The use of submersible pumps was first introduced to Venezuela in the state of Barinas during 1958. This area of operations is currently assigned to Corpoven S.A., an operating affiliate of Petroleos de Venezuela. Corpoven's Barinas District is made up of two areas. Barinas and Apure which produce some 105 MBPD, 45 MBPD of which is dependant on electrically driven submersible pumps installed in 35 wells. Crude from these wells reflect highly undersaturated reservoirs with oil gravities ranging from 18-30 deg. API and solution gas oil ratios of 50 to 200 SCF/STB. The primary production mechanism present in virtually all reservoirs is a strong water drive that maintains bottom hole pressures at relatively constant levels.

Sedimentary facies for the Barinas reservoirs indicate highly compacted sands interspersed with cementi tious material, while the Apure area reservoirs are characterized by compacted sands with little or no cementitious content.

The present work seeks to identify and document Corpoven's operational experiences and results in the utilization and operation of downhole electro-submersible pumps. Special attention will be drawn to the handling of produced BS&W (sand/sediment), as well as to the problems encountered with calcareous (Ca2C03) deposits. The unique effects of up and down thrusts on pump impellers will be cited, along with the resulting variations caused to well production by pump frecuency changes enacted to reduce maintenance down time and extend useful pump life. Operational procedures regarding preventative maintenance to the well's electrical power supply, and the resulting sand deposition between pump impellers and diffusers during this down time will also be analyzed.

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