High voltage motors withstand extreme environmental conditions

Pump drives in the Arctic Circle

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Rosneft produced 25.3 million tons of oil in the Siberian Vankor oil field in 2013, where the temperature can fall below -40 °C in winter Picture: WEG
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Siberia’s climate is characterised by extreme temperature fluctuations: hot, dry summers while cold, snow and ice alternate in winter. Yet even in such adverse weather conditions, electric drives can still work reliably. This is demonstrated by the explosion-proof, high voltage motors in the W22XB series which are in action in the Siberian Vankor oil field. There, Rosneft uses seven engines with an extra-wide temperature resistance range to drive crude oil pumps.

The huge Vankor oil field in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia is one of Russian oil company Rosneft’s biggest production areas and at the same time one of the largest industrial projects in Russia. It is of great importance both for Russia’s oil and gas industry and for the Russian economy in general. Rosneft’s original plan in 2012 was to produce about 18 million tons of oil in the Vankor oil field, but the energy giant has since upped this volume to around 25 million tons per year. The oil field comprises more than 400 wells. The 4700 km long Eastern Siberia-Pacific (ESPO) pipeline was completed back in 2012. From then on, the oil produced in Vankor was exported via this pipeline to the markets in Japan, China and Korea.

High voltage in the Siberian ice

The W22XB motors drive crude oil pumps from JSC Nasosenergomash Sumy (a subsidiary of the HMS Group), the largest oil pump manufacturer in the region. WEG Russia was awarded the contract to supply these explosion-proof motors, which consist of seven units in the high-efficiency W22XB series, by its partner Energofront.

The motors provide Rosneft with an explosion-proof solution for the harsh climate of the Arctic Circle, the series being designed for operation at extreme temperatures. It is this combination of explosion protection and high efficiency that makes them so special. As energy-saving motors, they help reduce operating costs throughout their service life.

Full performance even below zero

The size 450 KH 10,000 V motors have a rated output of 500 kW and are certified according to Russian (EAC) and international standards for potentially explosive atmospheres classified as Ex d IIB T4. They are designed for long-term operation within an ambient temperature range from
-60 to +40 °C and guarantee a high degree of reliability and safety.

W22XB motors are Atex/IECEx certified and meet the challenging requirements of aggressive and potentially explosive atmospheres. They also offer all the advantages of a premium efficiency motor such as minimal noise and vibration or a low operating temperature. As a result, the complete range – low and high voltage motors up to 2000 kW – is characterised by reduced energy costs alongside various safety aspects; this generally means a fast ROI, especially in continuous operation.

WEG’s drive solutions allow oil- or gas-producing companies to cover practically any explosion-proof application very effectively, from gas pipelines in the Arctic to drilling rigs in the hottest regions of the Arabian Desert. These explosion-proof products are certified according to all important standards and specially designed to withstand aggressive and potentially explosive environments such as the Vankor oil field.

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Author: Andreas Schulte Mesum

Director European High Voltage Solutions,

WEG Germany


At a glance:   Explosion-proof motors

WEG’s W22X series includes a wide range of energy-saving motors for hazardous areas. The series is complemented by H-Line and M-Line motors, which were developed jointly with the global oil and gas industry. The M-Line is WEG‘s core product for the oil and gas market. The motors in this series are designed for large-scale applications in the power range up to 30 MW and operate reliably even in the most adverse conditions – both onshore and offshore. They have all essential classifications for hazardous areas according to the latest Atex directives and are used worldwide in many applications, for example water injection, multi-stage gas compression and oil pipelines. M-Line motors are constructed as a box frame that is ideally suited for Ex p and Ex n applications with pre-start rinsing for Zones 1 and 2 at low leakage rates. The internal exhaust pipes in the box frame ensure an efficient and fast flushing cycle, so that the costs for purge air and protective gas are kept to a minimum. They also enable fast start-up times.

For smaller-scale applications, the robust H-Line motors are available in Ex n and Ex e versions, covering medium voltage applications in the range up to 4 MW at a maximum voltage of 6600 V (50 or 60 Hz). These compact and extremely reliable machines are offered in IEC sizes 315 to 630 with a robust cast housing and high corrosion resistance.

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