Vertical Turbine Pumps for Waterflood Injection
- Claude E. Wykes (Layne And Bowler Pump Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 1968
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,261 - 1,267
- 1968. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.6 Natural Gas, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.1.6 Compressors, Engines and Turbines, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers
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Vertical diffusers pumps for the development of reasonably high pressures have been available in one form or another for many years. With the increasing importance of secondary recovery operations in petroleum production, vertical turbine pumps appear more and more production, vertical turbine pumps appear more and more frequently as the most efficient energizer for waterflood injection systems.
Even with adequate performance records standing behind it, this type of pump is still not widely understood. Its inherent advantages of flexibility, simplicity, low initial cost and minimal maintenance expense have yet to be fully exploited. Greater familiarity with the machine, together with a study of actual applications, will demonstrate that the design, correctly applied, can often result in certain advantages to the knowledgeable user.
Like almost any kind of machinery, the vertical turbine pump has its range of best operation, within which it pump has its range of best operation, within which it excels over other equipment and beyond which it may be misapplied. Comparison with other types of pumps illustrates relative performance within these limits.
Having been trained to an analytical turn of mind, engineers normally could be assumed to understand and to apply the basic concept of machine efficiency. However, the term "efficiency" has been distorted in the pump business, occasionally beyond recognition, because of the widely divergent paths of machine development through unrelated branches of industry. The result is a noticeable tendency to apply different rules depending on the type of equipment to be evaluated.
The data in Fig. 1 came from a company well known in secondary recovery oil production and represent the operation of a waterflood injection pump station through a period in which equipment was changed from positive displacement (PD) machines to vertical turbine pumps. Note how the power cost per barrel of water pumped, a direct function of the machine efficiency, decreased sharply after the PD's were supplanted by the verticals at lower purchase cost and in far less space. Yet the plunger units purchase cost and in far less space. Yet the plunger units are rated at 95 percent efficiency in their industry while the vertical turbines operate at 83 percent in terms used by centrifugal pump manufacturers. In this paper we shall attempt to reconcile this seeming paradox and to offer a sound engineering basis for quantitative evaluation of efficiency ratings as well as general design and construction details.
The vertical turbine pump has been used successfully in injection service far longer than most people realize. Representatives of at least one major Los Angeles-based manufacturer met more than 15 years ago with unit operators, reservoir engineers and other petroleum people in the Midland-Odessa, Tex., area to review existing operations and to discuss future direction.
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