MRO Magazine

Automation technology for pumping system reduces motor power required by 200 hp

Mississauga, ON -- Oct. 2, 2002 -- Siemens Canada has won a contract to supply automation technology for a new vapo...


October 2, 2002
By MRO Magazine

Mississauga, ON — Oct. 2, 2002 — Siemens Canada has won a contract to supply automation technology for a new vapour recovery system operated by Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL). It is to be used at a heavy oil production site in northeastern Alberta known as Primrose. The contract is valued at $1.8 million.

CNRL has developed the new technology in response to a requirement of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board. Under new regulations, the province’s oil and gas producers must recover, rather than burn off, excess gases that are contained in extracted oil and gas.

CNRL’s technological response to the new requirement matches advanced multi-phase pumping technology with energy efficient automation technology from Siemens. As one of the largest independent oil and natural gas exploration, development and production companies, Canadian Natural is a senior oil and gas production company with continuing operations in core areas located in Western Canada, the United Kingdom portion of the North Sea and offshore in West Africa.

To meet the no emission goal, CNRL’s engineers selected a system in which multi-phase pumps, supplied by Borneman Pumps of Germany, act as separation devices able to handle all of the liquids and gases that emerge from a producing well. This is combined with advanced automation devices to control the variable speeds at which the pumps operate, including motors, motor drives and programmable logic controllers (PLCs).


A complete system is assembled on a skid that is easily placed at a production site. Each skid will handle the needs of up to 20 pump jacks.

After successfully beta testing the Siemens technology, CNRL was able to downgrade its motor specification from 500 hp to 300 hp. This resulted in substantial equipment and energy cost savings without jeopardizing production efficiencies.

Siemens also demonstrated that an approach that integrated its technology could reduce capital and operating costs given that its motors and drives could perform at efficiencies above industry norms.

The Siemens proposal was centred on the use of a Profibus communications network and the ability to integrate its devices without the additional cost of interface devices that would be required if equipment from various automation suppliers was selected.