The Western Desert in Egypt has multiple fields in which most wells are artificially lifted. Wells with ESPs represent the major percentage of oil production by volume in that area. ESP run life is a principal criteria that is typically evaluated before the initial design and throughout the well's life time. Most wells are remotely positioned from one another and from the main gathering stations (2 to 8 Km. approximately). This is one of the major challenges when trying to maximize uptime and reduce the production deferment.
Operational issues including power supply and capacity limitations as well as changing inflow conditions can have negative impact on the ESP run-life, predominantly caused by excessive trips and shutdowns. Also such trips will result in lengthy downtimes due to the remoteness of the wells. On the production side, these trips will ultimately have a major effect on production targets due to intermittent deferment.
ESP wells connected to real-time monitoring and surveillance systems incur less lifting costs because of proactive responses and early detection of incidents. Systematic alarms along with pro-active remedial actions can minimize such preventable trips while maintaining the integrity of the ESP, eventually extending its run life.
This paper discusses a number of case studies showing how the implementation of such system prevented trips in some situations and allowed making key decisions and recommending remedial actions to optimize the ESP operation.