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July 5, 2008
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Home / Issue Archive / 2008 / May #5 / NG-Energo and Cummins Join Up to Power Drilling Rigs in Yamal

№ 5 (May 2008)

NG-Energo and Cummins Join Up to Power Drilling Rigs in Yamal

In mid-April, executives and technical specialists of Russia’s major drilling companies took part in presentation of a diesel power complex with a capacity of 4,360 kW developed by NG-Energo

By Elena Zhuk

The presentation was arranged within the scope of testing at the company’s plant several kilometers away from St. Petersburg and demonstrated features of the new development.

Power supply is one of the key aspects of both exploration and production drilling. Experts pay special attention to issues of supplying power to drilling rigs since those are units featured by some peculiarities that are not typical of standard power consumers. “An electric motor runs as a power consumer, but sometimes it changes over to generator mode,” General Director of NG-Energo Andrei Rudskoi explained to journalists at the presentation. “In the U.S. and Western Europe the hooking up of drilling units to power grids is prohibited.”
The featured complex is a joint development by engineering departments of NG-Energo and Uralmash-VNIIBT. It is based on the Cummins diesel generator unit.

Cummins units earned acclaim in the Russian market since 1999 due to their reliability and thanks to efforts of NG-Energo, a permanent partner of Cummins in the Russian market. Artyom Kapustin, Marketing and Sales Director of NG-Energo mentioned that “for two years, NG-Energo signed contracts and supplied equipment with a total capacity of over 260 MW; although a maximum capacity of a Cummins unit is only 2 MW.”

These are some examples of the great reputation of Cummins units in the Russian market: NG-Energo won a contract to supply gas-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 18 MW to Surgutneftegaz for oil production power supply at the Yaoon-Lorskоye, Severno-Seliyarovskoye, and Zapadno-Sakhalinskoye fields; it also completed start-up of the first stage of the diesel units with a total capacity of 5 MW at the Maiskoye field under Allianceneftegaz’s order.

Three complexes similar to those demonstrated during testing have already been shipped to Gazprom’s Drilling Company Burgaz. In 2008, NG-Energo plans to supply 15 more similar power complexes to drilling companies: 4 diesel power plants with a total capacity of 4 MW, one standby diesel generator unit, an indoor switchgear, and control panel. Serial production of the complexes has already started.

When NG-Energo’s General Director was asked about a projected volume of supply of power complexes he tried to give a “well-rounded” answer: “The company is prepared to completely satisfy the market demands.” Alongside with that, according Rudskoi, an order for 2009 is already being prepared jointly with Uralmash-VNIIBT.  It is hard to forecast figures of market demands not only for power complexes but for drilling rigs as well. Yuri Karpov, Uralmash-VNIIBT’s First Vice President, also hesitates to make forecasts even in approximate terms. Rudskoi mentions that in the Soviet times “only Uralmash supplied 365 units annually, which translates to one drilling rig per day!” At that time, all those units were designated primarily for development of West Siberia. Today, oil and gas machinery industry is not capable of meeting the Russian market demand for renewal of worn-out rig fleet, as well as manufacturing rigs for developing new areas such as East Siberia. The demand outgrows the supply substantially.

Nevertheless, the companies’ short-term plans may be roughly outlined.
“This year, our company schedules to supply 67 drilling rigs to the Russian market on a tender basis,” Karpov says. “As of today, our production output is about 200 MW-units per year. In the future we plan to increase this quantity to 400”, Rudskoi says. “In addition to Gazprom (Burgaz), we also cooperate with LUKOIL, Rosneft, and Surgutneftegaz to find joint solutions.”

During the presentation the features of the complex, the development of which had required over $1 million investment, attracted attention of the representatives of companies that manufacture drilling rigs.

Bentec’s Managing Director Arend Lodden visited the tests to understand the capacities of Russian companies in the field of manufacturing equipment included in drilling facilities. In autumn, Bentec plans to start assembly of drilling rigs at the company’s plant set up in Tyumen.

“The power supply system is a critical part of drilling facilities. We would like to have a full vision of the situation in this market. Today, Bentec applies Caterpillar engines but we are open to try Cummins engines as well,” Lodden stressed.

Volgograd Drilling Equipment Plant, Izhdrill Group of Companies, Eurasia Drilling Company are also among NG-Energo’s partners.

This versatile complex features compatiblity with both new and previous makes of domestic drilling rigs. As for the complex, that is being tested now, according to Rudskoi, “It satisfies all requirements of drilling rig BU 4200U to be supplied to the Bovanenkovskoye field in Yamal.” Rudskoi is well aware of severe operation conditions in that region. A thirty-year old General Director of aggressively developing NG-Energo founded in 2004 grew up in Surgut. He knows quite well the severe local conditions when the temperature drops to -52 С. The whole complex is designated first of all for operation in Russia. Its enclosure is made of steel capable to withstand temperatures of -60 С and fitted with folding shutters designed in accordance with Russian snow and wind load requirements. So far, the company does not aim to enter the foreign markets.
Andrei Rudskoi asserts his patriotism, saying that his company’s activities are directed at the development of Russia. At the same time, he embraces competition: high quality of the power supply complexes is half of the battle. In Rudskoi’s opinion, the quality assurance system as well as quite useful planned production is a Soviet heritage they must upkeep.

“Expediency of our power supply complexes is especially apparent in Siberia. It is quite a challenge to get there, not to mention that fuel can be delivered only by winter roads,” NG-Energo’s Chief Engineer Konstantin Paikov says. “Operators have to stay there for several months, and it is virtually impossible to call for qualified personnel in case of failure.”

Alongside with that, in terms of servicing, the complex doesn’t require anything but regular preventive maintenance and change of oil in functional gears at the intervals to determined by engine configuration (for this purpose, oil and filters are stocked for a year in good season). It takes two-three weeks during the start-up operation to train operators that are permanently present at the site, and then they are already able to do everything on their own.

NG-Energo’s service centers have been already set up in Naryan-Mar and Surgut; arrangement of the service center in Tomsk region is being currently discussed. These base stations are primarily designated for start-up operations. The second task is to render assistance in eliminating emergency procedures, which cannot be resolved by service personnel. “It happens sometimes, though it happens very seldom”, Paikov says. “As far as I know, specialists of Janhbaher or Caterpillar arrive within a month. But a drilling rig cannot be on a standby for the whole month; any trouble must be eliminated within hours. Therefore there are Cummins certified engineers in the region. These specialists are independent and may access any control system.”

Igor Zaitsev, Director of Surguttekhpost, a service center of NG-Energo in Surgut, says: “Why do we have good reputation in the market? All the parts except for switchboards and enclosure are native and manufactured by Cummins. Everything, including the control system, generator and diesel engine is made by the same manufacturer. It is convenient for customers in terms of filing claims if any.”

However, claims for operation of the complexes are infrequent. Therefore, Surgutneftegaz has already purchased about 60 power supply stations of various capacities (mostly 630 kW) from NG-Energo, thus preferring Cummins among others.

NG-Energo successfully increases supplies to the Russian market of diesel power stations, develops other lines of activities and attracts new partners such as famous world brands of GE and Rolls-Royce. The company participates in projects to construct gas-fired power plants and cogeneration power plants (mini-cogeneration plants) and to enter the market of power supply to mining companies.


Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems. Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana (USA), Cummins serves customers in more than 160 countries through its network of 550 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 5,000 dealer locations. Cummins reported net income of $739 million on sales of US$13.05 billion in 2007.

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