510 Fewer Trips with Remote ESP Surveillance | SLB

Real-time ESP surveillance and remote control eliminate 510 field visits across two 8-day periods, North America

North America, Onshore

Lift IQ™ production life cycle management service enabled remote surveillance and prompt optimization of ESP operations in multiple fields across North America, while reducing costs and risk.

North American holiday season challenged management of ESP wells

Oilfield operations do not pause during the holiday period. ESPs continue to require frequency optimization, gas lock or pumpoff resolution, shutdowns, restarts, and interventions to prevent electrical load imbalances or vibrations. However, mobilizing technical experts to remote wellsites during peak travel seasons can create logistical difficulties and extra expense, delaying timely action, escalating risk, and even leading to deferred production. Several operators in North America were looking for a solution to these challenges.

Bar graph showing frequency of top 3 remote operations on ESPs with Lift IQ service over two 8-day periods.
ALSC engineers in Houston remotely executed 46 gas lock interventions, 41 startups, 30 speed increases, and 49 other operations (not shown) on ESPs over an 8-day holiday period one year. The total number of remote operations more than doubled over the same period the following year.

SLB service eliminated necessity of field visits

Lift IQ service increases well efficiency and productivity through remote monitoring, control, and optimization of artificial lift systems—making operators’ data work for them. Sensors and motor controllers at the wellsites transmit data to Artificial Lift Surveillance Centers (ALSCs), where experienced engineers monitor alarms and alerts 24/7/365 from multiple fields. Data are transferred via satellite or extracted from existing SCADA systems. For North American operations, the ALSC is located in Houston.

The surveillance engineers analyze flow rates, motor temperatures, and other parameters to remedy issues, update pump regimes to match fluctuating conditions, and identify underperforming wells that could benefit from further pump optimization. These actions help maximize system run life and well uptime and reduce total cost of ownership over the life of the well.

Operators optimized well performance, reduced costs, and minimized HSE exposure

Over an 8-day holiday season one year, ALSC engineers performed remote operations that eliminated 166 field trips across 518 wells. Over the same period the following year, the service monitored 847 wells and saved operators 344 field trips.

The interventions resolved 58 critical events in the first year and 85 in the second, where lack of prompt action would have resulted in equipment damage or failure. Speed adjustments were also performed remotely to maximize the potential of multiple wells. The operators saved an estimated USD 55,000 in the first year and USD 80,000 the subsequent year.

Technical details

For more information, read SPE 134702 and SPE 192512.

Products Used