Artificial lift

Study Reviews ESP Performance in High-Viscosity Applications

The paper presents results of single-phase and multiphase electrical-submersible-pump tests as well as operation data, lessons learned, and failure examples gathered over 10 years of operation in a highly viscous offshore oilfield.

Asphaltene deposition inside motor seal chambers.
Fig. 1—Asphaltene deposition inside motor seal chambers.

Despite its common use as an artificial lift method for heavy-oil developments, electrical-submersible-pump (ESP) system performance in high-viscosity applications is not fully understood. Failure to understand challenges to equipment performance in such conditions can lead to operational inefficiency and equipment failures. The complete paper presents results of single-phase and multiphase tests performed by researchers at the University of Campinas. It also presents operational data, lessons learned, and examples of failures gathered over 10 years of ESP operation in the Peregrino field, a highly viscous, heavy‑oil field offshore Brazil operated by Equinor.

Peregrino Field

The field was discovered in 1994 in the southern part of the Campos Basin offshore Brazil.

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