Baker Hughes Builds New ESP Testing, Development Center in Brazil

Baker Hughes announced it is building an advanced electrical submersible pumping (ESP) system testing and development center in Macaé, Brazil. The facility — set for completion by year's end — is designed to test deepwater and subsea ESP completions prior to installation offshore Brazil.

ESP technology is pivotal for boosting production from Brazil's ultra-deepwater fields and to produce the country's heavy oil reservoirs. Extensive pre-qualification testing of these complex systems is necessary to verify the mechanical, hydraulic and electrical integrity of ESP solutions for each specific application. High intervention costs associated with deepwater projects also drive testing requirements to confirm the proper integration of each system component. Testing allows field service personnel to address deployment issues and become familiar with installation procedures prior to offshore activities.

The Macaé center features a test well for system integration tests with electrical cable simulation for ESP systems capable of handling up to 86,000 barrels of fluid per day and maximum surface pressures of 5,000 psi. The test well is equipped with Baker Hughes low-voltage and medium-voltage variable speed surface control units to supply power and to control the downhole ESP system. A fit-for-purpose control room collects and displays real-time data from the ESP system, including flow rate, temperature, torque, pressure, vibration and electrical parameters.

"The test and development center at Macaé enhances our ability to fully engage with our customers in Brazil throughout the design, testing and installation process," related Mauricio Figueiredo, managing director of Brazil for Baker Hughes. "Every deepwater project requires a unique, complex production system design, and this facility allows us to mitigate risk and maximize production by qualifying all the system components prior to deployment in the well."