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Home / Issue Archive / 2008 / May #5 / Rotary Vortex Pumps – From Theory to Practice

№ 5 (May 2008)

Rotary Vortex Pumps – From Theory to Practice

Completely new design of hydro-mechanical machines invented in Russia late in the last century is used at present in manufacturing of rotary vortex pumps (RVP) for the oil industry. (There was the publication regarding the operating principles and design characteristics of RVP in issue № 3, 2004)

By Material supplied by HYDRO POWER SYSTEMS (UK) Ltd

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RVP manufacturing and operation

British company HYDRO POWER SYSTEMS (UK) Ltd. (HPS) is the proprietor of the package of sole rights for use, development, manufacturing and sale of RVP in Russia. In 2006, HPS purchased the sole IPR (intellectual property rights) from the Russian patent holders. Pilot and then full-scale production of RVP was started in 2006–2007. At present, submersible pumps are operated in wells of Pechoraneftegas, Rosneft-Krasnodarneftegas and TNK-BP’s Samotlorneftegas.

Apart from downhole RVP, HPS has achieved certain success in the area of surface pumps as well. It should be mentioned that in the near future, booster oil pumping station for field oil pumping at Pechoraneftegas (Ukhta) will be commissioned; this station is equipped with two rotary vortex units each of which can pump 2,200 cu. m of oil a day for 600 m. Product line of surface RVP offered by HPS can provide pumping of viscous oil and liquid injection into the formation in the following ranges: from 200 cu. m/day for 450 m to 2,400 cu. m/day for 600 m.

Unique characteristics of rotary vortex pumps enable oilmen to gain effect during operation of this equipment for production of difficult-to-recover oil reserves and at complicated downhole conditions. For example, low-permeable formations, high solids content, high gas-liquid ratio, scaling, increased viscosity, horizontal and directional wells, etc.

Main performance characteristics of rotary vortex pumps:

•Lifting of formation fluid of increased viscosity from wells of 4-6 inch. diameter in the range of pumping rate 5-80 cu. m/day and pump head 800-2,500 m (up to 4,000 m).
Pumping of mud and “heavy” working fluids from wells of 4-6 inch. diameter during their completion and after work-over operations.
Injection of water into the formation and field liquid pumping in the range of pumping rate up to 120 cu. m/h and pressure up to 40 MPa.
Pumping of water into the formation (surface hole pump version) in the range of pumping rate up to 60 cu. m/h and pressure up to 40 MPa.
Field pumping of multi-phase media in the range of pumping rate up to 120 cu. m/h and pressure up to 40 MPa.
Russian market of submersible pumps
for oil recovery
At present, a number of definite tendencies in the development of well stock of oil companies show up in the Russian oil-producing industry:
Decreasing average well production rate;
Increasing intensity of new oil pool development caused by growing demand for oil;
Increasing amount of wells equipped with submersible pumps (including replacement of sucker-rod and screw pumps);
Decreasing amount of flowing wells.
These tendencies of well characteristics development determine to a considerable degree the character of the

Russian market of submersible pumps, which has the following features:

Stable demand for corrosion- and wear-proof pumps;
Stable demand for pumps rated for low production rate - 5-30 cu. m/day;
Increasing competition due to new technologies and new pump manufacturers coming to the market.

If the present rates of bringing new wells into operation remain the same, amount of oil wells equipped with submersible pumps of various types will reach 165,000 by 2010. Prospects of wide use of submersible RVP for oil production in the RF will be related to the following factors:
Significant increase of amount of wells with complicated downhole conditions.
Bringing back to production of wells suspended due to low production rate.
Scheduled and/or emergency replacement of ESP and oil well sucker-rod pumps.
In the opinion of HPS specialists, wide-scale utilization of RVP will provide significant economic effect due to the following:
Increase of average time between maintenance 1.2-2 times,
Reduction of operating costs,
Increase of average oil recovery from a well,
Reduction of oil production cost.

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