Artificial lift has long been thriving in the exciting innovation zone that the electronics industry is only now approaching. Just when you think the artificial lift community knows everything, people find new ways to turn old maxims on their head. The selections this month are true paradigm-changers.
The oil and gas industry tends to have a poor reputation externally when it comes to innovation. Artificial lift is particularly notable in this regard, because the primary lifting techniques used today have existed in some form or format for more than a century. Artificial lift’s status as the “nursing home for wells” probably doesn’t help either.
The medical and electronics industries often are praised for innovation, but some antiquated practices and dichotomies remain even in those fields. For example, although great advancements have been made recently in the medical realm in combating a certain virus, just last year I was required to fax something to my medical provider. (When was the last time you were asked to fax something?) And, although the electronics industry has consistently developed smaller, more-powerful computers with incredible storage capacities, the software residing on them has expanded to tax those processors and fill that space. How many megabytes do today’s operating systems require compared with the first version you ever used?
It’s been widely reported that the electronics industry is reaching a turning point. Transistors can’t get much smaller because of heat-dissipation limitations, quantum interference effects, and other physics boundaries. Recent articles have lamented the end of Moore’s Law. New paths of thinking, designing, and engineering must be taken to sustain the march of computational progress. Serious attempts are now being made to advance new semiconductor materials, quantum computing, novel system architectures, optimized software, spintronics, and optical computing. Exciting, right?
That brings us back to artificial lift, which has long been thriving in the exciting innovation zone that the electronics industry is only now approaching. Just when you think the artificial lift community knows everything, people find new ways to turn old maxims on their head. The selections this month, both the primary selections and recommended-reading selections, are true paradigm-changers. Some examples of hypotheses they challenge include the following:
- SPE 204521 vs. “ESPs should never be deadheaded.”
- SPE 205134 vs. “Gas-lifted well integrity is not possible to predict.”
- SPE 209253 vs. “Rod pumps can’t be modeled using only pressure.”
- And one of my favorites, SPE 207596 vs. “Brownfields can’t justify real-time surveillance.”
I hope these selections pique your curiosity—or are you still trying to remember the last functional fax machine you encountered?
This Month’s Technical Papers
Recommended Additional Reading
SPE 209253 Rod Pump Status and Efficiency Monitoring With High-Frequency, High-Resolution Surface Pressure Data by Ryan David Gordon, Toku Systems, et al.
SPE 204524 Overview of Opportunities and Challenges of Electrical Submersible Pumps in Geothermal Energy Production Systems by Pejman Shoeibi Omrani, TNO, et al.
SPE 207596 The Benefits of Real-Time Monitoring Application Artificial Lifting Parameter for Surveillance, Optimization, and Cost Reduction in Mature Field: Case Study From Prabumulih Field by Taufik Fansuri, Pertamina Hulu Energi, 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 16 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 Board.