Electrical Submersible Pump (ESP)

Definition - What does Electrical Submersible Pump (ESP) mean?

Electrical Submersible Pump (ESP) is an efficient and reliable pump used to artificially lift moderate to high volume of crude oil and natural gas condensate from a wellbore. The volume of fluids that can be lifted with the help of this pump ranges from 24 to 24600 m3/d. Generally the pump is used when the volume is greater than 400 BOPD. If the pump is operated below this volume, it usually tends to perform with low efficiency.

Petropedia explains Electrical Submersible Pump (ESP)

Electrical Submersible Pumps are submerged in the fluid which it needs to lift. These pumps can be used in wide ranges of areas. The main components of these pumps are:

  • Three phase induction motor with or without sensors
  • Seal Chamber Section
  • Multistage Centrifugal Pump
  • Surface Controllers
  • Power Cable

The following production fluids are handled by the pumps:

  • Crude Oil
  • Natural Gas Condensate
  • Petroleum products
  • Injection fluids
  • Carbon Dioxide and Hydrogen Sulfide gases

The following are some of the advantages & Disadvantages of Electrical Submersible Pumps


  • They are very adaptable to required subsurface wellheads and highly deviated wells.
  • They prevent pump cavities.
  • They can be used easily in an environmentally conscious area as they are quiet.
  • They provide an increased volume of artificial lift.


  • The amount of solid should be checked as only minimal percentage is tolerated.
  • At low rates (below or close to 24 m3/d) the power efficiency drops.
  • They require a large outside diameter casing for equipment with high production rate.
  • The organization incurs pulling operation costs when fixing downhole failures, especially if the pumps are being used in offshore sites.
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