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Artificial Lift

Artificial-lift technology has been around for many years, yet the concept Shauna Noonan, SPE, is a Staff Pro-
of artificial-lift selection and design has been more of an art than a science. duction Engineer for ConocoPhillips
Throughout the last decade, both operating companies and manufacturers have where she works as an artificial-lift
made considerable effort toward understanding the science behind artificial-lift specialist in the Production Technology
systems and their performance. For example, research on beam-pump slippage
and gas lift valve performance has greatly influenced the way in which the indus- group. Noonan has worked on artificial-
try now designs those lift systems. In 2007, SPE published a revised Petroleum lift projects worldwide at ConocoPhillips
Engineering Handbook; Volume IV includes many of these advancements and and previously at Chevron for more
understandings of lift performance for common forms of artificial lift. This pub- than 16 years. She has chaired industry
lication is recommended highly for anyone involved in production engineering forums and committees and authored
and artificial lift.
or coauthored numerous papers on
Artificial-lift systems continue to evolve, and their operational envelopes expand. artificial lift. Noonan is a member
The 2009 ATCE Technical Program Committee received a significant number of the SPEPO Advisory Committee,
of artificial-lift related abstracts, which resulted in two sessions showcasing great 2009 Annual Technical Conference and
artificial-lift research, field trials, and case studies. When you come to New
Orleans this October, you will learn about the most recent advancements and Exhibition Program Committee, and
lessons learned on all types of artificial lift. JPT Editorial Committee, and is an
Associate Editor for SPEPO. She holds a
Three examples of such advancements are featured in this publication. Each of
BS degree in petroleum engineering from
these technologies enhances a lift system or methodology that has been available
for years, putting a new spin (pun intended) on something “old.” While the field the University of Alberta.
trials of these systems have been specific to a given region (i.e., Alaska, Cuba, and
Russia), their application potential is global.
The papers selected for additional reading below, reflect other areas in the
artificial-lift community that are “hot” topics—finding and understanding better
gaswell-deliquification techniques, solutions to high-volume thermal applica-
tions, and effective artificial-lift optimization. JPT

Artificial Lift additional reading available

at OnePetro:
SPE 116659 • “Artificial Lift Optimization in the Orito Field” by Sandy
Williams, SPE, ALP Ltd., et al.
SPE 115849 • “Pushing the Limit: High-Rate Artificial-Lift Evaluation for
a Sour, Heavy-Oil, Thermal EOR Project in Oman” by G.H. Lanier, SPE,
Petroleum Development Oman, et al.
SPE 115934 • “Development of a New Plunger-Lift Model Using Smart
Plunger Data” by G.K. Chava, SPE, Texas A&M University, et al.

50 JPT • JULY 2009


Experience With Metal PCPs in a Cuban Heavy-Oil Field

Progressing-cavity pumps (PCPs) have

proved to be a successful and reliable
artificial-lift system for production of
heavy oil over the past few decades. The
application of PCP technology for pro-
duction of oil wells continues to expand
rapidly because of ongoing advances
in versatility, lift capacity, durability,
and economy. As a result, the appli-
cation envelope for PCP systems has
grown substantially to the point where
these systems now compete success-
fully in many areas that were tradition-
ally reserved for rod- and electrical-
submersible-pump technologies.

