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Chinese pipeline to use UK sealing tech

04th September 2012

A pipeline transporting oil from Siberia to China, Japan and Korea will be completed in 2016 and will use UK firm's sealing technology

Major oil and gas project to be built in Russia using UK sealing technology

UK sealing technology provider, EagleBurgmann, has been commissioned to supply products for most pumping stations on the ESPO (East Siberia Pacific Ocean) pipeline, it emerged on Tuesday. The pipeline will transport oil from Siberia to China, Japan and Korea,

The pipeline – due for completion in 2016- is almost 5000 km long and is being built in east Russia by state company TransNeft.

With the development and infrastructure construction of China, demand on oil and gas is growing; the ESPO pipeline should go some way to mitigating this increasing energy demand.

The pipeline will be equipped with 43 pumping stations, each with four pumps. When completed, the average distance between pumping stations will be about 150 km.

Currently, seven stations have already been installed on ESPO-I, corresponding to an average distance between stations of about 400 km. Five further pumping stations are now being built as part of the expansion of the first part of the project and EagleBurgmann was recently awarded a contract for three further pumping stations on a section of ESPO-I.

The extreme climatic and geographic conditions in Siberia mean that the installed equipment faces considerable challenges. The pipeline, with a diameter of 1200 millimeters, crosses earthquake prone areas and significant elevations. This means that the components used must meet high requirements in terms of quality, sturdiness, availability and durability.

The pumping stations themselves are often located in difficult terrain and are almost inaccessible. Logistic structures that minimise upkeep, maintenance and repair work are, therefore, essential. Such requirements can only be met by low-maintenance, low-repair components of the type supplied by EagleBurgmann.

Technical competence in the oil and gas industry and extensive experience in the sealing of crude oil pumps under difficult conditions already qualified EagleBurgmann to supply high-pressure seals and sealing systems for ESPO-I.

Under the follow-up order for the completion of ESPO-II and the expansion of ESPO-I, the Russian pipeline operator TransNeft will receive seals from the tried and tested SH and HR series designed for use in pumping stations and pumps.

To meet the special requirements of this project, seals have been specially designed in close cooperation between design engineers, pump manufacturers and the system operator, EagleBurgmann, a Freudenberg company.

Tests showed that the seal solutions of EagleBurgmann achieved friction and leakage values significantly lower than the limits that had been specified. "Our customers attended the tests to obtain a first-hand impression of our expertise and the quality of our products," said Franz Schafer, Sales Manager with EagleBurgmann.

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