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Variations in power generator performance across 17 drill rigs led Petroleum’s Eagle Ford drilling team to investigate. Some rigs consumed fuel more efficiently than others despite drilling wells of almost identical design in close proximity, with similar geology and operating over the same period. After closer examination, it was found that drillers who had a better understanding of power generator capabilities achieved better fuel consumption rates.

The team developed a Power Management Program to improve the system. In developing the program, the team analysed generator-loading practices and recommended the best number of generators for each drilling operation. To improve understanding of generator loading, the plan was discussed with operators and provided in the rig cabin for easy reference.

The pilot study proved a success and the program was then applied to all Eagle Ford-operated rigs. During the program, maintenance costs were reduced, average diesel fuel consumption dropped 21 per cent, saving up to US$5 million, and greenhouse gas emissions were reduced by 18,000 tonnes.

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