In 1997, the commercial development of the large Heavy & Extra Heavy Oil (HO & EHO) resources of the Orinoco Belt (7 to 12° API / Estimated 295 Bbbl of Recoverable Crude Oil) was initiated. The SINCOR Project (SINcrudo ORiente – then a JV between Total, Statoil & PDVSA), now operated by Petrocedeño JV, was the first of its kind in the area, and until today it is considered as a reference when it comes to developing the most recently allocated blocks in the area.

After more than 10 years of intensive production programs, some fields are showing signs of depletion and associated production of gas is increasing. PCM, who is involved in supplying Progressing Cavity Pumps technologies to the Orinoco belt since the very beginning, has developed the exclusive & patented HR-PCP (Hydraulically regulated PCP) technology in order to extend run life of the conventional PCPs in these fields where ALPCP systems' Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) has shown sharp decrease in the last few years.

In 2011, a project was launched in collaboration with Petrocedeño optimization department in order to validate HRPCP technology in this field. 2 × 115E1600 HRPCP pumps were installed in XA07 & YA02 selected wells. The wells selections criteria were:

  • Wells with high gas production & high estimated GVF

  • Short pumps run life

Following the study of Progressing Cavity Pump Technology's behavior in Multiphase conditions (SPE95272), the subsequent development of the "New PCP" (SPE 97833), and the example of the first commercial and large scale deployment in Argentina (SPE 152228), this paper shows how the HRPCP Technology benefits to the specific Orinoco Belt environment, and what this technology could bring to further development of this heavy oil basin.

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