Showing posts with label frac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frac. Show all posts

Fracing vs. Fracking: Winning the Grammar Battle and Losing the Search Engine War

Hydraulic fracturing is the drilling process where layers of bedrock are cracked and spilt using hydraulic fluids to free up and extract oil and natural gas trapped within. TECO is a manufacturer of severe service magnetic flowmeters designed specifically for the hydraulic fracturing industry.

We at TECO believe its important to fully understand an industry's unique processes, challenges, and terminology. By doing so we gain a deep industry knowledge. This knowledge facilitates better communication. Better communication increases understanding and reduces mistakes and errors.

There are very few situations where this isn't the best track to follow. But we found one.

We always tried to do our best by being clear, accurate, and following industry standards. But sometimes you just have to know when to give up. Such is the case with the never-ending "fracing vs. fracking" debate.

This isn't the first essay on the subject, and it won't be the last. It's just that, we here at TECO, have decided to change our online communications approach, based upon some pretty strong data.

While the Oil and Gas industry prefer leaving that lower case "k" out, it's become quite clear that Mr. Google and Mr. Webster decided the "k" needs to be there. And when you're a company making great flow meters, and trying to let people know how good they are, it's makes a world of difference in getting found on the search engines.

It's no secret that Oil and Gas industry people clearly prefer the use of frac or fracing. There are quite a few instances where industry leaders have strongly argued that frac or fracing are the only acceptable spellings. TECO too, decided the industry preferred version was the way to go, and decided that all of our efforts in online marketing and communications would follow suit. We were sure that by sticking to the use of the industry preferred spelling, we'd be in a perfect position to be seen by all the industry professionals searching for "fracing flow meters".

But that didn't happen. Mr. Google wasn't buying it. Search engine results were disappointing. We needed to find out what we were doing wrong.

After careful review of our online content, and use of keywords, we determined it was that lousy lowercase "k". Turns out it makes an insane amount of difference when people use a search engine.

For example, in one test, using a generic keyword tracking tool, we found that the term "fracing" returns a total of 1187 searches, while the term "fracking" returns an astounding 87,836 searches! That means "fracking" is searched for 74 times more than "fracing". You can't ignore that.

Additionally, when you review the Google Trends graph below,  you see a vivid illustration of the usage (and trends) for the terms Frac, Frack, Fracing and Fracking (it's pretty clear that Fracking is the winner).

Fracing vs. Fracking
Click for larger view.
But this graph also reveals another important geographic clue. You'll note that the term Frac is used in the specific states where the actual drilling is happening, which makes sense because that's where the fracing industry professionals are. And we want to make sure we reach them. So, our conclusion and online marketing plan may not surprise you.

We'll use both. 😀

Magnetic Flowmeters for Measuring the Frac Fluid

A piece of equipment used in hydraulic fracturing is the blender truck. It contains the equipment used to prepare and measure the "frac fluid". Frac fluid is composed of water, sand, specialty chemicals, and gels, and is highly erosive and sometimes corrosive. This "blended" mixture of sand, water and chemicals is then injected into a well to hydraulically open cracks in the rock layers below. By opening the cracks, trapped natural gas and petroleum is released and flows more freely. 

Magnetic flowmeters are employed to measure the frac fluid flow and volume.  These flowmeters must accurately meter the frac fluid into the well, stand up to the continual erosive media, and be durable enough to handle the harsh ambient conditions. Standard process magmeters experience shortened lifespans under these conditions and must be pulled from service and repaired. A better alternative is a severe service flowmeters designed specifically for this service.

Thompson Equipment Company (TECO) manufactures an electromagnetic flowmeter (magmeter) designed for frac fluid flow metering. The TECO design incorporates two significant features to improve performance and extend operating life:
  1. A ceramic sleeved liner made of “magnesia partially stabilized zirconia”
  2. The use of solid tungsten electrodes.
The TECO fracing flowmeter provides huge benefits, namely operators save money through increased uptime, they reduce health, safety and environmental risk, and reduce costs related to magmeter replacement and repair.

Severe Service Magmeters for Fracing Operations

Proven in the heat of a West Texas summer, and the cold of an Alberta winter, this TECO magmeter is designed from the ground up to withstand corrosive slurries, acids, bases and solvents.

Severe Application Meter
Severe Application Meter (TECO)
Magnetic flow meters (magmeters) installed on blender trucks are of particular concern. The application involves accurately measuring the flow of an extremely erosive slurry comprised of sand and “frac water” (a mixture of water and harsh chemicals). Replacing failed magmeters can take up to 4 hours, and requires the shutting down of the entire frac spread.

Calling upon sixty-plus years experience in magmeter application, failure analysis, repair, and design, TECO developed several innovative magmeter features intended to improve longevity in fracing operations.

FRAC Trucks
FRAC Trucks
First, TECO developed a ceramic sleeved liner made of “magnesia partially stabilized zirconia”, a very tough ceramic used in severe-service applications that provides corrosion resistance and durability.

Second, TECO developed electrodes built from a solid tungsten carbide billet, which afford unparalleled wear resistance. Given the sand density in the frac fluid, noise reduction is critically important; so, the tungsten carbide is polished leaving a hard, smooth finish that significantly reduces noise in the electrode circuit.

Erosive sand tears up
other magmeters. 
Finally, TECO designed the magmeter as a drop-in replacement. It operates with a variety of secondaries and matches the “lay length” of the meter being replaced. There is no need for a new transmitter and no need for repiping, allowing for simple retrofit in existing installations.

Internal view of TECO SAM after 500,000,000 pounds of sand
Internal view of SAM after 500,000,000
pounds of sand flowed though the core.
Upon inspection, the customer found the
flow tube to be looking “brand new”.
In 2017 TECO introduced the SAM (Severe Application Meter) magmeter as a flow meter designed specifically for hydraulic fracturing operations. By specifying SAM, operators save money through increased uptime; decreased health, safety and environmental risk; and reduced costs related to magmeter purchase and repair.

Download the PDF version of this article here.

Contact TECO by visiting of call 800-528-8997 for more information.

World's First Magnetic Flowmeter Developed Specifically for Hydraulic Fracing

When suspended solids are mixed with a liquid (such as water), a mud-like substance referred to as a “slurry” is formed. Slurries are challenging because of their abrasive nature. Add a highly caustic or acidic condition to the slurry, and the magnetic flowmeters (Magmeters) used to measure flow become particularly susceptible to failure. In these situations off-the-shelf magnetic flowmeters won’t last, so consideration must be given to custom flowmeters built specifically to withstand the application’s unique requirements. Hydraulic fracturing (fracing) is one industry where the movement and handling of slurries is very common, and specially designed Magmeters should be used.

Thompson Equipment (TECO) is now offering their "Severe Application Meter (SAM)" (patent pending) which is specifically designed as the world's first Magmeter developed specifically for the hydraulic fracing industry. It is designed with an impact and wear resistant ceramic liner, solid tungsten carbide billet electrodes, and quick change Victaulic flanges. The SAM can also be retrofitted to the customers existing electronic secondary system, such as Rosemount, E+H, Yokagawa, etc.

For more information, contact TECO by calling (504) 833-6381 or by visiting