SPE explains how artificial lift technology enhances oil production


By Gladys Nweke

 The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) has explained how ‘Artificial Lift Technology’ enhances oil production, saying that the technique is all about the recover ability of crude oil in a reservoir, to maintain and maximize production.

Artificial Lift is the process of aiding the production of an oil or gas well, by either lightening the density of the fluid density in the well or using pumps to enhance the flow.

Artificial Lift is generally classified as pumping and gas-lifting, and its methods include Electrical Submersible Pump, ESP; Progressing Cavity Pump, PSP; Sucker Rod Pump, SRP; Gas Lift; Subsurface Pumps, etc.

Nigeria Council Chairman, SPE, Engr. Debo Fagbemi, spoke exclusively to journalists at the 2019 Annual Technical Symposium of the association in Port Harcourt.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Oil Fields Optimization Using Artificial Lift: Applications and Opportunities in Nigeria, Fagbemi explained that Artificial Lift addresses the burden of hydrostatic pressure loss for wells with high water cut or low reservoir pressure or a combination of both.

He said he was impressed with the technologies displayed by the service companies which participated and exhibited at the event namely, Weatherford, Schlumberger, Halliburton, Lex Engineering, Baker Hughes General Electric, and PE Energy.

He emphasized that Artificial Lift Technology was all about recoverability, adding that the event was the second edition of its annual technical symposium.

Artificial Lift is a means of using technology to stimulate reservoirs to produce more than what ordinarily they would produce on its own.

Over time, research has shown that a lot of wells that have been produced, after their producing life, leave about 25percent of crude oil in the reservoir untapped.

So this actually improve the potential for oil recovery.

He explained that the AL technology was not a new concept in crude oil production, and has been used in over 1million oil wells around the world, although there have been modern and improved techniques.

Asked how the technology would be of benefit to Nigeria, Fagbemi said, Oil cost so much per barrel and any oil left in the reservoir that is not produced, is lost revenue for the country, hence, the philosophy of looking for means to enhance production.