This paper describes the use of electrical submersible pumps (ESPs) for the enhancement of water injection on the BP operated Ula platform, situated in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The pumping scheme was designed to use off-the-shelf pumping equipment, in a manner not normally used in the offshore North Sea environment, to meet the requirements of rapid installation, minimum use of valuable deck space, high suction pressures and a high degree of safety in operation. Taking suction from the existing water injection manifold at 220 barg, two pumps in parallel were required to boost the injection pressure in two wells to 330 barg, and achieve a total injection rate of 25,000 bpd (3,975 m3/d).

To cope with the high suction pressure each ESP was housed in a suction can, capable of taking the full suction pressure, constructed mainly from off-the-shelf standard well casing. The pump/can units, each around 35 metres long, were installed in spare well conductors, resulting in minimum use of deck space.

The pump system was in operation for 9 months until the permanent uprated water injection system was commissioned.

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