Downhole all-in-one cable gives gas an artificial lift
Fracking injects high-pressure fluids into a wellbore to create cracks in deep rocks to release gas and oils. To save operators installation and operating costs, we developed a tough hybrid cable combining power cables, optical fibers (for data measurement) and fluid-extraction tubes.
The cable can endure multiple deployments and survive in wells for up to 12 years, even in deep and hot wells. Fluoropolymers were used for sheathing and conductor insulation to assure exceptional ruggedness, and steel armoring provides the strength needed to carry itself and the pump.
Resolving customer issues
We were contacted by a large oil company needing a cable for newly designed low-volume pumps for U.S. shale wells suffering from water seepage, the cause of pressure drops and production stoppages. A low-cost, material-wise high-tech cable was needed for hundreds of wells. We contacted NRC Nuremberg who navigated the jungle of materials and made a best choice. They then facilitated modification of extruder lines in Rognan (Norway) to iterate several prototypes, which resulted in a workable one-km model.
Protecting mother nature
Typically, once output falls, a new well is drilled next to the existing well. With our downhole pump cable there is no need for drilling the same well twice or more, since the pump keeps the well unclogged. With less repeated penetration of ground water aquifers, the environment is a big winner. This solution can also be applied to other types of subsea and onshore wells. Artificial lift is a booming business opportunity. No future field development is undertaken without thoughts about how to “prime the pump” as gas fields age.
“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.”