Engineered ESP Completion Increases Pump Run Life >400% | SLB

Permian operator increases pump run life by >400% and well uptime to 96% using an engineered unconventional ESP completion

Permian Basin, New Mexico, United States, North America, Onshore

SLB engineered a production solution comprising multiple proprietary technologies for a gassy Permian Basin well. ESP run life improved from 105 d to 550 d, increasing well uptime from 85% to 96%.

A Permian Basin operator was encountering poor ESP reliability and extremely unstable inflow in a gassy well. A solution was required to avoid the deferred production and increased workover costs resulting from prematurely failing conventional ESPs.


SLB engineered an integrated solution incorporating a Reda™ Continuum™ extended-life ESP pump and an optimal configuration of complementary gas-handling technologies—an MGH™ multiphase gas-handling system and two VGSA™ vortex gas separator assemblies in tandem for ultimate performance at extremely high inlet gas volume fractions (GVFs). The Continuum pump’s superior hydraulic performance enabled use of fewer pump sections, reducing the combined pump and gas-handling device length by nearly 30%. As a result, the operator was able to install the ESP deeper, in a more deviated section of the well, for increased drawdown and more stable inlet conditions.

To protect the ESP from frac sand, a PumpGuard™ intake sand control screen and valve assembly—incorporating high-permeability MeshRite™ stainless steel wool screens—was installed together with a Sand Fallback Shield.

Finally, real-time surveillance with Lift IQ™ production life cycle management service ensured timely and accurate interventions by skilled application engineers to minimize downtime and improve operational stability. The ultimate result was >400% longer ESP run life, increase in well uptime from 85% to 96%, and higher cumulative production, significantly reducing total lifting costs.

Technical details
Continuum pumps feature improved mixed-flow hydraulics and reengineered mechanical construction to extend ESP run life in harsh unconventional wells, which are characterized by rapid decline in flow rate and extremely high amounts of sand and free gas.

The unique high-permeability design of MeshRite sand screens virtually eliminates resistance to flow and is insensitive to particle-size distribution. These properties enable the screen to resist plugging while preventing harmful frac sand from degrading ESP longevity.

Bar graphs show improvement in ESP run life and well uptime with the SLB integrated lift solution.
The integrated lift solution engineered by SLB—comprising an extended-life pump, gas-handling and sand control technologies, and real-time surveillance—increased ESP run life more than fivefold and improved well uptime by 16 percentage points despite the gassy well conditions.