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ESP pump intake

Electrical submersible pumping (ESP) systems can be 60 ft (18 m) long or more. They include a pump, motor, and several other downhole components, including an intake. The ESP pump intake is where reservoir fluid enters the submersible system. Every ounce of fluid, water, sand, and gas that enters the system comes through the pump intake. As such, it is critical to select an intake that can best handle your reservoir fluids and well conditions.

Standard intake

Standard pump intakes bolt on to the bottom of the pump and are positioned above the protector. A standard intake is designed to handle reservoir fluids with a relatively low gas-to-fluid, or gas-to-oil, ratio (GOR)—no more than 25% gas by volume.

Dealing with gas

In wells with significant and high volumes of gas, we offer several solutions depending on fluid type, reservoir pressure, and other well conditions.

Our gas separators use centrifugal force to separate gas from fluid. After separation, free gas is vented to the annulus and the fluid is channeled into the pump. Novomet uses a specially designed helicoidal screw to make the protective sleeve and separator housing more resistant to abrasion.

Unlike a gas separator, a gas handler (also called a gas stabilizer) forces gas into fluid to create a homogeneous mixture that can be pumped. Our advanced gas handlers use both axial and labyrinth stages to effectively produce reservoirs with up to 50% gas by volume. After passing through the ESP, the gas expands out of solution as the pressure drops, helping lift hydrocarbons to the surface.

Our gas separator with helicoidal handler separates a significant volume of free gas so it can escape through the annulus and infuses any remaining gas into the fluid. The result is a solution for producing wells with up to 85% free gas.

Our multiphase axial pump can be used in wells with up to 75% free gas. It uses an increase in pressure at the intake to force gassy fluid through the pump stages. This technology not only stabilizes the ESP, but it also provides consistent flow to eliminate gas locking in the pump.

Standard ESP pump intake benefits

  • Reduce effects of erosion with a chromium-nickel stainless steel protective liner in the intake base
  • Increase maximum brake horsepower with spiral splines in the shaft
  • Improve longevity with optional corrosion-resistance modifications


A standard pump intake is designed for use in wells with marginal GOR (up to 25%). It can be used or replaced by other equipment to produce gassy fluids, and can be used in combination with downhole sand screens and filters to keep solids and sand from entering the ESP.

Need more info?

Contact us for more information about how ESP intake and gas management devices can help you improve drawdown