PCPs have found numerous applica-
tions in many industries as an efficient
means to transfer, transport, and/or
lift fluids of a diverse nature. The use
of PCPs as an artificial-lift method for
oil wells has gained increasing accep-
tance since their first commercial use in
heavy-oil applications in the 1980s, and
they have now become the preferred lift
method in numerous oilfield develop- Fig. 1—Metal pump being bench tested.
ments worldwide.
stationary during operation; the second displaced from the intake through the
PCP Systems is called the rotor—it is run on the end cavities along the stator to the discharge
A typical PCP consists of two basic of a sucker-rod string and rotates within where it exits at high pressure into the
components: the first is called the sta- the fixed stator when in operation. The production-tubing string.
tor—it is typically run on the end of the elongated steel rotor is machined with In conventional PCPs, the stator inte-
production-tubing string and remains a circular cross section and a uniform rior is made of a synthetic elastomer
helix with a prescribed eccentricity compound that facilitates an interfer-
This article, written by Assistant Tech- and pitch length. Rotors are normally ence fit between the rotor and stator to
nology Editor Karen Bybee, contains chrome coated to reduce friction and develop a pressure seal between adja-
highlights of paper SPE 120645, “Field- improve wear resistance in service. The cent cavities within the pump. In gen-
Implementation Experience With Metal- stator cavity takes the form of a double eral, the differential-pressure rating of a
PCP Technology in Cuban Heavy-Oil internal helix with a pitch length that PCP increases with the number of cavi-
Fields,” by E. Guerra, SPE, and A. is double that of the rotor—with the ties or seal lines. For a particular pump
Sanchez, SPE, Sherritt International Oil rotor installed, this configuration cre- design, the rotor/stator-interference fit,
and Gas, and C. Matthews, SPE, C-FER ates two series of parallel cavities within elastomer properties, and viscosity of
Technologies, originally prepared for the the pump that are filled by produced the produced fluid also have a strong
2009 SPE Production and Operations fluid. As the rotor spins within the sta- effect on the overall pressure capac-
Symposium, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, tor through the application of torque ity and operating characteristics of the
4–8 April. The paper has not been to the rod string at surface, wellbore pump. Therefore, for each particular
peer reviewed. fluid is drawn into the pump and is well application, the choice of elasto-

