This paper describes the successful experience obtained in using electro-submersible pumps (ESP) in the production of abrasive and corrosive fluids. The study covers 60 wells operated by the Consorcio equiped with ESP's in Oritupano–Leona field, States of Anzoategui and Monagas, East Venezuela.

The influence of the reservoir on the pump run life is reviewed. Currently, 46% of the total oil is produced through ESP's, the first instaled in 1996. Most of the failures are related to sand production and corrosion. Since the start of this program, pulling jobs due to ESP's failures have been significantly reduced, due to practices that increase the run life of the pumps, including:

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    a start-up procedure to reduce fines production

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    an exhaustive, teamwork based, study of the failures

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    the use of special abrasion / corrosion resistant materials

All of these factors combined have allowed to optimize the application of ESP's in this field. Details of the various methodologies used to achieve the optimization of the ESP system in Oritupano and Leona fields are presented.

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