An innovative heavy oil production system has been developed in conjunction with a major operator and has now entered field trials. The system is compatible with cyclic steaming operations, is capable of deployment on jointed or coiled tubing, and fundamentally addresses sand related issues. This paper describes some aspects of the design and qualification of the system, and presents initial feedback from the first field trial.

The system has been developed for heavy oil applications, utilising downhole permanent magnet motor technology and a magnetic torque converter, resulting in both scalability and high operating efficiencies. This dramatically reduces the total power requirements, and the need for expensive surface electrical installations.

A progressive cavity pump is incorporated on bottom, allowing this small diameter system to be set in well bore deviations through to the horizontal. Combined with the ability to run at variable speed and rotate in either direction; sand related failures and workovers are reduced.

This novel configuration reduces both the surface footprint and environmental impact of the well. It also reduces deployment and workover requirements; resulting in fewer and safer operations.

By combining unique technology and a novel configuration a heavy oil system has been developed which reduces total cost of ownership. The system has entered field trials in the San Joaquin Valley fields in California.

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