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SPECIAL REPORT

Innovations in Speciality Lubricants for Marine and Offshore Oil and Gas Applications Lubrication Solutions Help to Increase Safety and Improve Risk Management‌ Choosing the Right Lubricants Can Be Crucial for Saving Energy and Costs A Challenging Time for Oil Production A Green Revolution Assessing the Performance of Lubricant Technology The Latest Developments in Lubricant Technologies

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


Closer to you. To meet your challenges you need a strong partner. Conditions at sea can be tough: cold, heat, wind and waves, salt water and high mechanical loads – under these circumstances, standard lubricants quickly reach their limit, which is why you need a speciality lubricant manufacturer to rely upon at all times. Being closer to you as a trusted specialist with extensive experience, we can support you in overcoming your challenges. Experience our experts’ dedication to your cause as they will go to great lengths to ensure your machines run trouble-free. www.klueber.com

your global specialist


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

SPECIAL REPORT

Innovations in Speciality Lubricants for Marine and Offshore Oil and Gas Applications Lubrication Solutions Help to Increase Safety and Improve Risk Management… Choosing the Right Lubricants Can Be Crucial for Saving Energy and Costs

Contents

A Challenging Time for Oil Production A Green Revolution Assessing the Performance of Lubricant Technology The Latest Developments in Lubricant Technologies

Foreword 2 Tom Cropper, Editor

Lubrication Solutions Help to Increase Safety and Improve Risk Management…Choosing the Right Lubricants Can Be Crucial for Saving Energy and Costs Sponsored by

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Martine Jagger, Marketing Communications Manager, Klüber Lubrication Published by Global Business Media

Great Britain

Editor Tom Cropper

Cost Effective Lubrication – A Small Investment That Can Make a Big Difference Meeting the Toughest of Standards – Keeping Pace With Growing Populations Speciality Lubricants for Cranes and Winches Matching the Right Lubricant with the Right Elastomer Seal Klüber Summit Gas Compressor Simulator Environmentally Compatible Biodegradable Lubricants – We Have the Solution OSPAR Plus High Performance – Comparison of Wear Behaviour of Open Gear Lubricants Pushing the Limits – The Future of Speciality Lubricants

Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks

A Challenging Time for Oil Production

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell

Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2015. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

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Tom Cropper, Editor

In Deep Water Going Deeper

A Green Revolution

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Jo Roth, Staff Writer

A History of Innovation Assessing the Solutions Coping with the Challenges

Assessing the Performance of Lubricant Technology

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James Butler, Staff Writer

What Fluids Do What’s Available? What the Future Holds

The Latest Developments in Lubricant Technologies 14 Tom Cropper, Editor

Developing New Technologies Synthetics Environmental Responsibility What the Future Holds

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

Foreword T

HE OIL and gas industry spends billions

meaning anything which can reduce operational run

ever year on research and development as

time will be crucially important to the overall success

companies work to identify the best cutting-edge

of a drilling operation.

technologies to improve drilling efficiency. However,

The environment is also an important consideration.

one area that often goes overlooked is the simple

Lubricants can leach into the water. Although this

question of lubrication.

might not be on the scale of a major oil leak, it can

Fluids and lubricants are the lifeblood of any rig –

harm marine life and degrade the ecosystem. With

they run through hundreds of components both on

agencies around the world bringing in a series of

the surface and under the water. They are crucial in

tougher environmental measures, the development

reducing friction and wear and extending the lifespan

of high tech biodegradable fluids is becoming an

of equipment, but all too often they do not do the job

operational imperative.

as well as they could.

Finally, we’ll look at some of the new products being

The realities of modern oil exploration mean that

developed. Technology in this area is evolving quickly,

conventional mineral oils are being pushed beyond

but that creates a problem in itself for operators.

their operational limits, which means a new generation

Choosing the right solution can be a major challenge.

of products is needed. In the first article in our report,

The market is evolving but there is considerable

Martine Jagger, Marketing Communications Manager

variation in quality between different products. As

at Kluber Lubrication, explains the development

such, it’s impossible to underestimate the importance

processes of their market-leading suite of products.

of this simple buying decision.

