Crude Oil Production under Extreme Conditions:

Progressing Cavity Pumps Work down to -40°C and up to 90 Percent Gas in the Material

Look behind the scenes

Whether in the tundra of Alaska, in the Arabian desert or miles offshore in the middle of the ocean, ever more remote deposits are being tapped in the constant search for crude oil. Systems are often at the mercy of wind and weather. Sand, water and gas in particular in the unseparated crude oil repeatedly caused issues in the previous conveying system at the mine site in the middle of the Eurasian desert belt. The fluctuating and changing composition of the pumped material frequently brought the installed centrifugal pumps to a standstill. The high energy costs were an additional disadvantage. In addition, these pumps were technically unable for the widely varying inlet conditions which differ from pure liquid through multiphase conveying to phases of pure gas compression and caused the break of the material flow which damages the machine.

Challenge accepted

The oil field operating company therefore decided to switch to a special multiphase pump from NETZSCH to transport their crude oil. The temperature gradient in the middle of the Eurasian continental plate is particularly dramatic as a result of the inner-continental climate. In summer, temperatures are frequently +40°C, whereas the thermometer drops to -40°C in winter. In addition to the type and material of the gasket, the materials for the rotor, stator and other components of the pump from the motor to the gear box therefore also had to be selected and adapted specifically. "The system was also fitted with trace heating", says Eibl. "The pump can then still be used without problems at a temperature low of -40°C".

Excellently solved

The system has been conveying up to 160 m³/h of oil-water-sand-gas mixture with a viscosity of between 0,5 and 1,000 cP without interruption at up to 36 bar pressure. NETZSCH also supplies systems for flow rates up to 800 m³/h and pressure of up to 60 bar where higher volumes are required. The gear box and the motor have been fitted with an adjusting device to align the elastic coupling optimally. The advantage is that the operator can readjust the drive unit independently as necessary, thereby preventing damage to coupling bearings or to the gasket.



NETZSCH: NETZSCH multiphase pump

Medium: mixture of oil, water, solids and gas

Throughput volume: 160 m³/h

Temperature: temperatures are frequently -40°C to +40°C; the pumped medium is around 10 to 30°C

Pressure: up to 36 bar

Viscosity: Between 0,5 and 1,000 cP