Results of a field test study proved that progressive Cavity (PC) pumping systems provide greater mechanical efficiency and less electrical usage than beam and electrical submersible pumping (esp) systems in mature waterflood producing wells. These systems were evaluated in Permian Basin wells ranging from 3800 feet to 5000 feet in depth and production rates ranging from 500 barrels per day to 1000 barrel per day.

Operating facilities were used to monitor production, fluid shots were used to monitor fluid levels, and inline mechanical kw-hr meters were used to measure electrical usages before and after PC pump system installations. Mechanical efficiencies were calculated based upon this data. Production tests indicate that total well productivity was increased and an incremental oil increase was realized where PC pumping systems replaced beam lift systems previously thought to be optimum.

Increased water production due to waterflooding has necessitated lift revisions and beam pump optimization. When a beam lift system has reached maximum potential, a larger lift system becomes necessary. Esp systems provide increased lift capability, but at a much lower efficiency. The criteria used for selecting the test wells was maximized beam lift and economically marginal esp producing systems. The purpose for the field test was to determine if PC pumping systems were an economic alternative to lift these high WOR wells when compared to beam and esp systems.

A field test study was began in 1991 to evaluate mechanical and electrical efficiencies of PC pumping systems in the environment stated above. A comparative analysis to beam and esp lift systems was then performed. This paper presents the results of that analysis and confirms that PC pumping systems are the most cost effective artificial lift systems in mature Permian Basin waterlood producing wells.

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