Oilfield Electric Power Distribution

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The uniqueness of power system designs for oilfield distribution is seldom acknowledged or addressed. Utilities provide construction typical of either commercial or rural applications. Oilfields commonly have large concentrated loads separated by thousands of feet. To minimize line losses, medium-voltage power is distributed and stepped down at the point of use. In addition to common load flow analysis and protection coordination, transformers, surge arresters, and grounding connections are important considerations for reliable production operations. Recloser settings typical for residential distribution cause major damage to submersible pumps. In remote areas where long neutral wires are necessary, solidly grounded power contributes to equipment failure but is nevertheless necessary for safety in surface equipment. The corner-grounded delta connection eliminates the neutral wire and is often used by rural utilities, despite its dangers. High-voltage three-wire construction can cause ferroresonance. Grounding influences the effectiveness of lightning and switching surge protection.

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