Our world runs on energy. Whether driving to the grocery store, working on a laptop, or taking a well-earned vacation to the beach, energy is a necessary component of almost everything we do.
Much of the energy we use comes from oil and gas manufacturing. While alternative forms of energy such as solar power, wind farms, and geothermal energy are being rapidly developed, oil and gas are still our primary energy sources. In 2021, renewable and alternative energy comprised just 12.4% of the total energy used in the United States. That year, 19.8% of U.S. electricity was generated using renewable energy sources.
Even as we look toward renewable and more environmentally friendly energy, we continue to rely primarily on oil and gas manufacturing.
What Is Oil and Gas Manufacturing?
The process of extracting oil and natural gas from the environment and turning it into usable products and the energy consumers use is known as oil and gas production or manufacturing.
Due to the critical need for energy, oil and gas are one of the largest industries in the world. Oil and gas production and distribution are critical to the global economy. Like other manufacturing industries, success requires smooth operations, reliable output, and continual improvement.
The Process of Oil and Gas Production
Oil and gas manufacturing is a complex process, encompassing extracting the raw materials, processing them, and finally distributing them safely to consumers. These three phases of oil and gas production are typically described as upstream, midstream, and downstream.
Upstream Oil and Gas Production
Upstream production includes exploring and finding, drilling, and extracting raw materials (oil and gas). Once a site for drilling and extraction has been found, strategy and equipment for the drilling are necessary to capture the oil and natural gas from underground reservoirs and wells.
In the past, most wells were drilled vertically. Today, with new technologies and techniques, companies have more options for drilling and extraction. These include horizontal drilling, extended-reach drilling, and hydraulic drilling (also known as fracking).
Specialized pumps like frac pumps, suction pumps, and valves that can manage the extremely high pressure of drilling are necessary. Blowout preventers handle the sudden release of natural gas or crude oil from a well and include valves to close the well. Mud pumps are specialized reciprocating pumps that generate the pressure for circulating liquid in the oil drill system.
Field service work and repairs are often necessary to keep the equipment operating efficiently and safely.
Midstream Oil and Gas Production
In this stage, the extracted raw materials, namely oil and natural gas, are prepared and processed. This involves separating the raw materials and transporting them to the processing plants. There, the nonhydrocarbon gases and waste are removed, and the oil and gas are prepared for use.
After they're prepared, the materials must be safely and securely stored and transported. Pumps and motors, piping, and valves are critical for this process. Mechanical seals are used in processing and transportation.
Downstream Oil and Gas Production
In downstream oil and gas manufacturing, the petroleum materials are refined into a finished product. The finished product includes gas, as well as fuel for generating electricity, kerosene, or raw materials for making plastics and other synthetics.
The refining process depends on the product, but steps could include distillation, coking, reforming, and post-treatment. Refining is typically done in a specialized facility or plant. Air compressors are critical to the refining process, automating the valves used to manage the product and process or providing energy. Pumps and motors are also crucial for transporting materials and end products, as well as during processing.
Supporting Oil and Gas Manufacturers
OTC Industrial Technologies is a leading distributor for the oil and gas industry.
OTC Industrial Technologies is a leader in frac pumps and engineered solutions for pumps, seals, valves, and mixers. The pumps and motors group at OTC includes dedicated teams for field service and repair. They also offer in-shop repairs for pumps, motors, motor controls, and electrical controls at more than 35 dedicated shops nationwide. That means faster, turnkey, end-to-end solutions for oil and gas manufacturers.
In addition to pumps, valves, and seals, OTC offers complete compressed air solutions. These include DIRECTAIR®, an innovative compressed air as a utility service that allows companies to pay for only the air they need without the cost of maintenance, repair, or capital expense. For emergencies or planned events, OTC also offers rental air compressors or temperature control equipment like chillers, cooling towers, and heat exchangers. They can provide the equipment and expertise to get your facility up and running again or deliver short-term equipment to prevent a plant shutdown during plant maintenance.
As an end-to-end solution provider and industrial distributor with resources across the country, as well as access to equipment, engineers, and expertise, OTC Industrial Technologies delivers rapid repair, equipment supply, and service for oil and gas manufacturers. Partner with OTC for more efficient production and faster solutions.
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