Permian Basin 2018

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PERMIAN BASIN: TECHNOLOGY 50 | October 2018 | the flow to the tubing annulus for separation of gas and solids from the liquids. Gas rises up through the annulus, and liquids are delivered to the pump. In addition, pump-damaging solids are separated out and settled into a sump. In 2016, Encana brought the HEAL System to the Permian, Great Western Oil and Gas brought it to the Niobrara, and the technology soon caught the attention of Schlumberger. In June of 2017, Schlumberger and Production Plus Energy Ser- vices formed their JV to further develop the HEAL System technology and business. The JV offers operators global accessibility, enhanced quality control and assurance, and greater credibility for the beneficial capabilities of the HEAL System. "We knew there was huge potential for the tech- nology," Saponja said. "Through our collaboration with Schlumberger and its global manufacturing footprint, we've been able to further the develop- ment of this technology. By focusing on service quality for fit-for-purpose tools, we are able to fine- tune system performance, and reduce costs and operational risks. "We have put this technology into every major unconventional oil basin in the U.S and Canada," he continued. "The growth rate continues to be increasing at a rate of 100% more wells than the previous year. We have now coupled this tech- nology with every type of artificial lift system and have been able to demonstrate that smooth flow conditions offer lower operating expense and lower bottomhole pressures for maximizing pro- duction." In the Permian, the challenge the HEAL System is addressing revolves around preventing solids damage to the pumps. The mountains of sand that are forced downhole during hydraulic fracturing are necessary to achieve formation production, but some of that sand flows back and can damage the pumps. As it happens, mitigating slug flows also help mitigate sand and solids returns. To date, the service provider has almost 100 HEAL systems installed in the Permian. "Schlumberger has been instrumental by help- ing us extensively redesign the HEAL system with drivers to address those Permian challenges in the engineering and design of the system, but also pri- marily to lower its cost by nearly half," Saponja said. "The joint venture has allowed us to have access to Schlumberger's resources to enhance the HEAL system from client feedback." The redesigned HEAL system made its debut in late August. The new version targets risk reductions associated with installation and retrieving, and added utility. With several of these new systems installed in the Permian, the new design is helping producers lower their operating expenses and increase their cash flows, ultimately making their artificial lift strategies simpler and more concise. "We've been expanding the sys- tem's capabilities and have been working with Schlumberger to track flowback and natural flow through the HEAL system," said Saponja. "Smooth flows and managed pres- sures for the life of the well are our goal and our mission. The technol- ogy will be installed at the begin- ning and will be there right through to the end." Q The HEAL system—which separates the horizontal from the vertical well sections and regulates the flow between them—has no moving parts and can be connected to any variant of lift system. (Photo courtesy of Schlumberger)

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