For a limited time, the full-length paper is available free to SPE members at

JPT • JULY 2009 51

mer compound and the degree of rotor/ PCP-System Installations shorter stators are believed to provide
stator interference (initial tightness or Conventional PCPs first were installed an advantage in terms of reduced bend-
fit) are key factors with respect to the in Cuba in 2001, with their use in the ing stresses and vibration potential in
operating efficiency, performance, and Yumuri and Seboruco fields starting in this application because the pumps
the effective life span of such PCPs. 2002. Almost all of the wells (97%) in are seated in large casing and typically
In an effort to overcome the limita- these two reservoirs now require some within the deviated portion of the hori-
tions imposed by the relatively fast type of artificial lift, with 91% of the zontal wells. Fig. 1 shows one of the
chemical and/or mechanical degrada- wells currently produced by PCP sys- metal PCPs being bench tested in prep-
tion of elastomers in some downhole tems. In July 2005, the first two metal aration for installation in a well. This
applications (e.g., wells with high bot- PCPs were installed in the YU-209 geometrical arrangement also may be
tomhole temperatures or high aromat- and SEB 103 wells. Since then, a total of relevance when trying to explain the
ic, CO2, or H2S concentrations), manu- of 10 metal-PCP units have been run notably better run-life performance of
facturers have been developing various and operated successfully in selected the B-E1 vs. the A-E1 elastomer-pump
all-metal-PCP products. The stator of Yumuri and Seboruco wells. models. While the three metal PCPs
the all-metal PCPs may be machined The typical installation and operat- cover quite a wide displacement range,
or fabricated in several short sections ing scheme for the PCP systems can be they have the same pressure rating of
that then are stacked together, appro- described by the following. 14.8 MPa. This is quite similar to the
priately aligned, and fastened inside an • Run the PCP on a 114.3-mm tub- ratings of the elastomeric PCPs, with
external metal casing. ing string to a setting depth ranging the exception of the Model B pump.
In terms of design and functionality, from 700 to 1300 m measured depth. While the installation procedures
a major difference between the all-met- • Install 25.4- or 31.8-mm American for the metal PCPs have been almost
al- and the elastomeric-PCP products is Petroleum Institute sucker rods, 75-hp identical to those of the conventional
the lack of any rotor/stator-interference motors, and variable-frequency-drive elastomeric PCPs, the additional steps
fit in the metal PCPs. Accordingly, the (VFD)-equipped drive heads with a 4:1 involved in the startup of the metal
sealing capability of the metal pumps is belt ratio (belt drives) or 7:18 gear ratio pumps deserve special mention. This
achieved solely through a tight running (gear drives). key difference arises from the dem-
clearance between the rotor and stator • Operate the PCP at speeds ranging onstrated need to “prime” the metal
(i.e., tight manufacturing tolerances are from 100 to 300 rev/min with the VFD pumps with viscous fluid to avoid
required). Although this fact translates torque limit set at 80% of the maximum excessive slippage, which can prevent
into much higher slippage (leakage) recommended torque specified by the the pump from providing sufficient lift
rates and reduced efficiencies when rod manufacturer. to produce a column of fluid to surface.
pumping low-viscosity fluids, the metal • Monitor the well operating condi- Loading of the annulus with a mixture
PCPs can be very effective when pump- tions and pump performance, execut- of heavy crude and lighter oil during
ing higher-viscosity fluids (e.g., greater ing workovers when the pump fails or startup of a pump following installation
than 100 cp). can no longer produce the well effec- has proved to be an effective method to
tively because of poor efficiency. enable the pump to displace the low-
Cuban Oil Fields viscosity well-control fluid (e.g., water)
The Yumuri and Seboruco fields Metal-PCP Design commonly used during workovers.
were first exploited in 1998 and have and Performance
achieved cumulative oil production of The first two all-metal PCPs were Conclusions
approximately 4.9×106 and 3.7×106 installed in July 2005. An additional All-metal PCPs have been successful in
m3, respectively, to November 2008. eight units subsequently have been producing extraheavy oil from a num-
The reservoirs produce extraheavy oil run in the Yumuri and Seboruco ber of extended-reach horizontal wells
with a dead-oil density ranging from 9 fields, along with two units run in the in the Yumuri and Seboruco fields in
to 13°API. The water-cut values for the Varadero field, thus bringing the total Cuba. Twelve metal PCPs have been
producing wells in these fields current- data set available for these products run since July 2005, with no pump
ly average 36 and 11%, respectively. to 12 pumps. Only the installations failures experienced to date. The metal
These offshore reservoirs are character- in the Yumuri and Seboruco fields are PCPs have exhibited much longer aver-
ized by the complex fold thrust belt discussed in the full-length paper. It is age run lives compared to several dif-
located along Cuba’s northern coast important to note that nine of the 10 ferent conventional-PCP models with
that has trapped large volumes of heavy metal PCPs installed in the Yumuri and a number of different elastomers. The
oil in naturally fractured carbonate res- Seboruco fields are still in operation increased durability demonstrated by
ervoirs at a top formation depth of and that the one metal pump that was the metal PCPs translates to significant
approximately 1500 m true vertical pulled had not failed. Therefore, the savings in terms of production losses.
depth. The heavy oil produced from data presented in the full-length paper Unlike the sudden failures typically
the Yumuri and Seboruco reservoirs is for the metal PCPs do not represent experienced by the elastomeric PCPs,
sour and typically may contain quanti- failed-pump performance and run-life which often lead to an extended wait on
ties of up to 5 mol% hydrogen sulfide statistics, as was the case for the elasto- rig time, the metal pumps used in these
and 10 mol% carbon dioxide The wells meric PCPs. fields appear to exhibit a very gradual
in these fields produce at an average Metal PCPs generally have a larger- decline in performance, which facilitates
gas/oil ratio of 28 and 81 std m3/std m3, diameter but much shorter stators than more-effective scheduling of service rigs
respectively, as of November 2008. their elastomeric counterparts. The for pump replacement. JPT

JPT • JULY 2009 53


Through-Tubing-Conveyed ESP
Replacement—Live Well Intervention

Through-tubing-conveyed (TTC) electri-

cal-submersible-pump (ESP) technology
was developed to address the high cost Intake Slots
and long lead times associated with
North Slope rig workovers to pull and
replace worn or plugged pumps. TTC
technology allows ESPs to be changed
in live wells without the need to kill
the well and work it over. When a TTC
pump replacement is performed, the
pump is pulled and replaced with slick-
line or coiled tubing while the tubing, Sand Cleanout
seal section, motor, power cable, and
downhole gauges remain in place. Shaft Extension TC Radial Bearings