We’ll also look at some of the key issues confronting the lubrication industry. The first of these is the climate in which drilling is taking place. Money is tight as the oil price becomes dangerously unpredictable,

Tom Cropper Editor

Tom Cropper has produced articles and reports on various aspects of global business over the past 15 years. He has also worked as a copywriter for some of the largest corporations in the world, including ING, KPMG and the World Wildlife Fund.

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

Lubrication Solutions Help to Increase Safety and Improve Risk Management…Choosing the Right Lubricants Can Be Crucial for Saving Energy and Costs Martine Jagger, Marketing Communications Manager, Klüber Lubrication Great Britain

In the marine, oil and gas sector components have to withstand harsh conditions and have to work effectively to reduce downtime and save costs. One aspect which helps to ensure this is the use of the right lubricant. Speciality lubricants from Klüber Lubrication help to maximize the output of equipment and critical assets whether floating or fixed. Acknowledged as the global market leader, Klüber Lubrication is a trusted partner of marine, oil and gas operators worldwide and meet approval for use by leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). With a portfolio of over 2,500 speciality lubricants designed to perform in the harsh conditions of the oil and gas environment – especially offshore – Klüber Lubrication has for over 85 years continually provided greater product durability, delivered higher energy efficiencies and is increasingly called upon to solve the most challenging lubrication problems of modern-day equipment when traditional solutions fail.

Cost Effective Lubrication – A Small Investment That Can Make a Big Difference How can valves or fittings open and close smoothly and reliably in aggressive environments? How can greases function at ultra-high or low temperatures where other lubricants fail? How can a lubricant be so eco-compatible that it is fully biodegradable? When addressing these questions the word “speciality” takes on a whole new meaning, and to counter prevailing beliefs regarding the limited benefits of upgrading to speciality lubricants, Klüber Lubrication have been instrumental in lowering NPT, facilitating higher HP/HT capability, increasing MTTF/ MTBF, and reducing purchase frequency and inventory through improved durability and service life.

OSPAR Plus High Performance Jack-up Rack & Pinion systems need to function reliably on demand in harsh environments.

STANDARD GEAR OIL (mineral oil, ISO VG 220)

Klübersustain OM 40-42 OS is a biodegradable lubricant, for use in all climate conditions, offering wear and corrosion protection of these components to ensure asset functionality.

KLÜBERSYNTH GEM 4-220 N

Synthetic gear oils, for example, offer a significantly higher efficiency than standard gear oil based on mineral oil, resulting in a lower friction, which reduces temperature and lowers energy costs. Lower mesh temperatures often prevail in industrial gears when being run up, operating with a stop-start function, below full-load capacity or at reduced speed than would normally be generated in a fully loaded gearbox. Under these conditions, gear failure or premature damage often results from micropitting wear in slow to medium circumferential speeds, whereas with very slow circumferential speeds the result is abrasive wear. To protect gear flanks and bearings reliably against damage, advanced, high performance, properly additivated gear oils are essential.

Klüber Lubrication Great Britain Ltd. Tel: +44 1422 205115 Email: info@uk.klueber.com www.klueber.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

FZG MICROPITTING TEST (RESULTS)

Klüber Lubrication have been instrumental in lowering NPT, facilitating higher HP/HT capability, increasing MTTF/MTBF, and reducing purchase frequency and inventory

FZG SCUFFING TEST (RESULTS)

through improved durability and service life

Our tests have shown that Klüber Lubrication advanced additive technologies can react at the surface of the tooth flank even at low oil temperatures to assure protection across the widest range of operating conditions, as well as assuring the most durable service life and transmission efficiency.

Meeting the Toughest of Standards – Keeping Pace With Growing Populations Drilling at extreme depths in regions of the world previously considered unreachable, in hostile environments – artic cold, tropical heat, rain, wind, salty air and seawater – places an extra strain on operating equipment, increasing the likelihood of failure. In these harsher environments, the differences between conventional and speciality lubricants will be quickly revealed – whether on deck equipment or propulsion systems, on vessels or topside, subsea or the downhole demands of offshore installations, FPSOs, jack-ups or semi-

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submersibles – the necessity to select the right lubricant has a vital role to play in the fulfilment of tasks on time. Speciality efficiency-boosting oils, greases, pastes, waxes, coatings and anti-corrosion products developed to endure the elements faced in the oil and gas sector is one way of tackling these challenges.

