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Pragma improves safety, lowers costs with new ESP valve

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Aberdeen, UK-based oil and gas production technology business Pragma has developed an advanced downhole safety valve to offer improved well control for cable deployed electric submersible pumps (ESPs) retrofitted to production wells.

The new valve will allow both onshore and offshore installations to meet safety regulations while improving the operations footprint at the wellsite during installation and retrieval, by reducing time, cost, personnel and risk.

The company’s ESP safety valve is a compact device, integrated into the lower portion of the ESP assembly, and is deployed and retrieved through the production tubing in the same run as the ESP. According to Pragma, it is the only device currently available that offers wellbore closure below the ESP control lines.

Functionality of the valve is based on a new pressure differential, or lift actuated design, which doesn’t require any pressurised chambers, hydraulic control lines or electrical power. Additionally, the valve will fail-safe close when the ESP is switched off and can be opened and closed as often as required.

“Like a demand valve, or pressure regulator between the tank and mouthpiece of deep-sea diving equipment, our valve uses the ESP’s lifting capability to open or close it in line with production,” said Matt Manning, technology manager at Pragma. “The unique design advantages of this technology, combined with its compact nature, not only provide greater safety and reliability assurances to the operator, but also lower installation, operation and retrieval costs. The technology has been developed in-house and we are conducting prototype testing, with field trials and API 14A certification planned later this year.

“As the oil and gas industry continues to evolve, it’s important the supply chain also adapts to deliver quality solutions to support cost reduction and production optimisation. The ESP safety valve is just one example of how Pragma continues to pioneer advanced technologies to deliver safety and efficiency gains.”