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by: Anibal Verdier, Jorge Miliathanakis — Added 6/11/2009 12:00:00 AMSWPSC - PC Pump Automation

The problem studied was well conditions and free gas on the annular space, generated foam (emulsion), which distorted level measurements with the echometer, causing over-production of the well, and pump damage for lack of fluid.

Downhole pressure sensor was installed, to sense real intake pressure. This electrical signal was sent to a variable frequency drive that had a PID controller. The PID received the pressure signal, compared with the desired intake pressure, and adjusted the speed of the pump to maintain that set point. Also, the variable frequency drive controlled torque, avoiding breaking the rods.

Optimum production rate was found, eliminating failures due to lack of fluid and rod problems. Comparison was done between the real pump intake pressure (measured by sensor) and the level shots; variations of up to 50% were found. This information has been extrapolated to other similar wells.