The slim hole high volume progressive cavity pump project was initiated to demonstrate that such an artificial lift technology could work successfully in viscous sand-cut crude slant well pad type field applications. The basic concept was to develop an innovative cost effective PC pumping system for reduced diameter longstring cased (140 mm or 5,50″) wells that has the capability of pumping-off projected target rates at reduced RPM's. Ultimately, a reduction in capital and operating expenditures is achievable for existing and future developments through the improved technology.

The successful performance of the prototype installations prompted the design and drilling of four pad sites comprised of two, 16 well and two, 8 well pad configurations. The authors concluded that successful pump performance and efficiencies in pumping-off 12° API sand laden crude would be achievable at reduced speeds within 35–45° reduced diameter slant wells. The reduced stator OD combined with flush tubing directly above the PC pump prevented the occurrence of "sand-ins" between the tubing-annular area, thereby reduced the frequency of servicing wells.

The ability to reduce producing problems associated with initial high sand volumes have focused current field studies on developing correlations between anticipated sand cuts and varying fluid viscosity to surface torque and pumping speed required. PC pump developments are focused on improving pump life through improved elastomers and new pump designs. Knowledge gained from these studies will lead to successful slim hole performance and point the way to future innovative technical developments in the areas of rodless pumping systems, downhole oil/water separation and modified power transmission components.

This paper describes the evolution of the progressive cavity pump system in the development of the Mannville Formations in the Wainwright-Frog Lake fields. Modifications made to the equipment design and techniques to optimize pumping operations is discussed.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.