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Feature: Specialized Desanders – Stop Sand before Sand stops you

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Specialized Desanders Inc




Producing frac sand during well cleanup can damage surface equipment, and as the pressure decreases over time, the velocities of gas-liquid mixtures actually increase, resulting in even more erosive fluid flows. Specialized Desanders Inc.TM (SDI) provides an engineered solution to the hazards associated with frac and formation sand entrained in high pressure multiphase flows with pressure ratings up to 41,370 kPa (6,000 psig).

Founded by three energy sector veterans in 2001, SDI opened its doors in Three Hills, Alberta. Specialized Desanders quickly grew, adding an operations base near Grande Prairie, and headquarters in Calgary, in order to better serve its clients. Within the past year, increasing industry demand for multiphase desanding equipment has ignited expansion into new global markets; specifically within the U.S. and Australia. SDI has opened operations in Pittsburgh, U.S. and has been serving Australia through its exclusive distributor, Steelhead Desanders, based in Brisbane.

From day one, the SDI founders wanted to provide clients with a fee-for-service business, for a fixed monthly charge covering all of the costs involved. This continues today with SDI’s pricing structure; with no hidden fees. The monthly service fee covers most, if not all, of the technical support, regulatory filing requirements, certifications and normal wear-and-tear costs. The only variable costs that customers pay relate to equipment transportation and tie-in.

Notifications can be sent to operators when the Desander requires servicing, thanks to web-based monitoring, providing peace-of-mind. Exclusive to Specialized Desanders, Sand Sentry is a web-based, on-site sand monitoring system that operates in real-time. This unique service allows clients to access data, anywhere, anytime through SMS and receive notification when cleanouts are required.

“Our top priority, bar none, is safety,” says SDI Vice President Craig McDonald. All equipment is certified in ABSA registered ASME Section VIII, Div. 1 and ASME B31.3 codes. Operators and owners can rest assured that for SDI, the safe operation of the pressure equipment takes priority over being the lowest cost or lowest-bid provider.

SDI Desanders function effectively over a wide range of flowrates. Sized to work with high initial rates they are also able to handle the higher gas phase velocities that develop as production continues and flowing pressures drop. This allows the same equipment to remain in service despite changing conditions. For wells with continuing sand production, it is not uncommon for the Desander to be on the well for extended periods of time with some installation durations reaching years.

SDI Desanders operate with negligible pressure drops to ensure safe operation of the surface facilities – while capturing the maximum amount of production during the well’s initial high productivity. Removing all particulates, even after a well has been cleaned up following a frac, protects downstream assets such as chokes and valves. Particulate removal also reduces the repair and maintenance costs associated with high-velocity flow streams.

Don’t be surprised by sand flows – get a free preliminary engineered assessment at

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