Advanced Oil Heating Technologies Save Millions
The path to super-profits often lies not only in increasing revenue, but also in reducing costs and optimizing technological processes. This basic truth is often forgotten, betting on increasing production and sales. Meanwhile, only on one of the technological processes - heating of the oil emulsion - far-sighted companies achieve a huge economic effect.
In this article, we will look at the unique technological opportunities that oil and gas companies are opening up in connection with the spread of induction heating devices from the «TermoTech» company.
OOO Scientific and Production Enterprise «TermoTech» is a leading company in Russia, CIS countries and Europe for the production of electric heaters of inductive-conductive type at industrial frequency currents of 50 Hz (induction electric boilers) known at the market under of the «Termanik» brand. The company traces its history back to 2002, when an innovative company was founded by a group of scientists and enthusiastic businessmen from Novosibirsk, engaged in the development of a new type of equipment. After 20 years, the company has become the leader of the industry with a multiple annual increase in revenue and the number of customers.
The oil and gas industry has always had an increased need for thermal energy. Using electricity as an energy source for heating may seem irrational, since it is generally assumed that electric energy is too expensive. In practice, everything says the opposite, because the main property of electricity is that it can be spent exactly as much as required, with virtually no losses, and with an efficiency close to 100%.
«Termanik» induction heaters are the very equipment that has revolutionized the use of electricity for heating. These systems have found application in the autonomous heat supplying (heating), autonomous hot water supplying (HWS) and technological heat supplying, including oil and gas industries. In particular, these systems are used for heating process water injected into the reservoir to maintain reservoir pressure, as well as for heating oil and petroleum products during their transportation, storage and loading. The main advantages of «Termanik» induction heaters are their extremely high reliability and low cost of maintenance.
The principle of inductive-conductive heating
An induction electric heater is a device designed to heat a liquid (water, antifreeze or a high–temperature coolant) using a variable magnetic field.
An industrial frequency current (50 Hz) enters the primary side – an inductor (1) fixed at a ferromagnetic core (2). The resulting variable magnetic field (3) excites short-circuited currents in the heat exchanger (4), which heat it up. The heat carrier (5) circulating along the circuit of the heat exchanger heats up and transfers heat to the heat supply system (6).
«Termanik» has high energy characteristics: a power factor of 0.98 and an efficiency of 98%. Among the advantages are: high reliability of the construction (there are no replaceable and failing elements); durability (service life – 100,000 hours); high electrical and fire safety.
Application in the oil and gas industry
Most clearly, all the advantages of the inductive-conductive heating method are revealed in the case of its application in the technological sphere.
Among the first tasks in the oil and gas industries, which was successfully solved, was the task of heating the water for the valve manifold. Experts know how important is to maintain well productivity and reservoir pressure. The water supplied to the well is heated by induction boilers to the desired temperature of 22-25 °C. This seemingly simple technological procedure, however, seriously affects the revenue of the mining company in the direction of increase.
Vladislav BARDOKIN, Director of NPP «TermoTech» OOO
It’s important to emphasize that «TermoTech» is not just a factory, but also a developer, patent holder and the only manufacturer of induction electric heaters with a cylindrical heat exchanger in Russia and in the world. Since we manufacture and design our own products, we can offer you not only serial devices, but also heaters designed specifically for your requirements and tasks. And this equipment will be as efficient and as convenient to use as possible.
Alexander BRAGIN, Chief Technology Officer of NPP «TermoTech» OOO,
At present, on the basis of inductive-conductive heaters, the company also produce «Termanik LH» - an Oil Line Heaters, which are in demand by oil producing companies.
«Termanic LH» appliance
The devise consists of an induction heating unit (one or more) in full heat engineering piping, which is usually mounted in a container-type modular building. The heater block is connected to a high-efficiency tubular heat exchanger, in which the thermal energy from the liquid heat carrier is transferred to the oil emulsion, increasing its fluidity. The compact dimensions of the heaters and their autonomy allow you to place the heating unit in any place directly near the pipeline with the heated emulsion.
Depending on the technical conditions, water or a mixture of water with ethylene glycol can be used as a heat carrier. If the equipment is operated in the conditions of low temperature, the option with ethylene glycol is enabled by default. A constant positive temperature is maintained inside the module building (from +5 °C to +35 C). The presence of exhaust and supply openings in the module building ensures sufficient ventilation and air exchange with the external environment. The module building is equipped with a lockable door, alarm system. Pipelines with matching flanges are output from outside the module building to connect the heating unit to the system. «Termanik LH» in modular design is a fully equipped heating unit in a high degree of factory readiness.
The «Termanik LH» is provided with the most contemporary and high-tech control system. The automated process control system is built on a three-level hierarchical principle:
Level 1: local display devices, primary measuring instruments and sensors, a control cabinet made on programmable logic controllers. The first control level provides the primary collection of system operation parameters, the assembling of automatic commands to the actuators and data transmission using GSM/GPRS channel.
Level 2: transmission of information from controllers about the state of the installation and reception of this information to the AWS of the engineering and technological service using GSM modems. Remote control of parameters and proper operation of all elements.
Level 3: automatic protection and alarm system in case of discrepancy between the indicators of the real state of the system components with preset parameters (exceeding the set temperature of the boiler circuit or the heated medium, overheating, dry running of pumps, etc.).
Application in the oil and gas sector imposes increased requirements in the field of fire and electrical safety. In addition to all the safety control systems required by the standards, the principle of inductive-conductive heating itself is an additional guarantee of safe operation: there is no resistance heating in the heating unit. Electric current is supplied to the induction coils, which are insulated with a multiple margin of safety. Heating of heat exchange devices is carried out indirectly without transferring potential to system elements, such as the heater housing, module building or pipeline. Also, there are no high-temperature surfaces or elements in the heating unit.
Electricity is the most efficient type of energy today. Existing systems for converting electricity into heat are approaching 100% efficiency. The induction heater «Termanik» is no exception, the efficiency of which is 98% with a power factor of 0.98.
The easiest way to illustrate the effectiveness of the heater is by a real example from practice:
Heating of a water-gas-oil emulsion in order to reduce viscosity and reduce linear pressure on bush sites. The working medium (water-gas-oil emulsion) consists of oil with impurities, the percentage of water content is 10%. The initial temperature is 11-15°C. It is necessary to heat up to 700 m3 of emulsion (gas factor 70 m3/m3). The required outlet temperature is not lower than 35°C under the most unfavorable conditions. Climatic version for ambient temperature from minus 60°C to plus 35°C.
The heating complex «Termanik LH 250» with a capacity of 250 kW consisting of two inductive-conductive heaters «Termanik 125» located in a separate modular building in the climatic version of NF1. The nominal heat output is 0.21 Gcal/hour. The equipment also includes a shell-and-tube heat exchanger with thermal insulation. Antifreeze is a coolant.
Single deliveries of such equipment began in 2020. Already in 2022, mass production of «Termanik LH» has been established. One of the leading oil and gas producing companies is modernizing all its oil and gas condensate fields with the use of «Termanik LH». The operational experience of the first years shows that the benefits from the use of new equipment are estimated in millions of US dollars.
But not only technological heat supplying
«Termanik LH» is just one of many examples of efficient and economically justified use of equipment manufactured by NPP «TermoTech» in the oil and gas sector.