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Choosing The Right Generator For Your Drilling Rig

There is a seemingly endless amount of drilling rigs and compatible generators. For each combination, there seems to be an equal amount of diverse and far-off oil fields to drill. Naturally, the mix-match nature of drilling rigs, drilling rig generators and oil fields can leave some of us in the industry, even seasoned experts, completely perplexed about which combination is best. I have found that regardless of whether a drilling rig generator is meant for more desolate conditions, or a fairly routine drilling location, you can never consider enough variables. This is primarily due to the fact that once you commence drilling, a number of things can happen to throw you for a loop, which most notably include environmental factors, varying terrain, and any other unforeseen circumstances.

The Essentials To Look For In The Right Drilling Rig Generator
Throughout my years in the industry I have come to realize that regardless of the job, conditions, or drilling rig, there are always a few common things an on-site generator should have. To give you a better idea of what I mean, here are the things I look for in a good on-site generator.

Adaptability: A reliable drilling rig generator is one that can prove itself in practically any situation, and under any circumstances. In other words, versatility is key when it comes to operating under varying environmental conditions, such as harsh heat, and other extreme weather.

Alternative Fuel Sources: Another useful quality that more modern and versatile drilling rig generators share is the ability to run off other fuel sources than just diesel. For the longest time diesel generators dominated the industry, however, more recent innovations have been made, allowing generators to run off alternative fuel sources like methane and natural gas.

Reliability: Drilling in the middle of nowhere can be ironic in that it is one of the most remote forms of work, yet it requires the most reliability in terms of power. If you and your team are hundreds of miles away from civilization and suddenly lose power, it can be catastrophic. For such reason, reliability in a generator is paramount.

Additional Things To Consider In A Generator
Whether it is a single diesel generator, or several natural gas generators, a reliable model must provide power in the most extreme conditions, and in the most remote locations. In addition to performing under pressure, a good generator will require little maintenance, and hopefully zero downtime. In terms of operating expenses, maintenance can be costly, and downtime in the field can be even more expensive. Regardless of extra initial cost, a quality generator that does not breakdown, or require much maintenance, is crucial to the success of drilling.

From my experience, one of the most underestimated traits of a quality drilling rig generator is toughness. Powering a drill site is a lot different than powering a municipality or similar facility. On the job, a generator must withstand unstable and rough terrain, as well as constantly being surrounded by dirt and debris.

Lastly, in the new age of strict regulatory standards, it is important to consider such performance aspects of a generator. In other words, if a generator is not performing properly, then it should either undergo necessary maintenance, or be replaced entirely in order to fulfill the regulations and requirements expected of it.

Conclusion
As high of expectations as I have for all the diesel and natural gas generators we sell at Worldwide Power Products, I am also absolutely amazed at how well they standup to harsh conditions and performance tests. A solid generator will never let you down under such conditions, and if it does, you need to find a better option.

The Growth In Argentina Is Exploding!

In a country emerging as a large oil and gas producer, there is undoubtedly a need for energy. In the case of Argentina, there is no difference. The country’s shale plays have tremendous potential for companies to expand, businesses to start-up, and for investors to prosper. At Worldwide Power Products, as a company, we are excited to be increasing our involvement in Latin American counties such as Argentina. We will provide diesel generators, engines, and many other types of power products to aid companies in tapping the shale plays scattered throughout Argentina’s basins.

In some ways you could say we are looking to fulfill Argentina’s demand for energy, and while we may only play a small role in that fulfillment, the large growth in population will definitely require further power generation to the region. In addition, major petroleum companies are expanding, resulting in a virtual explosion of oil drilling throughout the country, also requiring more readily available energy.

Argentinian Shale

Undoubtedly, the U.S. has had its fair share of recent shale plays, but Argentina is also becoming a noteworthy member of the shale community. So noteworthy in fact, Argentina has found itself third on a list — compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration — of countries with the most shale gas potential, behind only the U.S. and China. More specifically, the vast majority of shale oil reserves sit under the Neuquén Basin, which is located in Western Argentina, spanning much of the Rio Negro, La Pampa, and Mendoza provinces. Thus far, upwards of nearly 150 million barrels of oil and significant amounts of gas have been found leading a large number of people in the industry flocking to the area.

