CERRITOS, California – DeepStar, a global offshore research and development consortium, has selected Upwing Energy and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) to perform a feasibility and conceptual study of Upwing’s magnetic drive system (MDS) for electric submersible pumps (ESPs).
The study, targeting deepwater offshore and subsea well applications, is sponsored and funded by the Nippon Foundation - DeepStar Joint Ocean Innovation program and supported by Chevron, Shell, Petrobras, and Equinor.
The study will assess the feasibility of MDS, a new topology for downhole rotating systems, which is said to make artificial lift devices, such as ESPs, more reliable, retrievable, and efficient. MHI will design and analyze the pump and mechanical bearings for the system. The study results will determine the technical readiness of the system and its future commercial potential.
The project is expected to begin in early June and be completed by March 2020.
The work scope includes the three main subassemblies of the complete MDS pump system, which includes the deployment and intervention mechanism, magnetic drive system, and pump and bearing systems. Based on preliminary indicators, the MDS pump system is said will improve the reliability and retrievability of ESPs, while decreasing the total cost of ownership by 75% in deepwater offshore applications.
Herman Artinian, president and CEO of Upwing Energy, said: “…This study will significantly advance the technology readiness level of MDS and will make ESPs the economically preferred method of artificial lift for deepwater production, which will significantly improve the field recovery factor.”
K-C Chen, vice president of Engineering at Upwing Energy, added: “The ability to improve the existing ESP topology has reached its limit, and further improvements at the component level do not provide a huge gain at the system level in reliability or performance.
“The brand-new MDS topology offers the best of both worlds - reliability through hermetically sealed electrical components, which are isolated from the production fluids, and quick retrievability via slick line of the rotating components.”
DeepStar is a joint industry technology development program focused on advancing technologies to meet its members’ deepwater business needs to deliver increased production and reserves. Members include Shell, Total, CNOOC, Anadarko, Equinor, ExxonMobil, JX Nippon, Chevron, Petrobras, and Woodside.