Permian Basin operator improves ESP productive time by 75% in depleted, slugging well—without a workover

Permian Basin, Texas, United States, North America, Onshore

Production composite log service and Lift IQ™ production life cycle management service helped a Permian Basin operator manage unstable multiphase flow from a depleted unconventional well via expert analysis and remote, real-time changes to VSD settings—avoiding a workover that would have challenged project economics.

Boost production from a depleted well

After more than 600 days in an increasingly gassy and depleted Permian Basin well, a Reda ESP™ pump was experiencing gas lock every 10 minutes. Because of the advanced gas lock protection provided by its INSTRUCT ESP™ intelligent controller, the ESP adjusted its operating parameters each time, but the cycling meant that ESP productive time was only about 32%. Meanwhile, oil prices fell, and the small independent operator needed to improve profitability—fast.

INSTRUCT ESP is a trademark of Sensia.

Use ESP data to analyze flow rates and reservoir pressure

Production composite log service enables real-time production flow rate analysis and helped the operator determine depletion rates and reservoir pressure for the well. Although the analysis had some uncertainty, engineers determined that downsizing the ESP would significantly improve performance. However, a workover was not economically feasible.

Optimize VSD performance in real time

SLB domain experts recommended Lift IQ production life cycle management service to analyze ESP trends and optimize operational settings for the VSD.

Improve drawdown and ESP uptime

The data acquisition rate for the ESP was increased to 1 min, and downhole and surface data trends were analyzed using Lift IQ service domain expertise and workflows. New VSD settings were recommended and, with operator approval, applied using the Lift IQ service's remote control capabilities.

Subsequent ESP operation trends were analyzed and the VSD settings optimized further. After one week of iterative cycles of analysis and optimization, ESP uptime increased to 62% from 32%. Following three weeks of further iterations, uptime stabilized at 56%, which amounted to a 75% improvement in productive time. Drawdown improved from 385 psi to 335 psi, with the pump intake pressure (PIP) later stabilizing at 350 psi.

The operator continues to rely on Lift IQ service to manage the unstable multiphase flow and maintain higher ESP uptime as depletion continues and gas/oil ratio increases.

Graph of ESP percentage uptime, starting at 32% and rising to 62% before stabilizing at 56%.
Lift IQ service delivered the expert analysis and remote, real-time adjustments the operator needed to improve ESP uptime to 62% from 32% and eventually stabilize it at 56%.
Products Used