MaxRate Software for Electrospeed Advantage VSD

Improves gas-handling capabilities in ESP systems

One of the greatest challenges operators face is production fluid containing large amounts of gas. Entrained gas can accumulate in the pump impellers creating a gas lock, ultimately stopping fluid flow through the electrical submersible pump (ESP). Gas accumulation causes lost production, undue heating of the motor and pump, and ultimately reduced run life or outright system failure.

Until now, gas handling has been a slow and tedious process with limited success. The Baker Hughes MaxRate™ software, available exclusively for Electrospeed Advantage™ variable speed drives (VSD), is designed to mitigate production interference due to high gas content by automatically purging accumulated gas and controlling the draw down rate to achieve the operator’s target. Gas locking can be managed to limit wear and tear on the ESP while minimizing deferred production.

Delivering effective gas mitigation

When gas collects in low-pressure areas of an ESP system, fluid progression through the pump stages is blocked, resulting in a gas-lock condition. Horizontally drilled wells can have a toe-up, toe-down, or a mix of both resulting in gas accumulation which releases sporadically creating a gas slug.  When an ESP encounters a gas slug, the event can last several minutes or longer. The VSD registers a decrease in motor torque, indicating that the pump has encountered enough gas to stop fluid flow through the system.

MaxRate software automatically slows the system to allow produced fluid back through the pump, purging the gas bubbles from behind the impeller vanes. Once the gas lock is cleared, the drive will ramp the motor frequency back up to once again begin pumping. The software will make several attempts to break the gas lock condition. If the software determines that the gas lock situation has not been cleared after a number of tries, the system will shut down to prevent any equipment string damage. During a gas purge event, the back-flowing fluid runs past the unloaded motor, cooling it. This results in extended run life for the ESP system.

In addition to MaxRate software, the Electrospeed Advantage VSD operates with other advanced intelligent production software to increase the up time and reliability of ESP systems. Baker Hughes engineers designed this software to solve the most common ESP problems, including gas locking and pump off conditions. Backed by 30 years of VSD innovation for the oil and gas industry, MaxRate software is offered as part of the next generation of ESP control products.

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