Types of Pumps in the Oil and Gas Industry

Pumps are invaluable fixtures on many oil drilling rigs. This equipment accelerates the fluid transfer from one location to another. Refineries need these pumps because oil displacement is critical for rig operations. Processing fluids in the gas and oil industry can be challenging, and using the correct refinery pumps will aid the process. In this guide, you’ll discover various oil pumps and their applications. 

Types of Oil and Gas Pumps and Their Applications

Many oil well pump types streamline the fluid displacement process, whether delivering oil to a storage facility, refinery or ship. Along with carrying oil, the various pump types operate under similar principles, allowing you to find the best one for your application. 

Each pump has a distinct function and can ease daily operations, so choosing the correct one will be vital for your business. Below, you can discover all the information you need about how oil pumps work and their various applications. 

Centrifugal Pumps

Centrifugal pumps for the oil and gas industry use one or multiple rotating impellers to suction the oil into the pump before discharging the fluid with centrifugal force. Valves control the discharge. 

These pumps are excellent for low-viscosity fluids with high flow rates and do not contain fumes, air or significant amounts of solid particles. Often, you will use these pumps within a more extensive network for secondary gas and oil recovery or oil shipping. You may also add an electric submersible pump, which separates oil and water to re-inject the water into a reservoir without bringing it to the ground surface. 

Metering Pumps

Metering pumps transfer an exact fluid volume within a specific time at an accurate flow rate. Delivering liquid with these adjustable, precise flow rates is a practice known as metering. Rather than describing a particular type of pump, a “metering pump” can change depending on the use or application. Many metering pumps are reciprocating pumps with a diaphragm or packed plunger end. Diaphragm ends are the better choice because they seal fluid inside, preventing it from leaking into the atmosphere.

Diaphragm Pumps

This industrial oil pump has a diaphragm and valve to draw gas and oil into a refinery chamber during the midstream and upstream refinement phases. As the chamber volume increases, the pressure decreases, allowing fluid to pour into the chamber. Then, the diaphragm pushes the oil out as it moves up and down. After the liquid clears the chamber, the diaphragm will adjust to allow more liquid to enter.

These pumps’ unique design allow you to move large amounts of fluid. Diaphragm pumps are excellent for refineries with access to sizable oil sources. The small number of friction points or moving parts in these pumps makes them wear-resistant, as the components are less likely to break down. However, they can experience brief changes in fluid output called winks, which can slow the pumping operation.  

You have an old piece of equipment — or several pieces — that you need to get off your hands. Maybe you're upgrading to a newer model, or perhaps your facility's needs have changed, and you have to make space for other operations. Either way, selling used equipment that still has some life left can earn you a return on your investment, but how can you ensure you're getting the most bang for your buck?  Your equipment's resale value depends on various factors, many of which are beyond your control as a seller. However, understanding how each of these variables affects the asking price of your used equipment can inform your strategy and help you figure out how to get the best return on your investment.   6 Factors That Affect the Value of Used Equipment  Understanding what impacts used equipment values can help you determine whether you're getting a fair price. The following factors are the most influential in determining resale value.   1. Age  While it is true that older equipment generally has a lower resale value than newer pieces, every machine ages differently. For example, the value of a used air fin cooler will differ from that of a heat exchanger, even though they may be the same age. The extent of use is also more pivotal for some machines than others.   Depreciation plays a significant role in determining how much you can get for your used equipment. While its resale value is usually proportional to the original price, that depends on how long ago the manufacturer first released it. If it has been on the market for more than a few years, you may get a much lower price for it than you expect.  2. Condition  Equipment in good condition is usually more valuable than poorly maintained equipment, regardless of age or brand. For example, if you regularly perform preventive maintenance on an older dryer you're trying to resell, you're likely to get a better price for it than you would if you were trying to sell a newer model you neglected to maintain.   If you're considering selling your equipment or you plan to do so in the future, it's best to sell it while it's still in excellent condition. Perform regular preventive maintenance and inspect your equipment frequently to ensure it's working well. Your facility will experience less downtime, and you'll get a higher return on your investment.  3. Market Value  Changes in the market can dramatically change the price you can expect to get for your used equipment. Two overall markets affect resale value.  Forced-liquidation value: The expected value of an asset in a transaction involving one seller and many potential buyers. FLV is usually a factor in public auctions, where sales are subject to strict timelines, rather than with private resale.  Fair-market value: The typical retail value of equipment in an open, competitive market where both buyers and sellers are well-informed and mutually agree on the price. This price depends on several factors, including the original sale price, the extent of depreciation and the retail value of similar pieces.  Your used equipment's market value will fluctuate depending on the following factors.   Availability of like machines: When plenty of similar machines are saturating the market, your machine's value will inevitably decrease. Similarly, when there are few machines like yours available, you can set a higher asking price. Transportation costs: Depending on your equipment's size and weight, your buyer may need to make an additional investment to move it to their location.  Support costs: Some manufacturers will charge an additional fee to the buyer to supplement the support a second owner needs.   4. Economic Conditions  Changes in the overall state of the economy can significantly impact the value of used machinery. For example, chemical manufacturing plants process less product when a recession occurs, which leads to a decline in demand for equipment. During these periods, you're likely to make less on your sale than you would if you sold during a period of economic growth.  Critical economic factors to watch include:  Changes in political administrations Inflation Stock market fluctuations Interest rates  5. Parts Availability  This factor goes hand in hand with age. Eventually, your original equipment manufacturer will stop producing replacement parts for your equipment because it is now out of date.   You're most likely to get a better price for your equipment while your OEM still supports it. Before you sell, ensure replacement parts are still available and easy to obtain — this is when you'll probably get the best deal.   6. Timing  Properly timing your sale directly impacts resale value. Sometimes, you must get rid of your equipment immediately to make room for new acquisitions, so you opt for a selling method that gets the job done as quickly as possible. However, you're likely to lose out on sales that way.  If you can afford to wait for ideal market conditions, you're likely to have more opportunities to maximize your return.  Tips for Selling Used Equipment  Need some advice on where to start? Here are some additional tips and tricks for maximizing your return on investment.  Clean your equipment: A simple clean-up can work wonders in improving resale value. Performing a thorough cleaning can also help you identify any imperfections, which can impact your resale value.  Take photos and videos: Whether you're working with an equipment company or you plan to sell yourself, providing visual evidence of your equipment's condition can give your potential buyers confidence in their decision to purchase from you. Keep an eye on the market: Knowing how the resale market works is critical to getting the most for your used equipment. Watch price fluctuations and the changing availability of similar equipment to determine the best time to sell. Get an appraisal: Ask a certified equipment appraiser to determine your equipment's resale value. These professionals have years of experience under their belt, allowing them to accurately determine the fair market value of used machinery.  Why Should You Sell to Louisiana Chemical Equipment Company?  We're more than a premier international chemical equipment supplier — we're also a top buyer of chemical industry equipment. Our experienced appraisal team will consider anything you want to sell, from cooling towers to centrifuges.

