Five companies’ innovations are transforming U.S. fracking

New software and hardware products from five lesser-known technology developers are cutting costs and gaining efficiency for hydraulic fracturing pressure pumping units, the Journal of Petroleum Technology reports. Evolution Well Services “uses 100% natural gas-burning turbine generators to feed its custom-designed hydraulic fracturing pumps,” saving $1 million to $1.5 million monthly in fuel costs over diesel, while reducing the number of people needed to complete each well, according to the article. KCF Technologies “has developed vibration sensors that attach to several components of a pumping unit,” which when coupled with a centralized monitoring center, “has resulted in an 80% reduction in unplanned downtime due to machine failures.” An automated control system built by EKU Powerdrives “shuts down a pumping unit whenever it is not needed to pump. . . . resulting in a 90% reduction of idle running time” and extending the life of the unit. IOT-eq developed a field communications system “to move large volumes of data” that can be used to assess equipment fatigue or rapidly assess stage performance. A multipurpose power system developed by MGB Oilfield Solutions “enables companies to decouple tractor-trailers with the pressure pumps, while providing several other support functions,” reducing “the spread’s headcount and footprint on a pad by up to 35%.” For more, read the full article.