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Multiphase pumping
c o m e s of age
Multiphase p u m p i n g technology developed during the Poseidon research programme, and now commercially available f r o m Sulzer Pumps, is gaining
w i d e s p r e a d acceptance a n d recognition throughout the oil industry.
Significant successes have
enjoyed with helico-axial multiphase
pumps, having been deployed onshore
a n d offshore in a variety o f environments and climates such as the Middle
East, South East Asia or in the North
Sea. This article focuses on one installation currently in operation in Siberia.

k'~ The learning phase

Sulzer Pumps has recently made great progress in
developing a modular range of multiphase p u m p s
- by s t u d y i n g a P302 p u m p installed in the
P c c o r a d e field in France, o p e r a t e d by ELF
Aquitaine Production.This p u m p has accumulated
over 22 000 r t m n i n g h o u r s to date. Much has
h e n c e b e e n learned about multiphasc p u m p perf o r m a n c e and a b o u t b o o s t i n g p r o d u c t i o n o n a
declining field with, as is typical of mature fields, a
high gas content.
The n e e d tbr more cost-effective p r o d u c t i o n
systems in places like on-shore Siberia has sparked
an interest in multiphase production, which leads
to simpler and more compact in-field installations.
This is especially the case with
e c o n o m i c a l l y marginal oil fields
in hostile or r e m o t e environments. In these areas, multiphase
p u m p i n g inw)lves the transportation of unprocessed effluent over
significant distances along a single pipeline without the need fi)r
building additional in-field gathering centres.

by Jacques de Salis, Mike Cordner &

Mark Birnov, Sulzer Pumps.
conditions) which were installed in an oil field in
Siberia and entered into service early in 1998.
The p u m p s collect the effluents from various
clusters (about 25 wells in all) located at distances
of about 5 to 25 km (3 to 15 miles) from the multiphase p u m p station.They are designed to boost
the e f f l u e n t over a d i s t a n c e of a b o u t 15 km
(9 miles), in a multiphase flow line, u p to an existing central gathering station.
The pumps, w h i c h are m o u n t e d in individual
shelters (Figure 2), operate in parallel to boost oil
p r o d u c t i o n . The a m b i e n t t e m p e r a t u r e varies
b e t w e e n -45C (-49F) and 35C (95F).The suction pressure is around 6 barg (85 psig) but fluctuates constantly. The discharge p r e s s u r e can
increase up to about 20 bars (290 psi) while the
Gas Volume Fraction (GVF) at suction conditions
varies normally b e t w e e n 70 and 88 %.
O n site it has b e e n n o t i c e d that gas p o c k e t s
(nearly 100% gas or GVF 11)0%) o c c u r from time
to time at the p u m p suction for periods of about 5
to 15 minutes. However no harm or damage whatsoever has b e e n caused to the p u m p i n g system.

The p u m p s e t package
Each p u m p is d r i v e n by a 400 kW (530 HP), 2
pole, fixed s p e e d electric motor. The p u m p is
capable of r u n n i n g up to max. 4000 rpm through

Multiphase p u m p s
for Siberia
The Siberi;m installation comprises
two helico-axial multiphase p u m p s
each with a n o m i n a l rating of
500 m3/h or 75 000 b/day (total
volumetric flow rate at suction

(~opyright .i 19:)8,
ElsevierScience Ltd.
All rights reserved. 0262 1762/98/$1900

A rotor-stator assembly of the helico-axial multiphase pump

(Poseidon license).




The pumping equipment inside the shelter.

a step-up gearbox. In addition an hydraulic coupling is positioned b e t w e e n the gearbox and the
p u m p . T h i s makes it possible to set a n d / o r change
the p u m p speed to any value b e t w e e n 1500 and
4000 rpm.This enables the p u m p speed and conscqucntly the oil flow rate to be adjusted to comp e n s a t e for c h a n g i n g p r o d u c t i o n r e q u i r e m e n t s
a n d / o r field decline.
The p u m p is oil-lubricated, with the mechanical seals being pressurised to p r e v e n t any ingress
of effluent into the bearing chambers or leakage
to the atmosphere.
Each m u l t i p h a s e p u m p , w i t h drive train and
l u b r i c a t i o n unit, is m o u n t e d h o r i z o n t a l l y on a
c o m m o n bascplate inside an insulated s h e l t e r
including heating and ventilation. Overall dimensions are 8 m long 3 m wide and 3.5 m high.The
total weight, including the shelter, is 18 tons.

The c o n t r o l p a n e l and electrical utilities are

installed some distance away in a separate shelter
in a nonhazardous area.

~'~ Multiphase investment


This is a case w h e r e the client chose to install a

multiphase p u m p installation in p r e f e r e n c e to a
traditional g a t h e r i n g and s e p a r a t i o n facility a n d
o t h e r b o o s t i n g m e t h o d s . As such it is typical of
applications where the use of multiphase p u m p s
is expected to b e c o m e more frequent.
The multiphase p u m p s r e p r e s e n t e d the most
cost-effective solution and eliminated the need for
separate oil and gas lines to the existing processing facilities. Furthermore the abiliD~of the p u m p
design and c o n t r o l facilities to
cope with changing process
conditions will ensure that prod u c t i o n from the declining well
clusters is maximised and prolonged as long as possible,

Two Sulzer MPP multiphase pump shelters during installation in

Siberia (early 1998).

Contact: Jacques de Sails,

Sulzer Pompes France, B.P.
1217, 78202 Mantes-LaoVille,
France. Tel: +33 134 777 274;
Fax: +33
134 777 216;
Mike Cordner, Sulzer Roteq
UK Ltd, Manor Mill Lane,
Leeds, LS11 BBR, Great
Tel: +.44 113 272
4566; Fax: +44 113 272 4470.