Dual Fuel Engine For Drill Rigs

Posted on October 16, 2012

Cummins Inc. announced that it will produce dual fuel engines for land-based oil and gas drilling applications. The first engine for land-based drilling applications is the Tier 2 QSK50, rated 1480 hp at 1200 rpm. Other QSK Series engines will follow, including engines capable of meeting upcoming U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier 4 Final emissions regulations, the company said.

The Cummins Dual Fuel QSK50 engine will incorporate integrated controls designed to optimize the substitution rate based on operating conditions and automatically transition between diesel fuel and dual fuel modes. Cummins said its dual fuel technology enables drilling equipment to operate on 100% diesel fuel or in dual fuel mode, giving the customer flexibility depending on natural gas availability at the drilling site.

In dual fuel mode, the substitution rate — the percentage of natural gas relative to total fuel flow —can be as high as 70% in traditional operating conditions, Cummins said.

"Since our announcement of well-servicing dual fuel engines in April, customers around the world have voiced strong interest for Cummins Dual Fuel engines, specifically customers running land-based drilling applications," said Mark Levett, vice president - High-Horsepower Engine Business at Cummins. "Land-based drilling rig operators run long, tough hours over the course of a year, consuming large amounts of fuel. Customers can expect to see significant fuel savings and will see a return on capital investment in less than one year of operation."

The Cummins dual fuel solution will be applicable to both new QSK50 engines and as a retrofit on existing QSK50 engines. Cummins global distribution network will handle upfit, commissioning and warranty on dual fuel solution engines. Dual fuel Drilling Power Modules will be available through the Cummins Oil and Gas Center of Excellence in Houston at launch.

Additional details on the solution and product introduction timeline will be shared in the coming months, the company said.