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Applying electric drives for downhole applications

02 June 2023

Although the goals of the oil and gas extraction industry – technological efficiency, environmental compatibility, and cost management – have generally remained the same, the drive towards net zero has highlighted greater efficiency and sustainability efforts. As downhole drilling has the largest potential for technological innovation, meeting these goals means leaning towards electrification.

What has slowed the progress toward selectrification in downhole applications? 
First, there is a need to expand the capabilities of the technology continually, so that it fully meets the extremely demanding environmental conditions of the industry. Second, there is concern over shifting the industry from one technology (hydraulics) to another (electric motors), with few guarantees.

Conventional hydraulics solutions have depleted their cost effectiveness in meeting industry’s ever-growing goals. Even though technical innovations in motors, electronics, and battery technologies are delivering the tools needed for electrification, a lack of experience and expertise in these technologies can slow progress. 

What is gained through the electrification of the oil and gas industries?
Efficiencies gained through digitalisation include having a real-time data stream to enhance precise positioning control, so operators can make strategic production decisions more easily and quickly. Collected data concerning reservoir behaviour, production processes, well integrity and safety, and equipment performance not only increase efficiencies across the board, but also reduce the carbon footprint of an entire project. 

Read the full article in DPA's June issue

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