Several operators have recently launched a new industry-wide initiative focused on sharing failure information, operational practices and other pertinent data, in an effort to gain a better understanding of the various factors that affect ESP run life in any one application. Early on, the companies involved acknowledged that there were many challenges in such an effort, one of the main ones being how to achieve consistency in the data collected by several operators.

This paper presents an approach to establish consistent practices for collecting, tracking and sharing ESP run life and failure information. The approach is based on two key elements:

- a general and common data set; and

- a standard nomenclature for coding ESP failure information.

The general data set contains basic information on operating conditions, ESP equipment, and the observed failures. While this data set is not overly detailed, in that the information is typically already collected by most operators and relatively easy to obtain, it is comprehensive enough so that meaningful analyses can be performed. The nomenclature standard builds on the International Standard ISO142241 and on the API Recommended Practice (RP) 11S12. Broad definitions and failure attributes follow the guidelines of ISO 14424, while nomenclature for components, parts and possible teardown observations follow the terminology suggested by API RP 11S1.

The paper also provides a review of the past practices in the industry, with regards to the types of data collected, and the main types of analysis performed with the data. Comments are included on difficult related issues, such as the tracking of used equipment and the treatment of running systems, when evaluating current operations or making future failure rate predictions.

It is hoped that the paper will encourage discussion on the topic, and help the industry share ESP run life data in a more consistent manner. The ultimate goals are to assist the industry improve ESP run life, expand the use of ESP's, and better realize the full potential of the ESP technology.


Operators and vendors have long identified that having a failure tracking system in place is key to reducing failure rates of ESP systems3–33. Problems with system design, equipment specification, manufacturing, installation, and day-to-day operation can be identified and corrected, contributing to increased run lives, lower operating costs and increased profits. As a result, many operators and vendors have set up database systems to track ESP run life and failure information.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.