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EcoStim upgrades LNG-fuelled TPUs

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LNG Industry,

Eco-Stim Energy Solutions Inc. has announced that it has completed the upgrade and automation on approximately 27 000 HHP of its turbine powered well stimulation units (TPUs). In addition to this, the company has also completed its first ever stimulation job in Argentina utilising this technology. The job was recently completed for an independent oil and gas company, with only two TPU trailers (approximately 9000 HHP) on site. Although this particular job was carried out using diesel fuel for convenience, the company claims that the turbine pumps operate optimally on natural gas, CNG or LNG. Eco-Stim added that it expects this equipment to use LNG or CNG in the near future, which it claims could reduce fuel costs by up to 50%.

Several critical operational processes of the technology previously required full operator attention. Now, through the addition of the latest computing software and electronic monitoring technology, these processes have been automated. For instance, the company is now able to clutch-in the engines, test lines, and control pump rates and pressures on the TPUs with an automated, safer and more reliable system.

A full electronic trouble-shooting and maintenance programme – similar to that used in the aviation industry – has also been incorporated. This is expected to reduce failures, increase visibility of necessary maintenance, and enable the development of a system preventive maintenance programme. It will also allow experts in any location to carry out remote monitoring and problem diagnosis of the TPUs.

The President and CEO of EcoStim, J. Chris Boswell, said: “With our recent improvements to this system, we believe this equipment should be as reliable as any pumping equipment in the industry while maintaining many of the disruptive advantages offered by a light weight, long life turbine engine that can be operated using 100% natural gas, all while limiting emissions to levels not possible by any other diesel or bi-fuel powered pumping units in the world. This first job was completed ahead of schedule and without issue by our outstanding operations team."

EcoStim’s Innovation Manager, Martin Pons, added: “The successful completion of this work represents a major milestone and gives our company what I believe is a significant competitive advantage in this local market. We continue to receive requests from our existing customers as well as potential customers expressing a desire to use the TPU's as part of their completion programs. We look forward to working together with our customers to further reduce the cost and environmental footprint of completing wells in Argentina."

The COO of EcoStim, Bobby Chapman, said: "The power to weight ratio for these units is unmatched in the industry. With an estimated engine life that is almost twice that of a traditional diesel pressure pumping engine, an improved fuel and air delivery system, several automated processes and the ability to better control the rates and pressures normally experienced in our industry, I believe the TPUs and several derivative designs we are currently pursuing could offer the industry a cost-effective means of significantly reducing emissions, fuel, operational personnel and routine maintenance. We expect to have the upgraded 27 000 HHP of this pumping equipment available to support our existing 22 000 HHP diesel fleet by the end of the year. Together with additional pumps under construction and certain pumping units available for lease in Argentina, we expect to have well over 60 000 HHP available to market to our customers in 2017."

The Founder and Director of QM Equipment and EcoStim’s technology partner in Argentina, Marcelo Guiscardo, added: “"It has been great to collaborate with the EcoStim team when it comes to introducing new technology into the Argentina market and we look forward to continue working with them in the future as we develop this TPU technology together. I want to offer my congratulations to the combined team from EcoStim and QM for this significant achievement."

Edited from press release by David Rowlands

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