ESP System Configurations with Flexibility to Manage Unconventional Wells in the Mississippi Lime Formation | Schlumberger
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ESP System Configurations with Flexibility to Manage Unconventional Wells in the Mississippi Lime Formation

Abstract

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology has enabled a rapid growth of production from the Mississippi Lime Formation during the last five years. Well drilling and stimulation designs are being continuously improved, resulting in higher initial production rates. However, rapid production declines pose serious challenges to operators selecting an artificial lift method to achieve the company’s objectives of incremental production and improved cash flow.

This paper addresses adjustments in the configuration and procedures for operation of the electric submersible pumps (ESPs) that Chesapeake Energy implemented in the Mississippi Lime Formation. The overall design includes ESP systems with enough flexibility to cope with the production decline of the well by pumping at the initial production rates greater than 4,000 bbl/d of liquid and continuing to operate when the production rates declined to 400 bbl/d or less after a year of operation. Additionally, the system had the required flexibility to handle multiphase flow throughout the operation period. When the ESP was first installed, the production gas/liquid ratio was 300 scf/STB and increased in excess of 1,700 scf/STB during the well drawdown.

Although the pump technology was instrumental, the operator also made additional adjustments, including the specification of abrasion-resistant materials; gas-handling technology, sand screens, and downhole sensors to monitor intake and discharge conditions; integration of surface parameters with the real-time surveillance and control system; and collaboration with the service provider in the continuous improvement process.

With the improved ESP uptime and run life, the operator capitalized on the improved incremental production and optimized cash flow from the operation.

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