High Speed Arrangement 1 Seals In Water Injection Service
As the pressure in older oil wells decrease over time, water injection services are becoming more prevalent on offshore platforms. Water injection is used to maintain the pressure in the wells and displace the oil from the reservoir, which improves the output and can extend the life of the formation. Formation pressures are normally high and require equal or higher pressure to force the water in. These applications are typically handled by high speed, high pressure barrel pumps that can see frequent start/stop cycles. The high peripheral speed and unique operation procedures for these services is a severe duty for any mechanical seal. The seawater process fluid also presents a difficult challenge due to its marginal lubrication properties. Conventional flat face technology results in very high temperatures at the seal faces, which can cause vaporization, thermal distortion and excessive face wear. These effects can be minimized by controlling the amount of heat generated as well as how the components of the seal react to increased temperature. Other specific operating conditions of water injection services must be accounted for as well. These requirements can be met by implementing a strong design evaluation including Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) as well as a test program that accurately represents the conditions in the field.
Riché, Chris (2013). High Speed Arrangement 1 Seals In Water Injection Service. Turbomachinery Laboratories, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station. Available electronically from