Speciality Lubricants for Cranes and Winches

Open gears used for driving winches and rotating cranes offshore, on ships, or in harbours are exposed to enormous stresses and strains. For this reason, the role of lubricants is a crucial one – it has to provide reliable protection against corrosion and not drip, or be washed off by sea water, otherwise the consequences include increased wear of gear teeth, corrosion and finally complete gear failure resulting in high repair costs. This is why one of the world’s leading manufacturers of anchor handling winches, Rolls Royce, recommend Klüber Lubrication. The Klüberfluid C-F and Klüberplex AG ranges of lubricants


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

WIRE ROPE AFTER 6 MONTHS AND 37 IMMERSIONS BETWEEN 150M AND 500M

provide substantial cost savings due to the proven protection against corrosion and wear, but also because of the lubricants’ good adhesive properties. Being free from bitumen, heavy metals, chlorine and solvents, disposal is much less costly. These products are suitable in all climatic conditions and the difference when compared to conventional lubricants is immediately visible, as these lubricants are transparent or white rather than black making monitoring of tooth flanks possible. A major manufacturer of flexible and rigid pipes for the offshore industry, producing approximately one third of worldwide production, wanted to reduce maintenance costs on-board several of their cable layers. Employing a VLS (vertical laying system) to guide and install the undersea pipe, the company used extensive steel wire ropes up to 3,000m long and 120mm in diameter. The ropes were used on average 150 times per year and were immersed in sea water during every operation. The company was using a competitor’s product which offered a good penetration in the rope, but the water and corrosion resistance was not appropriate for sea immersions. In consultation with their engineering department, Klüberplex AG 11-462 was tested and demonstrated: • Excellent adhesion • Excellent corrosion protection

• Water resistance • Excellent wear protection Rope re-greasing was extended to 4 months –the grease consumption for lubrication of the entire rope can be around 200kg for small ropes and 1,200kg for bigger ropes. Klüberplex AG 11-462 offered excellent corrosion protection, thus increasing the lifetime of the ropes. This manufacture owned 8 vessels with one rope each and with costs varying from e300,000 to e600,000 to change one rope, depending on the size, the benefits of excellent wear protection and water resistance were clear.

Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants Complying with EALs to reduce the impact of lubricants on the environment is a challenge. Klüberbio EG 2 Series synthetic, biodegradable gear oils deliver a high-performance, provide excellent load-carrying capacity, and give increased wear protection whilst meeting eco-friendly requirements.

Matching the Right Lubricant with the Right Elastomer Seal Most vessels are propeller-driven, and almost all propeller shafts, whether a stern tube or thruster share one characteristic – they are lubricated with oil. The propeller shaft seal is in place to prevent oil from leaking into the sea and sea water from entering the stern tube or thruster gear, therefore the advantages of speciality lubricants for applications with a “lube and seal” requirement cannot be ignored. Working with Merkel Freudenberg, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of elastomer seals, Klüber Lubrication have successfully developed biodegradable gear oils for propellers and thrusters, fulfilling all requirements for environmental protection, functionality and seal compatibility.

Klüber Lubrication Great Britain Ltd. Tel: +44 1422 205115 Email: info@uk.klueber.com www.klueber.com

your global specialist

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

One of the world’s leading manufacturers of anchor handling winches, Rolls Royce, recommend Klüber Lubrication

Klüberbio EG 2 gear oils, offer an alternative to mineral oil for thrusters and rudder propellers based on synthetic ester oil – these synthetic ester oils contain more than 90% of renewable raw material, bear the European Eco-label and comply with the requirements of the 2013 Vessel General Permit defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for classification as an Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant (EAL). As well as being eco-friendly, Klüberbio EG 2 oils offer a high scuffing load capacity to protect the gear teeth against damage even at high peak load.

