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Summer 2017 Saudi Aramco THE SAUDI ARAMCO JOURNAL OF ... · PDF file 2 SUMMER 2017 SAUDI ARAMCO JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY ABSTRACT Electric submersible pumps (ESPs) are a widely used artificial

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  • Summer 2017

    THE SAUDI ARAMCO JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY A quarterly publication of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company

    Saudi AramcoJournal of TechnologyField Deployment of a Rigless, Cable Deployed ESP Using a Vertical Wellhead see page 2

    Offshore Drilling Operation Time Optimization Using PDC Bit Shear Cap Technology see page 36


    Omar S. Al-Husaini General Manager, Drilling & Workover Operations

    Abdul Hameed A. Al-Rushaid Chief Drilling Engineer

    Nabilah M. Tunisi Chief Engineer

    Ammar A. Nahwi Manager, Research and Development Center

    Ali A. Meshari Manager, EXPEC ARC


    Relevant articles are welcome. Submission guidelines are printed on the last page. Please address all manuscript and editorial correspondence to:


    William E. Bradshaw The Saudi Aramco Journal of Technology C-11B, Room AN-1080 North Admin Building #175 Dhahran 31311, KSA Tel: +966-013-876-0498 E-mail:

    Unsolicited articles will be returned only when accompanied by a self-addressed envelope.

    Amin Nasser President & CEO, Saudi Aramco

    Nasser A. Al-Nafisee Vice President, Corporate Affairs

    Abdulla I. Al-Isa General Manager, Public Affairs


    Richard E. Doughty


    Graphic Engine Design Studio, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.

    ISSN 1319-2388.


    No articles, including art and illustrations, in the Saudi Aramco Journal of Technology except those from copyrighted sources, may be reproduced or printed without the written permission of Saudi Aramco. Please submit requests for permission to reproduce items to the editor.

    The Saudi Aramco Journal of Technology gratefully acknowledges the assistance, contribution and cooperation of numerous operating organizations throughout the company.


    Additional articles that were submitted for publication in the Saudi Aramco Journal of Technology are being made available online. You can read them at this link on the Saudi Aramco Internet Website:

    The Saudi Aramco Journal of Technology is published quarterly by the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, to provide the company’s scientific and engineering communities a forum for the exchange of ideas through the presentation of technical information aimed at advancing knowledge in the hydrocarbon industry.

    Complete issues of the Journal in PDF format are available on the Internet at: (click on “publications”).


    Send individual subscription orders, address changes (see page 73) and related questions to:

    Saudi Aramco Public Relations Department JOT Distribution Box 5000 Dhahran 31311, Saudi Arabia Website:


    Ibraheem M. Assáadan Vice President, Exploration

    Ahmad O. Al-Khowaiter Vice President, Technology Oversight and Coordination

    Abdullah M. Al-Ghamdi Vice President, Gas Operations

    Khalid M. Al-Abdulqader General Manager, Unconventional Resources

    On the Cover

    Alternate deployment methods for electric submersible pumps (ESPs)

    reduce well intervention cost and production deferral by decreasing the

    use of workover rigs. Saudi Aramco’s high hydrogen sulfide (H2S) cable

    deployed ESP system advances alternate deployment technology through

    robust design and simplification of the overall system. On the cover is the

    first installation of this new technology in an onshore well.

    Some of the many team members who made the field installation a success.

  • Summer 2017

    THE SAUDI ARAMCO JOURNAL OF TECHNOLOGY A quarterly publication of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company Journal of Technology

    Saudi Aramco


    Field Deployment of a Rigless, Cable Deployed ESP Using a Vertical Wellhead 2 Brian A. Roth, Dr. Jinjiang Xiao, Mohannad Abdelaziz, John Mack, Yahya Sarawaq, Richard Reid and Andrew Helvenston

    In Situ Steam Generation: A New Technology Application for Heavy Oil Production 12 Ayman R. Al-Nakhli, Luai A. Sukkar, Dr. James O. Arukhe, Abdulrahman A. Al-Mulhem, Mohannad Abdelaziz, Dr. Muhammad Ayub and Mohammad Arifin

