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The role of pumps in the oil and gas industries

The oil and gas industries remain among the largest industries in the world, we believe pumps play a crucial role. Despite much effort worldwide to reduce dependency on these materials, our demand for energy supersedes alternative methods to power our planet or live differently.

As pumps play a significant role in the equation, they form indispensable components in the oil and gas industry from exploration to refining. Facilitating the movement of fluids through the lifecycle of hydrocarbon production, transportation, and refining processes, pumps engage in the initial extraction of crude oil from deep reservoirs to the final delivery of refined products to consumers – and are therefore crucial to ensuring efficiency, safety, and profitability of all operations.

The work of pumps: a step-by-step process


  • Pumps present as a critical component in the process known as drilling fluid circulation. More simply put, pumps are used to circulate drilling fluid – in other words mud those results during the drilling process. Key purposes include maintaining pressure in the wellbore, preventing blow-outs, and carry out rock cuttings to the surface.
  • Pumps are a vital part of seismic testing, which involves injecting fluids into the ground to generate seismic waves that facilitate the analysis of subsurface structures. In this way, pumps help to maintain pressure during the injection and extraction of fluids.


  • During production, pumps are used to extract crude oil or natural gas from wells to the surface. Diverse types of pumps, such as submersible pumps or beam pumps, may be used depending on the well’s depth and characteristics.
  • In mature oil fields, water injection is often used to maintain reservoir pressure and enhance oil recovery. Pumps inject water into the reservoir, displacing oil towards production wells.


  • Oil or gas is often transported via pipelines. In order for the material to move along the pipe, pumps are installed at various intervals to maintain the pressure needed for efficient conveyance of crude oil or natural gas. Their value in the process is that they can ensure a continuous flow of fluids over long distances and through varying terrain.
  • Once the oil and gas reach terminals or loading docks where it is stored, pumps are engaged to transfer this raw material from storage tanks to tanker ships or trucks for distribution. As part of a crucial role in loading and unloading operations, pumps are there to ensure timely and safe transfer operations.

Refinery processes

  • Pumps are used to transport crude oil within refineries and between different processing units. They function as a key component in moving crude oil through distillation columns, reactors, and various other refining processes.
  • Then there are various stages of the refining process – and pumps again play a significant role in transferring refined products such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel between different junctures, and transporting finished products from the refinery to distribution terminals or storage facilities.
  • There is an important hydrocarbon recovery procedure incorporating processes like alkylation or catalytic cracking, during which pumps are employed to circulate catalysts or reagents and recover valuable hydrocarbons from byproducts.

Environmental and safety concerns

  • During the drilling, production and refining processes, there may be considerable wastewater generated, and pumps are used to transport this wastewater to various treatment facilities or disposal wells, thus mitigating any environmental impact.
  • Naturally, when dealing with oil and gas, fire protection must be top of mind. Pumps therefore form integral components of firewater systems installed in all oil and gas facilities to provide the necessary water pressure for firefighting in the event of emergencies.

Pump services that are comprehensive, professional, skilled

Southern Pumps, established in 1985, offers a variety of pumps covering a range of applications within key industries, including the marine industry, food industry, power stations, building services, and manufacturing systems. We are soundly experienced in solving all facets of liquid transfer problems, particularly on viscous liquid and self-priming applications. Our customers can rely on operational excellence, simplicity of maintenance, energy efficiency, fully equipped workshops with advanced technology, and 24-hour emergency services.

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