The large heavy oil reserves discovered in the Orinoco Belt, in Eastern Venezuela during the last ten years lead to a growing interest to raise the level of the technology used to support the exploitation of heavy and extra-heavy oil reservoirs, due to the complexity of such processes. To obtain the most of the reservoir while maintaining equipment working at top performance conditions, the use of Progressing Cavity Pumping (PCP), along with extensive use of emerging technologies for process monitoring and analysis, has proven to be a valuable tool to protect for formation damage while successfully increasing productivity.

Being Progressing Cavity pumping behavior a very complex issue, due to the inextricability of its operation (system kinematics difficult to model explicitly, interaction of elastomer with lifted fluid, among others), the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly in identifying operation and fault patterns, can be a powerful tool to gain insight of heavy and extra-heavy production processes. Some considerations regarding the use of these techniques are presented.

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