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Technical Paper: Successful Offshore Deployment of the First Bottom Discharge ESP in Saudi Aramco

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 142526
Presentation Date: 2011
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Abstract

Presented in this paper is the success story of the offshore deployment of a Bottom Discharge Electrical Submersible Pump (BD ESP), the first of its kind in Saudi Aramco. Based on an immediate need for pressure support at low cost, this pump was selected to provide the required injection volume and pressure for a water injection system using nonpotable water (NPW). Water from a shallow depth (4,500 ft) was injected into an oil zone located below (7,400 ft), with no water at the surface, eliminating any need for treatment at the water injection plant.

The concept of using bottom discharge was considered as part of the ongoing efforts to evaluate different completion strategies for local and independent injection. Typically, a centralized water injection plant and pipeline network stretched over long distances is common practice within Saudi Aramco. These efforts were driven by the business need of a particular field to provide sufficient water injection to the producing reservoirs, with the consideration of low capital investment, and a short implementation time frame. Water conservation efforts require the Company to use either treated seawater or NPW (water so non-potable that it would be more expensive to attempt to treat it than use treated seawater).

Well X, an existing offshore completion suitably located close to oil-water contact (OWC) of the Arab-D reservoir and within the perimeter of the aquifer (TDS = 24,700 ppm), was selected for this application. These factors made the well an excellent candidate to test the BD ESP completion and to provide 8-12 thousand barrels per day (MBD) of water injection to support the Arab-D reservoir. The aquifer was perforated and the BD ESP completion was deployed successfully in tandem with a satellite communication surveillance system, to validate injectivity, optimize pump performance, and gather reservoir data for further analysis.

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