Introduction Seal Head

The first TTC systems were installed
in West Sak development wells on the Fig. 1—TTC crossover assembly.
North Slope of Alaska in 1998. The
first systems were TTC electrical sub- add pump components such as rotary The rig-deployed components of
mersible progressing-cavity pumps gas separators without rig intervention a TTCESP are similar to those of a
(TTCESPCPs). In 2001, TTC technol- on live wells. TTCESPCP, with the exception that a
ogy was expanded to include centrifugal gear-reduction unit is not run. In addi-
pumps to achieve higher production TTCESPCP and TTCESP tion, a more comprehensive downhole-
rates. The centrifugal TTC pumps were Components gauge package is used. The slickline-
given the designation TTCESP. TTCESP From bottom to top, the rig-deployed deployed components of a TTCESP are
lift systems continue to be the preferred (tubing-conveyed) components of a similar to those of a TTCESPCP, with
equipment for the West Sak field. TTCESPCP consists of motor central- the exception that the pump is a cen-
TTC technology is particularly appli- izer, motor, gear-reduction unit, tan- trifugal pump. Fig. 1 in the full-length
cable in wells with high solids produc- dem seal sections, and TTC crossover. paper shows the rig-deployed compo-
tion in which the pump is the primary A power cable is clamped to the out- nents of a TTCESP system on the left
failure mode. TTC technology also pro- side of the tubing and is run from the and the slickline-deployed components
vides a means to upsize, downsize, or motor to surface, and a separate instru- on the right. Variable-speed drives are
ment wire is run for a downhole gauge used to power both the TTCESPCP and
This article, written by Assistant Tech- located in a side-pocket mandrel above the TTCESP systems.
nology Editor Karen Bybee, contains the ESP assembly. The TTC crossover Rig-deployed equipment is expected
highlights of paper SPE 116822, “Thru- (Fig. 1) is what allows pumps to be to last 4 to 5 years, while slickline-
Tubing Conveyed ESP Pump Replace- pulled while the motor, gear-reduction deployed equipment is expected to last
ment—Live-Well Intervention,” by Walter unit, seal section, tubing, instrument 1 to 2 years (dependent upon individ-
Dinkins, SPE, and Steve Tetzlaff, wire, and power cable are left down- ual-well flow characteristics such as
Baker Hughes; John C. Patterson, SPE, hole. The slickline-deployed TTC com- amount of solids production).
Hai Hunt, SPE, Peter Nezaticky, SPE, ponents consist of a pump assembly, a
and James Rogers, SPE, ConocoPhillips; packoff assembly, and a slipstop. The TTC Crossover/Intake Assembly
and Bret Chambers, BP plc, originally pump assembly consists of a pump The two components of the TTC sys-
prepared for the 2008 SPE Annual “eye” (Fig. 2), which couples the pump tem that differentiate it from a conven-
Technical Conference and Exhibition, to the TTC crossover, and pump and tional ESP are the TTC crossover/intake
Denver, 21–24 September. The paper discharge assembly, which includes a assembly (Fig. 1) and the slickline pump
has not been peer reviewed. centralizer and fishing neck. and associated jewelry (components

