The development of a new low-carbon operation mode of artificial lift in high-water-cut oilfields, is significant for reducing energy consumption, improving operation efficiency and lowering production costs of oilfields. The annual electric consumption of the oilfield is increasing year by year. In 2016, the total electric consumption exceeded 35 billion kWh, of which the mechanical production system accounts for 57%.
The rodless artificial lift eliminates the use of the sucker rod, and reduces the installed motor power over 50%. The electric consumption is greatly decreased, while tremendous gain is seen in the system efficiency. Moreover, the application performance is especially good for low-production wells. Under such circumstances, the operation cost of the oilfield declines. The current rodless artificial lift is basically based on two types of pumps, namely submersible plunger pump and submersible direct-drive screw pump.
The submersible plunger pump lifts liquid via vertical reciprocation of the moving body driven by the motor, with daily electric consumption of an individual well decreasing by 46%, from 133.4 kWh to 72.5 kWh. The reduced annual electric cost per well is RMB 14,000, and the annual single-well carbon emission falls by 17.5 tons. As for the submersible direct-drive screw pump, the rotation of the pump is directly motivated by the downhole submersible motor, through which the downhole liquid is elevated to the surface. The daily electric consumption of an individual well decreases by 38.4%, from 224kWh to 138kWh, contributing to the annual electric cost reduction per well of RMB 13,600 and annual carbon emission decline per well of 17.1 tons.
The application of the two types of rodless artificial lift has taken initial shape. The submersible plunger pump has been applied to over 200 wells, and the submersible direct-drive screw pump, over 60 wells. The new low-carbon operation mode of artificial lift is critical for the energy saving, efficiency improvement and consequent cost reduction of oilfields, particularly in cases of the industry downturn triggered by low oil prices.