PDVSA Automation Strategy for Electro-Submersible Pump artificial lifting of heavy and extra-heavy crude is inspired on the reality of subsurface conditions and successful experiences from applying ESP methods. The usage of pure thermal and heating methods to manage crude viscosity is constrained due to the risks it represents in damaging the pump-motor arrangement. On the other hand, the advantages of using the heating effects of the motor, combined with the injection of light crude as a dilute fluid, both subsurface and surface to decrease crude viscosity, have given great results when incorporating subsurface and surface automation strategies.
The benefits resulting from the use of an integrated strategy, is a consequence of maintaining production rates constant, regardless of day and night viscosity variations and other changing conditions from changes in the process behavior. Additionally, a less hostile operating environment results in a longer lifetime of the motor-pump arrangement. A case study considering the controllability of the ESP system running in a heavy and extra-heavy cold production environment is presented.