Look behind the scenes
The transfer of crude oil always presents new challenges and so it was on an oilfield in the Tatarstan region of Russia. Crude oil, containing up to three percent sand, is conveyed there in a 24-hour operation and a pumping system that is set up outdoors, where temperature can sometimes drop to - 40 ºC.
The problem is, that crude oil with a high sand content is one of the most difficult conveying media: On the one hand, the consistency is not clearly predictable because of the constantly changing composition and, on the other hand, the sand particles contained in the oil are highly abrasive. The associated wear means that traditional pumps have to be repaired or even replaced frequently, which means money for new systems or losses as a result of downtime.
NETZSCH therefore recommended the use of its tried-and-tested NEMO® progressing cavity pumps, that are distinguished by their low shear and easily controllable pumping system with solid matter compatibility at the same time. The pumping system was designed in such a way that the mixture of oil and sand is transferred from numerous boreholes to a central treatment station. This permits an effective reduction in the operating costs. A special low-temperature version of the progressing cavity pumps is used for the project in Tatarstan including a drive with a gear box, couplings and bearings. Two 70 km long pipelines are fed from the eight pumps in total. As the sand content is so high, the mixture must be pumped to a separator system for further processing where the solids and some of the water in it are separated. The NEMO® pump displays one of its main advantages here: it considerably facilitates the separation process with the smooth, low-pulsation conveyance of product because it does not mix the phases in the conveying process and therefore significantly assists their separation. Especially adapted for the adverse conditions of the oilfield, the NEMO® progressing cavity pumps guarantee absolute reliability for at least 10,000 hours, which means over one year in continuous operation.