Baker Hughes and Saudi Aramco launch new ESP system

For illustration purposes

Oil giant Saudi Aramco and oilfield services provider Baker Hughes have introduced what the companies say is the first TransCoil rigless-deployed electrical submersible pumping (ESP) system. 

Baker Hughes said on Thursday that the new ESP system is designed to help operators bring wells into production faster and lower the costs associated with installing and replacing ESPs.

Because they can eliminate the need for a rig in fields where rig availability is a concern or where high intervention costs can limit artificial lift options, operators can lower their overall lifting costs to extend the economic life of their assets.

The TransCoil system, developed in participation with Saudi Aramco, features an inverted ESP system with the motor connected directly to a new, proprietary power cable configuration, eliminating the traditional ESP power cable-to-motor connection, which improves overall system reliability.

Unlike wireline-deployed ESPs, the fully retrievable TransCoil system does not have an in-well “wet connection,” which requires a rig to pull and replace if the wet connection fails.

The system design also extends the operating range to 12,000 ft compared to traditional coiled-tubing-deployed ESP systems, which are limited to approximately 7,000 ft because greater depths will cause the power cable to collapse inside the coiled tubing under its weight.

TransCoil can be installed in 4½-inch to 9-inch casing in wells with flow rates up to 18,000 BPD. In mature offshore fields, where high intervention costs can limit the application of ESPs, the system can be deployed through the existing 4½-inch tubing, saving the time and money required to pull the existing completion.

Baker Hughes noted that another advantage of the technology compared to wireline-deployed ESPs is that it can be installed through a deviation in the wellbore. This capability allows operators to land the ESP closer to the producing zone for greater reservoir pressure draw down and reserve recovery.

First such system was installed and commissioned in Saudi Aramco’s Khurais field at 4,900 ft in 7-inch tubing. Rig-based work to replace the completion and install a vertical electrical penetrator system was completed ahead of the rigless operations. Baker Hughes said that the first rigless operation improved efficiency by reducing installation time nearly 50 percent over a rig-based installation and further deployment efficiency improvements are expected in the future.

Nasir K. Al-Naimi, Vice President, Petroleum Engineering, and Development at Saudi Aramco, said: “With a large ESP installation base, including many ESPs installed in our offshore fields, the ability to rapidly deploy ESPs riglessly provides tremendous cost benefits to our overall operations.

“The TransCoil system is particularly beneficial in our challenging high H2S fields as the premium metallurgy in the system can significantly extend the ESP operational life in harsh environment wells. With Baker Hughes, we have developed a solution that meets our immediate challenges and enables our long-term vision of 10-year ESP service life.”

Ryan Moore, Vice President ofArtificial Lift Systems at Baker Hughes, added: “Working with Saudi Aramco, we have addressed the industry’s critical need for a reliable alternative deployment option that reduces the cost and time associated with deploying ESP systems without introducing new potential failure modes. This technology can be game-changing for operators looking for pathways to extend the productive life of their fields.”

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