Technical Paper: Successful First Offshore Fully Retrievable ESP System Installation in Congo

Society: IPTC
Paper Number: 17077
Presentation Date: 2013


The world's first offshore rigless fully retrievable electric submersible pump (RFR-ESP) system has been successfully installed in Eni Congo's Foukanda field (Republic of the Congo). The project was developed between Eni Milan and Eni Congo as an Innovation Technology Application (ITA), and it is the world's first offshore RFR-ESP system. The RFR-ESP technology provided by ZEiTECS allows the rigless deployment and retrieval of a conventional electric submersible pump (ESP) system through tubing by means of standard oilfield wireline, rod, or coiled tubing technology. The RFR-ESP system technology is based around a specially designed oilfield wet-connector system. This “plug and play” connector design permits the use of any ESP manufacturer's equipment, allowing ESP optimization to match changing well conditions and replacement of failed ESPs without rig interventions, thereby providing an opportunity for opex savings through a significant reduction in workover costs and in deferred production due to limited rig availability. 

The success of the first RFR-ESP completion and the positive results achieved to date are encouraging in the pursuit of extending this innovative and valuable ESP completion philosophy to Eni Congo wells where ESP failures are primarily related to the pump or motor and workover costs are high. 

The paper describes the technical features of the new RFR-ESP completion and the experience acquired on the Foukanda well. It also shows, via theoretical study, the economic implications of applying this new ESP philosophy in all the Eni Congo high-opex wells.

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