chemical industry

Chemical Injection Systems for the Oil and Gas Industries

Companies in the oil and gas industry are continuously looking at process improvements that can increase production, improve efficiencies, and minimize downtime. The controlled and reliable injection of chemicals is one way that oil and gas manufacturers can do this – thereby increasing profitability. Chemical injection systems are particularly useful to separate oil, gas, or water, as well as in other processes that improve exploration and recovery efforts.

Chemical injection systems can run via pneumatic, electric, or solar power, depending on where they are located and whether reliable power is available.

A peek behind chemical injection systems

A chemical injection system introduces specific chemicals into the flow stream or reservoir to allow certain processes to occur, often using chemical injection quills. One type of chemical injection system uses specialized chemicals to improve separation, reduce foaming and limit corrosion. These systems can include tanks, metering pumps, instrumentation, and skid mounts.

Another common type of chemical injection system is used for oil recovery, both onshore and offshore. This works by injecting chemicals that increase viscosity – improving the sweep efficiency through a reservoir and aiding in the recovery of oil and gas.

Chemical injection systems usually operate under extreme conditions where the very elements themselves can contribute to their failure. In addition, these systems often inject the harshest chemicals at flow rates and discharge pressures that can only be described as extreme. This means that a chemical injection system will fail, the only question is when.

SCADA chemical injection systems

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems have become increasingly popular for their ability to accurately report and control system measurements including flow rates and discharge pressure, and even predict and diagnose system upsets. This allows operators to schedule maintenance, avoiding shutdowns and expensive emergency repairs.

Benefits of chemical injection systems

Using a chemical injection system to assist in the recovery of oil and gas has various benefits:

  • Increased efficiencies leading to reductions in cost
  • Portability and manoeuvrability
  • Instrumentation and safety shutdown valves to prevent harm (to operators and equipment)
  • Decreased downtime (by reducing unnecessary repair)
  • Safe deployment in hazardous environments
  • Easy installation and maintenance

Three things to check before choosing a chemical injection system

Before investing in any chemical injection system, you need to check:

1. The MTBF (mean time between failure) rate for all equipment or components that may need maintenance.

2. Expected downtime per annum
Secondly, you need to know the expected yearly downtime. Rather look at the worst-case scenario, and work out the maximum downtime that you can afford each year. Then discuss your expectations with your supplier to ensure that extended downtime is the exception – and that you have emergency stock on hand if the worst does occur.

3. Quality standards and procedures
The designer or manufacturer of the chemical injection system must comply with a stringent quality management system and be able to produce relevant certification, such being part of the major QMS organizations or ISO 9001 standard. In addition, check their testing and quality control procedures. If necessary, you can request field or validated testing.
The oil and gas market has been flooded with equipment manufacturers and service providers. It can be daunting to try and find out if they have your best interests at heart. If you’d like help deciding on a chemical injection system, give us a call on 1-800-367-4180 (toll-free). We are your chemical pumps supplier in Canada and we’re here to help you choose, install, maintain, and monitor a variety of equipment. And to answer questions about things you’ve previously tried gone wrong.