Unconventional/complex reservoirs

Field Study Examines Wellhead-Penetrator Problems, Solutions in SAGD Operations

This paper describes the findings of a root-cause analysis of wellhead-penetrator failures in Canadian steam-assisted gravity-drainage operations and the mitigation measures taken.

Generic three-piece wellhead-penetrator configuration with a failure at the field-attachable connector.
Fig. 1—Generic three-piece wellhead-penetrator configuration with a failure at the field-attachable connector.

Wellhead penetrators are a critical component in electrical submersible pump (ESP) systems. Harsh steam-assisted gravity-drive (SAGD) conditions impose an even higher level of stress on penetrators. Recently, a sudden increase in wellhead-penetrator failures in the Surmont SAGD ESP operation in Canada led to an enhanced fieldwide root-cause analysis (RCA). The complete paper is a field case study that describes the findings of this RCA and the mitigation measures taken.

Introduction

Fig. 1 shows a wellhead-penetrator assembly typically used in SAGD operations.

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