Liquid impingement erosion has been identified as a potential damage and failure source in many Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESPs) in the oil & gas business. Erosion causes a progressive loss of materials from the housing of the electrical submersible pump which decreases its structural integrity and leads to its failure. Consequently, this subject has been studied widely in many research papers in the oil and gas industry, and many materials have been developed and commercialized to resist it and protect the equipment from any potential wearing.
The goal of this paper is to show the role of erosion in degrading the ESP performance and life and to provide an experimental comparative study of several materials used for encountering erosion for onshore and offshore fields in Saudi. Also,A cost-benefit analysis of some erosion resistant alloys was presented to help engineers to decide when to use these materials if the application requires.
The result of this methodology shows that well fluid characteristic plays a significant role in determining the amount of erosion. Well fluid is a multi-phase flow (gas, oil, and water), and the S.G of water is higher than oil. According to that, the damage that water particles produce is greater than oil. Therefore, when the percentage of water in the well fluid goes high, it increases the damaging impact on the ESP housing, especially when the velocity of fluid over the motor is high ~ 13 ft/s. Erosion resistant alloys should be used and implemented for these cases. Examples of materials include:12-Chrom, 9-Chrome, Carbon steel and stainless-steel coating.
Finally, this paper provides engineers with guidelines/recommendations for selecting the proper metrology for equipment running in wells with high water cut & fluid velocity.
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