Category description

A Progressing Cavity Pump (PCP) is a positive displacement pump and is considered to be one of the artificial lift methods. It is a screw type pump that provides a force for fluids to travel through the pump. A PCP pump is made of Stator and Rotor.

The stator sits on the bottom of the production string and is made of natural rubber or synthetic rubber, such as elastomers or flouroelastomers, depending application. The Rotor is helix shaped and machined from stainless steel, hard-coated stainless steel or hard-coated carbon steel. The rotor is connected to the sucker rod that provides rotational forces to blades inside the pump and creates a force by shifting cavities. This working principle provides a force for the fluid to travel to the surface. The sucker rod string is driven by a surface drive system, consisting of an electric motor (s), transmission and a belt system.

There are PCP pumps in the market that are called electrical submersible progressing cavity pumping systems, that are powered by an ESP motor. But those systems require more complex surface facilities and affect completion design, hence may unreasonably increases costs. 

PCP pumps are limited to production of less than 5,000 B/D and widely used in producing heavy oil and high sand content crude.


High efficiency rate & Low maintenance 

Resistant to problems caused by sand, solids and gas lock

Excellent for high viscosity, high sand, low productivity, horizontal and directional wells

Small footprint for surface equipment 


Limited production rate, lift depth and temperature tolerance 

Rod/tubing wear directional  / horizontal wells

Not allowed to pump dry 

Tubing must be pulled to replace the pump

The PCP pump consists of:

  • Down-hole assembly
  • Stator
  • Rotor
  • Sucker Rod string
  • Pump Body and Couplings
  • Surface drive and control 

Supply & Demand Dynamics

More than 75% of wells worldwide use artificial lift. Depletion rate and maturing of the oilfield is the major driver for using artificial lift technologies.  The segment is expected to witness the growth rate of almost 9% CAGR till 2023 (source: GM Insights). North America holds almost half of the market and will continue to be the dominant place. A number of artificial lift suppliers are actively expanding their presence globally with more R&D hubs manufacturing plant and services centers.

While the conventional production require artificial lift at a later stage during production, unconventional fields use artificial lift very early, due to fast decline in production. According to Frost & Sullivan, by 2025, 92% of the wells will require artificial lift.  

Globally, PCP pumps represent around 10% of the population, but circa 25% in non-rod pumping. Biggest market of PCP pumps is Canada.  However, global utilization of PCP pumps is increasing with more heavy oil production around the world. Currently, GCC represents the smallest market for PCP pumps.

A number of demand drivers present in the GCC that will provide a significant annual growth in this category:

  1. Redevelopment phases in major oilfields ( including offshore) , hence utilization of artificial lift technologies is expected
  2. Heavy crude production in Kuwait, Egypt and Saudi Arabia 
  3. Steam flooding projects in Oman 

External Scanning

New Entrants is Medium 
  • Moderate CAPEX required 
  • Many  Players
  • Battle for market share
  • Increased demand attracts suppliers and redirects their focus


Supplier power is Medium
  • Many providers
  • No alternative for buyers 
  • Some product differentiation
  • Can solve customer problem

Competitive Rivalry
  • A competitive environment
  • Technology is available to many players
  • Battle for market share
  • Some product differentiation



 Buyer Power is Medium
  • Many providers
    Spend is small 
  • Other industries are demand driver
  • Can be critical to buyer revenue

  • Too costly for buyer 
  • Might not be a workable solution 

Portfolio Positioning



Cost & Price Analysis

Price Analysis

PCP pumps represent a fairly low market share globally. Coupled with small R&D costs, simple design and small market, the pricing of PCP pumps has always been driven by supply and demand factors, with occasional opportunistic approaches.  In the medium term, the prices for PCP pumps will not exhibit high volatility and will be driven by commodity prices and demand for pumps in non Oil & Gas sectors

Cost Analysis

There are two major cost drovers for PCP pumps:

  1. Non Oil & Gas industries, such as Mining, Construction, Fish, Food, Paper, Marine, Sewage and many more
  2. Pump components- such as steel and motor ( electrical) 

As with any other down-hole steel products, depending on the design and application, the costs of PCP pumps may vary by 3 times due to selection of materials and processes, as well as the selection of elastomers / fluoroelastomers (high qualify synthetic rubber for sealing). High temperature and high H2S wells affect material selection, this cost.

Acquisition of PCP pumps is primarily influenced by two factors - Assembly / Manufacturing costs and R&D costs.

Manufacturing & assembly costs- the majority of the components and parts used in assembling the PCP systems are electrical and steel. Most of the items are heavily used by other industries; hence PCP manufacturers may have limited control of costs.  

Research & development costs - for most PCP pumps that are designed for standard applications, R&D costs spread over a longer period and larger markets. For any “tailor-made” systems, R&D costs are expected to go up significantly. 

Total Cost of Ownership

The total cost model shall include the costs of:

  • Acquisition & Installation
  • Material selection for stator in particular
  • Operation & maintenance
  • Change-out / Work-over
  • Down time
  • Energy consumption