Cold horizontal and vertical producers in a Kuwait heavy oil green field are generally completed with conventional Progressive Cavity Pumps (PCP) which in case of failure a rig work over intervention is required to replace the pump. As part of an initiative to optimize operational expenditures (OPEX) an Insert Progressive Cavity Pump (I-PCP) was installed for the first time in one well as new artificial lift technology trial. In wells with I-PCP intervention costs and oil deferment associated with pump replacement are reduced significantly, which impacts OPEX and profitability.

The trial showed pump run life for eight months without any intervention and several positive economic impacts like eliminating the need for a service rig to pull the production tubing to change a downhole pump as it can be performed by utilizing flush-by units equipped for rod handling, reducing the oil deferment as the oil is accelerated earlier in the flow line compared to rig intervention which can go up to two weeks.

The paper describes the first successful implementation and operation of Insert PCP systems in Kuwait Oil Company. The paper also compares the pump run life, service rig work-over times and reduction of production achieved with the insert PCPs when compare to conventional tubing deployed PCP. In general, the field trial results have demonstrated the benefits of using this technology. The way forward will be to install the I-PCP in other cold producers.

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