Octopus slimhole ESP packer saved $800,000 USD in workover costs
A customer in the Middle East was facing costly casing remediation operations in order to continue producing from an aging offshore well. The existing completion design, which included an electrical submersible pumping (ESP) system located in a deviated section of the 5-in. production liner, had exposed the casing above the ESP to production fluid. Over time this exposure had caused corrosion and wear, resulting in casing integrity issues that had to be addressed in order for the well to remain online. However, none of the conventional solutions—such as casing patches, straddles, or full recompletion—were economically viable options for the mature producer.
The dilemma: higher cost or higher risk
Isolating the casing from below by setting a small ESP packer in the 5-in. liner above the ESP would be a less costly option, but it also came with added risk. This is because, in order to accommodate a penetrator for the ESP cable while also maintaining an optimal flow area, the conventional interface configuration in smaller size packers is eccentric, or off-center, making it difficult to keep the packers balanced in the wellbore during deployment and retrieval. The packers tend to tilt when pushed or pulled via the off-center tubing, increasing their risk of hanging up in the well and requiring a costly fishing operation.
The solution: an industry- first design
Presented with one option that was too costly and another that came with greater risk, the customer and completions and artificial lift experts from Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) collaborated on a new approach. The resulting solution was the industry’s first-ever 5-in. concentric ESP packer.
Equipped with an API 14310 V3-rated seal element to ensure liquid-tight protection, the patented Octopus™ retrievable slimhole ESP packer (SH ESP packer) interface features three ⅜-in. bores situated around a concentric tubing conduit, allowing the packer to accommodate the ESP power cable while significantly reducing the risk of tool hang-ups.
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