Addressing the Challenges Associated with the Deployment and Successful Operation of Continuous Rods


LJ Guillotte, Anne-Marie Weaver and Victoria Pons, Lightning Production Services
Justin Lindquists, Revolution Resources

In Shale oil wells, rod pumps are used to lift hydrocarbons on highly engineered deviated wells such S-curves common with pad well drilling and horizontal wells. These types of wells introduce complex obstacles such as combination of corkscrew effect of advanced drilling technology, highly deviated well bores, high GOR, proppant or sand flow back and the presence of H2S. Due to its lighter weight, Lightning Production Services’ Continuous Rod effectively reduces operating costs through lower net torque, gearbox loading and therefore power requirements as well as reduces failures through lesser side loads and drag forces. This is achieved through the connectionless aspect of continuous rod, which decreases failure rates by evenly distributing side loads along the entire string as opposed to concentrated contact areas for conventional rods. Through the absence of couplings, continuous rod improves production because there is no reduction in flow area of the fluids, which also improves corrosion handling by the avoidance of turbulent flow. Continuous rod has had tremendous success in most basins and countries where it has been introduced such as Bakersfield, Canada, Latin America and Middle East but it has never been successfully adopted in Permian and Delaware basins. Why? Several reasons: shale well profiles in these basins are different. Wells are deeper, more corrosive and much more deviated than their counterpart PCP wells, which are shallow and straight. Additionally, traditional manufacturers did a poor job on several fronts including manufacturing, application engineering, service quality and being proactive about reducing and managing failures. Lightning Production Services has spent the last three years focusing on solving the above-mentioned challenges. This paper compiles the work accomplished to ensure that continuous rod has a successful adoption in the Permian and Delaware Basins.