Freudenberg strengthens oil and gas strategy to supply development in China

Shanghai. August 31, 2012. ESPO (East Siberia Pacific Ocean) is a mammoth pipeline project. The pipeline, with a length of almost 5,000 kilometers, is being built in the East of Russia by Russian state company TransNeft. EagleBurgmann, a Freudenberg Group company, is supplying special seals for most of the pumping stations on the pipeline – a further major order has just been placed. The involvement of EagleBurgmann is an example of Freudenberg's concerted expansion of its activities in the oil and gas production field. "We are already in demand as a partner because of our experience and technical expertise. However, there is still considerable scope for the expansion of our activities," said Dr. Mohsen Sohi, Speaker of the Freudenberg Management Board. "We have identified Oil & Gas as a high priority strategic segment which means we will continue to invest and build Freudenberg's businesses in this area."

When it has been completed, probably in 2016, the ESPO pipeline is to supply oil from Siberia to China, Japan and Korea. With the development and infrastructure construction of China, there is a growing demand on oil and gas. The ESPO pipeline will greatly help to mitigate the intense pressure of energy. The pipeline, with a total length of almost 5,000 kilometers, is to be equipped with 43 pumping stations, each with four pumps. When the system has been completed, the average distance between pumping stations will be about 150 kilometers. Currently, seven stations have already been installed on ESPO-I, corresponding to an average distance between stations of about 400 kilometers. 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 equipment installed faces considerable challenges. The pipeline, with a diameter of 1200 millimeters, crosses areas subject to earthquake risks and overcomes significant elevation differences. 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 minimize 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 is to 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 which have been specially designed in close cooperation between design engineers, pump manufacturers and the system operator are to be used. 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," explains Franz Schäfer, Sales Manager with EagleBurgmann.