Braking and Separating San and Gas Slugs in ESP Installed in Unconventional Wells with 5-1/2" Casing: Case Studies


Neil J Vazhappilly, Gustavo Gonzalez, Odessa Separator Inc
Trent Wien, Fernando Marzuka, Carlos Yicon, OXY USA

The technology is used to prevent damages in equipment by breaking the gas/sand slugs, creating homogeneous flow regime to allow proper motor cooling, eliminate the risk of gas locking and increase lifting efficiency. The system isolates half of the ESP (intake, seals, motor, and sensor) through the use of a Shroud and the design consists of three stages of gas separation (1)Static/centrifugal gas and sand  separator, (2)Velocity-String (3)ESP Centrifugal Gas Separator which uses several principles like Bernoulli’s principle, fluid agitation, gravitational gas separation, gas breaker stages, fluid chambers to store clean fluid and achieve a greater separation. The system was installed in two wells in the Wolfcamp A with history of sand and gas issues and has shown an increase in production and decrease in operating temperature. 

This novel application will help to improve the ESP performance and reduce PIP lower than 600 PSI in challenging environments such as wells with high GORs and GLRs. It also protects the integrity of the ESP components by breaking the sand/gas slugs providing an overall better fluid condition system for the ESP; inclusive, it will help facilitate the challenge in conversion from ESP to Rod Pump.