Calling all technology champions! A few years ago, I ran across the seven steps to stagnation,
which was a list originally compiled by Erwin M. Soukup. I got a feeling of déjà
vu reading through this list because I had heard these same words spoken from many
managers and peers over my career. If you search for these seven steps on the Internet,
you will find different variations; however, the message is the same. The seven
- We have never done it that way.
- We are not ready for that yet.
- We are doing all right without it.
- We tried it once, and it did not work out.
- It costs too much.
- That is not our responsibility.
- It will not work.
Great ideas for technology improvement or development can have an early demise
when faced with feedback similar to what is on this list. Even with a patent, a product
may never be commercialized without someone to be its champion. While we are fortunate
to have many technology champions in the area of artificial lift, we need more.
The best way to meet and learn from our industry’s best artificial-lift champions
is by attending some of the artificial-lift forums, workshops, and conferences coming
up in 2012 and 2013. Please check out the global events calendar on www.spe.org.
One major SPE artificial-lift event you will not see on the global calendar, however, is
the 2013 Electric Submersible Pump (ESP) Workshop. This is still a section-sponsored
event; however, it has grown to be the primary conference for the ESP industry (the
most-recent event had 560 attendees from 24 countries). Please go to this address for
more information: http://www.spegcs.org/committee/esp-workshop/.
The first paper highlighted features the use of a downhole linear motor to drive a
reciprocating-pump system. This is a new technology that is also featured in two papers
to be presented at the 2012 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio,
Texas, this October. The two other highlighted papers focus on offshore artificial-lift
systems and discuss the unique challenges and concepts being applied.
Read the paper synopses in the July 2012 issue of JPT.
Shauna Noonan, SPE, is a staff production engineer for ConocoPhillips, where she works as an artificial-lift specialist in the Completions and Production Technology group. Noonan’s responsibilities include development and validation of artificial-lift and completion systems for thermal applications and improving artificial-lift reliability. She has worked on artificial-lift projects worldwide at ConocoPhillips and previously at Chevron for more than 18 years. Noonan has been chairwoman of industry forums and committees and has authored or coauthored numerous papers on artificial lift. She serves as a member of the SPE Production and Operations Advisory Committee, as an Associate Editor for the SPE Production & Operations journal, and as a member of the JPT Editorial Committee. Noonan began her career with Chevron Canada Resources and holds a BS degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Alberta.