Sand Fallback Shield for ESP | SLB

Sand Fallback Shield

Protect your ESP pump from sand and solids during shutdowns

Stylized image showing curved and flat striped surfaces slanted up and meeting at apex.

What is sand fallback, and what causes it?

During planned and unplanned ESP shutdowns, sand and solids (e.g., scale) suspended in the tubing column fall and settle into the fluid stage of the pump and can lead to multiple failed restart attempts. Excessive torque during these restarts risks large motor current, a consequent increase in motor winding temperature, reduced ESP run life, and shaft breakage. Our proprietary Sand Fallback Shield above the ESP guards against these eventualities.

How does the Sand Fallback Shield protect your ESP?

Under normal operation, the ESP lifts oil to surface unrestricted through the Sand Fallback Shield. During a shutdown, the shield restricts access, preventing sand and solids from falling into the pump. When the ESP restarts, the Sand Fallback Shield’s vertically and radially distributed flow area enables jetting and agitation of the solids settled on the exterior of the shield. Unrestricted production resumes up the cylindrical shield and out through it, along the tubing. The shield also permits injection from above at rates up to 4 bbl/min for well stimulation or cleanup.

Sand Fallback Shield: Protect Your ESP Pump from Solids
Prevents sand and solids from falling back into an ESP pump during shutdowns

What are the unique advantages of the Sand Fallback Shield?

  • Because sand and solids falling from above are excluded from the toolstring and not captured, the Sand Fallback Shield's ability to protect your ESP is not limited by the capacity of any holding chambers.
  • When the ESP restarts, solids settled on the exterior are agitated and jetted by fluid flowing out through the Sand Fallback Shield; no dart or other mechanical means is used to push the sand upward, improving tool reliability.