Positive Displacement Pumps

These pumps work in contrast to centrifugal pumps, as they do not require impellers to transfer the oil. Positive displacement pumps use reciprocating or rotating parts, creating pressure to transport fluid. A diaphragm pump is an example of a positive displacement pump

These pumps are ideal for high-viscosity fluids that transport at higher pressure but at a lower rate. You can use them during the upstream phase of the refinery. These units are more compact, allowing the high-pressure ratio to increase. This unit’s construction and design make this pump an affordable option for many people. However, these pumps are high-maintenance and louder than centrifugal pumps. They are less than ideal for applications requiring high flow rates. 

Gear Pumps

A gear pump is another type of positive displacement pump that uses gears to transfer fluids. You can also use them to clean fluids as they pass between the narrow gear tolerances. These units have a discharge pip system with a relief pump to protect the pipe and pump from experiencing over-pressurizing. You can use gear pumps for chemical transfer applications. 

There are two types of gear pumps. External gear pumps rely on an external spur gear to drive the internal gears. The internal gears allow non-lubricating fluids to pump through because they do not touch. Internal gear pumps use a shaft-driven drive gear. 

Reciprocating Plunger Pumps

These pumps are prevalent in the gas and oil industry. Plunger pumps can pressurize liquid in an enclosed cylinder. They use the piston and plunger reciprocating action to move the fluid to a pipe system. You can expect constant flow rates during the process because these pumps remain consistent despite the pressure at any given speed. These pumps require a relief valve in the discharge piping system to prevent overpressurizing in the piping and pump system. You can often find these pumps in applications like saltwater disposal, descaling, oil and gas pipelines, well services and hydraulic fracturing. 

Progressive Cavity Pumps

These pumps move liquids with a turning rotor. This process creates a series of small, fixed-shaped chambers that move through the unit. The flow rate remains constant regardless of the system pressure, though it is normal to experience flow slippage at higher pressures. You can use these pumps for high-viscosity applications when you do not need to mix the pushed fluid. They can also handle solids, making these pumps ideal during sludge and slurry transfers and wastewater treatments. These pumps also need a relief valve to prevent overpressurizing in the piping and pump system. 

Shop Centrifugal Pumps From Louisiana Chemical Equipment Company 

At Louisiana Chemical Equipment Company, we’re proud to be a leader in our industry. We purchase and sell quality, used equipment for businesses in the refineries, industrial chemical plants and more. We’re a trusted source of equipment and have been for more than five decades. 

We offer more than 14,000 items, and you can easily browse our site to find what you need by searching specific categories within our 85 options. Throughout our catalog, you can find silos, sifters, heat exchangers, pumps, tanks and much more. 

Our equipment is available for relocation and inspection, so you can be sure to find the best pieces for your needs. You can easily browse our inventory, including centrifugal pumps for oil and gas industry applications. You can also contact our experienced team or complete a purchase request to suit your needs.


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