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Oil Sands

Oil Sands are a large deposit of oil-rich bitumen located in northern Alberta, Canada. These oil sands consist of a mixture of crude bitumen (a semi-solid form of crude oil), silica sand, clay minerals, and water.

The separation / upgrading process takes place outdoors, putting process samples and field instrumentation at risk.  O'Brien Corporation has developed products that make it possible for the process monitoring and control insturmentation to function in the harsh Winter conditions where temperatures can reach -55C.

Materials of Construction

Tubing bundle is used for a number of applications in the Oil Sands region, including analyzer sample linesinstrument impulse lines, chemical injection lines, steam supply and condensate return. Each of these applications require that the process gas/liquid be maintained at a designated temperature, in spite of the ambient conditions. O'Brien's use of low-temperaure TPU (urethane) polymer allows operations and installers to bend the product in the most severe low-temperature conditions without fear of cracking the outer jacket.

O'Brien's VIPAK instrument enclosures are utilized throughout the oil sands region. The ABS outer shell and urethane foam provide the perfect environment for O'Brien's line of explosion-proof heaters to maintain the instruments above freezing temperatures. Instrument technicians have relied on O'Brien's VIPAKs to protect field instruments from weather, process fallout, corrosion and mechanical abuse for forty-plus years.

Labor Savings

Tubing bundle delivers ready-to-install tubing, heater cable and insulation to the jobsite. High labor costs and skilled labor scarcity in the Oil Sands region make tubing bundle the smart alternative to field-tracing and insulating. Consolidation of installation steps also ensures a quicker completion timeline. Finally, the high temperature steam required in many of the Oil Sands applications is well suited for tubing bundle. Heat containment, personnel protection and process accuracey are the primary design considerations.
 
VIPAK instrument enclosures are also supplied with customer-supplied components completely installed and ready for process connection. Site labor costs and availability make this a popular, well tested alternative.

In summary, all our products are measured by their ability to perform under site conditions in the Oil Sands region. Mother Nature, labor and the process itself, combine to weed out all those products and designs that can't cut it. We were 'born' up the Oil Sands and have learned some of greatest lessons on product design and manufacturing there.