Jet pump systems are rising in popularity for use in horizontal wells, where other pumps can have difficulty. Control of the jet pump can seem to be simplicity itself – just turn the bypass valve to adjust downhole pressure as needed. Yet to fine tune your production performance and avoid unscheduled maintenance, precise control is needed. Control and cost are two categories of benefits delivered by drive systems for jet pumps.
Drives Tighten Control
You need to apply just the right pressure to each well to optimize production. But how can you do that if every well requires on-site, physical intervention by production personnel? Drive systems enable you to program operating parameters for each well. The drives then automatically adjust in response to changing well conditions based on those parameters. Adjustments are very precise, allowing meaningful analysis and trending for long-term optimization.
Well characteristics change over time. When the well is new, drive systems help define the initial pump size. Operators have better data for pump selection. As the well changes over time the drive continues to tune performance, essentially dynamically sizing the pump to match the well.
Drive systems equipped with SCADA communications can be controlled away from the well. Production personnel in a central office or at a pullout on the road can connect, monitor and even control well operations. This is not just a mere convenience; it enables operators to view the current conditions of every connected well in a field or region. Armed with this intelligence, production personnel are more efficient and effective in managing well performance and prioritizing well maintenance.
Operational data from the drives and other well equipment can be captured and analyzed. The data can be used to predict future production, plan power fluid levels, decrease service intervals and track performance across an entire field. Analysts can review torque, pump speed, heat, voltage spikes and other key data.
Drives Reduce Costs
There is no need for a bypass valve to control downhole pressure when a drive system is in place. Instead, the drive system controls pressure by controlling motor speed, reducing wear-and-tear on both the surface pump and the bypass valve. This shift of control to the drive significantly reduces the risk of unscheduled maintenance and the consequent high costs of downtime and emergency field service.
Valve failure can cause shutdown for 10 hours or more. High heat and friction from running at full speed can burn out insulation and windings, leading to unscheduled maintenance. Drives avoid the worst effects of these problems, helping keep costs in line with projections.
Drives also enable operators to better control their electricity costs. Drives draw only the voltage required at any given time. Without a drive, well equipment will run at full speed and rely on the bypass valve to throttle down the pressure. This approach wastes electricity every time the bypass valve is less than wide open. Operators can save as much as 25% of energy costs right here.
Nine Reasons to Add a Drive
This post has just scratched the surface of the benefits that drives provide to jet pump systems. To read more, check out our new paper “Nine Reasons to Add a SPOC Drives to Your Jet Pump System”. As always, Pump Long and Prosper.