For a limited time, the full-length paper is available free to SPE members at

54 JPT • JULY 2009

antirotational and spline-engagement Stator elastomers are typically propri-
device. These functions take place etary and come with varying levels of
simultaneously as the pump is lowered resistance to hydrocarbon components,
into the tubing crossover assembly. chemicals, mechanical wear, and heat.
The eye self-aligns and couples with Use of the wrong elastomer can result in
the rig-deployed TTC crossover shaft a drastically reduced pump life. Rotor/
when the pump is pushed into the TTC stator fit that is too tight can cause a
crossover/intake assembly. The eye pump to lock up or realize rapid degra-
contains a well-fluid-lubricated bear- dation as a result of excessive heat from
ing. On TTCESPCP systems, this bear- friction and gas compression in the dis-
ing prevents radial loads from being charge side of the pump. A fit that is too
transmitted to the seal section. loose can result in reduced pump head
and lost production.
Pump. TTCESPCP assemblies have Similarly, TTCESPs have been changed
been put together using single and out to handle higher- or lower-than-
multilobe PCPs manufactured by three expected liquid- and gas-production
different manufacturers. Each vendor rates. Most West Sak TTCESPs have a
has proprietary stator elastomers and tapered pump configuration. The tapered
varying rotor/stator fits. Elastomers are configuration consists of a set of net-
Fig. 2—Pump-eye assembly lands chosen on the basis of advertised chem- positive-suction-head stages at the intake
on crossover shaft.
ical and heat resistance. Rotor/stator fits followed by mixed flow stages designed
used to run and mate a through-tubing are chosen on the basis of production to provide the majority of net head. The
pump). The slickline-deployed pump fluid properties and anticipated sta- tapered design results in a pump with a
eye shown in Fig. 2 mates with the tor swelling. Choosing a noncompat- high free-gas-handling capacity (40% free
rig-deployed crossover/intake section. ible elastomer material or an improper gas at the intake). The newer multilateral
The rig-deployed TTC crossover/intake rotor/stator fit can result in significantly wells began experiencing gas/oil-ratio
assembly houses the intake shaft, which reduced pump run life. spikes during early production, before
couples the slickline-deployed pump to TTCESPs are tubing-conveyed pumps water-injection pressure-support stabi-
the seal section. This part is designed to that have been turned down from 4.00- lization. This situation drove the need
outlast the pump components to allow in. outside diameter (OD) to 3.80-in. for increased gas-handling capabilities,
for multiple pump changes. OD, or less than the drift diameter of and as a result, a new high-angle-vane
String testing of equipment at the man- 4.5-in., 12.75-lbm tubing. Centrifugal- auger (HAVA)-type rotary gas separator
ufacturing facility helped identify the pump-housing burst issues associated was developed. The TTC system allowed
optimum screen design for the cross- with the reduced diameter must be con- already-installed pumps to be pulled to
over/intake subassembly and provided sidered for installation and the pump add the new rotary gas separators. TTC
confirmation that the TTC equipment setting depth. For example, the 3.80-in. pumps with a HAVA rotary gas separa-
worked equally well with either centrifu- pumps have a housing burst-pressure tor can handle more than 60% free gas
gal pumps or progressing-cavity pumps limitation of 2,392 psi as compared to before separation.
(PCPs). Because of different gas- and sol- the standard 4,029 psi rated at the full-
ids-production rates associated with verti- wall (4.00-in. OD) thickness. Recycling Used Pumps
cal wells with gravel packs vs. multilateral Reusability of the slickline PCP assem-
wells with slotted liners, the TTCESPCP Pump Optimization bly, which includes a modified stator
crossover/intake section has slots, while ConocoPhillips Alaska has taken advan- and rotor and associated jewelry to run
the TTCESP centrifugal version has a tage of the TTC capabilities to optimize through tubing, requires careful inspec-
perforated intake. The perforated cross- pump performance and increase pro- tion. Because of exposure and swelling
over/intake protects the pump from large duction. Pumps have been pulled early caused by well fluids, most elastomer
debris, 3/8 in. or greater. The design and replaced because of gradual pump components are replaced. However,
has sufficient length to accommodate a degradation in cases where production there have been several cases in which
rotary gas separator attached to the pump losses could not justify rig-workover the pump stator and rotor were sim-
intake. Separated gas is discharged to costs. Pumps have been replaced for ply cleaned out, packoff elements were
perforations at the upper end of the cross- upsizing/downsizing to account for replaced, and the refurbished assembly
over subassembly, then is routed back to higher- or lower-than-expected produc- was redeployed successfully. An initial
the annulus. The well section where the tion rates. The ability to properly size concern was how many times pumps
pump sits has a larger annular space than pumps maximizes production or mini- could be run without damaging the
the main tubing string through which mizes fluid-pumpoff situations. This rig-deployed components. To date, 38
the pump traverses, allowing improved has made possible the choice between TTC-equipped wells have had 59 rig
natural-gas separation. running single-lobe pumps, which have installations and 154 well interven-
a higher solids-handling capability, or tions to set pumps. Two wells have
Considerations for Slickline- multilobe pumps, which have a higher experienced more than seven slickline-
Deployed Components flow-rate capacity. TTC technology has deployed pumps over their operating
Pump Eye. Located at the base of TTC allowed different stator elastomers and life, with no evidence of damage to the
pumps, the pump eye is a centralizing, different rotor/stator fits to be tested. tubing-deployed components. JPT

