Does anyone have liquid nitrogen pump experience?

I'm being been relocated to a new patch where they're using liquid nitrogen pumping for the fracturing of the well. I don't have any knowledge or experience of this. I won't be in charge, and my superiors will know what to do for sure. It would still be interesting to find out a little more about the process before I arrive. I know what liquid nitrogen is, and I know a bit about fracing but not about the reasons why these things would be done together. In my imagination, the equipment and wells would freeze up, which is something we normally try to avoid right?


  • edited March 2018

    Hi Kev, I don't have any experience in working with nitrogen pumping units. Because this oil and gas forum is fairly new, I tend to go ahead and do a bit of research, then get the ball rolling with the first comment .

    I'll list out a few facts and figures from my research, then hopefully as more experienced people discover the thread, they can flesh it out with some practical hands-on experience.

    Nitrogen makes up around 78% of the Earth's atmosphere meaning that we all breathe it all day, every day. Nitrogen compounds are extremely common in everyday use, ranging from antibiotics, to Kevlar, to Superglue.

    We all know what liquid nitrogen is, we've seen celebrity chefs making fancy ice cream with it, and some might even remember discovering it in our science class at high school. The difference between regular nitrogen, and liquid nitrogen is simply the temperature that it's stored at.

    Liquid nitrogen for oil and gas exploration and production

    Liquid nitrogen has a number of midstream and upstream uses, although isn't of any use by itself. It's put into liquid nitrogen pumping units for O+G industry purposes.

    These pumping units are either fitted to a truck or trailer, or are skid mounted. (A skid is like a wooden pallet, but tends to be metal and used by the military or specialised industry when dealing with expensive equipment).

    Nitrogen pumping units are then transported onsite where they're used for the following purposes:

    • Purging air and dangerous vapour
    • Pipeline pressure testing
    • Mixing with other liquids to make them lighter and help them flow better
    • Temperature management
    • Moving inserted smart tools
    • Vessel purging
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