LOCATION: PERMIAN BASIN, REAGAN COUNTY, TEXAS
TIMING: EARLY JUNE 2016 – AUGUST 2017
Continuous high sand; sand bridging at horizontal / heel; V-Pump™ drawdown overcomes sand bridges.
- Major operator suffered early (conventional) ESP failure due to sand erosion / pump plugged with frac sand.
- Well was known to be high sand
- The V-Pump has operated trouble-free for more than one year.
- V-Pump continued to operate in high gas fraction conditions
- V-Pump continues to operate smoothly as minor sand bridges occur (2 x daily) and washes them away by pulling 50 – 150psi additional drawdown.
|TUBING||2 ⅞ “|
|PUMP INTAKE DEPTH||7,210ft MD; 7,210ft TVD|
|SENSOR||7,260ft TVD \ MD|
|KICK OFF POINT (KOP)||7,390ft|
|HORIZONTAL SECTION||9,100ft long|
|TOTAL DEPTH||17,179ft MD; 7,880ft TV|
|WELL TYPE||Unconventional well, Fractured with 100mesh sand|
KEY SUCCESS FACTORS (ATTRIBUTED TO THE V-PUMP):
- The V-Pump continues to survive sustained high sand production.
- The heel horizontal section bridges-over with sand typically 1 – 2 times per day. This is shown as a sudden drop in PIP and rapid rise in free gas evolved from the produced fluid. The ΔP across the bridge will typically break down the bridge; the well continues producing, and the V-Pump just rides through the event.
- The V-Pump is occasionally shut down for operational reasons; the V-Pump always restarted, there has been no pump plugging due to sand ‘fall-back’ (due to the ‘open’ design of the pump stage).
- No Gas-Locking: The V-Pump continues reliably pumping throughout moderate gas slugs / high GVF.
- Run life: 13 months (400 days), installation pulled due to pump failure (corrosion, broken shaft).
WHY WAS THE V-PUMP SELECTED?
The V-Pump was selected by the operator due to its sand resistance and gas handling capabilities.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE EXPERIENCE?
The previous ‘conventional, centrifugal ESP’ failed very quickly. The V-Pump has produced at higher rate and survived gas and sand slugging for more than a year. The performance still met curve right up until pump failure (400+ days).
ARE THERE ANY LEARNINGS FROM THIS?
The V-Pump has operated successfully in this high sand, high gas well for a year. Repeated minor sand bridging caused by migrating sand dunes in the horizontal section coalescing at the heel can be dispersed by the V-Pump maintaining flow, pumping the BH pressure down until sand bridge breaches, sand is then swept away and produced through the pump. High sand or gas will often fail a conventional ESP very quickly. The V-Pump will withstand these 2 main ESP killers.
V-PUMP WELL COMPLETED WELL – V-PUMP SET IMMEDIATELY ABOVE KOP
STEADY-STATE OPERATION WITH PERSISTENT SAND PRODUCTION, SAND BRIDGING
The well is moderate GVF, circa 70% at pump intake due to relatively high well P.I. Free gas / liquid slugging is barely evident.
Sand production continues to be significant. Continuous sand production is very low but sand ‘episodes’ occur approximately 2 x daily. Inspection of the In Spatial monitoring trace indicates what is happening; sand accumulates at the heel end of the well until the well bridges-off. At that point the PIP plunges until the differential across the sand bridge is sufficient to dislodge it.
The V-Pump is largely unaffected by sand; sand does not erode the pump and it is extremely rare for sand to plug the pump. The pump may plug but generally only if the sand concentration in the produced fluid is greater than 50%.
Much of the sand production encountered is the product of sand episodes rather than steady-state sand production. This is illustrated in figure 2 – 2 x sand bridging episodes; these generally break with 50 – 150psi differential pressure.