Four researchers from the PCM Vulcain product development team received the AFTP 2008 Award at the Journees Annuelles du Petrole (French National Annual Oil Conference). This event, organized by the AFTP (French Association of Oil Industry Engineers and Technicians) and the GEP (French Oil and Gas Industry Suppliers Council), brings together the major professional players in the oil and gas industries.
Every year, the AFTP Award is given to the most impressive innovation in the oil and gas industries. The jury, made up of section presidents from the AFTP, decided this year to single out PCM for its ground-breaking PCM Vulcain technology. This is the world's first all-metal progressive cavity pump which withstands extreme downhole temperatures that are encountered in the harsh conditions of thermal oil recovery.
Jacques Fay, Chief Executive Officer of PCM, received the AFTP Award. In his acceptance speech he declared, "This award pays tribute to the great achievements of a team whose members come from both a specialized, mid-sized company in the shape of PCM, and from a large multinational. The Vulcain project forms part of PCM’s tradition for innovation which began in 1932 with the invention of the progressive cavity pump and continued in 1985 with its use in the oil production industry. The Vulcain pump provides an ideal solution for extracting oil in some of the world’s most unconventional oilfields."
AN AMBITIOUS PROJECT
Some deposits of extra heavy oils, such as those in Canada and Venezuela, are so viscous that they cannot be recovered using traditional methods. Injecting steam makes these oils more liquid. However, the big challenge facing technicians has always been how to develop a reliable method to exploit these reserves that generate extremely high downhole temperatures (200 degrees C to 300 degrees C).
In the 1990s, PCM set itself the goal of developing an all-metal progressive cavity pump (PCP) capable of withstanding extreme operating conditions. After several years' R&D, PCM introduced its first metal prototypes at oilfields in Canada.
Today, this innovation reaches a new milestone with the Vulcain pump which uses SAGD (Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage) technology to recover the oil.
Thanks to its patented all-metal design, PCM Vulcain solves both sides of the equation by providing all the natural advantages and flexibility of progressing cavity pump technology at extreme temperatures.
Results are highly encouraging for this new pump which is setting new records in terms of its life cycle since it has now been operating for over eighteen months non-stop.
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