With such big oil potential in Argentina, it only makes sense that the various shale plays will need back up power generation. There could be all the oil in the world sitting in Argentina, but with no power to tap into it, there really is no point. This is where Worldwide Power Products comes in — providing natural gas generators and other essential power products to companies in the area.

Private Investors

Additionally, the country’s Ministry of Federal Planning has vamped up its enticement of foreign companies to tap into shale plays in Argentina. While some companies, such as Repsol, out of Spain, have been met with some government intervention, a lot still remains to be seen on how the government will react to the sudden shale boom in the country. There definitely seems to be mixed signals coming out of the Argentine government, with one cabinet member calling for the nationalization of YPF, one of the country’s largest oil and gas companies, thus potentially dramatically increasing the governments involvement with the country’s oil and gas production. It is uncertain weather this will actually happen or if it is merely an idea that will fail to find fruition with little or no resistance to drilling activities.

For private investors, the best way to get in on Argentina’s shale action is to put your money in a company like Apache. In just the last six or seven years, the company has transformed into one of the major oil and gas companies in the country. In fact, it is currently the fifth largest with involvement in over 30 oil fields spanning nearly four million Argentine acres and four of the country’s basins.

Just as remote areas of the U.S. have recently seen a boom in shale drilling, similar desolate areas of Argentina have been experiencing a similar boom. Oil and gas companies have been setting up shop in all the major shale basins throughout the country and private investors have been jockeying to invest in companies faced with the least amount of government resistance. Undoubtedly, it will be fun to see how the region develops, but I guess we will just have to wait and see how it all plays out.

UFOs at Eagle Ford Shale ??

For those that haven’t heard the buzz about UFO sightings in the Eagle Ford Shale drilling area, it has created quite a stir among residents and alien enthusiasts alike. Personally, I find the thought of a UFO to be fun, of course that could change pretty quickly if I come face-to-face with one. From what I have heard, these sightings are difficult to tell how close or real they really are.

The thought of a UFO sighting may sound terrifying to some, but I welcome any sort of extraterrestrial visitors to Eagle Ford Shale or any other drilling spot. In fact, if their ship (or whatever sort of craft they fly through the universe on) breaks down, I will gladly sell them a few generators to power back up. Of course, I doubt they deal in dollars or any other type of earthly currency, but I guess we will just have to cross that bridge when we get to it.

The most recent UFO sighting in the southern region of Texas explains a lot — with all the new residents traveling to the area for drilling work, it is only fitting that an aircraft full of aliens wants to join the party. They must have felt left out.

The Power of Being Alien

On several occasions during starry October nights, drillers in the Eagle Ford Shale region spotted UFO lights in the sky above. Then, to elevate their story, a surveillance camera also spotted an object resembling a flying saucer with several distinct and blaring lights.

Sorry, but I just can’t help think a flying saucer like that must require an immense amount of power generation. I sure hope they have a backup power source, or perhaps a few diesel generators on-board. What am I saying? They probably have a more efficient energy source that never fails. What I would give to be an alien for a day.

With the recent influx in UFO sightings, all of the new residents of La Salle County must be wondering if the aliens are trying to get in on some of the oil drilling action in the area, especially since one of the sightings was directly over a drilling site.

Are The Sightings For Real?

For those wondering about the validity of the UFO sightings, many of the cell phone and surveillance pictures and videos have passed numerous authenticity tests proving they were not falsified in any way. Which leads to the conclusion that someone is either investing a lot of money on an extremely elaborate prank, or the sightings are a legitimate UFO.

One of the most interesting things about the numerous UFO sightings in the Eagle Ford Shale area is that not one person has reported them to the authorities. The La Salle County Sheriff’s Department has no reports on file of people calling about UFO sightings in the area.

Why Drilling Sites?

Once the initial shock of the UFO sightings wore off, many people in Eagle Ford Shale began to speculate about the symbolism behind the UFO sightings over drilling sites. While some people say the sight of a UFO could easily be compared to a simple flicker of city lights or a military aircraft flying overhead, others insist that UFOs are seen over drilling fields for a reason.

