Choosing Generators for Oil & Gas

If you are working in the oil and gas industry, you are probably aware of the horizontal drilling techniques used in oil and gas exploration. These techniques require reliable and fuel-efficient generators to supply electric power for the efficient execution of draw works, drilling, camp loads and mud pumping. So, in short, the process of drilling and digging require a lot of electric power for providing service to heavy equipment.

Considering the power needs of oil and gas rigs, many diesel generator companies are designing special generators for the oil and gas industry. These generators are designed in such a way that they can stand up to the rigors of the petroleum patch and deliver more power and fuel. However, it is important to examine some key attributes before selecting the right generator.

Here, we are going to highlight some of the questions you need to ask while selecting generators for the oil and gas industry and the answers to those questions.

1. How Durable and Stiff is the Generator Base?

Sometimes there are rigorous operating conditions on the field. Hence, the generator needed here is expected to have a high-strength base frame that will withstand severe operating environments. The stiffness and durability of the generator is a very crucial factor as any distortion can affect the alignment of the coupling between the engine and alternator, resulting in damage.

2. What are its Ratings and Performance Features?

Generators for the oil and gas industry are designed for continuous operations and hence they are rated in terms of their kW output. Though there are larger and smaller units available, a typical drill generator is available in the rating of about 1,100 kW. Engines on the commercial generator of 60Hz operate at 1,800 r.p.m. so need to have better longevity in the field.

3. How Much Fuel does the Generator Consume?

The largest operational cost of a generator is fuel consumption, drill rig generators sets operate continuously. When operated at 100% of their rated load, diesel engines are proved to be more fuel efficient in proportion to their output. Engines are rated in terms of BSFC i.e. Brake Specific Fuel Consumption. According to Wikipedia, BSFC is a measure of the fuel efficiency of any prime mover that burns fuel and produces rotational or shaft power. With the help of this rating, you can compare the fuel economy of the generator. It is advised that for maximum fuel economy, you should operate the generator according to their nameplate rating.

4. What are Control and Monitoring Systems of the Generator?

If you precisely control the speed of a generator’s engine and other operating parameters, the generator will produce good regulation of power output. Engines characterised with electronic engine management systems provide protection, control, and monitoring. They also monitor alarm conditions thereby protecting the engine from damage. These systems also have the capability to communicate with external control systems for remote monitoring.

5. What are the Maintenance Requirements of the Generator?

You will be aware that all types of diesel engines require periodic maintenance to preserve performance. They should be inspected regularly. It is advised to change the engine oil approximately every 10 days.


We hope that by reading this you have learnt how to select the generators for oil and gas applications.

We are a well-established business based in the West Midlands, Birmingham area that supplies used diesel generators, new Cummins, and Perkins® Powered generators across the world.

Generators Worldwide will help you in selecting appropriate diesel generators for your business, we sell both new and used diesel generators.

Phone: 0121 517 0315