Klüber Summit Gas Compressor Simulator With the development of a gas compressor simulation system, Klüber Lubrication can exactly match an operational compressor fluid to the prevailing gas stream to significantly guard against gas wash and dilution effects in compressors, where process fluid and oil are in contact, thus reducing wastage, maintenance time, and production losses, as well as improving reliability and increasing uptime. As an insight into what difference referencing a gas stream can make, a North Sea installation showed significant improvement and lowered the cost of operation of a Low Pressure Vapour Recovery (LPVR) compressor recovering offgas from the LP Separator vessel. This gas was the one source of fuel gas for various turbines on the platform – when the compressor was shut down the offgas flared to the atmosphere. The compressor package had a history of unreliability, from compressor seizure to failure of lube oil pumps. A new compressor normally lasted approximately 8000hrs before requiring overhaul or replacement due to failed bearings or seizure – the compressor here had to have monthly oil changes as hydrocarbon condensate diluted the oil,

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reducing its viscosity and flash point; this reduction in viscosity had a detrimental effect on bearings and other moving parts. •N  umber of new/overhauled compressors used: 6 • Number of oil changes: 61 •C  ompressor downtime due to compressor failure: 35 weeks (approximately) •A  mount of gas flared to atmosphere: 4900000m³ (approximately) at 20000m³/day • Man hours: 840hrs •P  rior to changeover, the compressor was running on synthetic oil. Following years of unreliable performance using several unsuitable grades of oil (mineral and synthetic) recommended by their oil supplier, it was decided that a new supplier who could supply the correct type of oil as indicated in the manufacturers O&M manual be found. Only one company manufactured the required grade of oil as standard and using the Summit Compressor Simulator, the correct oil, Klüber Summit PGS-100 was selected according to the gas stream analysis, ensuring that the oil viscosity was maintained when the gas was dissolved. The minimum operational viscosity was calculated to be 40mm/s² at 40°C. The compressor oil was changed when a new compressor was fitted. Since installation of Klüber Summit PGS 100, the company has made the following annualised savings in maintenance time, environmental flaring and direct expenditure: •O  il savings: 22 x 5000 (number of oil changes x cost of oil change [£]) = £110,000 •N  umber of new/overhauled compressors that would have been used with original oil: 1 x £15,000 = £15,000 •T  here has also been a reduction in flared gas by at least 21,3326m³ • Man-hour saving – 256hrs in 25 months


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

Environmentally Compatible Biodegradable Lubricants – We Have the Solution The effects of marine pollution have reached dramatic proportions, particularly in coastal regions with high industrial density and along much-frequented shipping routes. But with the demand for hydrocarbon resources expected to grow by 30% over the next 20 years, the challenge for modern-day oil and gas exploration to economically find, revisit and exploit reserves will only increase – and, as marine traffic intensifies, so too will the potential problems for the marine environment. Environmentally, the marine, oil and gas sector is under the auspices of tight regulations concerning chemical discharges, losses, leaks and pollution and, as such, have been calling for an eco-compatible alternative to mineral-oil based products for years. However, any alternative had to be equal to mineral oils in terms of performance and lubrication requirements. Working closely with leading thruster manufacturers in Germany, Holland, Norway and Finland, Klüber Lubrication, launching the Klüberbio EG 2 gear oil series in 2012, were able to determine the requirements and oil specifications needed to protect gear teeth, reduce maintenance costs and extend the service life of oil and seals in thrusters and rudder propellers, creating readily biodegradable oils which, not only met regulatory and market demands for environmental sustainability, but were also a genuine alternative to mineral oils.

OSPAR Plus High Performance – Comparison of Wear Behaviour of Open Gear Lubricants Meeting environmental objectives without compromising efficiency of your operations to comply with OSPAR regulations in oil and gas applications poses a challenge, but with a reputation for outstanding technical performance, Klüber Lubrication now bring this expertise to new OSPAR compliant products – Klübersustain SA 42-41 OS Thread Compound and Klübersustain OM 42-40 OS, for jack-up rack and pinions, can help you meet regulatory and market demands without compromising on performance. Utilizing another simulation rig to replicate the parameters on open gears in jackups, it was possible to determine the gear wear characteristics, according to DGMK 377-01. With a special gear set, this slow speed test ran for cycles of 4 x 20 hours at 0.05m/s, then faster for the last 40 hours running at 0.57m/s. After each cycle the gears were weighed to determine the wear. Comparing the performance of Klübersustain OM 42-40 OS with competitor’s OSPAR greases it was possible to prove that the new Klüber Lubrication product showed 1/9 of the wear compared to the NLGI 2 grease, and less than 1/5 of the wear compared to the NLGI 1 grease thus illustrating the excellent wear protection provided by Klübersustain SA 42-41 OS products, ensuring they deliver on OSPAR requirements as well as high performance.

