Electric Submersible Pump (ESP) is a key artificial lift technology to the petroleum industry. Worldwide installations of ESPs are in the range of 130,000 units, contributing to about 60% of the total worldwide oil production. An ESP is made up of hundreds of components integrated together to perform the lifting function. Materials in these components belong to several categories including metals, ceramics, polymers, and others. A good understanding of these materials and vigilant selection for a specific application are critical to the reliability and run life of an ESP system. This paper presents an overview of two classes of materials used in ESP systems: metallic and ceramic materials. A subsequent paper is planned to cover all other categories of materials. The intent is to provide a reference for ESP field application engineers who are responsible for ESP design, component selection, equipment longevity and production optimization.

The information compiled in this paper is a result of extensive literature review. It covers materials used in the motor, protector, pump, and cable (Sensor, packer, Y-tool, diverter valve, surface components of variable speed drives and transformer not included). For each class of materials, it identifies relevant material properties and discusses suitable application conditions.

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