Liberty prepares electric fracture pump for commercialization following Permian testing

Field trials in the Permian Basin were completed on a next-generation electric fracture pump that emits less carbon, Denver-based Liberty Oilfield Services Inc. said.

The digiFrac electric pump is a specially designed fully integrated electric fracture pump, the company said. Final field tests were performed on a three-well rig in West Texas that operates 24 hours a day, Liberty noted. The exploration and production customer was not disclosed.

“The successful development and field testing of digiFrac is an important milestone for the industry and reflects Liberty’s commitment to continuous innovation” in environmental, social and governance initiatives, said CEO Chris Wright.

When it begins commercial operations, the technology would allow customers to “increase the efficiency and control of their operations while lowering their emissions profiles.”

During testing of the new pump, flow checks were made that Liberty had not been able to accomplish previously, said the company’s Jesse Dees, a service manager for the team that oversaw the field tests.

“The digiFrac pump quickly became the site’s control center,” Dees said. “This technology will be a game-changer for future operations. “

According to the company, the new pump in field trials was 10% of on-site pumping capacity, giving Liberty confidence that it is ready for commercial production. The tests followed three years of internal research and development.

“The digiFrac platform will allow the flexibility to integrate power from central generation or from the grid if available,” said management.

The digiFrac pump is also expected to anchor Liberty’s fleet. The company plans to integrate the system with existing hard-wired and back-end electrical equipment, “resulting in the first comprehensive suite of electrical disruption technology designed for this purpose.”

Many Lower 48 exploration companies and oil service operators are working to reduce emissions from the oil and gas fields. Recently, Seneca Resources Co. LLC and NexTier Oilfield Solutions Inc. began benchmarking carbon emissions for various hydraulic fracturing equipment powered by natural gas and diesel.

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