SKF enables virtually maintenance-free pump solution at 1600 meters

The problem

An offshore oil and gas processor needed a full processing installation on the seabed, but first needed to prove that multiphase fluids – oil, gas, brine, sand and more – could be pumped in deepwater. After careful review, the company settled on a pump design that could be tested in depths below 1 600 meters. Pump reliability would be key to reducing extraction and repair costs along with productivity losses. The short-term goal was to operate the equipment virtually maintenance-free for five years or more, even under severe load, shaft deflection and lubricant conditions.

The SKF solution

Working closely with both the customer and pump manufacturer, SKF provided several sets of specially designed CARB toroidal roller bearings. SKF provided super-tough stainless steel bearing rings with NoWear coated rollers to handle radial loads, while other specially designed bearings were delivered for the drives.

The results

After long-term field-testing, the specially designed SKF bearing solution showed no signs of wear. The customer expressed confidence that this aspect of the deepwater pump design will continue to withstand the highly demanding conditions of this sub-sea installation.
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