Fracking: Why Large Bore Providers Are Gaining Ground
Posted: September 27, 2023
Unconventional fossil fuels are increasingly becoming more sought after by energy companies as conventional oil and gas pools dwindle, driven largely by economic considerations and technological developments. In 2021, fossil fuels comprised 79% of primary energy consumption in the U.S. And while conventional fuels are generally found in accessible reserves, they only account for about 10% of the global oil resources. Unconventional fuels require advanced extraction techniques such as hydraulic fracking, yet contain oil reserves that make up about 80% of the global oil resources.
Hydraulic fracking generates a highly demanding environment for both human and mechanical assets. And because repairs and maintenance have a direct effect on profitability, maximizing equipment uptime is a top priority for oilfield service companies.
Gilmore’s critical service expertise leverages technology to meet the demands of harsh environment operations. For instance, by adapting subsea valve technology for hydraulic fracking, we’ve successfully helped operators extend pressure pumping performance by increasing maintenance intervals, reducing labor, and minimizing non-productive time associated with check valves.
In this article, we dive deeper into the advancements that are driving this sector forward—and improving safety, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness along the way.
Boosting Efficiency in Fracking: The Power of Large Bore Providers
Advances in pressure control technology are bringing significant improvements to the hydraulic fracking process. Traditional fracking requires hundreds of smaller components to manage extremely high pressures. This results in protracted mobilization and demobilization times due to complex assembly and connection requirements. In addition, with multiple connection points, there are a high number of potential leak paths that operators must monitor continually.
The advent of large bore systems increases operational efficiency due to fewer components, connections, and lines, all of which result in fewer leak paths. Since a single large-bore inlet replaces multiple tie-in lines on a conventional operation, the design also reduces the iron required for fracking operations.
Rather than spending capital on complex equipment, more pumpers are turning to large bore rental providers such as Midcentral, Scout, and Paloma.
Providers often supply check valves as part of their service, making operational efficiency and maintenance easier for pumpers. With Gilmore's leading flow control innovations aimed at reducing repair intervals, many stakeholders in the energy production chain will benefit with the integration of these products on their systems.
Gilmore’s Equipment: Pioneering Efficiency Through Large Bore Technology
Advancements in engine technology, pump horsepower and available flow rates contribute to increased equipment wear and erosion. Standard clapper check valves typically offer 60–100 hours of operating life before requiring maintenance, meaning crews will have to perform that maintenance multiple times during a standard 4 well pad over the course of a month.
However, with improved materials and design, Gilmore products are meeting the demand for operational efficiency with technologies engineered to deliver precision performance in the harshest severe-service environments.
Agiliti™ Check Valves
The Gilmore team designed Agiliti™ Check Valves for extended operation while maintaining optimal safety. We offer options for standard flow (6 BPM) and high flow (16 BPM) applications, effectively preventing backflow to upstream assets.
The flow control valves can run through more than 125 stages or between 400 and 500 pumping hours before maintenance or repairs are required. This means that pumpers should achieve average four-well pad completion without needing to stop for check valve maintenance and repairs. Less downtime improves the efficiency of fluid flow during fracking, leading to increased production at lower costs.
Gilmore’s durable, long-life strategy also has another significant benefit. You can greatly reduce the environmental impact with fewer repairs and valve replacements.
When compared to standard industry check valves, just one of Gilmore’s Agiliti™ check valves can save over four tons of carbon dioxide a year over the product lifespan. This translates to a 38% reduction in emissions, directly impacting each operator’s carbon footprint.
Pressure Relief Valves for Fracking
Mechanical relief valves typically require costly and regular maintenance to keep them in working order due to the sand slurry and high viscosity flow control applications serviced. In addition, resetting the valves takes considerable time and effort. Gilmore’s pressure relief valve systems offer flow control redundancy benefits that are not present in standard systems.
The Agiliti™ Relief Valve replaces underperforming relief valves or burst disks with a long-life solution. With automatic mechanical reset, the design prioritizes operational safety and takes only seconds to make pressure relief adjustments. What’s more, through improved safety and fluid flow efficiency, Gilmore’s PRV Systems helps optimize hydraulic fracking operations and increase production efficiency.
Operators can integrate the Agiliti™ Relief Valve as an individual mechanical pressure relief device during pressure pumping. Or they can group it into a larger flow capacity pressure relief skid.
Gilmore’s dual-purpose Agiliti SAFEGUARDPRO™ system has both pressure relief and pressure bleed capabilities. Because it’s a single system, its implementation significantly improves operational efficiency translating into substantial savings for service companies.
The system design integrates strategically placed erosion- and corrosion-resistant components. These enhancements include shear seal technology, which optimizes the durability and reliability of thousands of cycles between valve maintenance. Additionally, Gilmore’s dual-purpose Agiliti SAFEGUARDPRO™ system is compatible with sand slurry mixtures and treated-produced water applications.
With intuitive features and controls, the electro-pneumatic control system provides accelerated response times to improve safety and efficiency. The feature-packed system also comes with industry-leading visual display controls. Plus, operators can manage the system wirelessly or by traditional wired control.
Bringing Gilmore Efficiency to Your Unconventional Operation
The Gilmore Agiliti™ product line brings decades of advancing precision performance technology to the most severe working environments. The solutions provide scalable pressure protection for hydraulic fracking and other high-pressure pumping applications. In addition, the operational longevity and durability of these products are proving to be game-changing for pressure pumpers and equipment providers.
Gilmore’s systems significantly reduce maintenance and downtime, increase efficiency, and contribute to reductions in carbon emissions. These innovations are leading the way to a safer and more profitable unconventional market.
Partner with Gilmore today to optimize your drilling operations.