Electrical Submersible Pumping (ESP) is the most suitable artificial lift method for producing high flow rates, however, there are shortcomings with the standard ESP technology in slim well applications. On the one hand, well production is often curtailed due to pump performance limitations and on the other hand, long strings and tight clearances make the current slim ESP systems more prone to failure when compared with larger diameter ESP applications.
This paper discusses the development and qualification of a new type of High-speed High-rate Slim ESP system that can be installed inside liners as small as 4 ½" and that is able to produce twice the rate of standard ESP technology. This new technology is also designed to increase both performance and reliability of the system.
There are many challenges associated with the development of an ESP able to produce high rates in small diameters; this paper discusses mechanical and hydraulic considerations and the evaluation of trade-offs between efficiency, rotational speed and production rate, among others. This paper also discusses the testing and qualification plan, as well as the results obtained during the factory acceptance testing phase.