This paper describes the physical principles behind the backspin generated by stopping progressing cavity pumping systems (PCP). After describing each and every one of them, action items are recommended to help operators to mitigate risks and potential safety hazards, based on the field experience and applying modeling and simulations. The main goal is to create awareness over their characteristics and implicit risks and contribute with operators to manage PCP systems in a reliable and secure manner.

There is a wide range of surface equipment with different technologies to control backspin working in a variety of application conditions and this is why it is necessary to identify the criticality of each system and technology in terms of backspin and potential energy which must be released. It is also necessary to understand the right relationship between all variables involved and their hazard potential in case the backspin control system failed during the release of this energy.

It is highly recommended to take action and put barriers to minimize risks, such as the ones mentioned below:

  • Preparation of hazard maps in terms of velocity of backspin

  • Proper backspin control technology selection for each application

  • Implementation of preventive maintenance programs

  • Non-destructive inspections to critical components.

In conclusion, throughout its content this paper expects to contribute to a safer operation, with the objective of protecting the physical integrity of individuals and operational reliability.

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