This work aims to present both the learning curve in implementing Electro Submersible Pumps and Progressive Cavity Pumps as methods for artificial lift wells producing extra-heavy oil. In order to study the performance of these systems operate with viscous fluids, they were carried out tests on producing wells and PCPs ESPs installed in field Chichimene viscosity fluids ranging from 3600-4500 cP. Energy consumption, number of failures, volumetric efficiency and other factors which affected assessed when working with highly viscous fluids.
The data collected have allowed a better understanding of the impact of temperature and viscosity of the produced fluids in the lifting efficiency, demonstrating that it is possible to verify the performance degradation of ESPs operating in conditions of high viscosity, in terms of energy consumption and useful life.
The study shows the main criteria taken into account to work with ESP at the beginning of the development of extra heavy oil reserves, followed by a more detailed assessment of their performance to subsequently perform a pilot test of change of lift system pilot to PCP in field with several wells. At the end it is looking for a change in strategy to reassess the possibility of implementation of PCP systems to develop reserves of extra-heavy oil and a first evaluation of the PCP learning curve two years later.
Lessons learned and best practices found, combined with economies of scale will help to develop appropriate production strategies through the use of various artificial lift systems applicable in the exploitation of our fields of heavy and extra heavy oil.