Abstract

Finding a reliable artificial lift pumping system for heavy oil thermal recovery has been a challenge mainly due to the high operating temperatures (>150°C). Available options such as Rod Pumps, Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESP) and Elastomer Progressive Cavity Pumps (PCP) have their peculiar limitations for thermal production.

Through research work conducted by PCM, a patented high temperature elastomer free PCP system, the All Metal PCP (AMPCP) known as the PCM Vulcain™, has been developed to meet such challenges capable of pumping extremely hot (350°C/660°F) fluid. The first ever AMPCP was installed in late 2005 in CSS wells in Northern Canada. Since then, over three hundred pumps of this kind have been operated around the world.

Following its successful application worldwide, Kuwait Oil Company decided to utilize the AMPCP in its Heavy Oil fields. A small scale CSS pilot is on-going to establish the flow potential and also optimize the completion type. Due to the harsh high temperature environment and expected sand production with initial gas/dry steam, an AMPCP was installed in the CSS wells. The pump has now been producing for over one year with highly encouraging results.

This paper intends on evaluating the performance of the AMPCP during the course of its run life in the above field thus summarizing observations and conclusions resulting from the analysis of the system from day one. The results show that the AMPCP has provided much better results than other forms of Artificial Lift used by KOC in the same pilot field. The field trial shows the PCM Vulcain™ as a promising artificial lift technology for hot production.

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