Progressive Cavity Pump (PCP)

A Progressing Cavity Pump (PCP) is a positive displacement pump and is considered to be one of the artificial lift methods. It is a screw type pump that provides a force for fluids to travel through the pump. A PCP pump is made of Stator and Rotor.

Category Description Image

Category Description

A Progressing Cavity Pump (PCP) is a positive displacement pump and is considered to be one of the artificial lift methods. It is a screw-type pump that provides a force for fluids to travel through the pump. A PCP pump is made of Stator and Rotor.

The stator sits on the bottom of the production string and is made of natural rubber or synthetic rubber, such as elastomers or fluoroelastomers, depending on application. The Rotor is helix-shaped and machined from stainless steel, hard-coated stainless steel or hard-coated carbon steel. The rotor is connected to the sucker rod that provides rotational forces to blades inside the pump and creates a force by shifting cavities. This working principle provides a force for the fluid to travel to the surface. The sucker rod string is driven by a surface drive system, consisting of an electric motor (s), transmission and a belt system.

There are PCP pumps in the market that are called electrical submersible progressing cavity pumping systems, that are powered by an ESP motor. But those systems require more complex surface facilities and affect completion design, hence it may unreasonably increase costs. 


PCP pumps are limited to production of less than 5,000 B/D and widely used in producing heavy oil and high sand content crude.

 

The PCP pump consists of:

  • Down-hole assembly
  • Stator
  • Rotor
  • Sucker Rod string
  • Pump Body and Couplings
  • Surface drive and control 

 

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Supply & Demand Dynamics

 

Globally, PCP pumps represent around 10% of the population, but circa 25% in non-rod pumping. The biggest market of PCP pumps in Canada.  However, the global utilization of PCP pumps is increasing with more heavy oil production around the world. Currently, GCC represents the smallest market for PCP pumps.

A number of demand drivers present in the GCC that will provide significant annual growth in this category:

  1. Redevelopment phases in major oilfields ( including offshore), hence utilization of artificial lift technologies is expected
  2. Heavy crude production in Kuwait, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia 
  3. Steam flooding projects in Oman 

 

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Key Players

Key suppliers and manufacturers of PCP pumps are:

  • Xylem
  • PCM
  • Roto Pumps
  • Verder 
  • Seepex 
  • Roto Pumps
  • INOXPA
  • Titan 

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Cost & Price Analysis

Price Analysis

PCP pumps represent a fairly low market share globally. Coupled with small R&D costs, simple design and small market, the pricing of PCP pumps has always been driven by supply and demand factors, with occasional opportunistic approaches.  In the medium term, the prices for PCP pumps will not exhibit high volatility and will be driven by commodity prices and demand for pumps in non Oil & Gas sectors


Cost Analysis

There are two major cost drivers for PCP pumps:

  1. Non-Oil & Gas industries, such as Mining, Construction, Fish, Food, Paper, Marine, Sewage and many more
  2. Pump components- such as steel and motor ( electrical) 

As with any other down-hole steel products, depending on the design and application, the costs of PCP pumps may vary by 3 times due to the selection of materials and processes, as well as the selection of elastomers/fluoroelastomers (high-quality synthetic rubber for sealing). High temperature and high H2S wells affect the material selection, this cost.

The acquisition of PCP pumps is primarily influenced by two factors - Assembly / Manufacturing costs and R&D costs.


Manufacturing & assembly costs- the majority of the components and parts used in assembling the PCP systems are electrical and steel. Most of the items are heavily used by other industries; hence PCP manufacturers may have limited control of costs.  

Research & development costs - for most PCP pumps that are designed for standard applications, R&D costs spread over a longer period and larger markets. For any “tailor-made” systems, R&D costs are expected to go up significantly. 

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Total Cost of Ownership

The total cost model shall include the costs of:

  • Acquisition & Installation
  • Material selection for a stator in particular
  • Operation & maintenance
  • Change-out / Work-over
  • Downtime
  • Energy consumption 
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