The problem of heading (flow off and pump) is often encountered in gassy wells. This heading effect which can blow the tubing dry occurs as follows:
Gas expansion in the tubing as oil from the reservoir travels towards the surface (due to gas pressure decrease).
Formation of a gas “plunger” that can push the liquid above it out of the tubing and into the flow line at high speed. As the gas forces the liquids out of the tubing, the pressure in the tubing decreases rapidly and the gas expands even more.
This heading behavior of reservoir fluids causes cycles of high production followed by low or no production.
When heading process starts, the expanding gas pushes the liquid into the flowlines and increases production for a short time. In the meantime, the liquid leaving the tubing is replaced by more and more free gas. Eventually, the tubing is blown dry and production stops until the tubing fills with liquid again.
As per API RP11S5, cable armor is the outer covering of the cable which provides mechanical protection during installation and removal of cables. In addition to mechanical protection, the armor provides mechanical constraint against swelling and expansion of underlying elastomeric materials in case of any exposure to well fluids.
As per API RP11 S5, supplementary layers of materials, named: braids and coverings, are used to guarantee a specific mechanical performance characteristics. It could be either applied over the insulation or on both sides of the jacket. Braids and coverings provide additional strength and protect the underlying cable components. On the other hand, these materials increase the cable diameter and the associated cost. Furthermore, they are also susceptible to deterioration depending on well fluids and conditions.
As per API RP11S5, cable jackets are protective coverings used to mechanically shield the insulation from the downhole environment. The jacket materials protect the insulation from mechanical abuse associated with handling. Some jacketing material may provide secondary insulation. The most used types of jackets in submersible pump cable are made of: EPDM elastomers or nitrile.