Rotork intelligent full-turn electric actuators have been supplied for upstream shale gas production wells in the USA. Engineered for choke and control valve applications, Rotork’s IQTF actuators provide reliable flow control for oil and gas or process operations, capable of achieving accuracy to 0.3% and resolution to 0.1%.
Rotork’s customer has ordered IQTF actuators to carry out modulating duties on wellhead rotary non-rising choke valves at the East Texas section of the Haynesville / Bossier shale gas formation, a Jurassic Period rock formation covering large parts of South West Arkansas, North West Louisiana and East Texas. Approximately 60 actuators have already been installed to control the flow and pressure of gas and condensate, a mixture of liquid hydrocarbons formed when pressure and temperature decrease as a result of well drilling, at the site near the city of Lufkin. Two IQTF actuators have been installed on each well.
All wells at the Haynesville formation are fully automated to maintain flow and well pressure. To maximize the lifespan of the wells, the customer uses two choke valves on each one to step pressure down from 10,000 psi to 1,200 psi.
The remote location of the wells means a DC power supply using a solar system and battery pack is being used to power the IQTF actuators. This solution was specified as a more reliable option than hydraulic or pneumatic actuation as it avoids potential leakage common in hydraulic actuators.
In a separate project, more than 60 IQTF actuators have been ordered for a new well site at the Eagle Ford basin in South Texas, where they will again be installed two per well.