ESP is a major mode of artificial lift in Kuwait Oil Company (KOC). It is our continuous endeavor to enhance and optimize production, with regard to our diverse reservoir conditions and operational constraints. Objective of the paper, is to apprise our various challenges for ESP production. Study also covers details of key ESP technology pilots, which are implemented.

Present study is divided into three parts. Initially, assessment of our multi-faceted challenges, for ESP production, in terms of, high GOR, asphaltenic crude, viscous crude, high water cut, operating costs, etc., are, explained. Secondly, evaluation of relevant ESP systems, to facilitate mitigation of these challenges, with an aim to enhance production, at reduced operating costs, is elucidated. Study is based on actual field data. Subsequently, broad details of significant ESP technology pilots, which are implemented, till now, are illustrated, with emphasis on sharing of pilot results.

Studies are carried out to check feasibility of relevant ESP systems, with reference to our data. It is inferred that use of permanent magnet motor drives and certain rig-less ESP systems, can be game- changers, for our field operating conditions, to achieve substantial reduction in operating costs. For production of viscous or asphaltenic crude, typical ESP completions, which can allow use of chemical injection or downhole heating, can be employed. From process standpoint, it is seen that high water-cut wells, are instrumental to increase cost of processing water, at surface. These costs can be reduced by employing distinctive dual completion ESP systems, to facilitate injection of downhole separated water, into another reservoir.

With regard to these studies, details of two pilots, which are implemented, are shared. ‘Dual Concentric ESP’ pilot has proven that it is possible to produce two reservoirs, having diverse characteristics, independently, from one well. Pilot of unique ‘Downhole ESP Gas Handler’, has shown that high GOR wells, can be effectively produced, when this system, is used along-with ESP. These pilots have resulted in accruing added value, in terms of enhanced oil gain, reduced operating costs and increased operational flexibility.

With global meltdown in crude oil prices, it is envisaged that study findings can be beneficial, to reduce operating costs of ESP wells. The study can serve, as status update of our implementation strategy, to mitigate varied challenges, with ESP, as a lift mode. Study inferences can also be used as a valuable reference, for accomplishing operational excellence; to produce ESP wells, under arduous field conditions.

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