Exploitation of heavy oil fields in Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) has been a challenging task. Both, cold and thermal methods are planned to produce these fields judiciously. Crude oil API gravity is 10-12. Well depth is from 700 to 3000 feet. Expected variation in production rate is from 30 - 300 bbl/d for cold production. With thermal application, envisaged range of liquid production rate is from 100 – 1000 bbl/d. Therefore, it is important to evaluate different artificial lift modes, to produce these heavy oil fields.

In this regard, application of various artificial lift modes, such as PCP, SRP, ESP, ESPCP, Metal PCP, etc., which can be used to produce heavy oil fields, under cold and/or thermal production pattern, are studied and are outlined in this paper.

With regard to this feasibility study, for cold heavy oil production, pilot of conventional PCP technology is carried out. Liquid rates of 30 - 300 bbl/d are achieved, when PCP technology, is tested for few wells, for cold heavy oil production. For heavy oil thermal production, pilot of ‘Metal PCP’ technology is carried out, with cyclic steam injection in place. Peak liquid production rate of 460 bbl/d is achieved, when metal PCP technology is tested in one well. The paper describes pilot methodology of these pilots. Results of both these pilots are encouraging. This has resulted in planning to use both these technologies, to produce heavy oil fields, on large scale basis.

Thus, the paper can be used as reference, to evaluate different lift technologies to produce heavy oil fields. It is inferred from the feasibility study that conventional PCP and metal PCP are emerged as desirable lift technologies, to produce heavy oil fields. Successful pilot implementation of these technologies, has further justified utility of these technologies, for exploitation of heavy oil fields.

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