Frequent rod failures still occur in Progressive Cavity Pumped (PCP) wells with high dog-leg severities although they are fitted with adequate rod centralization. This results in well downtime and production deferrals. Offshore workovers are expensive and significantly affect operating cost (OPEX) of the operator. This study sought to evaluate the potential benefits of Electrica l Submersible Progressive Cavity Pumps (ESPCP) as an economic alternative for highly deviated wells in the offshore field in Trinidad.

In this theoretical study, a screening criterion was established and four (4) candidates, all produced by surface driven PCPs, were selected. Models of ESPCP systems were developed using industry standard Progressive Cavity Pump software, parameters from the original PCP models as well as actual field well tests and production data. An economic evaluation, which integrated oil price and production rate sensitivities, was conducted using field data, including field reservoir characteristics and past well performance.

The ESPCP model results suggest a cumulative increase of 567 BOPD is expected for all four wells. Using an oil price of US $45 per barrel, the analysis was conducted on all wells targeted for ESPCP conversion. Assuming a P50 oil rate, sensitivities were run to establish the minimum oil price for the project to be economically feasible. The operator's project economic success criteria were :(1) pay-out period of <2 years and (2) NPV of > US $0.15 Million considering a ten (10) year project. An integrated sensitivity analysis was performed for the entire project with varying expected production increases and fluctuating global oil prices. The simulations identified that the project will be uneconomic at a global oil price of US $20/bbl. Assuming a project life of 10 years and based on the expected production increase, the project is massively profitable, yielding an expected NPV of US $9.3 Million at US $45 per barrel with expected pay-out times between 0.63-1.8 years with investment of US $4 Million. Additional benefits anticipated include, increased well uptime and the corresponding reduction in workover costs. Another opportunity that results from the conversion to ESPCP, is the possibility of lowering the pump in the wellbore, thereby increasing the well producing life and increasing the recoverable reserves.

Installation of ESPCPs, in theory, can be an economic success in an area where surface driven PCP experiences repetitive rod failures, leading to production deferrals and workover. Additionally, lowering the pump in the wellbore may be possible, thereby increasing the well producing life and increasing recoverable reserves which would not have been possible using traditional artificial lift methods.

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