Rigorous review of electrical submersible pump failure mechanisms and their mitigation measures

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

American University in Cairo

Author's Department

Petroleum & Energy Engineering Department

Second Author's Department

Petroleum & Energy Engineering Department

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Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology

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Artificial lift is a vital part of the life of many oil wells worldwide. Using several artificial lift methods can prolong the life of the wells and increase oil recovery significantly. One of the most applied artificial lift methods nowadays is the electrical submersible pump (ESP). This artificial lift method has the ability to handle large volumes of hydrocarbons and is applicable under many conditions in both offshore and onshore reservoirs. Even though ESP has been applied extensively for many years, it still suffers from many failures due to electrical, mechanical, and operational problems associated with the ESP downhole assembly. Understanding the main reasons behind ESP failures and how to rapidly and effectively avoid and mitigate these failures is imperative to reduce cost and damage and improve operational and rig-personal safety. This research performs a comprehensive review on ESP failure mechanisms and analyzes these failures in order to determine the optimum conditions to operate the ESP. This can help minimize and avoid these failures. Also, should these failures occur, the research proposes several mitigation methods for each failure based on analysis of different field cases worldwide.

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