There is no doubt that the energy industry is one of the biggest and most innovative sectors in the world. Without energy powering our factories, automobiles, roads, and homes, it would be impossible to carry on with our regular activities.
As the world’s population grows, our dependence on energy in the form of fossil fuels continues to become greater. Most of us are familiar as to how these fuels power our daily lives. What we do not know about is how they are extracted from the deep beneath the Earth’s surface.
In this article, we speak to leading experts from Completion Products, a leading name in the manufacturing of sand screens. We ask them about this peculiar piece of machinery and the role it plays in the extraction process.
Sand Screens: Meaning and Definition
I am sure that a lot of you would have done the distillation and filtration experiment at school. All of us have used impure water and then used a sand filter paper to separate the sediments from water. We have seen how the sand, mud and other impurities stuck to the filter and clean water was collected in the beaker.
A modern sand screen used in an oil drilling facility works in the same way. It helps to trap all the sand, filth, and dirt that come out during the extraction process. A sand screen can be compared to a large industrial filter that separates the oil from the sand and impurities.
As most of the oil is located hundreds of feet below the earth and in desert conditions, a sand screen is one of the most important allies for energy companies. If they would have extracted the oil with the sand, they would have had to spend a ton of money on a separate filtration process. A sand screen helps them save time, money, energy, and effort.
How does a Sand Screen Work?
Have you seen old movies or cartoons where the characters used telescopes? It could be extended to increase the magnifying appeal of the lens. A sand screen also works in the same fashion. It can be extended deep into the depths of the Earth.
The more you extend it, the narrower the tip becomes. This helps in not only reaching difficult points with ease but also allows for the filtration process to become better. Typically, companies use a sand screen and line it on the diameter of the drilling bore.
We often think that a sand screen helps with filtration, yet it also serves a very important second function. What do you think would happen to the drilling equipment if rough stones, metals, and minerals would get into it? The simple answer is that it would slow down the entire process of extraction, as well as end up damaging the drilling equipment.
By keeping the stones, sand, and other impurities out, a sand screen helps in ensuring the long life of a driller. This is an invaluable function as drilling equipment is very expensive.
What Material is the Sand Screen made up of?
Do not make the mistake of thinking that the sand screen is made of tissue paper or a cloth net like your childhood chemistry lab experiment. A heavy-duty sand screen is made up of stainless steel. The primary reason for the same is that as compared to other metals, stainless steel erodes less. This means that it can be used for longer periods and allow for greater filtration levels.
You need to understand that the energy fuels that are being extracted- crude oil and natural gas have strong chemical properties. A sand screen needs to not only work effectively against the earth’s natural properties like mud, sand, stones, etc but also ensure that the reaction with crude oil and natural gas does not erode the screen.
This is why stainless steel has been chosen by companies like Completion Products for its durability, and cost-effectiveness.
The Bottom Line
Sand screens play a very important role in optimizing the performance of oil drilling operations. Being made of stainless steel, they are rust-free and corrosion-free. For miners and drillers, they help in serving an invaluable service. If you would like us to share any more information on sand screens and how they work, let us know in the comments section below.