Sliding Vane Pumps Ideal for Oil & Refined-Fuel Applications

Contributed by: Thomas L Stone at Blackmer

The United States and Oil 
From producer to importer and back again

Around 1900, the United States was at the forefront of the global Oil & Gas industry due to the discovery of large amounts of recoverable crude oil in Texas and the burgeoning automobile industry. As time went on and countries in the Middle East, Nigeria, Norway, Canada, and Venezuela discovered vast deposits of crude oil, the United States slipped to importer status, making the country susceptible to price fluctuations and politically motivated embargoes.

Thanks to advanced technologies such as Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) for traditional oil deposits and the discovery of ‘unconventional’ oil sources, however, the United States is once again moving towards the top of this highly lucrative market. Despite the push for alternative energy sources, it seems that oil is going nowhere fast.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude oil production averaged almost 6.5 million barrels per day in September 2012, the highest volume in nearly 15 years. Last fall, the Wall Street Journal reported on an International Energy Agency prediction that the U.S. would beat out Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest oil producer by 2020. The states with the largest increases in production are Texas and North Dakota.

 

Petroleum-Handling Supply Chain
Multi-stage process introduces pumping challenges

Crude oil exploration, recovery, and production of refined fuels and other end-products requires specialized pumping equipment that delivers safe, reliable, and efficient performance. The positive displacement sliding vane pump type is well-suited for petroleum-handling and can help optimize fluid-transfer operations along the oil and gas production and supply chain.

The supply chain can be broken down into three distinct sectors:

  • Upstream: The search for, recovery and production of crude oil and natural gas. This sector is also referred to as the exploration and production (E&P) sector. Examples include the search for underground or underwater oil and gas fields, the drilling of exploratory wells, the operation of those wells if they are deemed economically viable and recoverable.
  • Midstream: An intermediary between the upstream and downstream that contains some elements of both. One main component is the gathering system; this is a storage area that holds oil and gas until they can be transported to a refinery.
  • Downstream: The refining of crude oil and the subsequent selling and distribution of all products derived from crude oil. Included are oil refineries, petrochemical plants, petroleum distribution outlets, retail outlets and natural gas distribution companies. This is the point of entry for consumers.

 

The Right Pump for the Job
Sliding vane pumps best suited for oil and gas applications

At each point in the supply chain, pumping equipment is required to keep the flow of raw or refined liquids moving smoothly. The pumps must have the following characteristics: line-stripping, dry-run, high suction, self-priming, volumetric efficiency, non-slip operation, non-galling, shear-sensitive, easy maintenance, stainless-steel, ductile-iron or cast-iron construction, and ability to handle high temperatures and variable flow rates.

Robert Blackmer invented sliding vane technology 1899 as an alternative to the less-efficient gear-type pumps that dominated the market at the time. Since then, sliding vane pumping technology has been preferred in the oil and gas industry for its versatility, durability, and efficiency.

Sliding vane pumps feature a series of vanes that slide in or out of slots in the pump rotor. As the pump rotates, it draws liquid in behind each vane, through the inlet port and into the pumping chamber. While the rotor turns, the liquid is transferred between the vanes to the outlet where it is discharged. The pump offers high volumetric efficiency without sacrificing energy through turbulence or slippage by displacing a constant volume of fluid, regardless of variances in pressure. Similarly, the pump is able to maintain consistent performance over time since the vanes constantly adjust to accommodate for wear.

Its proven success in oil and refined-fuel applications makes sliding vane pumps a continued top choice for safe, efficient, cost-effective, and optimized operations from the oilfield to the fueling site.

 

Access the full article on the PSG Dover website.

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