Safety Critical, Operationally Dependent In severe conditions lubricants need to stay in place and protect against corrosion and wear. Recommended by leading OEMs Klüberplex AG 11-462 is the obvious choice for reliable open gear and wire rope operation with extended lubricant intervals and excellent adhesion.

Klüber Lubrication Great Britain Ltd. Tel: +44 1422 205115 Email: info@uk.klueber.com www.klueber.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

OIL AND GAS PRODUCT PORTFOLIO – NEW PRODUCT TESTING WITH JACK-UP PRODUCTS

Klüberbio EG 2 gear oils, offer an alternative to mineral oil for thrusters and rudder propellers based on synthetic ester oil

Pushing the Limits – The Future of Speciality Lubricants Reducing the impact of mineral oil-based lubricants entering the oceans, bays, harbours and inland waters is incumbent on everyone, to deliver higher levels of sustainability and work together to protect the environment we operate in. This is why we have developed a test bay that is un-paralleled in the industry to simulate the exact loads lubricants are subject to in various applications, fluctuating temperatures, high surface pressure, micro-movements and/or (salt) water to ensure the lubricant maximizes output whilst minimizing operational and environmental costs. Our biodegradable gear oils and stern tube oils, as well as our hydraulic fluids for thrusters, controllable pitch propeller (CPP) propulsion units, stern tubes and deck equipment, are approved for use by leading equipment and seal system OEMs, have independent assurance from the EU

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Eco-label Program and meet the US EPA’s requirements for environmentally acceptable lubricant (EAL) classification. As an independent supplier of speciality lubricants we excel at driving improvement measures even when “problems” don’t exist, to deliver on overall uptime and productivity aims and we are proud to have major oil companies as customers, as well as large and small shipping companies, contractors, and service providers. Through our technology and expertise and by working in close collaboration with leading OEMs, Klüber Lubrication continues to push the limits of efficiency and performance. Via our global network of production, sales and distribution partners, we are able to supply the right lubricant for the right application wherever you are in the world, helping you to achieve the best operational practices that combine economic saving with environmental benefits.


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

A Challenging Time for Oil Production Tom Cropper, Editor More extreme operating conditions means every component of an oil rig needs to get a little bit better.

I

N SPORTS they call it the science of small gains; the idea that an athlete or team can make small improvements in their overall game to deliver a much more substantial boost in performance. In a way, oil companies need to do the same thing. As exploration heads into deeper waters and faces more extreme conditions, every component will need to be functioning at its best. Moreover, as financial pressures grow, any downtime at all represents a significant cost and risk to the overall profitability of the drilling project. Bringing down the cost of unplanned downtime as well as planned maintenance is critical if many offshore projects are to prove financially viable.

In Deep Water The world of deep water drilling is going through some diffcult times. Much has been written about the volatility of the oil price. From record highs of up to £120 per barrel, prices nosedived throughout 2014 and bottomed out at around the $40 mark. Since then they rebounded a little and now stand at around $55. The trouble is that if the price remains around that mark, it’s not enough for most exploration contractors to consider projects as being financially sustainable. Evidence of the difficulties facing the industry could be seen in March 2015 as Transocean reported plans to scrap four of its drilling rigs. The Deepwater Expedition, Transocean Legend, Transocean Rather and GSF Arctic II will all be classified as being for sale. Given that day rates for one of its rigs, the Sedco Express, were approximately $300,000 when used off the coast of Nigeria, this represents a major hole in its balance sheets. Even the largest oil companies have not been immune to the cuts. Shell and BP are among those who have announced savage reductions in budget over the past few months as many deep water exploration projects grind to a halt. The problem is that, with the oil price in its presence malaise, the sums just don’t add up. Carbon Tracker, a think tank which assesses the

risks facing fossil fuel companies, suggested companies’ investments were at risk when prices slide below $60 per barrel.1 In other words, for exploration to be viable oil needs to be selling at more than $60. The situation is made more difficult by the widespread disagreement on where oil prices will go in the future. Various experts believe that the recent rise is nothing more than a ‘dead cat bounce’ and prices will fall again in the future. Others have been more optimistic suggesting prices will soon be on the up, while others believe we have reached a new normal. Andy Xie, a former Morgan Stanley and IMF economist, told CNN that he believed oil would be at $60 per barrel for the next five years as China’s economy cools.2 At that rate, we’re right on the ragged edge of where exploration companies believe deep water exploration is a financially sustainable option.

