Do you know how many of your organization’s wells are artificially lifted? Or, more importantly, do you know what fraction of your production volumes are dependent on artificial lift? I would wager that the percentages are higher than you would expect, and I encourage you to seek out that information and share it.
What, a second artificial lift focus feature this year? What’s going on?
Well, maybe I can answer your questions with another round of questions: Do you know how many of your organization’s wells are artificially lifted? Or, more importantly, do you know what fraction of your production volumes are dependent on artificial lift? I would wager that the percentages are higher than you would expect, and I encourage you to seek out that information and share it. Share it with your asset team, share it with other asset teams, share it with other functions, share it with your management, shout it from the rooftops!
Seriously, though, this information can be quite useful to you and your organization. Did you ever wonder if someone else could be struggling with the same artificial lift selection, installation, operation, or reliability challenges that you are? The answer you’re looking for may be in the SPE archives, or it may be just down the road with a colleague in a different part of the region, country, or world. Do you have a novel new technique, system, or invention that you want to try out? Why not leverage the knowledge that others in your company could also benefit from? Maybe they would even like to participate and strengthen your pilot with a broader range of test conditions. Do you need more personnel or technical or financial support for artificial lift in your asset? Show precisely what those electrical submersible pumps (ESPs), rod pumps, gas-lift valves, and plungers (among others) are lifting to the flowline. Sometimes a step back to a higher-level view can motivate and reinforce the people behind the day-to-day efforts to extend the time between failures and chase optimum performance.
I’m certain that you are now a (possibly unwilling) expert at videoconferencing. That’s why I would like to encourage you to attend the 2021 SPE Electric Submersible Pumps Symposium, to be held 4–8 October in The Woodlands, Texas. Of course, the technical presentations will be well worth it, but you may gain even more value from the networking, collaboration, and idea generation that happens between the events listed in the program. Not an ESP person? Do gas and sand separators, power cables, advanced materials, and downhole sensors apply to other lift methods or well systems in general? How about applied artificial intelligence, reliability studies, and predictive analytics? Maybe they don’t for you right now, but they could. I hope to see you there.
This Month’s Technical Papers
Recommended Additional Reading
SPE 201153 Intermittent Gas Lift for Liquid-Loaded Horizontal Wells in Tight Gas Shale Reservoirs by Daniel David Croce, Colorado School of Mines
SPE 202668 Insert Sucker Rod Surface-Controlled Subsurface Safety Valve: A Step Ahead To Improve the Well Integrity for Sucker Rod Artificial Lift Retrofitting by Salvatore Pilone, Eni, et al.
SPE 201136 New Stage of Rodless Artificial Lift Operation: The First Field Application of Submersible Motor Cable Plug With Electric Submersible Progressing Cavity Pump in CNPC by Shijia Zhu, China National Petroleum Corporation, et al.
Michael C. Romer, SPE, is principal artificial lift engineer at ExxonMobil and is currently a member of the Completions and Well Management Team in the ExxonMobil Upstream Integrated Solutions Company in Houston. He has been with ExxonMobil for more than 15 years, learning, deploying, developing, and teaching artificial lift solutions in US production, global production operations, and upstream research. Romer’s current research and technology interests include artificial lift, production surveillance and optimization, and inflow/outflow modeling. He holds BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee and the University of Illinois, respectively. Romer is secretary of the Artificial Lift Research and Development Council Board of Directors and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Oceanic Engineering Society Subcommittee chair for the Offshore Technology Conference. He is active in various SPE artificial lift events and is a member of the JPT Editorial Review Committee.