JPT • JULY 2009 55


Application of Permanent-Magnet Motors in Oil Production

Currently, asynchronous submersible situations, wells equipped with conven- Another difference between perma-
electric motors are used to drive most tional alternating-current (AC) motors nent-magnet motors and conventional
electrical submersible pumps (ESPs). At require choking or change of pump run- AC motors is that with identical power
the same time, the possibility of improv- ning depth, which leads to equipment output, the former weigh less and have
ing their performance has been prac- wear, excessive power consumption, smaller dimensions. This is especially
tically exhausted. Permanent-magnet and increased accident probability. The important when operating in wells with
motors, which already occupy a lead- fundamental difference between per- complicated wellbore geometry.
ing position in a number of industries, manent-magnet motors and asynchro-
have better performance characteristics nous electric motors is that the former Motor-Output Performance
than asynchronous submersible electric are capable of regulating the revolution Energy saving is a key area of inter-
motors. ESP-system drives based on speed by varying the current intensity, est, which mostly involves implementa-
permanent-magnet motors were not while the revolution speed of an asyn- tion of efficient energy-saving projects
used in the oil industry until recently, chronous motor can be regulated only at local levels. This is especially impor-
but they currently are achieving wider by changing the current frequency by tant because of the steady growth of
application in the fields of various oil- use of frequency converters. Thus, the power tariffs and the water-cut increase
producing companies. simpler construction of a permanent- in mature fields. These factors lead to an
magnet motor makes it possible to regu- increase in specific energy costs for lifting
Introduction late the rotation speed without imple- 1 ton of fluid, and likewise an increase in
Compared to traditional asynchronous menting additional, expensive equip- the prime cost of oil produced.
submersible electric motors, permanent- ment such as variable-speed drives. In 2006, 5% of lifting costs in TNK-
magnet motors have a number of char- One of the substantial weaknesses of Nizhnevartovsk and SNGDU-2 were
acteristics that make their application traditional asynchronous submersible related to artificial-lift energy costs
economically attractive. Furthermore, electric motors is their low efficien- (RUB 230 million and RUB 250 million,
introduction of permanent-magnet cy—no more than 85%. The efficiency respectively). To compare the power
motors will increase ESP run life and of permanent-magnet motors is much consumption by permanent-magnet
improve health and safety indicators. higher—more than 90%—and it barely motors with power consumed by con-
It is necessary to regulate and adjust changes from fluctuations in voltage ventional AC motors of equal power,
pump-operation parameters during well from the power source and changes measurements were made using certified
startup, rate stabilization, and opera- in load on the drive. Low idling and meters and approved methods. The cal-
tion. Use of a permanent-magnet motor operating-current values make it pos- culations showed that permanent-mag-
as a drive for an ESP system makes it sible to measure load on the drive more net motors consume an average of 23%
possible to change the pump speed in accurately, optimize ESP operation, and less energy than AC submersible motors.
an expanded range and, thereby, to set up minimal current protection in the Thus, if permanent-magnet motors were
react to changes in well flow rate and best way possible. used in the entire well stock of TNK-
dynamic level as promptly as possible An important issue in well stabiliza- Nizhnevartovsk and SNGDU-2 currently
without stopping production and per- tion is the problem of submersible elec- equipped with ESP systems, as much as
forming tripping operations. In such tric motors overheating. Therefore, it is RUB 70 million/yr would be saved.
necessary to stop the unit periodically Furthermore, the operation of ESP
This article, written by Assistant Tech- for cooling when using AC motors. Use systems is integrally connected with
nology Editor Karen Bybee, contains of a permanent-magnet motor as the the problem of distortion of supplied
highlights of paper SPE 117386, “Appli- drive makes it possible to stabilize a well voltage by harmonics. As has already
cation of Permanent-Magnet Motors in without stopping for cooling. Because been noted, conventional asynchronous
Oil Production,” by Igor Azanov and of their higher efficiency, permanent- motors require variable-speed drives to
Arthur Shamigulov, TNK-BP, originally magnet motors overheat less often, have the same functionality. Studies
prepared for the 2008 SPE Russian Oil which increases the service life of insu- have shown that use of variable-speed
and Gas Technical Conference and lation materials and makes it possible to drives leads to the appearance of har-
Exhibition, Moscow, 28–30 October. The reduce the number of failures caused by monics in the power-supply network,
paper has not been peer reviewed. cable melting at cable input. which is a cause of such phenomena

