Gas lift (GL) and electrical submersible pump (ESP) are the two main artificial lift (AL) methods in the steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) process. GL has been used for high-pressure SAGD processes effectively while the ESP has been used in low-pressure processes. There is considerable interest to convert SAGD wells directly into ESP lift during the startup or ramp-up phases, eliminating the GL process traditionally used in the high-pressure SAGD period for injection pressure from 3500 to 4500 kPa and bottomhole operating temperature exceeding 220°C, and using one artificial lift method for the entire SAGD production cycle. In 2011, the 250°C rated high-temperature ESP was introduced, and more than 90 SAGD wells from Athabasca formation have been converted directly to ESP since then. In this paper well production and injection data were analyzed in order to evaluate the key performance indicators (KPIs) including well oil and water production, steam-to-oil ratio (SOR), ESP production performance, and ESP reliability between the 250°C ESP in direct-to-ESP (DTE) wells and 250°C ESP in all SAGD wells.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.