELL A) 4000 0 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 flOOO 7000 8000 CAPACITY fiGURE 4 .0 40 30 " 30 3.75 10 ACTOAl RJ"n:= 1600 9/0 0 0 0 1000 2000 SURFACE RATE fiGURE :5 3000 (9/0) BOTTOM HOLE RATE VS. FIGURE PERFORATIONS 2. "OTO..

_----_r----_4------..25 2.80 1..4C"'lO£O H P CAPACITY PUMP "'IOlOR LOAD Err.tJ ~~ 40 eo 70 40 to .75 M B ACTUAL RATE= 2. ~'v 30 1 0 30 J- ~'" 1.. 0 20 t40RSEPOWER WlotOR LO"~ 1.00 BID 10 '0 0+------r-----.60 1. OTOR LOAD rEET BO 60 PU"P err .-----~~~~~~~---r----~RE~C~O~M~M~E~N~D~E~D------. .BOTTOM HOLE RATE VS.. 80 50 . T T o M 80 80 60 60 15 H o L 40 E 10 R A T E 30 20t-__~~~~RS~C~PO~w[~R~M:0:l:0R::LO~'~D~:----------------~~~----~-- DESIGN RATE= 5000 BID 5 30 2.000 '500 2000 2500 3000 3600 (000 (600 6000 6600 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 8000 CAPACITY CAPACITY FIGURE 7 .75 2. RANGE 50 " 40 30 75 ..0 25 ._----~ I D o 3 2 4 SURFACE RATE 7 6 5 o MB/D 0 2000 8000 8000 '2000 10000 CAPACITY FIGURE 5 ..WELL C PERFOMANCE CURVE FIGURE 8 .20 1. ® • DESIGN ~ODUCTION ACTUAL PRODUCTION HEAD fEET R(CQMt.00 10 20 20 HORSEPOWER WOTOR LOAD 10 ..WELL B PERFOMANCE CURVE (.0 50 1....WELL D PERFORMANCE CURVE 2. ~tJ ~ . SURFACE RATE (WELL B) FIGURE 6 .~----.) Ol (X) (!) DESIGN PRODUCTION • ACTUAL PRODUCTION 70 HEAO H P ..00 20 1.23 70 ~ SPE DESIGN PRODUCTION • ACTUAL PRODUCTION HEAD aO.50 2.0 0 0 o 0 o 600 .. "OTOR 70 LOAO 70 .------------r----r 80 20 B COR CONSTANT (800 fEET scr IBBL) H P OPERATING RANGE o PUMP Err.