(2024005) Controlling Sand Flow Back in ESPs without Limiting Flushing Operations Through the Tubing. Field Applications in the Permian Basin


Jorge Gambus and Neil Johnson Vazhappillly, Odessa Separator Inc.

This paper introduces a technology for handling solids above the discharge of the ESP pump that increases the run time of the well and prevents premature failure due to plugging or damage to the pump parts thus contributing to the reduction of carbon emissions and environmental impact. Additionally, the new technology was engineered to allow fluid injection through the tubing and its components can be dissembled after pulling it, providing the production engineers with valuable information about the downhole conditions.

The new device used to control the sand above the discharge of the pump was designed with the fundamental purpose of controlling the sand, allowing injection from the surface through the tubing and allowing the inspection and repair of its components after pulling it out of the well. The sand regulation system allows flow rates up to 15,000 BPD and has handled sand volumes up to 23,000 mg/L. While the internal mechanism that allows the control of solids and the injection through the tool is designed to allow up to 8 BPM of direct injection while maintaining a surface pressure of less than 600 psi.

The operational and performance advantages of this device have allowed its successful installation in several wells in the Permian Basin. After the installation, the run times have maintained high values, thus reducing the interventions to the wells and the replacement of the pumping equipment, thus reducing the carbon footprint of each one of the wells where this technology has been run. Additionally, the sensor variables have remained stable, which contributes to a higher cumulative production compared to periods where the pump was off for long periods, or the wells were under maintenance because of sand production. On top of that, each equipment pulled has been inspected and re-used to maximize the investment increasing the NPV of the projects. 

This new technology is the only one with the ability to protect the ESP against solids during shutdown events, allow flushing operations, and being inspectable and repairable. The use of premium materials, along with a special assembly system make it a tool with a long useful life.


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Wed 10:00AM - 10:50AM, Room 104
Thu 3:00PM - 3:50PM, Room 104

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