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In 2015, the Artificial Lift Systems team of Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), was challenged by a major operator in the UK to design an electrical submersible pumping (ESP) system to deliver a wide range of production rates in an application where well performance and reservoir potential remained hugely uncertain. The existing completion was delivering production at around 300 barrels of fluid per day (BFPD) with a rod lift system.

Prior to installing the ESP, the operator planned to stimulate the production zones but the resulting well and reservoir performance would not be realized until the ESP system’s production began. Due to this uncertainty, the inclusion of a Y-Tool logging bypass system was added to the equipment string to allow for further intervention if required and to improve motor cooling.

The installation of the ESP system was well planned and executed flawlessly at the wellsite. Multiple scenarios of dynamic simulation were performed using the BHGE proprietary AutographPC™ ESP simulation software. The engineers de-rated the ESP motor, lowering the horsepower per rotor which alleviated stress on the stator winding and insulation at higher operating temperatures.

Application challenges

The absence of downhole pressure and temperature data meant that accurate well performance analysis was limited and based on a high degree of modelling assumptions. Regardless of well performance, the client required the ESP system to be flexible enough to efficiently produce while remaining comfortably within its operation range. Based on these requirements, BHGE engineers recommended a 400 series FLEXPumpER™ pump, which provides the industry’s widest operating range for a single pump. In order to reach the target pump setting tangent, the ESP and Y-Tool assembly had to be run through a variety of doglegs with a maximum of 9°/100 ft.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results


  • Reservoir conditions fluctuated and required wide operating range
  • Well geometries were complex
  • Operator required additional motor cooling options for varying flow rates and higher operating temperatures


  • Increased production 1,000 BOPD when artificial lift changed from rod lift to FLEXPumpER technology
  • Equipment string handled doglegs with maximum 9°/100 ft