Historically, electric-submersible pumps (ESP) were designed for a production above 3,000 BFPD. For lower flow rates it was necessary to install another artifical lift method such as beam pump (BP).
In the Caño Limón and La Cira-Infantas fields, located in Colombia with 30 and 98 years of production respectively, the number of wells with flow rates lower than 1,000 BFPD has been increasing as well as the number of wells with BP as a lift system.
The increase of failures in BP systems, and the greater cost of the completions compared to ESP, made it necessary for the analysis of other artificial lift methods to handle the required flow rates.
Therefore, in 2013, the implementation of ESP technologies with a nominal flowrate of 1,000 BFPD were carried out without failures associated with the ESP system, showing that they were able to work under such conditions, reaching rates between 50 and 1,000 BFPD, thus becoming an effective option to replace the wells with BP, as long as the conditions of pressure and submersion allowed it. In La Cira Infantas field, 60 wells with rod faults of the BP system have been successfully replaced by ESP systems with flow rates ranging from 400 to 2,000 BFPD.
This work explores the possibility of installing ESP technology in wells where it was not previously seen as an option, presenting the results of the implementation of this technology producing even lower flow rates than those in the initial sizing, reducing the number of failures and the costs associated with the continuous interventions of the Mechanical Pumping systems.