Historically, the use of electrical submersible pumps (ESPs) for artificial lift applications has fluctuated due to inefficiencies coupled with high upfront costs and operational challenges. Although ESPs are versatile and well-suited for high-volume wells, the pumps are prone to degradation resulting from high sand content, high gas-to-liquid ratios, and high viscosity. The operational challenges are further compounded for shale wells, where gas-to-liquid ratios naturally remain skewed. ESPs are known to fail between two and four times per year, which results in high workover costs and significant downtime.
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