Growing Number of Drilling Wells Fuels Demand for Artificial Lift Systems

With increasing establishment of drilling wells for oil and gas production, installing artificial lift systems has become a widespread solution in the oil and gas industry. Oil and gas producers often develop unconventional plays to explore deeper waters, which further necessitates the installation of artificial lift systems to increase the reservoir pressure, dewater gas wells, or produce liquid hydrocarbon. According to a report published by Transparency Market Research, the global market for artificial lift systems stood at US$13 million in 2013 and is anticipated to reach US$19,806.8 million in 2020. If the figures hold true, the market will exhibit a positive CAGR of 6.20% between 2014 and 2020. 

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Types of Artificial Lift Systems

Artificial lift systems are mainly available in two types – gas systems and pump systems. Pump systems comprise electrical submersible pumps, progressive cavity pumps, and rod lift or sucker rod pumps. Likewise, the market segment of gas systems consists of plunger lift and gas lift. Of these various types of pumps, electrical submersible pumps constitute the oldest specimen of artificial lift system to be available in the market. It is used for subsea, deepwater, onshore, and offshore wells. The selection of artificial lift systems is based on numerous parameters such as production flexibility, capital cost, operating cost, and geographic location. Operating practices, site-specific conditions, and economic considerations are other parameters referred to while finalizing a suitable artificial lift system for the site. 

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Uses of Diverse Artificial Lift Systems

Recent discoveries of shale gas and expanding deepwater oil production are touted as the key factors expected to boost the artificial lift systems market. However, which of the artificial lift systems available in the market is likely to benefit the most depends largely on the usability of these systems. Mentioned in the following bulleted list are the artificial lift systems that are poised to register impressive growth and their respective uses: 
  • At present, electrical submersible pumps are widely used for developing wells, due to their high extraction capacity and low operational cost. Field workers have found it easy to operate these pumps owing to their simpler design. Furthermore, these pumps are available in different sizes and have potential to lift a large volume of crude oil, which is a significant factor fuelling its demand from the market. 

  • Sucker rod pump or rod lift is the oldest type of artificial lift system in the market. It is used for extraction of crude oil and has the ability to lift heavy and viscous oil even at a very high temperature. In doing so, it incurs a significantly lower operational cost than other systems, which is why rod lifts experience high demand in the artificial lift systems market. 

  • The increasing number of offshore reserves is likely to augment the demand for gas lifts at a significant rate. Better longevity, low operational cost, and high efficiency are a few of the factors driving demand for gas lifts in the artificial lift systems market. 


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