A common example is the hydraulic fracturing process being used to produce much of the shale oil and natural gas found in the U.S. and Canada. The process requires thousands of gallons of water to be sent down the wellbore. This water delivers the chemicals and frac sand that open up the reservoir and allow trapped oil and natural gas to flow to the wellhead on the surface.
Once the fracked oil and gas is collected, the water sent down the well, which can contain a large amount of particulates and contaminants, must also be delivered to the well’s surface and either disposed of or recycled for further use. When the actual oil and natural gas rushes to the wellhead, it can feature varying liquid viscosities and particulate levels, depending on the geologic makeup of the well.
So, the oilfield operator requires a pump that can do three things:
- handle the pressures required to complete the pumping operation
- handle large volumes of liquids with varying viscosities and particulate levels
- maintain volumetric consistency while producing flow rates that can be as high as thousands of liters per minute
When looking for a pump technology to check all of the operational and compatibility boxes that contribute to an effective oilfield production system, peristaltic pumps can prove to be a strong candidate.
The pump’s design, construction and operation make it ideal for many of the unique—and harsh—liquid-handling applications that help define success in the world’s oilfields.