Going Deeper Even with a volatile business, deep water exploration remains crucial to the world’s oil supply. Demand may have softened over 2014 but it continues to rise and at a faster rate than new oil is being discovered. American shale has played a role in maximising short term supply, but in the long term, more oil from the oceans will be required. With most existing fields having given up the majority of easy oil, that leaves two options. Production must be maximised from existing wells through enhanced oil recovery techniques, and more oil must be found. This is why, for all the financial uncertainty, the biggest names in oil and gas are still factoring exploration into their plans. At the height of the crisis, Chevron decided to go ahead with its new $8bn deepwater oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.3 In part, this is a move borne of expediency. Chevron built the rig in the boom days of high oil prices and, although those days are long gone, it is determined to get as much of its investment back as possible.

Cleaner Living Leading OEMs recognize the importance of correct protection of heavily loaded gear systems on Winches and Cranes. Klüberfluid C-F Series lubricants cover all climates offshore or in harbours. They are also free from the usual components that make open gear lubricants black and unpleasant to work with, making them user friendly too.

Klüber Lubrication Great Britain Ltd. Tel: +44 1422 205115 Email: info@uk.klueber.com www.klueber.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

As exploration heads into deeper waters and faces more extreme conditions, every component will need to be functioning at its best

KLÜBEREFFICIENCYSUPPORT – YOUR GLOBAL PARTNER

Exploration and production is still taking place in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico and unexplored regions of the Arctic. Shell is one of a number of giants casting its eyes to the Arctic where a US geological survey suggested 30% of the world’s remaining gas reserves and 16% of its remaining oil may lie ready to be tapped.4 However, identifying these reserves is one thing – laying your hands on them quite another. Shell’s previous efforts in the Arctic yielded no oil and over $12million in fines.5 The problem is that these unexplored frontier regions bring a host of challenges. Conditions will be extreme; high and low temperatures together with extreme pressure, rough weather conditions, salt water and corrosive chemicals produce immense strains on every component. The consequences of equipment failure are also that much more severe. In remote areas it is not always possible to quickly deliver and replace equipment, and severe spills can be almost impossible to control. BP’s Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 showed the difficulty of capping a wellhead at extreme depth. Opponents of exploration in the Arctic

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argue that cleaning up a spill there would be even more difficult. So, equipment must be tougher, more effective and, if possible cheaper, and lubricants play a key role in this. They protect equipment and increase lifespan, but an effective lubricant can also significantly reduce energy consumption. These are small gains, but taken across a rig, they can amount to something which has a substantial impact on the end cost. The trouble is, many conventional fluids simply aren’t cut out for the rigours of deep water exploration. At high temperatures, lubricants based on mineral oils often start to fail. To combat this, the industry needs to develop a range of new technologies to cope with harsher environments. The good news is that they are doing this; the bad news is that not all products are the same and there remains a lack of awareness about which oils are best in which situation. Part of the job, therefore, will involve considerable levels of industry-wide education to help operators select the right products for the right job.


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

A Green Revolution Jo Roth, Staff Writer Biodegradable lubrication technology is crucial if oil companies are to meet their environmental obligations.

L

UBRICATION FLUIDS represent a small but significant environmental hazard for an oil rig. Although every effort can be made to avoid it, fluids will inevitably leach into the surrounding environment from time to time. As exploration heads into some of the world’s more fragile ecosystems, developing a range of effective eco-friendly lubricants is important if oil companies are to avoid falling foul of environmental legislation. The good news is that finally – after decades of development – green fluids have evolved to a point where they’re able to match and improve upon the performance of conventional products. The trouble is, the industry as a whole doesn’t seem to have noticed yet.

In the 90s and early 2000s, products became more generally available. Firstly, the technology had improved and so had awareness. Pressure was coming from agencies across the world for oil companies to improve their performance on the environment, which spurred change forward. Even so, most products were based on vegetable oils which had the propensity to break down under high temperatures. Synthetic oils were developed which could improve performance and innovation continues today. Development has now reached the stage where swapping out conventional oil for biooils has been shown to improve performance in many cases. Even so, they are struggling to gain a foothold.

