by Tina Olivero

    New Range of Small Diameter ESP Systems from Baker Hughes to Hit the Market

    Oct 2016
    The underground wellbore design industry is a very complex one. Construction of operational wellbores in small diameter wells or wells with low areas, especially those with complicated designs or having casing patches is inefficient and costly, given the current standard market tools available. Baker Hughes has risen to the challenge of developing a whole new technology for dealing with this problem. Their CENtrilift PASS ESP System is the only ESP system which can work at flow rates lower than 50 BPD. Not only that, but it also includes a highly extensive range of gas management capabilities featuring the slimline technology.

    The FLEXPumpER range of great pumps from Baker Hughes is also incorporated in their CENtrilift PASS slimline ESP System for the world’s most comprehensive 3.38” pump. It was designed using a highly advanced modelling software on computational fluid dynamics to provide a backup solution to the challenges of operation for a wide range of flow rates. In fact, the FLEXPumpER technology can operate a single pump operable at flow rates ranging from 50 BPD all the way up to 25,000 BPD. Not only does this not need a regular change of equipment to deal with different production rates, but it also improves the ESP system operation by mitigating abrasive wear and restricting solid build-ups.

    One of the major problems with current wellbore systems is the amount of gas entering the pumps. The CENtrilift PASS slimline ESP system addresses this issue with the design of a completely new system which does not depend on the wellbore orientation to maximise operational output. Besides dealing with production-stream entrained gas, the system can also operate without any problems in case of gas slugs breaking out of the reservoir with the incorporation of natural and mechanical selection in a single simple design.

    In case the ESP is deployed in a horizontal or slanted position, the gravity cups shift to the high side of the intake port, thus blocking the gas accumulation preventing the pump intake by forcing it into the annulus. By comparison, when the ESP system is deployed vertically, the production streams can directly ignore the gravity cups while the mechanical vortex gas separation technology can bypass the pump and push the gas pockets directly into the annulus. In addition to this, the CENtrilift PASS system also has a vortex gas separator, which is superior to rotary separators since they are more efficient at separating the fluid before they can enter the pump.
    Despite all this, in case any gas does enter the pump, there are backup technologies which can take care of it. The GI gas insurance boost pump along with the FLEXpumpER pump, when combined, can optimise performance in the pump by handling more than 60% GVF (gas volume fractions).

    Another aspect focused on in the development of the CENtrilift PASS slimline ESP system is the pressure rating of the pump, which can effectively be increased up to 5,800 psi. This means that the pump can be deployed nearer to the source, much deeper than with conventional solutions. Moreover, the 3.38-inch motor series improvements allow for 30% higher electrical and mechanical load processing while lowering damage risk in low bore installations with a smaller connection angle between the motor and the cable.
    Praising the technology, the VP of Artificial Lift Systems, Ryan Moore said, “The CENtrilift PASS slimline ESP system gives operators who are drilling smaller diameter wells to drive down drilling costs or to improve wellbore stability a full range of options to maximise production at the lowest possible lifting costs even in challenging downhole conditions. The technology also expands the options for wells where complex completion schemes limit space availability for the artificial lift system, as well as in mature wells where casing patches restrict space in the wellbore. Without this slimline technology, operators would have to settle for less effective artificial lift methods.”

    Practical Demonstration

    The CENtrilift PASS slimline ESP system was deployed recently in Utah well with 7” casing within a 5” 18 lb liner set at 6,900 ft. This resulted in a production efficiency shooting up by 150%. The initial ESP deployment was at 6,800 ft, more than 5,000 ft above the production zone with a high GVF and 110°C of bottom-hole temperature, all of which contributed to a highly challenging environment. A CENtrilift PASS slimline ESP system with GI and FLEXPumpER technologies, combined with the niXit gas intake management technology showed much more streamlined results due to its capability to handle the high gas volume in the mixture. The bottom-hole temperature was also well within operational parameters, lowering motor overheating issues.


    Tina Olivero

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