One of the main functions of an ESP Seal Chamber Section (also known as a "Protector") is to provide a rotating mechanical seal to protect the motor oil from contamination. These seals are susceptible to damage due to a high concentration of fines in production fluids scoring the sealing surfaces.

A novel device to be used in conjunction with the Protector has been developed and tested. The device, called the Guardian, draws in wellbore fluid, through a two-stage dynamic separator, to continuously flush the seal with filtered fluid. The device, located between the pump intake and the Protector, accelerates the solids and ejects them back into the fluid stream. Only filtered fluid remains after the last stage. This filtered fluid is circulated through the device's journal bearings to replenish the fluid in contact with the mechanical seal. This filtered fluid protects the seal and manages its heat rejection.

The device solves one of the enduring challenges to run-life of ESP Protectors prevalent in applications such as tight oil and SAGD. The technology is a step change to existing solutions and provides service companies and operators a solution applicable when solids and fines pose a risk to the mechanical seal, a critical part of an ESP and its run life.

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