ACCESSESP AND GREENE, TWEED COLLABORATION IMPROVES
RELIABILITY OF HIGH-VOLTAGE ESPs
Greene, Tweed. AccessESP, a Houston-based provider of rigless electrical submersible pump (ESP) conveyance solutions for the global oil industry, developed a retrieval technology that reduces costs by enabling quick and easy ESP installation and retrieval using slickline, wireline, or coiled tubing. The system eliminates the need for a workover rig to pull and reinstall an ESP, lowering intervention costs and minimizing lost production.
Swapping to a Rigless System
Upstream & Midstream Operations, April 2017. ESPs are almost never replaced unless they have failed because the rig intervention costs far exceed the lost production due to a suboptimal pump. Production rates and fluid composition usually change over time, consequently for most of the pump’s life it will not operate in an optimal range. With the AccessESP rigless ESP conveyance system, the pump can be cost-effectively retrieved at any time and optimized for the current well conditions, increasing pump efficiency, reducing lifting costs, and extending pump run life. The latest generation AccessESP system enabled a pump swap for an operator on the North Slope of Alaska, an extremely remote oil field within the Arctic Circle. Replacing a standard ESP can take up to six months because of the limited rig availability in this region. At 750 bbl/d and USD 50/bbl, lost production and workover expenses would amount to about USD 8.75 million. With the new system, production was stopped for approximately two weeks while waiting for a slickline unit and two days while the pump was replaced, for lost production of about USD 600,000.
Offshore Rigless Conveyance System
Sea Technology, April 2017. The AccessESP rigless ESP conveyance system was used in Alaska in October 2016 to proactively replace an existing pump with an optimized one. The system retrieved the pump and installed a new one in just two days with a live well intervention using a slickline unit, lubricator, and crane. Such optimization would have been cost prohibitive with a conventional ESP system, involving mobilizing a workover rig, killing the well, pulling the tubing and ESP, replacing the ESP, and rerunning the tubing. The process could take up to six months because of limited rig availability in this challenging location, resulting in a complete loss of production for half the year. The rigless system reduced the cost, time, and risk associated with ESP resizing, saving the operator approximately USD 2 million in workover costs. In 2017, installations are planned offshore West Africa where reducing lost production from 3–6 months to two weeks will significantly extend the economic life of the field.
Optimal Forms of Artificial Lift
Upstream Pumping, February 2017. ESPs frequently emerge as the best artificial lift technique for maximizing reservoir production and recovery in higher-rate wells. However, with their typical two-year run life, their full potential in offshore and remote locations has been restricted by the high cost of intervention associated with rig deployment and deferred production and the inability to access the reservoir without pulling the production tubing. The AccessESP rigless ESP conveyance system reduces costs by enabling quick and easy ESP installation and retrieval on slickline, wireline, or coiled tubing. Compatible with pumps and surface electrical equipment from all major suppliers, the system is designed specifically for high-value wells where location access is difficult (e.g., onshore Alaska, offshore West Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia), rig interventions are cost prohibitive, and production delays need to be strictly avoided. The system is light, short (allowing easy lubricator deployment), and highly debris tolerant, and it provides fullbore access. Live well intervention eliminates the need for kill fluids, further increasing cost savings and avoiding reservoir damage. The commercially viable technology is successfully operating in fields worldwide.
Cutting Costs; the Rigless Way
Energy Global, July 2016. David Malone, Greg Nutter and John Algeroy of AccessESP describe the array of economic and logistical benefits of utilizing an alternative slickline retrievable ESP system offshore in a recent Oilfield Technology article. Electrical submersible pumps (ESPs) are frequently the optimal artificial lift option to cost-effectively maximise reservoir recovery and production. However, the full potential of ESPs in offshore and remote locations has historically been limited by two key challenges: rig deployment, with its associated high intervention costs, loss of producing time and production; and the inability to access the reservoir without pulling the production tubing.
North America Expected to Continue Its Dominance in Artificial Lift Market
Harts E&P Artificial Lift Techbook: Key Players, June 2015. The artificial lift market is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.6% between 2014 and 2019, dominated by North America, according to a December 2014 Markets and Markets report. Technological advances are an important emerging market trend and AccessESP is a key player. In October 2014, the company introduced its fourth-generation rigless ESP conveyance system, incorporating a single-section permanent magnet motor (PMM) that is one-fifth the length and weight of a conventional induction motor. This one-piece design eliminates the need for tandem and triple motors. Operators benefit from the PMM’s higher efficiency and ESP companies can significantly reduce motor inventories—from approximately 200 to 4 designs in common tubing sizes. The same month, AccessESP installed its rigless ESP conveyance system offshore Nigeria for Shebah E&P Co. Ltd. The 190-hp system was deployed through 4 1/2-in tubing on conventional 0.125-in slickline to a depth of 5,900 ft. The installation took less than 15 hours. A successful through-tubing, rigless replacement of the 190-hp system with a 250-hp one was performed in January 2015.