A History of Innovation

Assessing the Solutions

The environmental impact of lubrication oils is easy to overlook. While attention focuses on large oil spills, relatively little heed is paid to small leaks of lubrication oil into the marine environment. Although every effort is made to ensure components are watertight and that oils do not spill, nothing can be truly safe. Equally, accidents can happen. A rupture in a line, for example, can lead to rapid spillage of oil onto the deck of a ship which in turn can be swept into the sea by the first wave that comes along. Developing oils that are biodegradable is therefore a crucial imperative for the industry but, while some high quality biodegradable oils do now exist in the market, gaining widespread industry acceptance is proving a bit of a problem. Part of the issue comes from the fact that so call ‘green’ oils have long been seen as inferior. The industry has been trying to develop these eco-friendly options for around 20 years and the results have not always been successful. Early products arrived in the eighties and were based on vegetable oils. However, these oils were so limited in their performance that equipment had to be designed entirely around them. Operators naturally limited their use to those areas in which they were strictly necessary.

If environmentally friendly products do still have an image problem, then part of the reason is a difficulty in assessment. Even today, in our more environmentally conscious age, there is considerable confusion about terms such as toxicity, biodegradability and environmentally responsible. Biodegradable products can be toxic and environmentally responsible products can still have a negative impact on the ecosystem. There is a widespread misconception that, by labelling an oil biodegradable, this instantly classifies it as environmentally friendly. However, all oils are inherently biodegradable. There is just a significant difference in the rate at which it degrades. Petroleum-based oils, for example, may be considered to be inherently biodegradable, but they can stay in the water for many years. For environmental purposes, most of the oil needs to have been broken down by the time it gets into the environment. The impact on the environment and marine life needs to be eliminated or at least minimised. Drillers need to understand how quickly oil will break down once it has leached into the water, as well as how it will perform at the high temperatures involved in drilling. Equally, different components will create different challenges. What works in one area, for example, may not work in another. All

Access All Areas Neglected lubrication tasks due to difficult or hazardous access can impact on equipment reliability and ultimately availability Klübermatic dispensers filled with our high performance lubricants can ensure the right product gets to the friction point, helping you to reduce non-productive time.

Klüber Lubrication Great Britain Ltd. Tel: +44 1422 205115 Email: info@uk.klueber.com www.klueber.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

If environmentally friendly products do still have an image problem, then part of the reason is a difficulty in assessment

HIGH-END TRIBOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS WHEREVER YOU ARE

in all, the average drill rig has over 200 different structures which use fluids and each of these will require oils which work in harmony with their overall operation. In other words – there is not necessarily a one size fits all solution. Buyer education is crucial and is all about teaching people what to look for and what questions they should be asking of suppliers.

Coping with the Challenges Education is further complicated by variations in system performance. As with any suite of products, some are better than others. While the best products can out-perform conventional oils, others still break down under high temperature or pressure. With each sub-standard product which falls short of a buyer’s expectations, the reputation of the entire bio-oil industry takes a hit. Moreover, the goalposts are continually being moved. Oil rigs are becoming bigger and more sophisticated and are operating in conditions which would have previously been considered un-reachable. Ultra-deep drilling subjects fluids to unprecedented levels of pressure and heat, which means the new generation of oils needs to produce ever-greater performance levels.

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As drilling pushes the boundaries, so the pressure increases on operators. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill demonstrated the difficulty of cleaning up an oil spill at extreme depth. With oil giants now casting their eyes towards the Arctic, environmentalists argue that cleaning up a spill in this region would be next to impossible. Rigs operating in these regions cannot afford to fail and they must adhere to increasingly stringent regulations on safety and water quality. This means oils have to chase two goals. They must be safer, more durable and able to exceed the performance of conventional oils in the harshest of operating conditions. Equally they must present the minimum hazard to the environment possible. Chasing such a goal is no easy task and it’s made even more challenging by an industry which still does not fully understand the technology at its disposal. This is why the biooil producers need to embark on a substantial awareness raising campaign to educate potential buyers about what environmentally friendly actually means and what the new generation of environmentally responsible products can actually achieve.


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

Assessing the Performance of Lubricant Technology James Butler, Staff Writer Choosing the next generation of synthetic oils can be a major challenge for drilling operators.

For all the money lavished on research and development in the oil and gas industry over the years, one area remains critically overlooked – lubricants. These play an integral role in almost every part of an oil rig’s operation. There is considerable difference between various lubrication fluids and existing fluids are struggling to cope with the increased demands of oil exploration. Even so, operators continue to misunderstand how they work and what benefits they can bring to an oil rig.

