Conventional centrifugal pumps are known to break oil droplets while pumping produced water. The consequence is that the efficiency of the downstream produced water treatment processes is reduced. Often positive displacement pumps, like eccentric screw pumps, are used to counteract oil droplet breaking. Drawbacks of positive displacement pumps, however, are often high maintenance requirements.
Typhonix has together with the oil companies Vår Energi, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, Neptune Energy and the Research Council of Norway, developed separation friendly centrifugal produced water pumps. The low shear centrifugal pumps are developed for produced water applications, and through extensive testing, Typhonix has shown that it is possible not only to make a pump which does not break droplets, but also enlarges oil droplets during pumping. Due to the robust design in accordance with API 610, these pumps have large OPEX benefits compared to low shear positive displacement pumps.