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eFlowback Technology: Automated Sand Management Services

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Operators today have a number of goals when it comes to their flowback operations.

It’s not just about enhancing production—operators are looking to:

  • Reduce excess equipment on the jobsite to minimize safety incidents
  • Lower labor costs while optimizing the workforce
  • Reduce HSE exposure for the protection of the surrounding environment and their people
  • Minimize sand flowing through to the production facility to reduce washed parts and related expenses

However, traditional flowback solutions aren’t designed to help operators achieve these important goals. Most flowback solutions available in the market today are not engineered to a specific application. They are closer to one-size-fits-all solutions that do not consider the specifications of each well, such as the flow rate or well pressure. 

As a result, the commodity equipment doesn’t fully clean up solids from the well’s production. The production facility experiences expensive damages, there is a large amount of personnel and equipment on location, not to mention the increased possibility of emissions from the inefficient setup.

Instead of paying high daily rental costs and unnecessary labor costs, operators need to look for highly engineered flowback technology that is more than just a couple of point solutions or commodity equipment. Where can operators turn?

The answer is eFlowback.

More than just point solutions, eFlowback is an entire sand management ecosystem

EnerCorp’s eFlowback desanding technology combines industry-leading sand separation with automation, measurement systems, and cloud-based software. This means operators can autonomously control their flowback site with optimized equipment and personnel. 

More importantly, eFlowback means operators can achieve their goals of reducing excess equipment, optimizing the workforce, reducing HSE exposure, and minimizing damages to the production facility. 

Changing the face of flowback through digital transformation in the Permian, Haynesville, Marcellus, Utica, Eagle Ford, Duvernay, and Montney areas, eFlowback is leading innovation in the oil and gas industry.

However, it’s not just about the technology of eFlowback, but about how the technology works together as an ecosystem that provides additional value to operators.

eFlowback is made up of multiple separate components. While other flowback service providers may offer one or two of these point solutions to operators, no single company other than EnerCorp can offer the entire ecosystem—especially as a highly engineered fit-for-purpose solution.

We understand that in order to generate the kind of value our clients need to reach their goals, their flowback solution has to be highly engineered to the specifics of their well. That’s why we bring together individual units in a flowback ecosystem and configure each machine to the requirements of the operator’s well.

Here’s what you’ll find in the eFlowback desanding services ecosystem.

Sahara Advanced Cyclone

EnerCorp eFlowback Sahara Advanced Cyclone

eFlowback is based on EnerCorp’s industry-leading cyclonic sand separator, the Sahara Advanced Cyclone. With consistent field performance resulting in greater than 97% sand capture efficiency, this hydrocyclone can remove more sand from a production stream than any other sand separation technology available on the market today. This means operators can flow production directly to the facility, bypassing frac tanks, and reducing any damages to their equipment from sand. 

The Sahara Advanced Cyclone has been precisely engineered to deliver industry-leading sand separation across a broad range of flow regimes, with adjustable inlet technology that optimizes flow velocities for separation. The cyclone geometry was engineered through rigorous CFD analysis, which has enabled the technology to accommodate a range of operating conditions   to support your operations through the entire well lifecycle.

Automated Choke Manifold

eFlowback Automated Choke Manifold

The Sahara Advanced Cyclone is connected to the Automated Choke Manifold. Instead of performing choke changes manually based on a choke schedule, operators can autonomously control the choke manifold without the requirement of any personnel on location—even during the early stages of flowback. Operators can either follow a previously determined choke schedule or make remote adjustments as needed. Through digital transformation, operators can easily optimize their workforce.

Automated Blowdown Unit

eFlowback Automated Blowdown Unit

Once the Sahara Advanced Cyclone captures sand from the production stream, the Automated Blowdown Unit dumps the sand from the cyclone. Up to four Automated Blowdown Units can be connected to one Sand Quantification Unit. This technology has multiple backup valves to ensure isolation and a patent-pending leak detection system. As a result, there is less environmental exposure and safety risks. Operators can autonomously and remotely detect any washed out or stuck valves and replace them to prevent any uncontrolled releases.

Sand Quantification Unit

eFlowback Sand Quantification Skid

Understanding the weight of sand captured has never been an exact science in traditional flowback — until now. With the Sand Quantification Unit in eFlowback, reporting on sand production levels doesn’t need to just be low, medium, or high. Operators can have precise measurements and see exactly how much sand is produced from each blowdown — all remotely. With these exact measurements, operators have the ability to better understand their reservoir behavior and plan the next steps of their flowback operation. 

Tank Level Monitoring System

eFlowback Tank Monitoring System

The Tank Level Monitoring System, which is connected to the Sand Quantification Unit, uses laser-level detection to measure the quantity of fluids in the open top tank. Through this highly accurate measurement system, operators can remotely monitor and receive system alerts for when they need to call for a vacuum truck to remove fluid from the tank. Building safety protocols into eFlowback was a priority. One of the ways we achieved this was to automatically shut down the Automated Blowdown Unit when the Tank Level Monitoring System reaches the threshold you have specified. The Tank Level Monitoring System can also be configured to connect to the well’s Emergency Shut Down to mitigate the chances of an environmental release during flowback.

Automated Control Unit

eFlowback Automated Control Unit

To optimize the workforce through digital transformation, eFlowback uses the Automated Control Unit. It distributes power and air to each of the point solutions in the ecosystem. In addition, the Automated Control Unit monitors each device on location, houses the logic and controls for each device, and has the graphical user interface (GUI) for personnel to use. Through the GUI, personnel can access all device controls, review analytics, and troubleshoot any triggered alarms. While personnel can access the Automated Control Unit on site, it also has an extendable antenna so that it can communicate to the cloud and be accessed remotely at any time. The Automated control Unit can also be tied into your SCADA platform, allowing full system integration, communication, and monitoring in the native environment you are accustomed to. 

Cloud-Based Software

eFlowback Cloud Based Monitoring Software

The digital transformation of flowback wouldn’t be complete without highly secure cloud-based software, which enables both you and EnerCorpto remotely access and control every machine on location. There are a number of security features in the software, such as role-based access, so that only the right personnel can access, monitor, review, or control the technology on the job site from a remote location. 

Automated flowback isn’t for the future — it’s happening now

eFlowback isn’t just an industry-leading sand cyclone or a laser-level measurement system. It’s not just an Automated Blowdown Unit or cloud-based software. It’s a highly engineered ecosystem that combines these elements and much more, all configured to the specific requirements of your well. Learn more about what eFlowback is, who else is using this pioneering technology, and how it can help you reach your operational goals.

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