AccessESP: Two Practical Technologies; One Unique Solution
Harts E&P Artificial Lift Techbook: Key Players, June 2015. Traditionally, ESPs are deployed with the production tubing. To replace or repair the ESP or access the wellbore below it the entire tubing string must be pulled, which can be cost prohibitive. AccessESP provides a through-tubing ESP retrieval and reinstallation solution using slickline, wireline, or coiled tubing, without use of a rig. It is now possible to deploy an ESP through 4 1/2-in tubing. The system combines two elements. The permanent completion—incorporating a side pocket electrical wet connect—is integrated into the tubing string, together with a conventional power cable installation. The second element—the retrievable assembly—comprises a permanent magnet motor and a female connector that mates with the downhole connector to complete the circuit. The retrievable assembly integrates with industry-standard ESP components from all major providers. Deploying the retrievable assembly through a lubricator enables live well ESP deployments, avoiding the reservoir damage caused by killing the well. Using readily available equipment—standard slickline, standard lubricators, and a crane—operators maximize the value of ESP wells with significantly lower intervention costs, minimal NPT and lost production, and fullbore reservoir access.
A Simple Solution
Oilfield Technology, April 2015. ESPs are high-volume pumps that are quiet, safe, and clean for use in offshore, harsh, and environmentally sensitive locations. However, with their typical two-year run life, their potential in offshore and remote locations has been limited by the requirement for rig mobilization for any intervention—incurring high costs and deferred production—and the need to pull the production tubing to access the reservoir. Gas lift has traditionally been the artificial lift technique of choice offshore where gas is available, even though its efficiency decreases with increasing water cut. The unique rigless ESP conveyance system from AccessESP greatly reduces intervention costs and operational footprint for pump and motor changeout by using standard slickline, coiled tubing, or downhole tractors instead of expensive and difficult-to-source workover rigs. The system also provides fullbore reservoir access for through-tubing, live-wellbore production operations. A slickline unit is mobilized to location and once the ESP system is retrieved, any number of reservoir operations (e.g., logging, perforating) can be conducted. The system has been used in various fluids, H2S and CO2 applications, sand-laden environments, and horizontal and vertical wells.
Innovation from Smaller Service Firms
Oil & Gas Financial Journal, December 2014. Midsized and smaller oilfield service firms often lead the charge with new technologies because their employees have greater freedom to experiment. Among the companies addressing various aspects of oil production, AccessESP is increasing the economic viability of ESPs for the expanding artificial lift market. ESP maintenance has traditionally necessitated use of a rig to remove the production tubing and pump. The limited availability and high cost of rigs motivated the innovative AccessESP solution for rigless ESP deployment. A landing section installed as part of the original permanent completion and tubing allows ESP deployment through tubing with just a crane and slickline, wireline, or coiled tubing. The ESP must fit inside the tubing and it must be light enough for slickline. AccessESP is currently on its fourth-generation permanent magnet motor (PMM), powerful but one-fifth the weight and length of most conventional motors. Combined with standard ESP pump and surface equipment from any major supplier, the PMM and side pocket wet connect system enable rapid deployment and retrieval of the pump assembly.
Surviving the Renaissance
Harts E&P Artificial Lift Techbook: Technology Overview, September 2014. The United States has been enjoying an energy renaissance. Whether producing gas, oil, or condensate, artificial lift is required to continue flowing the wells to their fullest extent. This article discusses the seven basic types of artificial lift. ESPs are a cost-effective option for many operators, but repairing a damaged ESP can be very expensive. Lost production can amount to USD 100,000 to USD 1 million a day, in addition to the cost of calling out a rig, pulling out the ESP, and running in a new one. In some cases—such as when the rig is located offshore or when there are permitting issues or issues with rig availability or accessibility—the AccessESP rigless ESP conveyance system offers a more cost-efficient solution. Instead of waiting up to six months, repair or replacement can be completed in as little as one week with the rigless system. After its initial installation, the ESP can be deployed with a slickline, wireline, or coiled tubing unit, which is easier to mobilize.
What’s New in Artificial Lift?
World Oil, June 2014. This report covers developments in ESPs, PCPs, and plunger lift and discusses the importance of proper artificial lift system selection. The updated rigless ESP conveyance system from AccessESP (formerly Artificial Lift Company) further simplifies an operator’s ability to quickly and easily install and retrieve ESP systems. It is designed specifically for wells where location access is difficult, rig interventions are cost prohibitive, and production delays are unacceptable. ESP systems up to 400 hp can be installed and retrieved through 4 1/2-in tubing (higher horsepower in larger tubing) with standard 0.125-in slickline (or coiled tubing or tractor). The high-power-density permanent magnet motors make it unnecessary to run tandem and triple ESP motors. With the ESP retrieved, fullbore access is achieved. Use of a standard 4 1/2-in lubricator eliminates the need to kill the well. The system is compatible with pumps (400 series), protectors, cables, variable speed drives, and other equipment from all major ESP providers.
Artificial Lift Advances Boost Industry
The American Oil & Gas Reporter, June 2014. The rigless ESP conveyance system has become a reality, ideal for remote locations and offshore platforms. AccessESP (formerly Artificial Lift Company) has deployed its technology in Alaska; offshore West Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia; in environmentally sensitive areas in Italy, where a smaller footprint is a priority; and for a major operator in West Texas. Where mobilizing infrastructure and equipment is challenging or cost prohibitive, bringing in an 8-ft × 8-ft skid, slickline unit, and crane is much simpler than a workover rig. Additionally, reducing production stoppages from 90–120 days to 10–12 days results in significant financial impact. A proprietary permanent magnet motor (PMM) provides the same horsepower as conventional motors, but it is 10 ft long and weighs 400 lbm compared with 50 ft and 2,000 lbm for its conventional counterpart, enabling deployment with slickline. Side-pocket-mounted wet connectors result in fullbore access when the ESP is pulled out of the well, facilitating logging and remedial operations. (Update to article: The latest generation AccessESP PMM is 9 ft and 235 lbm.)