Artificial Lift Techbook 2019

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Page 6 of 59 | April 2019 | 5 ARTIFICIAL LIFT: OVERVIEW The second jet pump innovation is replacing the multiphase triplex or quintiplex pumps on the sur- face, according to Chapman. "We've coupled our jet technologies with a hydraulic pumping system (HPS) to create a cen- trifugal jet pump. This basically gives you the power of an ESP on the surface without the inefficiencies and expense of a downhole ESP," he said. "Further, we've developed intelligent control algorithms that can control the HPS—our ESP on surface—to speed it up or slow it down depending on what the well is giving you. In the past, when you just had a standard triplex pump out there, all it did was pump, and there wasn't really any intelligence to it. But, by using the big data and machine learning inherent to our CygNet IoT and ForeSite optimization platforms, that pump now works autonomously and at peak efficiently. It's a step-change in efficiency versus what we had in the past." Another shift in the artificial lift segment has been the move toward predictive management versus reactive services. Contractors are communicating better and more frequently with their clients from the very beginning of field development to ensure the right solution is applied given the budgets, schedules and subsurface conditions unique to each situation. Most trace that change back to 2014, following the precipitous drop in oil prices. Prior to that time, ESPs were treated more like a piece of replaceable equipment—almost disposable. Operators simply accepted that well conditions were negatively impact- ing the equipment. "After the downturn, we began working more closely with our operators in unconventional fields, advising them on how to improve wells though look- ing at historical data," Corredor said. "We've always viewed client relationships as alliances, but when we started predictive management, we started looking at all of the parameters—both under our control and those that were not under our control. Initially, prog- ress was slow on obtaining the outside parameters. To be successful at well monitoring and optimization, we had to fully partner with our customers. In turn, the operators have to partner with their field personnel. It has to be a team effort. We started closing the gap. That is when operators started changing the mindset and accepting that remote change and remote opti- mization were possible." The new sense of cooperation yielded results. Examination of the trends in the field showed a lack of available workforce with artificial lift knowledge—a best practices primer to keep some of the lift equip- ment, especially ESPs, operating as they should. "That was another challenge," Corredor said. "The people working in the field didn't have the training to operate ESP equipment. Initially, troubleshoot- ing and repair wasn't part of their job. Sending field techs to help solve issues wasn't always practical from budgetary or HSE perspectives. So we started trans- ferring knowledge to the field, helping our customers to understand best practices on how ESPs operate. We also started capturing KPIs [key performance indicators] on uptimes. Working together, we started documenting all the reasons why the customers' ESPs were experiencing shutdowns, which helped us under- stand their challenges. "One of the well monitoring group's tools is Summit Knowledge [SK], a digital workspace used to monitor all manufacturing and operational work, as well as to capture the entire story on how the ESP system is operating. Most often, the problems began while installing the systems and starting without proper instrumentation. We recommended remote operations to begin capturing the historical data on tubing and casing parameters in order to understand the system. Our customers saw the importance of remote monitoring. Before SK, when performing remote changes without key parameters, a colleague of mine compared it to driving blind. It was very dif- ficult. We didn't have all of the data. We didn't know vital conditions, like when the ESP was surfacing fluid, if the right backpressures were being applied at the surface, or if there were issues with the flowlines, bad chokes or bad backpressure valves. Having an Weatherford has developed intelligent control algorithms that can control its centrifugal jet pumps—essentially an ESP on surface—to speed it up or slow it down depending on well flow. (Photo courtesy of Weatherford)

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