Unconventional reservoir production is characterized by initially high flow rates at high producing pressures from natural and induced fractures. However, production slows to about 70% of initial production within the first year and the sandface pressure decreases owing to a limited drainage radius. When this pressure becomes less than the saturation pressure, a multiphase fluid forms in the affected horizontal wellbore interval and the flow quickly becomes unstable, causing large variations in fluid production rates and slugging.


Artificial lift is the process to assist production when the natural drive in the reservoir is not sufficient to push oil to the surface. More than 90% of all producing wells (over a 1 million wells) in North America use some form of artificial lift system accounting to $1-2 billion annual spend.


In unconventional resources, rapidly changing reservoirs with challenging well design increase failure rates and conveyance costs that could diminish the economic returns of the low margin wells. In addition, people issues such as lack of integrated well design practices between production and drilling teams and environmental and community issues around noise or leaks have increased the pressure on artificial lift systems. The E&P operators are looking for innovative solutions to combat these challenges in the existing low commodity price environment.


Darcy Partners has been selected to conduct a joint industry study for 10+ operators to review technologies for optimizing artificial lift in unconventional reservoirs.

We seek hardware, software and analytics solutions that:

·      Reduce equipment cost

·      Reduce deployment cost

·      Increase operations efficiency and uptime

We invite entrepreneurs with relevant solutions to contact Richard Nolen-Hoeksema at

We will present the results of our research to the operator forum on March 8, 2017. Our study will uncover a dozen emerging technologies ready for field testing or adoption today.

If you wish to attend the forum, please contact Hossein Rokhsari at

Darcy Partners is a Houston-based research and advisory firm focused on the emerging oil and gas technologies.