Electrical submersible pumps (ESPs) are used in the petroleum industry to pump large amount of fluids from subsea deep wells. Currently, ESPs are responsible for approximately 10% of the world’s crude oil production. When high flow rates are required, gas lift and the ESP are the only available technologies that can be applied. ESP systems are much more complex and less reliable than the gas lift method, but they are more efficient and able to yield higher flow rates and pressure. ESPs are installed inside or near production wells, with the entire auxiliary infrastructure for power supply and control system. This means that maintenance is prohibitive because of production losses and the need for expensive and unavailable drill ships. Assembly errors and manufacturing defects must be avoided to make the method feasible and to prevent premature failure and, this goal, can only be achieved through rigorous quality control, operations procedure, qualification and dynamic tests. In this paper, modal parameters of an ESP installed in a test well were experimentally identified using the Enhanced Frequency Domain Decomposition (EFDD) technique. Drop tests were used to excite the ESP and vibration signals were acquired along the equipment’s structure. Results were compared with modal parameters obtained using impact tests and showed that the drop test is an useful method for modal testing of ESP’s in test well.

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