Energy Recovery introduces pumping system for hydraulic fracturing

Energy Recovery, a specialist in pressure energy technology for industrial fluid flows, has released the VorTeq hydraulic pumping system, the first product engineered to increase runtime and reduce maintenance costs by rerouting abrasive frac fluid away from existing hydraulic fracturing pumps.

The current fracking pumping technology requires intensive and costly maintenance. In many cases, pumps are repaired and serviced daily. Energy Recovery's VorTeq, designed to replace the traditional hydraulic fracturing manifold trailer, or 'missile', is expected to more than double the useful life of pump components that most frequently fail.

VorTeq re-routes proppant-filled fluid away from high-pressure pumps on fracking sites so these pumps only process fresh water, and therefore last longer. VorTeq channels the abrasive fluids and sends them down the wellbore.

Liberty Oilfield Services, a subsidiary of Liberty Resources, has signed an agreement to be the first well fracturing services provider to use Energy Recovery's VorTeq hydraulic pumping system.

'The new VorTeq pumping system will change the way that companies frack, providing a more reliable and more cost-effective process. Beginning with our first customer, Liberty Oilfield Services, and given the significant ROI, we believe this product will become the new industry standard and will help Energy Recovery drive substantial growth and shareholder value. With our entry into hydraulic fracturing, we solidify our status as a diversified energy solutions provider with powerful and inevitable value propositions throughout oil and gas, chemical and water industrial fluid flow applications,' says Tom Rooney, CEO of Energy Recovery.

'Liberty Oilfield Services has always embraced emerging breakthroughs in the field, and VorTeq is the next major revolution in hydraulic fracturing technology. This system will give service providers a competitive edge by allowing substantial cost savings and additional production capacity. With fewer at-risk hours spent on maintenance, we believe VorTeq will also enhance safety during frac jobs,' says Ron Gusek, VP Technology & Development, Liberty Oilfield Services.

The core of the VorTeq hydraulic pumping system is Energy Recovery's Pressure Exchanger (PX) technology, which is already in use in more than 15,000 desalination installations worldwide. The system handles up to 110 barrels per minute, with a treating pressure up to 15,000 psi. The system is designed with only one moving part and made from tungsten carbide, which is 1,000 times more abrasion-resistant than steel.

Neal Hageman, engineering manager at Integrated Petroleum Technologies, worked with Energy Recovery to provide insight on the maintenance challenges faced by the service companies performing these treatments.

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