Production Optimization With Artificial-Lift ESP Pilot Systems in a Mature Oil Field

Topics: Artificial lift
Production and wellhead pressure relationship.

A production-optimization strategy of an artificial-lift system resulted in the mitigation of challenges related to reservoir heterogeneities and completion design. An approach integrating reservoir dynamic data and electrical-submersible-pump (ESP) performance was established as a guideline for ESP surveillance and diagnostics and for targeting candidates for production optimization by implementing at least one of the possible solutions: upgrading ESP surface equipment, anticipating workovers for ESP-resizing and -deepening jobs, and reviewing well-design strategy.


The field is an anticlinal structure 26 km long and 6 km wide with two main complex carbonate reservoirs, upper (U1) and lower (U2), exhibiting considerable lateral and vertical lithological changes and, consequently, variations of reservoir properties.

Oil production started in 1983 through an initial-development phase. An artificial-lift project using ESP systems was implemented in 1994 to increase and sustain oil production. All producer wells are equipped with an ESP, a Y-tool, and a single completion string. All wells completed before 2014 have been operated on a fixed frequency of 50 Hz through switchboard (SWB) panels.

A full-field development plan was reviewed to increase oil production by 40% by the end of 2013, to consider long-term sustainability in view of future expansion, and to stretch the target plateau beyond 2013. This target has been reached mainly by increasing the number of infill horizontal producer wells but also through the upgrading and expansion of surface facilities to handle increased volume of produced fluids.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 171917, “Production Optimization Over 20% With Artificial-Lift ESP Pilot Systems in Mature Oil Field: Case Study From Middle East,” by Hector Aguilar, Aref Ali Al Marzooqi, Tarek Mohamed El Sonbaty, and Leigber Villarreal, ADCO, prepared for the 2014 Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, Abu Dhabi, 10–13 November. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Production Optimization With Artificial-Lift ESP Pilot Systems in a Mature Oil Field

01 July 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 7


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