Like the other remote sightings, UFOs are often spotted in desert areas, many of which surface over oil wells. This leads some theorists to believe that the UFOs are looking to fuel up their spaceships with crude oil. I still think UFOs run on some power source we don’t even know about yet, but I’ll leave the speculation to everyone else. Another interesting correlation is that almost all UFO sightings are near bodies of water, which suggests aliens and/or their ships need water. Are we sounding like a conspiracy theorist website yet?

Whether you live around Eagle Ford Shale or are just interested in UFOs, keep your eye out for the buzz about UFOs in the area. And if you find one that breaks down, give us a call and we will hook them up with a few generators. For the record, Worldwide Power Products does not judge or discriminate against extraterrestrials.

Back Up Power Generation: Are You Ready?

I cannot stress the importance of having a proper power generator on standby in case of emergency. A back-up diesel generator or back-up natural gas generator is critical in a number of circumstances when there is an emergency loss of power. With Hurricane Season rapidly approaching this summer, the necessity of having portable standby generators on-hand is paramount to the faculty you maintain. Not to make a bad example of those stricken with hard times, but there were several examples of organizations and municipalities after Hurricane Sandy that failed to maintain working generators. Most notably, there were a number of hospitals in the New York area that greatly underestimated the need for standby generators for back-up power.

Preventative Maintenance

Beyond the need for a back-up generator in case of emergency, it is equally important to ensure that once your facility does have one on-site, that it is in working order. The last thing anyone wants is for disaster to strike and have to rely on a generator that was not properly maintained in its downtime. The best way to be prepared for such circumstance is to take preventative maintenance measures on your back-up diesel or natural gas generators. Sufficient preventative maintenance includes:

  • Annual, semi-annual, and quarterly maintenance checks
  • General and thorough inspection
  • Regular lubrication service
  • Servicing the cooling system when needed
  • Servicing the fuel system
  • Testing and servicing the starting batteries
  • Periodic and regular engine exercise

In doing so, the first step is to take inventory of your diesel and natural gas generators. I always urge facilities to place all in-house generators together and perform the necessary preventative maintenance checks at the same time. This way it saves time and you get to compare each to see how they perform differently or the same. As for the maintenance checks, they should be performed at least four times a year, with more thorough checks performed twice a year. This also goes for general inspection, which is basically just an overall diagnostic check of the generator to ensure everything is working properly. Additional maintenance should also be performed, such as frequent lubrication services, as well as checking the cooling system for any faulty features. The fuel system also needs to be checked regularly, as it is one of the most crucial aspects to the generator’s operation. Furthermore, it may be equally as important to check on the starting batteries, making sure they can still function as designed. Lastly, just like a car, periodic and regular engine use or exercise helps to keep the generator in working condition.

The vital aspects of power generator preventative maintenance may seem to be arduous tasks, and equally easy to put off or never get around to performing, but they are also the most critical when it comes to emergencies. There have been countless examples during emergency situations where facilities with generators that should have otherwise been able to perform the necessary duties, were instead rendered useless due to downtime neglect. In other words, the generators were not able to serve as a back-up power supply because the aforementioned preventative maintenance had not been performed properly or at all.

With Hurricane Season soon upon us, the importance of preventative maintenance has never been more critical. Doing a thorough functional check before Hurricane Season — when disaster is more likely to strike — is the least that should be done. That way, in the worst-case scenario, your facility can recognize a faulty generator, and either fix or replace it depending on the issues.

Whether it is a hospital, non-profit community organization, or municipality, performing preventative maintenance checks on all back-up and portable generators is crucial for power generation during a disaster. So, go find all your generators in storage, dust them off, and make sure each is still capable of supplying proper back-up power to your facility. Trust me, come Hurricane Season, you’ll be glad you did.

Shale Flares Heat Up Natural Gas Production, But Not For Long

Tension between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the oil industry is decreasing as air emissions and flares from shale oil reserves come under regulation. While the EPA gives companies until January of 2015 to fully comply with the new regulations, gas and oil companies have to start changing their ways now to meet that target, especially regarding flares. The regulations are expected to cut emissions that harm air quality by 90 percent, per the Washington Post.