For a limited time, the full-length paper is available free to SPE members at

56 JPT • JULY 2009

as voltage distortion and drops, reso- as ESP drives will be enhanced further Nizhnevartovsk and SNGDU-2 is
nance, increased equipment vibration, through reduction of production loss- positive. In particular, there was not
and overheating and even explosion of es by reducing well downtime caused a single case of ESP-system failure
condensers at transformer substations. by the need to perform well-servicing caused by permanent-magnet-motor
Studies have shown that use of perma- operations. Economic calculation for 3 breakdown. The current action plan
nent-magnet motors makes it possible years for a stock of 50 wells equipped includes monitoring the MTBF of
to avoid these phenomena. with permanent-magnet motors indi- ESPs equipped with permanent-mag-
cated that the additional production net motors, analysis of the causes of
Outcome will exceed 3,000 tons. failures of ESPs equipped with perma-
TNK-Nizhnevartovsk and SNGDU-2 As a whole, the experience of oper- nent-magnet motors, and better inter-
are the first TNK-BP enterprises where ating this type of equipment in TNK- action with the manufacturer. JPT
permanent-magnet motors have been
implemented to drive ESPs. The pilot
project began in 2005. It is already com-
pleted, and mass production of this type
of equipment is about to begin.
Since the beginning of the pilot proj-
ect in TNK-Nizhnevartovsk, 17 ESPs
with permanent-magnet motors have
been installed (including reruns). Eight
of them are still being operated. As of
20 October 2007, the maximum mean
time between failures (MTBF) has been
680 days. As a result of permanent-
magnet-motor use, the estimated MTBF
for a piece of equipment has increased
by 160 days (30.7%).
Since the project to replace AC
motors with permanent-magnet motors
was launched in SNGDU-2 at the end
of 2006, 31 ESP units with permanent-
magnet motors have been installed
(including reruns). According to data
as of 20 October, some 24 units were in
operation in frequently repaired wells.
The maximum MTBF is 316 days.
The average estimated MTBF of a unit
with permanent-magnet motors is 744
days, which is 540 days more than the
MTBF for a unit with conventional AC
motor. Furthermore, calculations show
that the number of ESP failures will be
reduced by 72.5%.
Such a significant drop in the number
of accidents invariably will lead to an
improvement in health and safety indi-
cators, which is a main priority. The
higher reliability of permanent-magnet
motors and their unique characteristics
make it possible to reduce the num-
ber of well-servicing operations caused
by ESP-motor failure or by change of
downhole conditions. Furthermore, the
reduction in the failure rate will enable
production enterprises to reduce costs
for equipment purchase (average cost
of a package for replacement is approx-
imately RUB 350,000) and for well
servicing (average cost of well-servicing
job is approximately RUB 400,000) sub-
stantially. The positive economic effect
from use of permanent-magnet motors

JPT • JULY 2009 57