In the Bakken oilfields, fresh water is injected downhole to mix with the salty frac water and crude oil. The fresh water is essential, without it the mix becomes too dense to properly pump, which leads directly to higher maintenance costs and increased downtime. Fresh water injection also significantly increases oil production.
The water is stored in large tanks, then pumped to a high pressure injection skid. One skid will feed several wells, one at a time. Since all of the pipes remain flooded with water, when the injection skid isn’t pumping to a particular well, the water is stagnant and will freeze in the North Dakota winter unless proper precautions are taken. If the water freezes, the well gets shut in, resulting in lost revenue. These wells will typically produce 200-1000 bpd and at the current price of oil of $45/ bbl that’s up to $45,000 in potential lost daily revenue/ well.
Valin's process heating engineers developed a solution to this problem. It's called the Stinger Heater.
How does the Stinger Heater work?
Downstream of the injection skid, the pipe goes vertical into the ground for between 10-12 feet. The piping then runs horizontally 200’ or more before coming back up to the surface on the well pad. These vertical sections are the critical areas because they are within the frost zone and the water can easily freeze. Valin's Stinger Heater is mounted directly inside the carrier pipe and is manufactured to withstand the high pressures created by the injection skid.
Want to learn more about the Stinger Heater? Contact our Process Heating knowledge center at (855) 737-4718, or fill out our online form and someone will get back to you.