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Electrical Submersible Pump – Design and Optimization Using Nodal Analysis

Rajan Chokshi, PhD
Rajan Chokshi, PhD

INSTRUCTOR: Rajan N. Chokshi, PhD or Gabor Takacs, PhD
DISCIPLINE: Engineering
COURSE LENGTH: 5 Days (Classroom) / 10 Half-Day Sessions (Live Online)
CEUS: 4.0
AVAILABILITY: Public, In-House, & Live Online


Check back in periodically for updated Public and Live Online course dates! To schedule an In-House course, contact SCA’s Training Department at

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: Production, reservoir, completion, drilling and facilities engineers, analysts, operators, and anyone interested in learning about the implications of Electrical Submersible Pump (ESP) systems for their fields and reservoirs.

COURSE DESCRIPTIONThe course covers the basic design principles of one of the most common artificial lift methods, Electrical Submersible Pumping, illustrated with many classroom examples. The proper design of ESP installations is a technical and economic problem. The course starts with a short overview of fundamentals and deals with well inflow performance, hydraulics, electrics, and a basic description of NODAL Analysis principles. The basic components of the ESP system: the pump, motor, protector, electric cable, are fully described by introducing their main structural and operational features. Trainees solve examples and class problems throughout the course. Animations and videos reinforce the concepts under discussion.

Special well conditions like high viscosity fluids, free gas production, and abrasive materials require special equipment completely covered during the course. A brief discussion on ESP application in unconventional wells is included. The course covers the application of Variable Speed Drives and their advantages in producing oil wells. The special feature of this course is a discussion of digital oilfield and a brief review of machine learning applications in the operations of ESPs.

Option: Client’s real-time system-based workflows and examples can be incorporated in the class discussions. Requires two-days of consulting and access to the client system at least 4 weeks before the class.


  • Understand the basic fundamental theories and procedures related to ESP operations.
  • Easily recognize the different components of the ESP system and their basic structural and operational features.
  • Understand how special well conditions (high fluid viscosity, free gas production, abrasives in well fluids, unconventional developments) can be handled by properly designed ESP systems.
  • Have a working knowledge of the types, the application, and the advantages of Variable Speed Drives.
  • Be able to design an ESP installation and select the optimum components of the ESP system.
  • Be able to use NODAL Analysis program packages to describe the operation of ESP installations.
  • Have a basic understanding of the ESP system’s power efficiency and system losses.
  • Be able to conduct basic troubleshooting of ESP installations.
  • Understand how digital oilfield tools help address ESP challenges.
  • Recent advances in real-time approaches to the production monitoring and lift management.


  • Pre-test
  • Introduction
    • Artificial Lift: When / Why / What of Lift Mechanisms; Types
    • How ESP is same and different from other lift forms.
    • Well Life Cycles and hydraulic lift Applicability vis a vis other lift methods
  • Introduction to ESP Operations
  • Well Inflow Performance
    • The Productivity Index Concept
    • Inflow Performance Relationships (Class Problem)
  • Hydraulic Fundamentals
    • Tubing Flow Calculations (Class Problem)
    • Operational Basics of Centrifugal Pumps (Class Problem)
  • Electrical Fundamentals
    • Alternating Current
    • Transformers
    • Induction Motors
    • Electric Cables
  • Application of NODAL Analysis
    • Basic Principles
  • ESP Components and Their Operational Features
    • The ESP Pump
      • Performance Curves and their Use
      • Pump Types
    • The ESP Motor
      • Performance Curves, Startup Conditions
      • Motor Temperature Calculations
    • Protectors (Seal Sections)
      • Functions, Types, and Main Parts
    • The ESP Cable: Materials, Constructions and Features
    • Other Surface and Downhole Components
  • Use of ESP Equipment in Special Conditions
    • Pumping Viscous Fluids (Class Problem)
    • Producing Wells with High GLRs
      • Free Gas Volume Calculations (Class Problem)
      • Pump Performance Degradation
      • Utilization of Natural Gas Separation
      • Rotary Gas Separators
      • Gas Handling
      • Use of Motor Shrouds
    • High Well Temperature
    • ESP Systems for Abrasive Service
    • ESP Challenges in Unconventional Wells
  • Variable Speed Applications
    • Variable Speed Drives
      • Constructional Details
      • Available VSD Types
    • Operational Characteristics
    • Variable Frequency Generators
    • Interaction of VSD/VFG and ESP Units (Class Problem)
    • Benefits of using VSD/VFG Units
  • Digital Oil field in ESP
  • ML/AI ESP Application review
  • Post-test