ESP: Gas handling device

Gas  handling  devices  may  be  a  better  alternative  for  wells  prone  to  high  free  gas, slugging, foams and emulsions. These are essentially centrifugal pumps with large stages, mixed  (or  axial)  impellers,  large  vane  openings,  steep  vane  exit  angles  and  sometimes include multiple  vanes. 

Instead of separating, their purpose is to break large gas bubble into smaller ones thereby reducing the risk of gas locking and making it easier for gas to be re-absorbed into solution, and to homogenize the gas with liquid phases, prior to entering the pump intake.

An additional benefit of gas handlers is, because more gas is retained in the flow stream, this gas is then available to help lift fluids in the tubing above the ESP discharge head thereby reducing hydraulic horsepower requirements.

Applications: A Gas Handler is generally considered if the Free Gas Percentage at the intake of the pump is from 30% to 60% by volume.

As shown in the graph above, the GH can be used with a standard intake or with a gas separator. The choice will depend on how much free gas will be present at the intake for producing condition and on whether there is a packer preventing gas production up the annulus.

PS: Typical handling capacity of centrifugal pumps:

 

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