Blackhawk Technology Company, leading manufacturer of top-head-drive piston pumps, has shipped a high-performance Neptune caisson sump pump for the multi-billion-dollar North Rankin B offshore gas platform, part of the Woodside-operated North West Shelf Venture's A$5 billion North Rankin redevelopment project, currently under construction off the Northwest Shelf Coast of Western Australia.
When fully operational in 2013, the NR2 development will recover low-pressure gas from hydrocarbon fields in the Canarvon Basin. Blackhawk's positive-displacement Neptune top-head-drive pump jack was specially built to pump drainage that accumulates in the platform's caisson sump. The rugged but lightweight Neptune is designed to handle tar, oil, and other viscous hydrocarbon liquids in saltwater caisson sump environments.
The project's Australian operator, Woodside Energy Ltd., is employing its industry-leading "flawless startup" process, in which each platform component is tested for reliability and compatibility prior to phased installation. Pumps are being supplied regionally by Dynapumps.
With shallow or deep capabilities, the Neptune uses an active-recovery process that draws product from a specified depth at a specified rate anywhere between 0–11 US gpm (41.6 lpm). In addition, it pumps all deckwash debris, such as ear plugs, tape and other floating detritus.
Blackhawk's Neptune builds on the century-old reliability of an oil-field pump jack, refined with next-generation technology, to produce pneumatic or electric top-head motors that drive a caisson piston from the surface deck -- safely and cleanly away from the liquids being pumped. Constructed of high-grade stainless steel, the Neptune operates effectively in saltwater and offers high efficiency, superior wear resistance and constant, controllable pumping speeds. It pumps fluids all the way to the bottom of the piston inlet, generating up to 2.6 Bar (380 psi) pressure, equal to 268 meters (880 ft.) head.
Neptune performance is unaffected by viscous warm liquids or other sump/caisson conditions such as temperature or corrosion.
"We are excited to provide Woodside with the custom pumps needed in this challenging environment," said Mark Bertane, Blackhawk's president. "Blackhawk actively collaborates with our customers to develop hands-on innovations that work. As the professionals' choice in leading technology, Blackhawk is making pumping simpler, more productive and more cost efficient."
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