Compliance made easy

Published:  27 February, 2015

For the offshore oil and gas industry, keeping abreast of changing regulations while maintaining the economic performance of the engine estate can be a challenge. ODEE reports.

 An existing installation may be operating reliably, despite many hours of operation in the harsh conditions of the marine offshore environment, yet emissions standards deem that the engine is no longer meeting current recommendations.

Operators then have a decision to make; to continue to operate a non emissions’-compliant engine, which can adversely affect the day rates that drilling contractors receive or, to invest in a brand new engine, with both the capital expenditure and the associated installation costs to factor in to the equation.

To overcome this issue, Finning is offering the Cat Emissions’ Upgrade kit to oil and gas customers operating 3500 and 3600 mechanical engines.  Unlike conventional conversion options, the kit can be installed in situ during a major overhaul, without removing the engine from its position on the rig.

Engineered to include only genuine Cat parts, the emissions’ upgrade kit converts the existing engine from mechanical to electronic unit injection control to enable full compliance with IMO I and IMO II standards.

Introducing the benefits of modern, electronic engine control not only provides cleaner fuel burning, resulting in cleaner emissions.  An additional benefit to the operator is improved transient responses’ capability, enabling the engine to recover faster when compared to a conventional mechanical engine.

It also provides all the benefits of increased diagnostic and display capabilities, enabling operators to receive live messages and alerts about the status of the engine and potentially identify any issues before they affect performance.

Steven Mabey, business development  manager, Oil & Gas from Finning explains the benefits of upgrading existing engine assets: “Converting a mechanical engine to the latest electronic control can be of significant benefit for operators and contractors seeking to maximise return on investment and reduce cost of ownership. By upgrading the engine to meet the latest IMO II emissions regulations, operators can drive up revenues, as an emissions’-compliant rig will typically command higher day rates.  

“Ensuring emissions’ compliance also helps to increase the number of locations where the engine can be operated, potentially enabling an existing unit to be installed on a new-build platform.

“Many existing mechanical units will have many years of operation remaining and, by investing in a Cat upgrade kit as part of a major overhaul, engine life can be extended further as well as a range of associated benefits including reduced noise and vibration.”

Performance upgrade kit

Finning told ODEE that it also offers the Cat Performance Upgrade Kit to help improve the fuel consumption of mechanical installations, with average savings available of between four and nine per cent available.  Converting to electronic control improves acceleration and load acceptance, with an estimated return on investment in less than 9000 hours, although averages of 3000 hours are possible.

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