Western Siberia, Russia — In January 2016, Russia extracted around 46 million tons of oil from the ground — a quantity that has not been achieved since the end of the Soviet Union. Currently, Russian oil is produced primarily from oil fields in western Siberia and in the Volga- Ural province. In the Basenow region of the western Siberian basin alone, it is thought that 100 billion barrels of economically extractable oil reserves are currently available. This is an area, however, where extraction is extremely difficult due to the local geological conditions. The oil can only be brought to the surface with considerable effort. This is where Russia’s Packer Service comes in, a company that offers its exploration services to major companies in the oil and gas industry — something it has been doing for some ten years now.
Lots of experience in the oil & gas market
Packer Service LLC, which is based in Moscow, was founded in 2006. The company provides a wide range of services in the field of well servicing, testing and completion. Business is going well: For its fracking business alone, Packer Service operates three fleets with a total of 35 mobile pump systems. Each fracking pumper consists of a pump, power transmission and a high-performance MTU engine, which drives the pump. Vasily Kebak, project manager for fracking applications at Packer Service, has been working with engines from the company based in Friedrichshafen, Germany for 20 years now. These were initially engines from Detroit Diesel, then later from MTU. “In Russia, we extract oil under extremely difficult conditions,“ says Kebak. Only thanks to the permafrost soil, the ground can be walked on and structures can be built on it. If the ground should warm up, however, all the buildings and infrastructure will sink into the soft, muddy soil that results. Pumping systems tend to wear out very quickly under these conditions and it is very time-consuming and expensive to get any structures built at all. This is because all structures that radiate heat have to be insulated. “For us, therefore, the highest priority must be given to preparing the boreholes as quickly and as smoothly as possible,“ Kebak adds. “This means that we have to rely completely on the equipment we work with. With equipment from MTU, we know that the engines will continue to operate at minus 45 degrees Celsius. It’s the only way we can offer our customers the reliable service they need to extract the oil efficiently.“
Engines designed specifically for frac jobs
The unit may be used for a wide variety of fluid pumping operations. Typical operations include proppant hydraulic fracturing, acid fracturing, high-pressure pumping, solvent pumping, liquid carbon dioxide pumping and pressure testing. The engines supplied by MTU are ideally suited to such operations — the company has supplied power solutions for the oil and gas market for years, and also for both on- and offshore applications. These include engines used for power generation and for tough drilling and well servicing applications under the most extreme conditions. Around 33,000 MTU Series 4000 engines are currently in use worldwide and have already accumulated over 13 million operating hours in fracking operations alone. As a result of the engine‘s high power output of up to 1,865 kW (2,500 bhp), frac jobs can be completed faster than ever — a key aspect in an industry in which any delay costs money. The engines also have a very good power to weight ratio and deliver high output even at low rpm. For very dynamic operating conditions, the engines are designed so that maximum torque is reached as low as 1,500 rpm.