Why Flaring Happens

A byproduct of increased production to meet the increased demand for NG, flares allow dangerous gases to burn off. These occur when there is a lack of storage space for produced gas. The flares allow equipment to keep up with the flow of gas, and get released through pressurized valves in the equipment. Not only does flaring release methane and other gases into the air, it wastes energy to the tune of $100 billion of unused gas a year, according to Reuters.  The shale reserves fueled unprecedented expansion of America’s gas production, but the infrastructure that allows gas to be captured and stored before flaring hasn’t grown as fast. The result: Industry waste, energy lost, missed growth opportunities, and environmental concern. The World Bank estimates that gas emitted in flares is roughly equal to the annual energy consumption of France, about 360 tons of CO2, again per Reuters.

Green Solutions

Complying with EPA regulations is good for public opinion and for profits, as the wasted fuel can be used — thereby saving costs at gas production sites — or sold. How can companies cut down on flaring to get on the right side of the EPA regulation? For example, plants could turn the gas flares into power, cutting down on energy consumption and fuel waste. Ways to comply include:

  • Installing pollution-control equipment: Many of the newer wells are already capped with pollution-controlling equipment to cap flares. Existing gas production sites can be retrofitted with these measures to cut flares. So-called green completions are mandatory after 2015 and voluntary beforehand.
  • Implementing Technologies to Reuse the Gas: Escaped gas can be piped back into the ground and used to push more gas toward the surface, increasing production, per GE. Escaped gas can also be stored and used as fuel with compressor technologies. GE is now doing this in Qatar.
  • Decreasing Isolation: Flares often occur when captured gas cannot be put into the pipeline. Extending pipelines gives remote sites storage access and prevents flares.

Are you inspired by the cost savings of reusing produced gas? What’s your plan to green for 2015?

-Mark

Cost of Diesel and Natural Gas Generators

When planning to purchase or to rent a generator for your business, the kind of fuel that the generator uses–typically natural gas or diesel–may not be your primary consideration. If you’re ordering a generator because a storm is imminent and you need to know that you’ll have the power you rely on to do business, chances are that you’ll be more concerned about weathering the storm. If you’ve lost power in storms before, you know it can damage your bottom line to go without power for anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. I’m sure you never want that to happen again! Many people purchase a generator for their business for that very sense of security.

True Generator Costs

When shopping for a generator, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you can remember that generator costs don’t end once you purchase the unit. No matter which type you go with, generators require fuel to run. If you choose a diesel generator, a fuel supplier will need to deliver that fuel to your generator.

Oil Prices and Generators

While natural gas prices fluctuate throughout the year, the fuel is widely abundant in the U.S.–and the world–and less expensive than diesel. In May, 2012, natural gas cost $2.30 per million BTU, a measure equivalent to approximately 8,000 gallons. In contrast, diesel fuel cost $4 per gallon in May, 2012, per CNN. Since late 2008, oil prices have been rising steadily; by June, 2012, oil cost double what it did in December 2008. Because the cost of oil fluctuates extremely, the cost to refuel your generator can go up hundreds of dollars overnight and could continue to rise unchecked.

At Worldwide Power Products, we offer a range of natural gas generators, both new and used, for rental and for sale. By choosing a natural gas generator, you will avoid paying more over time for your generator in fuel costs. Do you have a story about rising oil costs impacting your bottom line? I’d love to hear it!

-Mark

Preventative Maintenance Keeps Your Generator Working

Everyone who either owns an electrical generator or is considering purchasing one surely recognizes the value of an uninterrupted power supply. Indeed, the purpose of a power generator is to ensure that its owner is never left without a reliable source of electricity. Generators are extremely durable; however, like all complex machines, they require a reasonable amount of upkeep. Regular preventative maintenance will help extend the life of your generator. Preventive measures also ensure that your unit is performing optimally.

