Application Challenges

Steam-Assisted, Gravity Drainage (SAGD)

Withstand high operating temperatures, unstable inflow, and abundant volumes of abrasive sand

At even lower viscosity values, heavy oil will take the form of bitumen, which in Canada can be mined at surface.  Where this bitumen is too deep to economically mine, production is achieved using the SAGD method where superheated steam is injected into the upper of two well pairs to lower the bitumen’s  viscosity and allow it to flow.  Gravity then allows the bitumen to drain into the lower well where it can be lifted to surface.


Electric submersible pumps (ESPs) are the preferred method of artificial lift for SAGD applications as it has proven to require the lowest steam/oil ratio (SOR) while maximizing production. Installed in the lower well of the pair, SAGD ESPs must be engineered to withstand fluid temperatures in excess of     250 °C (482 °F), steam vapor, unstable inflow, and abundant volumes of abrasive sand.


For improved reliability, the Borets SAGD ESP system incorporates multiple design enhancements over previous generation systems including:

  • Fixed-stage compression pumps with locking Tungsten Carbide (TC) bearing
  • Self-orienting intake design that maximizes steam and gas avoidance
  • Innovative metal bellows motor seal with premium diamond-faced shaft seals
  • Induction motor rated to 300 °C (572 °F) that incorporates extreme duty locking radial motor bearings and a patented dual seal plug-in MLE