Following the study of Progressive Cavity Pump Technology's behavior in Multiphase conditions (SPE Paper 95272 -presented at the SPE ATCE 2005 in Dallas, TX, USA) and the subsequent development of the "New PCP" (SPE Paper 97833 - presented at the SPE ITOHOS 2005 in Calgary, AB, Canada), this paper presents an overview of a pilot project where the Hydraulic Regulated Progressive Cavity Pump (HR-PCP - new name of the technology) was deployed in an Argentinean Heavy Oilfield.
Deployment of the HR-PCP Technology in a gassy heavy oil field with recurrent Artificial Lift System failures. Average GOR usually recorded around 600 m3/m3 with presence of CO2.
Conversions of 6 wells from conventional PCPs, Sucker Rod Pumps and natural flow to HR-PCP.
The implementation of the first version of the HR-PCP technology led to mixed results. A second version was then deployed and led to successful results in terms of production, run life and overall operational costs.
The HR-PCP not only was able to provide a solution to the reliability issues. It proved to be able to handle extreme Gas Void Fraction values and reduce per well power consumption.
Key to the success of this pilot project was the interest brought by all companies involved (operator, manufacturer and distributor) creating a valuable teamwork in order to share point of views, data and field operation practices.
Further testing will determine if the HR-PCP will allow optimizing the field production by maximizing the drawdown.
The HR-PCP technology is meant to better handle gas than the conventional PCP Systems, enabling not only to operate at higher GVF (up to 99% compared to usual maximum of 30 to 40%), but for a much longer time and with no need of downhole gas separation technology.
The HR-PCP Technology targets include re-activation of wells considered uneconomic in mature fields, conversion of inefficient gas lift systems, increase run life in ageing or naturally gassy oil wells, increase reliability of artificial lift systems in gas well dewatering as well as allowing production from complex heavy/waxy/gassy oil wells, eliminating the need for gas anchors/separators.