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Multiphase Boosting in Oil and Gas Production
Paper Abstract 12/13/2005

Numerous oil operating companies have adopted multiphase pumping as a valuable alternative to traditional surface separation facilities in the field. Recent field developments e.g. in South America all are solely based on this technology. The commercial benefits are obvious: Besides the incremental production of oil and gas, it is the reduction of investment and maintenance cost that account for the success. Environmental issues are an additional nevertheless important advantage.

The in situ requirements such as high and varying gas contents as well as severe slugging result in totally transient operating conditions. The presentation covers an introduction into this technology using the twin-screw pump type. They are used for this service with many customers around the world.

The pump itself is the main item of the boosting system and should be a core competence of the supplier. The ability of twin-screw pumps to create differential pressure and to guarantee fluid transfer at all times (even with 100 % gas at inlet) is depending on a number of different parameters. Besides the fluid’s characteristics and composition there are mechanical and geometrical design constraints, e.g. internal friction, screw length, bearing span, shaft and seal diameter.

As installation and operational safety are major issues, complete “flange-to-flange” systems are often required by the end users. An additional advantage is the single point responsibility being with the supplier. Special attention has to be paid for the auxiliary equipment, e.g. strainers and valves, as it must be suitable to fulfil the requirements of both, liquid and gas transport. This is especially true for the application of mechanical seals. Originally designed for static operating conditions they had to be adopted and partly redesigned for the transient operating envelope in multiphase pumps. The electrical control system not only takes care for a constant inlet pressure by speed variation, but guarantees the overall operational safety and reliability.

Selected field cases for a distant tie-in, aging fields, and wet gas compression will demonstrate a typical multiphase boosting system lay-out.

Speaker Biosketch

Dietrich Müller-Link is Key Account Manager with Joh. Heinr. Bornemann GmbH. He holds a Dipl.-Ing. in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Clausthal. He gathered more than 20 years of oilfield experience in various disciplines and assignments.

Since joining Bornemann in 1995 he is responsible for worldwide business development as well as customer training and seminars for multiphase boosting systems.

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