This paper describes the use of a Root Cause Failure Analysis (RCFA) process to improve artificial lift systems performance: Electric Submersible Pumps (ESP) and Progressing Cavity Pumps (PCP). The subject field is remote and heavy oil environment with a wide range of production rates, fluid types, and reservoir conditions. Conditions are challenging for ESPs including severe emulsions at high water cuts, and the conditions are challenging for PCPs with relatively deep pump landing depths and high water cut. The field contains more than 800 active wells with continuous drilling operations. Pump repairs are a major part of workover rig activity. Early in the life of the field, failure rates were rapidly increasing. Collaborative efforts were established among the vendor and functional teams to address failures. The RCFA process was established with the objective to evaluate every failed pump system to determine the reason for failure, identify contributing factors, and monitor trends. The RCFA process evaluates pump performance, well test history, well intervention history, and artificial lift designs. Another key aspect of the RCFA review process is to evaluate compiled equipment teardown information. The RCFA meetings are used to share information and insure open communication among the parties. The meetings are also used to identify additional data requirements to help determine a root cause of failure. The RCFA process has led to revised equipment design and selection criteria, helped to develop new surveillance tools and processes, enabled optimized operational envelopes, and improved installation procedures. These processes and tools can be transferred and implemented successfully for other projects to help maximize value of the asset. The RCFA process was fully implemented and consistently applied since 2006 and has helped to reduce the failure frequency more than 70 % on ESPs and more than 50 % on PCPs, despite the fact that ESP population has more than tripled and PCP installations has more than doubled.


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