Company Offers Pressure Energy Solution for Hydraulic Fracturing

“With VorTeq, everything goes through a blender, then passes through VorTeq and then downhole, so the mixture of sand and chemicals doesn’t get passed through the pump fleet,” Rooney explained. “Instead, the pump fleet pumps clean water.”

VorTeq also is made of abrasion-resistant tungsten carbide, so it can handle the sand and high pressures.

With approximately 850 fracking fleets working globally, Energy Recovery estimates that its technology could save the fracking industry $850 million per year in costs. Approximately $4.1 million per year is spent per fracking crew on tearing down dozens of pumps each night to replace parts. Companies can reduce this maintenance cost to $1.5 million or less, Rooney estimates.

“If you need 10 working pumps on site, you have to bring 14 because if you want 10 running and they’re breaking down, you need more than 10.”

This results in an average 40 percent redundancy in equipment on site. The need for less equipment on site also means less truck traffic on the roads hauling equipment. Companies can also rent the device for $1.6 million or less, rather than having to buy.

Energy Recovery estimates that, with 850 fleets at an average of approximately $1.6 million per fleet per year creates a yearly revenue opportunity for the company of $1.4 billion.

Technology Harnesses Pressure Energy

The publicly-traded, San Leandro-Calif.-based company’s Pressure Exchanger technology utilizes pressure energy that can reduce electricity and maintenance costs. Oil and gas and other industries already use heat recovery and exchange technology to capture additional energy that would be wasted. But pressure technology previously was technically very hard to achieve, and wasn’t economically feasible.


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