Shutting-In Production? Tips to Protect Your ESP investment.

Meaghan Gipson

Well operations can be challenging enough without having to deal with a slowdown in production. However, this is where we find ourselves as we all collectively work to manage the impact of the downturn in the economy. Bottlenecks in the midstream transport and storage sector, along with low spot prices, are necessitating tough decisions about shutting in wells. Which can lead to other concerns altogether. However, shutting in production temporarily shouldn’t mean losing your investment in your ESP. Extract is here to help maintain your ESP during a shut-in with a few suggestions from our chief engineer.

  • Don’t leave rotating equipment idle in well fluid for long periods—the risk that the unit doesn’t restart increases with idle time.
  • Ideally, the unit should be started and allowed to produce at least once a month for a 24-hour period or long enough to surface fluid.
  • The next best thing would be to circulate “pickling fluid” (preferably mineral oil, but crude oil from the well after water knockout is also an option) to the pump intake via cap string, coiled tubing, or the production tubing.
  • Pickling fluid isn’t a replacement for chemical treatment in a well prone to scale or corrosion; consult your chemical provider for a program appropriate to your well’s conditions.

While we typically discourage frequent shutdowns and restarts of ESP equipment, doing so once a month while the well is temporarily shut-in poses less risk than letting the equipment sit idle. Extract offers an affordable ESP maintenance service to periodically re-start the unit for operators that choose this route.

Remember, we’re here for you and all your ESP needs as we work together to take on today’s challenging environment.

© Copyright 2023 Extract