Preventative maintenance plans can be purchased through most dealers of power generation equipment. These plans follow the preventive maintenance schedules recommended by generator manufacturers. Most manufacturer warranties can actually be voided by damages resulting from owner neglect. Therefore, it is especially important to schedule preventative maintenance visits when purchasing a new generator. This should not overshadow the fact that preventative maintenance plans are incredibly valuable to owners of every type of unit, including both new and used generators. In fact, before reputable dealers allow used generators to be place on the sales floor, those units are put through the same rigorous inspection process that your generator would receive as part of a preventative maintenance plan. This way, dealers can make sure that used generators marked for resale have been completely refurbished—any faulty or worn down parts will have been replaced and all systems will be operating like new. Likewise, as a customer with a preventative maintenance plan, you can be sure that generator keeps running like new throughout its lifetime.

When it comes to generator upkeep, there is no substitute for the expertise of a trained technician. While maintenance plans differ slightly from dealership to dealership, similar steps are always taken to ensure that customers can continuously rely on their generators. The primary task of a maintenance technician is to inspect all the components and systems of your generator. Inspections involve checking fluid levels, testing and cleaning batteries, and verifying control panel readings. Your technician will also administer a gravity test and a load test in order to verify that all of your generator’s electrical and mechanical operations are working properly. Following the inspection, it is the technician’s job to analyze technical data. Data from the inspected generator is compared with manufacturer standards and also with data from that generator’s previous inspections. This way the technician can be sure that your generator is performing both optimally and consistently. Finally, the maintenance technician will provide you, the customer, with a comprehensive inspection report. This report will inform you of any deficiencies in your generator and it will provide a quote for any suggested repairs and replacements.

Regarding inspection reports, there are two things that customers should remember. First, if you are purchasing a used generator, you should ask to see any available inspection reports. You should be provided with a report that informs you of the generator’s history (any repairs and replacements that were made) as well as a current inspection report which will verify that everything is in proper working order. Secondly, keep in mind that loyal customers (i.e. those enrolled in preventative maintenance plans) are likely to receive better quotes on repairs from dealers. This is just another way in which a maintenance plan can save you money, on top of the insurance against breakdowns that could lead to very expensive replacements.

While regular inspections help a customer avoid generator breakdowns, there are parts to every unit that require special attention. Batteries, coolant, coolant hoses and v-belts (which drive a generator’s fans) are the most important things to maintain. Of course these parts are checked during each inspection, but it is also recommended that they be replaced every three years. Preventative maintenance is especially important in regions that experience very high or very low temperatures, as extreme heat or cold can have detrimental effects on a generator’s battery. If you live in an especially hot or cold region, you should be sure to have your battery regularly tested for voltage and to follow the recommended schedule for battery replacement.

The preventative maintenance plan offered by Worldwide Power Products is an excellent example of a comprehensive plan that takes into account all of the maintenance issues we have discussed thus far. WPP’s preventative maintenance consists of four annual visits. Three of these visits are standard quarterly inspections. WPP technicians will perform a rigorous seventy point check on your generator and provide you with detailed results as well as recommendations and quotes for repairs if necessary. The fourth annual visit will entail the same inspection, but will also include oil and filter change. Diesel generator engines operate very similarly to automobile engines and, as such, they require the same periodic oil and filter changes in order to run properly. In addition to these quarterly visits, WPP provides a special third-year service. At this time they will make all the necessary tri-annual replacements: battery, coolant, coolant hoses and v-belts.

Enrolling in a preventative maintenance plan like the one offered by Worldwide Power Products will extend the life of your generator and limit the likelihood of failures in its parts and systems. Plans can be purchased along with a new or used generator; they vary in price depending on the type of generator and its kilowatt size. Despite the extra cost, generator owners who pay for preventative maintenance are almost sure to save money over time. Without proper maintenance, generators (like all heavy machines) will experience problems and failures that can lead to extremely costly repairs or even, in the worst cases, complete premature breakdowns. Still, the most obvious consequence of non-maintenance is the possibility that you will be left without power when you need it the most. People purchase generators to ensure that they have a reliable source of power so that they may avoid financial losses and safety hazards; it is for these same reasons that generators must be properly maintained. As WPP’s own Ron Bernucho says, “If you rely on your generator for backup power, you should rely on us for maintenance.”

If you are interested in quality new and used generators available for purchase or rent, or if you would like any additional information on this topic, please call us at 713-434-2300 or e-mail us at info@wpowerproducts.com.

Worldwide Power Products

-Mark