Hydraulic Fracturing Techbook 2018

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78 | August 2018 | HYDRAULIC FRACTURING: CASE STUDIES are subjecting their intermittent-duty legacy pumps to 24/7 performance in the field in harsher envi- ronments. Additionally, more sand is running those pumps in conditions that are not ideal for the equip- ment's design. Legacy fracture pumps simply have not been designed to run at full rod load under such relentless duty cycles. Typical intermittent-duty pumps are commonly rebuilt before the 3,000-hour mark. Rebuilding these pumps is an expensive proposition. In addition to the costs associated with rebuilding the pump, operators often experience a few weeks of downtime during this service period, requiring the carrying of addi- tional capital costs by having more pumps in a fleet as backup, as well as more fleets than true uptime demand requires. This cuts into operators' bottom lines, creating additional financial pressures in a noto- riously tight market. Case study One Canadian operator running equipment in the Duvernay and Montney formations—known to be especially unforgiving due to high pressures and extreme temperatures—had been experiencing the traditional time frame for rebuilding its traditional pumps. With rebuilds averaging CAD 60,000 to CAD 100,000, the expense of such maintenance with the associated downtime was adding up quickly for its fleet of pumps. The operator decided to deploy a new pump specifically designed for use in high pres- sure for extended operating periods, the Weir SPM QEM 3000 Frac Pump. Recognizing that the demands placed on frac- turing pumps have changed and some operators are moving to running longer hours in harsher regions, Weir re-engineered the QEM 3000 from the ground up. Designed to be a high-performance pump for high-pressure environments, the pump provides oper- ators the ability to run at a sustained 275,000-lb rod load for extended operations. The operator had high expectations for the pump based on its initial testing. While the traditional frac- turing pump development process typically may test up to one million cycles, Weir had completed an endurance test of its beta SPM QEM 3000 in its Fort Worth Research & Development Center lasting three times longer than other pumps in the company's his- tory. While legacy pumps perform well in basins with lower pressures and rod load, the QEM is ideal for the harshest environmental conditions and pressure requirements. Additionally, it will increase uptime and reduce total cost of ownership, fleet size and the number of fleets required in any basin. The pump features a dual-pressure lubrication system, multistage onboard filtration and enhanced structural rigidity. It also offers the largest roller bear- ings currently available in the industry as well as other oversized components to more efficiently distribute load stress across greater surface areas. These enhance- ments were specifically designed to address the most common causes of pump failure. Results The Canadian operator deployed a fleet of 12 SPM QEM 3000 pumps and operated them 16 hours to 18 hours per day in temperatures averaging 20 F to 23 F at a fracture pressure of 10,500 psi to 13,000 psi. The average rod load was 206,250 psi to 233,750 psi with a 5-in. plunger and a flow rate of 264 gpm to 343 gpm. Following relentless operating conditions, the roller bearings looked new at the 3,200-hour inspec- tion and the shell bearings were barely broken in. Other wear parts that would normally require replace- ment, such as guide sleeves, showed insignificant

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