Smart Pump Monitoring Software Detects Leaks and Prevents Damage at Oil and Gas Facilities

Contributed by: PumpScout Staff

Detecting leaking pump seals and other problems quickly and accurately is extremely important to the oil and gas industry. Not only can leaky pump equipment slow production, it can also lead to costly damage and create unsafe working conditions for employees. To help combat these problems, many oil and gas operations have incorporated remote monitoring software into their pump systems.

One example of the effectiveness of this software took place in late December when an oil and gas facility detected fluctuations in barrier fluid seal supply pressure on a pump equipped with a pressurized double seal. The pump in question had only recently been reactivated after several months of inactivity.

Although the barrier fluid seal supply pressure was expected to remain at about 580 psig, actual values fluctuated between 520 and 600 psig. Because the end user was out of the office at the time, the pump software provider’s industrial performance and reliability team was able to notify the user at home about the issue.

During the investigation, it was discovered that the seal on the pump was leaking. If the pump software did not identify the problem and the seal continued to leak, contaminants from the process fluid could have been introduced into the barrier fluid. This would have ultimately resulted in instantaneous seal failure which would have caused an outage, revenue loss, and could have caused serious environmental damage.

In mid-July, the same monitoring system detected a change in the supply pressure on a water injection pump. Once again, the software provider’s industrial performance center was able to issue a notification to the end user, which resulted in immediate action. The leak was discovered in one of the seal oil accumulators and fixed. If the issue had not been addressed, it could have caused excessive seal face loading and distortion, which could have led to seal failure.

Source: Pumps & Systems

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