Artificial lift

Overcoming Challenges in ESP Operation in Ultradeepwater Heavy-Oil Atlanta Field

An artificial-lift concept consisting of an in-well ESP as the primary method and a mudline system as backup has proved effective in an unltradeepwater heavy-oil field.

General artificial lift concept for the Atlanta Field.
Fig. 1—General artificial lift concept for the Atlanta Field.

Atlanta is a post-salt offshore oil field in the Santos Basin, 185 km southeast of Rio de Janeiro. The combination of ultradeep water (1550 m) and heavy, viscous oil creates a challenging scenario for electrical submersible pump (ESP) applications. The complete paper discusses the performance of an ESP system using field data and software simulations.


From initial screening to define the best artificial-lift method for the Atlanta Field’s requirements, options such as hydraulic pumps, hydraulic submersible pumps, multiphase pumps, ESPs, and gas lift (GL) were considered. Analysis determined that the best primary system was one using an in-well ESP with GL as backup.

After an initial successful drillstem test (DST) with an in-well ESP, the decision was made, for the second DST, to install the test pump inside the riser, near seabed depth.

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