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Tank Heaters Keep Gas Drilling Operation on Track

Mon, 04/22/2013 - 10:23am
Chromalox

The Challenge

A Colorado natural gas driller performs hydraulic fracture drilling, using water and steam mixtures as they drill deep into the earth to extract natural gas. As the “frac” water is pulled back out of the wells for treatment, it travels through a system that includes six 14-foot diameter, 20-foot tall tanks that separate chemicals and other foulants through an agitation process. The water is then sent to evaporation beds.

The Problem

The company needed to prevent corrosive water from destroying heaters as they worked to keep the process online through the cold Colorado mountain winters. A standard heater design was not working — some lasted only weeks before corrosion caused failure.

The Solution

Chromalox developed a system using large tank flange heaters (LTF) with replaceable elements. These heaters have met the challenge by staying in operation for two years — a far cry from the replacement schedule previously required. The system is now being specified for several other drilling operations by the customer.

Benefits

  • Repair and replacement time has been drastically cut
  • Higher productivity
  • Solution for one site will address customer issues at multiple locations
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