Case study: bespoke upgrade is perfect solution for energy firm
24 Jan 2017
Energy provider injects business with centrifugal pump upgrade.
Midstream services provider Targa Resources is one of the largest independent energy companies in North America.
The business is primarily involved in the process of gathering, treating and selling natural gas. It also gathers and stores crude oil.
In order for Targa Resources to inject ethane-propane mix (EP) into storage wells at its Texas-based salt dome, in October 2015 it installed a BB3-UI horizontally split-case API pump.
BB3 pumps are traditionally used within terminals to transfer the gas into the pipelines from storage wells, explains Richard Martinez, managing director at Standard Alloys, a KSB company that provided the pump.
The double volute, 8-stage split case centrifugal pump that Targa Resources had installed is fitted with closed impellers and provides a flow of 1,200 gpm (gallons-per- minute) running at 4,000 rpm, with a suction pressure of 260 psig (pounds per square inch gage) and a total developed head of 3,800 ft.
We found a closely-matched pump and used this as a platform to then custom-build the flow and head required. What we came up with was a special package that went beyond the generic specification typically found in API-610
Richard Martinez, managing director at Standard Alloys
The pump is also designed to graduate from moving a product of specific gravity 0.5 all the way down to 0.38, which gives Targa the ability to move heavier end products.
Commenting on the installation, Martinez says: “Essentially, we were given the flow parameters and head capacities, so we went into our database to see what we had that was closest to the specification.
“We found a closely-matched pump and used this as a platform to then custom-build the flow and head required. What we came up with was a special package that went beyond the generic specification typically found in API-610. It had to fit the same foundation as the pump that it was replacing, so a custom base was designed to facilitate a perfect fit.”
As part of the upgrade, a team of maintenance engineers also carries out weekly and monthly inspections on the new pump.
“Pump reliability is all-important as our customers operate in a highly competitive market. It is all about delivering products on time,” says Steve Ferguson, rotating maintenance supervisor at Targa Resources.
As a result of installation, the BB3 pump provides Targa Resources with greater flexibility, KSB says.
Pump reliability is all-important as our customers operate in a highly competitive market. It is all about delivering products on time
Steve Ferguson, rotating maintenance supervisor at Targa Resources
It is also the first of three pumps to be installed at the salt plant. Martinez says that to further capitalise on the project, a new portfolio of BB3 API-standard bareshaft pumps has been developed.
“Our target is pump operators that may have seventh or eighth generation API pumps that need replacing with a direct ‘drop-in’ that hits all the touch points,” he says.
“They don’t want to change the foundation due to the casing foot location, modify the suction or discharge nozzles. They also do not want to relocate the drive unit. They want the same hydraulic fit within their existing block.”