Artificial Lift Techbook 2019

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6 | April 2019 | ARTIFICIAL LIFT: OVERVIEW optimization center to analyze the challenges from multiple operators, along with a platform to store all data, allows the Summit ESP monitoring group to apply lessons learned to help those who are struggling to better understand and optimize their wells." Life of field knowledge equated to a better under- standing of how individual reservoirs would react to these different lift systems. Many operators still employ multiple systems on any given field, some- times on any given well due to the strengths and lim- itations presented by any one solution. Historically, operators never shied away from using upward of three different artificial lift systems on any single well over its producing life to help keep project economics in line with expectations. "It ultimately depends on the operator, but they can only make those decisions based on what they know is available," William-Eguegu said. "Rod lift systems are great. They work. But they can only go so far down into the well, at certain depths and certain deviations. That's where we move into ESPs, but ESPs are constrained in that regard and this is where we come into some of our newer innovations such as the CENesis CURVE tight-radius ESP system to address those gaps. None of it is negated fully. Each method comes with its pros and cons. You have some opera- tors who employ hybrids—gas lift with an ESP, just because if the ESP is down and you have excess gas, you can use the gas as a form of lift, and when the gas runs out it's back to the ESP. Gas lift can only go so long before it loses its economic value because you still have to compress the gas to send it down the well. You might have platform constraints if you are offshore, or it might just be a tight fit depending on your area of operations or the added cost of compression. "What we do for our customers, especially those starting out in new fields, is map out all of the artificial lift options," William-Eguegu continued. "For us, it is easy to do because we cover all of the ranges of artificial lift possible. We can tell the story of the field via the production profile and say that we think for wells A to C the increment you get via an ESP versus gas lift isn't worth the economics so maybe just go with gas for these wells because they are so shallow, but maybe for this other section you can start with gas, but you will need to move to ESPs or plunger/rod lift. If the type of oil you have is heavy it might put you more in the PCP range. We have software tools that will help customers manage the artificial lift life cycle of their fields … what the production options are for the life of the field. Ultimately it is up to them, be we can offer the knowledge of what is possible." The future remains in flux, but there are a few items on the horizon that are expected to change the game yet again for artificial lift and the oil patch as a whole—slug prediction, wide-spread rigless deploy- ment of ESPs, continued evolution of pumping sys- tems, the use of a rod pump in a long horizontal, as well as the harnessing and culling of Big Data to build a better oil field. "The buzzword of the day is 'Industry 4.0' or the 'fourth industrial revolution,'" Chapman said. "People have been talking about it for a while, but now we are seeing operators saying let's take a look at this and try it. It is combining that Internet of Things [IOT] technology that gives you the use of high-frequency data. In the past, most of the wells in the U.S. might have yielded some basic information from a SCADA system and some rudimentary telemetry. It may pull once an hour or once or twice a day, so you're seeing a snapshot of what the well looks like at that moment. With the IOT tech, you get continuously streaming data—a datapoint for every millisecond if you want it. It costs something to send that, but you can take that high-speed data and cloud storage and you are starting to see operators look at that and ask what is the true performance of my wells? The data can allow them to make better decisions, faster." n Baker Hughes, a GE company's CENesis Curve tight- radius system enables operators to land the ESP system closer to the pay zone to maximize production and reserve recovery. (Photo courtesy of Baker Hughes, a GE company)

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