Sand Handling Solutions Through the Use of Low Geometric Index Progressing Cavity Pumps, La Hocha Field, Colombia


Jorge Alberto Martinez Lozano; Ediberto Cruz Torres; Nadia Maoly Hernandez Castro; Jorge Alberto Coronel Avila; Tim Soltys; Gustavo Andres Ariza Gonzalez


SPE - Society of Petroleum Engineers

Publication Date

June 4, 2021


SPE Trinidad and Tobago Section Energy Resources Conference, June 28–30, 2021

Paper ID



A solution for extend run life with no intervention in a high sand cut and high viscous fluid application for La Hocha field (Huila, Colombia) is presented through the installation of Progressing Cavity Pumps (PCP) designed with aggressive geometries including low rotor swept angle and minimum geometry index concepts. This application has 100-300 BFPD flow rate, sand cut up to 40%, 16°API fluid and 850 cp @ 100°F.

This document shows the methodology applied in the selection of well candidates with high frequency of interventions due pump failures associated to sand production and well sanded. The effect of the PCP geometry design, cross sectional area, pitch length, helix angle, pump fit, and elastomer were evaluated consistently as selection criteria in order to verify their impact on PCP run life for sand production applications. The document aims to validate the PCP theoretical design principles with the statistic and results gathered from field during the past 3 years in La Hocha field application.

The "Fat Boy project" resulted in less intervention, well services, minimizing production delays and associated costs. The project started on mid-2012, due to successful results has been expanded and nowadays represents the 85 percent of the wells in La Hocha field. This is all part of a combined effort looking for reliable and cost-effective solutions for challenging applications. Progressing Cavity Pumps are used in a variety of oil and gas applications where their beneficial characteristics such as positive displacement, high efficiency, low internal shear rates and pulseless flow provide advantages over other artificial lift systems. PC pumps are available in several geometries which determine their suitability for specific applications assuring optimal performance and extended run life.