Moving & Managing Water & Oil On Fracking Sites
Fracking is now a key part of the oil and gas industry with thousands of fracking sites across North America. President of Power Zone Equipment Don Toews sat down with The Crownsmen Podcast to explain Power Zones Equipment’s role in this fast growing sector.
Because fracking is typically done at very high pressure, Positive Displacement Quintuplex Pumps are the most commonly used on fracking site. However the frack water supply is done with centrifugal pumps because you are required to move the water right to the pumping site. In areas such as Wyoming in the coal bed methane they don’t need as high pressure but they need higher volumes so they’ll use a centrifugal pumps such as a United 8BFH Horizontal Multi-Stage Centrifugal Pump.
As an example, on most fracking sites the water is down below and the wells are being drilled up high, so you need to get that water from down below up to the wells. In some cases pumps that have 2,000 ft./head are required to get the water up to the frack site.
“We deal a lot with the energy & oil industry but in the oil industry and gas industry you want the oil (and) gas but what you end up dealing with is water” Don explains “So we sell a lot more water pumps than oil pumps.” “For Power Zone pipelines are a good market for us but a lot of times it’s water…you use water for drilling, water for fracking, water for servicing. You also end up with water being produced with the oil and gas and you need to dispose of it or move it around….a lot of water pumped in the oil fields.”
Somewhere between maybe 80% of the pumps Power Zone sells are for water and about 20% are for oil and gas. Some fields are fortunate to get nearly 100% oil but others are 20% water or as high as 97% water, so you’re only getting a little bit of oil. Sometimes you are drilling in a zone that will take that water using only gravity. The water is poured in the well and then the gravity will push it into the formation. However; in a lot of areas your zones are operating at a higher pressure and you are required to push it there. Then you need a pump, sometimes a very large one.
In the case where a customer simply needs to move large amounts of water a wide variety of pumps will accommodate their needs but some customers have engineered specifications or particular requirements. Customers with more flexibility will find Power Zones’ online inventory of pumps, engines, and gas & diesel generators, provide more than enough options. For customers requiring a customized solution, Power Zone offers on-site engineering services with engineers who specialize in fluid handling and can re-engineer a pump or customize a complete pump package designed and built to their exact specs.