ESPs, or electric submersible pumps, are a vital part of many oil and gas company operations. It’s these pumps that go down into the ground and extract the resources that the company then sells. If these pumps do not operate at peak efficiency, it can cost the oil and gas company a large portion of its potential revenue. With gas prices continuing to rise, it’s important for oil and gas companies to extract as much material as they can, as quickly as they can. This is why a common goal for oil and gas companies is to improve their ESP efficiency.
One of the key ways that oil and gas companies improve their efficiency is by minimizing downtime. To get the most oil and gas into their tanks, they need to have their ESP machines running at all times. Even just a short amount of downtime each day or week can have long-term impacts on the amount of overall production. Oil and gas companies should track all downtime, including the causes and duration, to determine how much production they are losing and why. Then, every month or so, review these logs to determine if there are actions you can take to reduce downtime and keep your ESP systems running longer.
Trying to manually monitor your ESP oil & gas production is a difficult task. There are many things you’ll want to watch closely, including whether your systems are functioning optimally, when you’re losing production because of a problem, and if there are ways to gain more production from your existing ESP machines. This requires a lot of data, which needs to be regularly updated if you want to draw accurate conclusions from it. A better solution is to automate this monitoring process.
For example, you could install an alarm system within the ESP that notifies you when there are changes in the operating conditions. This would allow you to catch problems faster than you would through manual monitoring, which in turn lets you address the problem faster. The more of your monitoring you can automate, the better able you’ll be to improve efficiency.
Get Ahead Of Potential Problems
Rather than waiting for a problem to occur within your ESP, it’s often better to get ahead of these problems. For example, if you notice some wear within the ESP, you may be tempted to leave the condition alone until you need to fix it, thereby allowing the machine to run longer. However, repairs often take more time when they are unexpected. By addressing the problem on your time schedule, you can better prepare and address the problem faster.
With your automated monitoring, you should know when there are potential problems within your system. You can then make an educated decision on the best time to address the problem before it decides for you. Calculate all the costs associated with performing the repairs now, such as new parts, labor, and downtime, versus repairing the issue later to determine the best time to fix the problem.
Adjust Vendor Agreements Based On Performance
Most ESP systems come from vendors. Oil gas companies decide whether they want to rent these ESPs or buy them, depending on many factors. One model to consider when working out contracts with your vendors is one based on performance. For example, you can adjust how much you compensate the vendor based on how long the ESP lasts. If the average run life of an ESP is two years, you can adjust the total prorated compensation you deliver to the vendor based on whether the ESP lasts longer or shorter than that time. This would encourage the vendor to deliver you the best products and help ensure that you’re spending your resources optimally.
Hire Their Own Technicians
Finally, when it comes to running and maintaining your ESP systems, you’ll want technicians who have a vested interest in those machines running longer. This is why it’s often best to hire the technicians yourself, rather than those of the vendor. Your own technicians can then perform all of the installations, maintenance, and repairs, ensuring that your machines are in the best possible condition at all times. As with the vendors, you can also work out a system with contractors where you pay based on the performance of the ESPs.
Make Efficiency A Key Priority
Getting the most from ESP machines comes down to finding ways to keep these machines running as often as possible. To do this, you need constant surveillance, proactive maintenance, and repairs, and to work with vendors and contractors who have a vested interest in keeping your ESPs running. Any oil and gas company that can do this should find that they improve their efficiency, extracting more oil and gas than usual within the same amount of time.