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AccessESP rigless system successfully enables ESP pump swap

19th January 2017

AccessESP has showcased its rigless ESP conveyance system in the industry’s first pump swap for an operator on the North Slope of Alaska.

A live well intervention swapped the ESP pump
A live well intervention swapped the ESP pump

In two days, through a live well intervention, the system enabled retrieval of the existing ESP pump and the install of a newly optimised ESP pump using only a slickline unit, lubricator and a crane, marking the industry’s first ESP pump swap on a commercial well. Surface diagnostics determined that the Access375 permanent magnet motor was fully functional, therefore replacement was not required thus reducing operational time and costs.

In this case, the ESP pump had not failed, but was proactively replaced with an optimised pump.  This would be cost prohibitive using a workover rig requiring the replacement of the entire conventional ESP system. To resize a conventional ESP pump the operator would mobilise a workover rig, kill the well, pull the tubing and ESP and then replace the ESP and rerun the tubing. The costs associated with the intervention and downtime inherent in this approach can be substantial. However, by utilising a standard slickline unit, lubricator, and crane, the rigless conveyance system reduces the cost, time and risk associated with ESP resizing.

“In this project, the operator saved approximately $2 million in workover costs by using our slickline deployed system,” Greg Nutter, vice president operations, AccessESP, said. “Our system allows the operator to replace only the ESP pump, leaving the permanent magnet motor in the well.  This pump replacement demonstrates our system is a flexible and reliable choice for operators looking to optimise production and reduce downtime and associated costs.”