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Common Misconceptions In Electric Submergible Pumping

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MSc. Sergio Caicedo

Artificial Lift Expert at UPC Global

There are many Electro Submersible Pumping (ESP) wells continuously growing with a significant percentage of global oil production, however, it is amazing the large number of misconceptions that still exist related with this equipment.
Based on a misconception there is the possibility of having an over-expectation and therefore the decision is made to use an ESP in a well and then face with the operational reality whose conditions make it impossible to achieve the production target and/or to achieve an acceptable run life. The opposite may also happen, that the prediction is very pessimistic therefore the ESP is not installed, but then studying experiences of other colleagues from other companies we learn of successful field tests under the same conditions. It is for this reason it is very important to understand how these equipment work because the decision to employ or discard them are based on misconceptions or misunderstood communications between management and engineers.

Among the misconceptions commonly related with ESP are the following

  • ESP delivers pressure in a manner analogous to Sucker Rod Pump and PCP.
  • Critical variables for each equipment component are understood.
  • The pump will produce its capacity at the operating frequency.
  • A high gas-to-oil ratio GOR rules out the use of ESP.
  • With the available field experiences, it is possible to make conclusions and definitive decisions.
  • The decision is economically justified.
  • The ESPs are always associated with high electricity consumption (HP KVA)
  • The most influential variables in the production process with ESP are clearly identified.
  • High viscosity corrections are simple.
  • Surveillance consists of acquiring and monitoring the variables.
  • Operational practices of other methods are applicable.

In this article we will discuss each of these to show both at the managerial and engineering level the need to fully understand the operating principles of each of the components of the ESP in order not to have erroneous expectations either because they are overly optimistic or pessimistic.


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For us as a company, talking about growth means something that we always bet on and aspire to because it is in our root to be able to stand out in the sector in which we operate and providing new job opportunities for engineers around the country. For this reason, we want to inform you about our new business unit with Schlumberger-Kudu.


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Nodal Analysis applied in oil production wells is one of the most effective ways to obtain accurate results when we want to predict the behavior of production. In this way, we can apply the changes to the system having a high probability that they are correct to obtain an improvement or an increase in the production rate. Based on the reservoir pressure and the operating pressure of some components, applying a Nodal Analysis is essential to calculate losses between two nodes and obtain analysis values that speed up important decision-making when modifying a rig from the producing well.


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The result of decades of oil extraction, in addition to favoring the economy, is also expressed through technological advances that have developed around this industry and that have been useful for many other markets or production lines.

In general, everything that it has been designed or invented to meet the need to extract oil, it is considered an advance in the engineering of how to do it better and better, and it is as a result of this process that complete institutions have been created oriented to the investigation and storage of these advances.

The 3 regions that have been most affected by the fall in oil prices

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In case you were not aware, in the last days (and in the past month) the prices of the barrel of oil have plummeted in a monumental way, as has never been seen in recent years and although there is a great reason why it is not the only one.

Last Monday, March 9, was the day that oil prices suffered their biggest drop since the day in 1991 when United States forces launched airstrikes against Iraq troops after their invasion of Kuwait.

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