mtu Series 4000 generator sets power natural gas drilling operations in Oklahoma
Posted on November 28, 2016
Unit Drilling Company uses 18 mtu Series 4000 generator sets to power its operations at the Granite Wash Oil Field in Oklahoma. By utilizing new drilling and hydrofracturing techniques, the company is helping drive America’s new energy boom.
With crude oil prices rising as supplies are dwindling, the United States needs more— and more affordable—energy sources to power electric utility plants, businesses and homes. Thanks to recent advances in horizontal drilling and hydrofracturing techniques, the country is experiencing a reversal of energy fortunes, and seems suddenly awash with liquid natural gas and oil extracted from shale, sandstone and other underground rock formations.
Directional or horizontal drilling has been in use for more than 50 years. But it only recently became widely practical and cost-effective with the integration of more reliable steerable motors, semicontinuous underground surveying and diesel-powered electrical drilling packages capable of delivering the combination of torque, horsepower, reliability and field-serviceability the drilling technique requires.
Gas plays are deep and tougher to drill, and require the kind of power that the mtu engines deliver.
Mike Almond, Unit Drilling’s corporate maintenance manager, explains, “Oil plays are shallow and flat, but gas plays are deep and tougher to drill, and require the kind of power that the mtu engines deliver.” Unit owns 18 n ew mtu Series 4000 G73 generator sets, each incorporating the latest version of mtu’s 12V Series 4000 Tier 2-compliant engines. The engines can generate up to 1,105 kilowatts of electricity, enough to provide drilling and standby power for drilling operations to depths in excess of 20,000 feet—more than enough for Granite Wash. “Even though the engines only have about 4,000 hours on them now, we have no doubts about their durability in our fleet,” Almond says.