    First Worldwide CT Stimulation of a Quad-Lateral, Extended Reach Power Water Injector Using a Multilateral Tool with Gamma Ray and Distributed Temperature Survey 25 Hasan M. Al-Jassem, Ayedh M. Al-Shehri, Nayef S. Al-Shammari, Salman D. Al-Gamber, Khaled M. Al-Mutairi, Rifat Said, Souhaibe Barkat and Danish Ahmed

    Offshore Drilling Operation Time Optimization Using PDC Bit Shear Cap Technology 36 Musab A. Al-Jamea, Hatem M. Al-Saggaf, Hocine Boussahaba and Bruno Cuillier de Maindreville

    Best Practices in Pre-Fracturing Coiled Tubing Intervention Operations Increase Success Rate of Hydraulic Fracturing Treatments 44 Pablo H. Guizada, Dr. Zillur Rahim, Adnan A. Al-Kanaan, Rifat Kayumov and Mohammad Arifin

    Intelligent Completion in Laterals Becomes a Reality 52 Brett W. Bouldin, Robert J. Turner, Isidore Bellaci, Yousif M. Abu Ahmad, Steve Dyer, Thales De Oliveira and Ali Bin Al-Sheikh

    From a Technology User to an Innovation Leader 63 Julie L. Springer




    Electric submersible pumps (ESPs) are a widely used artificial lift technology. Conventional ESP systems provide power through a cable banded to the outside of the tubing. These systems have drawbacks in terms of installation speed and ef- ficiency. To overcome these obstacles, a novel cable deployed (CD) ESP system, developed for use in a high hydrogen sulfide (H2S) production environment, was formulated as a future solution. This article focuses on the challenges, results and les- sons learned from the first field deployment in the world of a rigless, high H2S CDESP system.

    A metal-jacketed power cable was a key enabler to devel- oping the CDESP system. The metal-jacketed power cable delivers the best protection against a H2S attack and provides a smooth outside diameter that can be gripped on and sealed. The cable has been tested to withstand H2S levels up to 15% and chloride levels in excess of 150,000 ppm with an expected service life in excess of 10 years.

    To overcome well control concerns, a cable hanger spool was developed enabling the ESP cable to be terminated below the master valve. In addition to the surface termination of the cable, the cable hanger spool provides hang-off and production flow through capabilities.

    The field deployment of the CDESP system, using a spe- cialized inverted ESP, required the close integration of several equipment and service providers during the development of the equipment and procedures to ensure success in the installation of the system. The system’s initial deployment was in a benign onshore well that offered ample workspace for the various ser- vice providers to learn the unique aspects of this rigless deploy- ment. Of particular importance, the interface for the service providers at the surface cable termination was critical to the successful installation. For this trial test, the well completion was changed from 4½” tubing to 7” tubing to accommodate the cable deployed 562 series ESP.

    Lessons learned from this field trial will be incorporated into future trials of the CDESP technology. The goal of these future trials will be to deploy the technology in offshore H2S wells where high rig costs can be significantly reduced through the use of a lower cost barge coupled with the increased speed, efficiency, and ease of CDESP deployment.


    A majority of electric submersible pumps (ESPs) installed today are installed with tubing. The ESP is installed as part of the tubing string, and the cable that provides power to the ESP is banded or clamped to the tubing. This method has been in use since the beginnings of ESP installations back in the 1930s.

    Since the 1970s, several types of alternative deployment methods have been developed. These are represented by var- ious technologies, including a cable suspended submersible pump system1, cable internal coiled tubing (CT) deployed submersible pump system2 and umbilical system3. A significant amount of learning was achieved in the use of these alternative deployment systems; however, each of these systems had draw- backs that prevented widespread adoption of the alternative deployment technology.


    Saudi Aramco, with a large installed ESP base, sought alterna- tives to conventional rig deployed ESP installations. A key ben- efit of alternative deployed ESPs is that workover rigs are freed up for other well activities.

    A number of alternative deployed ESP technologies have been field tested over the past few years with limited success. One major concern with the current alternative deployed ESP options is that those systems cannot survive long-term in high hydrogen sulfide (H2S) environments.

    A new alternative deployed ESP system able to function long-term in high H2S wells was considered and developed as a collaborative project involving Saudi Aramco, Baker Hughes and GE. Some of the challenges in the development were the need for a high H2S cable, for compatibility with Saudi Ar- amco well control requirements and for a cable hanger inte

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