The Electrical Submersible Pump (ESP) technology has dramatically evolved not only to cover wider inflow ranges but also to deal with abrupt gas conditions observed into unconventional applications. Gas production increment through the life of the well can cause multiple intermittent shutdowns which will constrain the overall well's production and eventually shorten the run life of the ESP. Therefore in order to avoid costly interventions and deferred production, it is fundamental to have the proper gas handling system sized since the beginning of the well's life.
This material will encompass different cases which occurred in the Permian Basin area; (1) Tapered system with gas handling stages deployed in new drill wells with gas' increment observed through the life of the well (2) Tapered system with multi-vane pump installed in existing producing wells with high gas level, low production and low pump intake pressure (3) Encapsulated system in wells with high and repetitive gas slugs conditions.
The present study describes performance of different scenarios in gassy wells and technologies applied to stabilize the challenging conditions; the benefits are demonstrated through those case histories. The primary goals of those applied technologies are to reduce or even avoid gas interference with the pump. As a result of reducing or eliminating cycling conditions due to gas, non-productive time was able to get reduced, production rate maintained and the run life of the wells extended successfully. A daily monitoring system is also a further help to achieve those goals.
The use of ESPs have been increasing through the years, especially in the unconventional market. Therefore, it is crucial to provide new technologies as solution to tackle those challenging conditions.
Data uncertainty is a well-known and common challenge regarding an ESP systems'design, observed mainly in new wells, but specifically in unconventional reservoirs. Unconventional reservoirs can be defined in many different ways, but in this study we will limit that definition on horizontal wells that have a rapid production declination curve but also tremendous gas increment through the life of the wells. Running a cost-efficient equipment is a must. Most of the new drills' population have been traced in those reservoirs.