The Industry Challenge:
To improve the economics of SAGD operations, operators were challenged with increasing the efficiency and fluid rates that were being achieved with gas lift systems by implementing other forms of artificial lift.
The key to meeting this challenge is the ability to operate the artificial lift system in a condition of “low sub-cool”.
Under this condition, the relatively low pump intake pressure increases the likelihood that hot water could flash to steam as it enters the pump.
To meet this challenge, various forms of high temperature artificial lift systems were designed by equipment Vendors including: Electric Submersible Pumps (ESP), Progressing Cavity Pumps (PCP), and other rod pumping systems.
However, an independent testing facility to conduct controlled tests to evaluate the pump performance at temperatures and flow rates representative of SAGD operations does not exist.
How We Help:
C-FER organized a Joint Industry Project (JIP) to build a high-temperature flow loop to test and evaluate a variety of artificial lift systems for thermal operations such as SAGD.
The system can simulate many aspects of the downhole operating conditions with combinations of oil, water and gas.
High speed instrumentation is used to monitor a variety of key pump performance parameters to provide detailed information on the equipment condition and operating environment during normal operation and leading up to failure events
Many unique high temperature artificial lift systems have been evaluated under SAGD‑simulated conditions at operating temperatures as high as 260°C (500°F), where JIP Participants and pump Vendors were provided with detailed information on the performance of their products to help them refine their designs and improve product performance and reliability.