Houston Chronicle

Tomball oilfield service company BJ Services has developed a new turbine that can use natural gas from a drilling site to provide power to hydraulic fracturing crews.

BJ Services develops natural gas-fired turbine for frac crews- oil and gas 360

Source: Houston Chronicle

BJ Services said Tuesday that its natural gas-fired Titan turbine is being field tested by a hydraulic fracturing crew in “one of the most demanding unconventional basins in North America.”

Touted as a replacement for diesel-powered turbines, the Titan was designed to produce lower greenhouse gas emissions along with lower maintenance costs, improved mobility and less noise.

“We are excited about the potential for the Titan to deliver a new standard of environmentally responsible, cost-effective, and efficient solutions for our clients,” BJ Services CEO Warren Zemlak said in a statement.

Company engineers spent more than two years developing the 5,000 horsepower turbine, which can use natural gas delivered to a hydraulic fracturing site in storage tanks or excess natural gas from a well.

The tests come at a time when the industry is working to reduce emissions at drilling sites and to curb a practice known as flaring where excess natural gas is burned off at wells that are not connected to pipelines than can move it to market.

BJ Services has entered into an agreement that will support the first commercial deployment of a hydraulic fracturing fleet using the Titan in the second half of 2020. Zemlak told the Houston Chronicle that using the natural gas-fired turbine has twice the horsepower of diesel-powered turbines and reduces the number of hydraulic fracturing pumps needed at a site from 18 or 20 to as few as eight.

“Not only do you get all the benefits of less emissions, but there’s also less people — because you’re only running eight pumps,” Zemlak said. “That’s also less equipment to move, so it’s a faster rig in, rig up.”

With roots going back to 1872, BJ Services specializes in hydraulic fracturing and oil well cementing services. The company has crews in shale basins across the United States and Canada.

Houston oilfield service giant Baker Hughes bought BJ Services at the height of the shale revolution in 2010 but the Tomball company became independent again in 2017.



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