SAGD wells testing high-temperature ESPs

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Sept. 1
-- The Christina Lake in situ oil sands project operated by Cenovus Energy in northeastern Alberta is testing what Baker Hughes Inc. calls the world’s first “ultra-temperature” electrical submersible pumping systems in steam-assisted gravity drainage wells.

Since Apr. 15, Baker Hughes has installed nine of its Centrilift XP systems in Cenovus' Christina Lake wells as well as elsewhere in other operators' SAGD wells. The ESPs can operate at fluid temperatures up to 250º C.

Baker Hughes said Cenovus is “among the first to deploy the new technology.” Cenovus operates Christina Lake, as well as the Foster Lake SAGD project in Alberta, in a 50-50 joint venture with ConocoPhillips.

Higher steaming temperatures are expected to increase production rates by providing a larger steam chamber than otherwise would be achievable and lowering oil viscosity.

Cenovus reports gross production from 15 Christina Lake wells in the Cenovus-ConocoPhillips area, 120 miles south of Fort McMurray, at 18,000 b/d. It plans to increase production in two further phases of 40,000 b/d each.

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