Sand Commander, manufactured by CP Energy Services in Clinton, Okla., is the only sand extraction and water filtration system that provides an ESG solution for the sand, gas, oil and water components of a well completion.

The Sand Commander is a four-phase separator used during the frac plug drill-out portion of well completions and production well workovers that separates all hazardous material, capturing 99% of reservoir gases and 95% of the sand. It transfers clean, reusable water on location. It is an efficient and cost-effective ESG and HSE compliant sand extraction solution and water filtration system, providing eco-friendly completions, optimized flowback operations (with integrated data acquisition), enhanced safety and improved well completion/production economics.

The system’s improved vertical gas buster with baffles reduces emissions/eliminates associated gas on location. Gas is sent up and out through the top of the vessel to the environmental scrubber (condensate knockout) and either sent down the sales line via a vapor recovery unit, used to power a field gas generator, reinjected downhole or sent to a flare stack. Flowback fluids and particulate matter enter the gas buster near the top (unlike competitors) through two intake lines and collide to enhance gas removal efficiency, while dynamic hydro-turbulence prevents sand from collecting in the bottom.

Truly capturing the gas (versus venting off the top of the tank) creates a platform for gas wheeling (e.g., send directly to sales line, fuel electric frac fleets, use for artificial lift, etc.). The improved auger design allows the sand to be hydrocarbon mitigated and dry better than alternative techniques, reducing disposal costs as the sand is ready to be taken directly to a landfill.

The enhanced tank design (multiple hoppers) forces the sand down to the circulation ports, calming the flow of fluids and helping the sand settle as it goes over the baffles. The fluids mix is continuously circulated back through the system, passing over the auger port multiple times for maximum sand extraction.

Water from the last compartment can be reused on location for drill-out applications or stored for future operations. Continuous circulation through the system allows the unit to self-clean, eliminating tank cleanout/hydrovac costs. Hydraulic controls (versus electrical) allow easy trouble shooting and maintenance in the field and do not require a large electric generator (and backup) on location. The system reduces equipment footprint and number of vendors on location, reducing trucking costs, streamlining operations and improving safety.

Service companies are investing in solutions that not only lower an operator’s authority for expenditure costs but are also environmentally sustainable. The Sand Commander technology not only enhances ESG compliance but also improves government-regulated emissions reporting.

Case study

Historically, operators have been challenged to enhance safety, optimize sand/water management and improve cost savings during frac plug drillouts (i.e., reduce nonproductive time (NPT) and improve wellsite performance). Drill-out and workover solutions must be ESG compliant, while still being safe and cost-effective.

CP Energy Services deployed Sand Commander for a Denver-Julesburg Basin operator (with a strong ESG focus) to safely handle all hazardous material and capture associated gas/emissions, while saving time and money in a safe, environmentally responsible manner.

The system separated all hazardous material (including 100 mesh sand) during the drill-out process, captured 99% of the reservoir gases and captured condensate with the environmental scrubber. Failure-prone electronics used by a competitive product with a hydraulically driven system with no bearings or shear pins were replaced, reducing NPT.

The operator captured 95% of the sand, and it achieved multiple efficiencies including reduced rigup and rigdown times (averaged 2 hours) and nonpermitted loads delivered by a dedicated logistics fleet. The company also reduced its equipment footprint and the number of vendors on location (i.e., eliminated a gas and water measurement skid, a well test skid and water transportation on location by body load trucks). The water was continuously circulated, cleaned and filtrated, allowing it to be reused on location.

The company also eliminated sand in all compartments, resulting in faster cleanouts, reducing frac tank cleanout (hydrovac truck) charges and disposal fees.

Deploying Sand Commander resulted in ultimate savings to the customer of $10,000 per day.