Enhanced Oil


Magnetic Drive System for Subsurface Pumps

The electrical submersible pump (ESP) has been around for many decades. Although significant advancements have been made and continuous improvements at the component level are still underway, they will have a minor effect on the reliability of the overall ESP system due to the same failure modes adversely affecting the unchanged ESP architecture. As a result, recent ESP innovations have been focused on improving retrievability by devising alternative deployment means versus addressing reliability in order to gain higher ESP availability.

The alternative deployment methods developed to date should reduce operational costs, however the actual initial and operational costs of alternative deployed units are much higher than originally envisioned. This is due to the higher initial capital costs, the required unique changes to the well head and well site equipment, and the required specially trained personnel to deploy the complex ESP system, which is inherently low in reliability from the start.

With its core competence in permanent magnet (PM) motors, magnetic bearings, and magnetic fields, Upwing Energy is taking a completely new approach toward making electric submersible pumps (ESPs) more reliable and retrievable by introducing a disruptive design topology using proven technologies called the Upwing Magnetic Drive System™ (MDS).

The MDS development is being supported by major exploration and production companies and industry joint development projects. Although the MDS is geared towards offshore and deepwater applications, more economical land-based system architectures have been developed initially and component level testing is taking place internally.

See how Upwing’s Magnetic Drive System (MDS) is creating a whole new approach to the artificial lift of oil

Highly Reliable and Retrievable Design Topology for Offshore Wells

The number one cause of ESP failures is the electrical system—the motor, protector, penetrator and cable. Upwing is eliminating this failure mode by hermetically isolating all electrical components from the hostile production fluids by placing them in the annulus of the well as a part of a well’s permanent completion.

The remaining mechanical components, such as the pump, thrust bearing, and Inconel sleeved motor rotor are placed on a retrievable string inside the well tubing.

The patented MDS utilizes Upwing’s magnetic technologies to drive and levitate the rotor on the retrievable string from the permanent completion without the need for mechanical and electrical connections between the retrievable string and the permanent completion. Fluids are produced through and around the motor rotor.

Removing the most complex and unreliable component- the “protector” - from of the ESP system not only enhances the reliability, but also reduces the part count of conventional ESP systems.

The offshore MDS system consists of the following major features in the permanent completion and the retrievable string:

Hermetically sealed electrical components

All the electrical systems (including the motor stators and passive magnetic bearings) are isolated and protected in the permanent completion to eliminate all the failure modes associated with the electrical system and the protector of conventional ESPs.

Retrievable string

The retrievable string, which contains only mechanical components, can be easily retrieved due to no electrical connections to the wellhead or permanent completion.

The large gap between the permanent completion and the motor rotor

The motor in the retrievable string is driven and supported by magnetic fields generated in the permanent completion without any mechanical contact between the retrievable string and the permanent completion to achieve extraordinary reliability and retrievability. Torque and radial centralizing force are transmitted through the large gap by way of the magnetic field.

Tubing encapsulated electrical cable

The tubing encapsulated electrical cable is located inside the annulus and is strapped to the production tubing.

Universal Pump Integration

Any third-party pump can be coupled to the MDS mechanical components in the retrievable string. The complete MDS ESP system can be significantly shortened if the pump section can operate at higher speeds.


The retrievable string is conveyed by slickline for fast and cost-effective deployment without the need for trained experts or specialty tools.

Annulus filled with corrosion-inhibited completion fluids

The annulus space can be filled with corrosion-inhibited completion fluids to further protect all of the electrical components.

Active cooling

For very hot downhole conditions, such as SAGD, higher reliability and high power density can be achieved by circulating a coolant from the surface to the electrical housing, significantly increasing the life of the ESP system.