Oklahoma 2018

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OKLAHOMA: TECHNOLOGY | November 2018 | 27 EcoStim's pumps are made up of a mixed fleet of both natural gas tur- bine pumps and more conventional diesel-pow- ered pumps. The pumps can be run individually or in tandem. Turbines have been used off and on in the oil field since the 1960s, but they have always been more of a niche player. In the ear- liest days, it was due pri- marily to the fact that turbines were more diffi- cult to control properly. These super-high out- put motors didn't take to adjustments on the fly, which can be import- ant on a fracturing job as rates and pressures change. When EcoStim acquired its first turbine pumps, the company also invested in a pump con- trol that would allow it greater control over the system and its output. Automation solved many of the older issues. According to Ekstrand, there are some strong differentiating benefits for the turbine pumps. "First, the turbine engines are high horsepower but are small and weigh a lot less than conventional diesel-powered engines. By comparison, a typical turbine engine has the ability to put out over 4,000 horsepower and weighs around 800 pounds or so. The conventional diesel engine you would com- pare it to would put out 2,500 horsepower and would weigh somewhere around 16,000 pounds. Because turbine engines are much smaller in size and weight, it allows us to build trailers that actu- ally have two independent and individual pump packages on the same trailer. To be clear, we don't run the turbines at 4,000 horsepower output, but they can go that high," he said. "Typically what we're doing is we're putting on conventional pumps—the power end and the fluid end—and so essentially what you end up with is two 2,500-horsepower pump packages on the same trailer. Because that package is so much lighter, we are able to be road legal with two pumps, where with conventional diesel package, it would be a sin- gle pump on a trailer. Also, these engines are true multifuel engines. These can switch from running natural gas to running diesel and really can use any form of natural gas—CNG, LNG or even field gas as long as it has the appropriate BTU count, which most field gas does. They are very flexible. We much prefer to run them on natural gas because they are very efficient on natural gas, and the cost of natural gas is lower than diesel. Because you are starting with such a clean source, the emissions that the engine puts out are much lower than the Tier 4 requirement that the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] has in place today." The "Eco" in EcoStim is derived from both econ- omy and ecology—topics the company takes seri- ously and applies both as it works toward greater efficiency from its crew and fleet. "We use a lot of different chemistries in these frack jobs, and we work with chemical manufac- turers who are able to bring a greener approach," Ekstrand said. "For example, we use some chemis- try that is biopolymer-based, so it is actually derived from naturally occurring bacteria. The bacteria Chaparral employees use real-time data to enhance well performance through predictive failure prevention efforts and timely adjustments, which significantly decreases downtime and costs. (Photo courtesy of Chaparral Energy)

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