Case Study: LiftWatcher Service More Than Quadruples ESP Run Life of Bahar Energy Offshore Well

Real-time surveillance and remote control help to avoid premature ESP failure due to high solids

Challenge: Eliminate premature ESP failures without installing additional completion equipment or upgrading the ESP.


  • Use LiftWatcher real-time surveillance service to monitor critical ESP parameters.
  • Retain Schlumberger Artificial Lift Surveillance Center (ALSC) engineers to proactively troubleshoot operational challenges before ESP performance is compromised.

Result: More than quadrupled prior ESP run life, with the ESP still operating at time of publication.

Sand production causes repeated ESP failures

Drilled in the 1950s and 1960s, wells in the Gum Deniz oil field were historically produced with gas lift after a natural flow period. Though the gas lift system was relatively unaffected by factors such as solids production, an economic analysis determined that gas lift was less productive and profitable than an ESP system. Bahar Energy decided to convert one of these wells to ESP production; however, project economics and technical and logistical challenges made it impractical to upgrade the ESP specifications or install additional completion equipment to control sand. The first three ESPs were supplied by a third-party provider and each of them failed in less than a month due to excessive solids production. After returning the well to gas lift for four months, Bahar Energy installed a Schlumberger ESP, which greatly improved performance. However, it was clear that sand production needed to be addressed to continue the use of an ESP for production. Schlumberger was asked to help Bahar Energy extend ESP run life without upgrading completion equipment or the ESP.

Real-time monitoring enables proactive protection of ESP

Because it was infeasible to change the specifications of the downhole equipment, Bahar Energy and Schlumberger adopted a strategy to mitigate all operational issues that could shorten ESP run life. LiftWatcher real-time surveillance service was implemented to monitor the Schlumberger ESP. Engineers based at the Schlumberger ALSC in Russia analyzed data and monitored threshold alerts to prevent and troubleshoot adverse ESP events around the clock.

Combined with live monitoring and the ability to change ESP settings remotely, the expertise of ALSC engineers helped Bahar Energy act quickly to prevent problems such as pump motor overload caused by large volumes of sand. Having access to real-time data also prevented motor underload and overheating caused by events such as gas slug breakthrough. Special attention was directed to the commissioning of the ESP, which is one of most important periods in the ESP life cycle.

ESP still running after 488 days

LiftWatcher service eliminated lag time before a problem could be detected, provided the information needed to make critical adjustments, and substantially shortened response time because ESP settings could be changed remotely. As a result, Bahar Energy was able to minimize unnecessary ESP shutdowns that cause additional stress for submersible equipment. At 488 days, the run life of the current ESP is already four times the length of the 122-day trial of the initial Schlumberger ESP, and it is still operational at the time of publication. The improved performance of the ESP in such harsh conditions demonstrates that run life can be significantly improved with real-time monitoring and troubleshooting without a technical upgrade to the submersible pump assembly or installing sand control completion equipment.

Download: LiftWatcher Service More Than Quadruples ESP Run Life of Bahar Energy Offshore Well (0.11 MB PDF)

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