The typical challenge encountered in developing heavy-oil reservoirs is inefficient wellbore lifting caused by complex multiphase flows. The literature on modeling of a hybrid artificial-lift (AL) system is relatively sparse and these works typically model the AL system on the basis of individual AL methods. This paper presents a case study of the design and optimization of a hybrid AL system to improve heavy-oil production. We systematically design and model a hybrid electrical-submersible-pump/gas-lift (ESP/GL) system to enhance wellbore lifting and production optimization. We found that the implementation of a hybrid ESP/GL system provides the flexibility to boost production and reduces production downtime. Results from the pilot test show that the production rate in hybrid mode are approximately 30% higher than in ESP-only mode. The power consumption of the hybrid mode is 3% lower in the ESP-only mode. Additionally, the average ESP service life exceeds 6 years which is better than expected in the field development plan. The pump-performance-curve model is built with corrections for density and viscosity owing to the increased water production. We observed a higher pressure drawdown with GL injection at fixed ESP frequency. The GL injection reduces the density of the fluid column above the ESP, resulting in less pressure loss across the pump, less power consumption, and potentially extended service life. The nodal analysis results suggest that the pump capacity can be considerably expanded by manipulating the GL rate instead of increasing the frequency.