What Fluids Do The importance of lubrication fluids should not be under-estimated. They are present all over the rig including gears, bearings, valves, top drive and rotary tables and turbines. They reduce friction between components, increasing the overall operational lifespan of a product and reducing the likelihood of failure and the requirement for maintenance. Equally, they can help a part to operate more efficiently which, in turn, can contribute to an overall reduction in energy consumption. Even a 1% improvement can result in real cost savings down the line. If the lubricating oil does not do its job properly, machinery fails and production grinds to a halt. Every minute of unplanned downtime sends costs upwards and reduces the profitability of the entire project. With margins in offshore drilling as tight as they ever have been, that can be enough to make the difference between success and failure. Even so, there are signs that operators are failing to embrace their importance. Figures published on the website www.maintenancetechnology. com showed that, while only 1-3% of a total maintenance budget is spent on lubricants, 36% of equipment failure can be down to poor lubrication.6 Operators are also tempted to cut corners by minimising the number of different lubricants being used around the rig. This can lead to sub-optimal products being used for certain machine types. The industry needs to

change its attitude by applying the right lubricant strategies to the correct machine part.

What’s Available? The technology is improving. Mineral-based oils are giving way to synthetics which operate effectively at higher temperatures. New technologies are also being developed to offer multi-purpose functionality, which, in turn, can reduce the portfolio of lubricant oils any drilling operator has to have at their disposal. Fluids are used all over the rig in more than 200 different applications. These all have different requirements and finding one oil which can work across all areas is virtually impossible. However, synthetic oils are being developed which widen their operating parameters in order to work in as many different situations as possible. By so doing they are able to deliver both performance and cost savings for operators. Lastly, lubricants are finally cracking one of the more difficult barriers – environmental responsibility. For years green labelled oils have been considered inferior, but all that is changing. The rise of synthetic biodegradable lubricants is helping operators comply with an increasingly stringent regulatory environment and reduce their impact on the ecosystem. However, just because synthetics can operate at higher temperatures and in harsher conditions, it doesn’t mean that their performance is uniformly superior. Indeed, there are several disadvantages including a higher price, poor mixability with mineral oils and, in some cases, corrosion in the presence of water. Drillers must also consider the implications of any change. Over time, an oil becomes an integral part of the machinery. So switching one for another can represent a substantial change in the way the machine works. Changes can result in shocks to the system which can reduce, rather than improve, operational performance. Before purchasing any solution, therefore, operators need to know what they’re looking for.

Right on Stream Preventing wear on bearings and other components requires the correct oil viscosity. For reciprocating and screw compressors our test rig simulation takes the guess work out of which oil should be used for your gas stream whether wet, dry, sweet or sour.

Klüber Lubrication Great Britain Ltd. Tel: +44 1422 205115 Email: info@uk.klueber.com www.klueber.com

your global specialist

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

The importance of lubrication fluids should not be under-estimated. They are present all over the rig including gears, bearings, valves, top drive and rotary tables and turbines

SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR EXTREME CONDITIONS

They need reliable testing parameters and they need to engage with suppliers. This is why most producers of lubricant technologies work hard to engage with their potential customers offering significant levels of after-sales support.

What the Future Holds Selection of products will also depend – to a large degree – on what the future holds for oil exploration. This will feed into today’s innovations of tomorrow’s products. The problem is, it’s difficult to find anyone who is entirely certain of what this will bring. In 2014, all the talk was of the Arctic ocean being the next frontier of oil exploration. Despite widespread opposition from environmental groups to plans by Shell to tap arctic resources, the Daily Telegraph reported in September 2014 that arctic exploration was, in their opinion, ‘inevitable’. “If we don’t find oil, the Russians will,” they wrote.7 However, six months can change a lot and by March 2015 all the reports were of a big slowdown. Plummeting oil prices and disappointing results saw the major oil giants keeping hold of their cash. The BBC reported that a summit in Oslo

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would examine whether or not exploration of the Arctic was still financially viable.8 This matters because the next generation of lubricant technologies will have to be developed to cope with the conditions they will face. What they face in the Arctic is very different from what they might face off the coast of Brazil, for example. Innovators will need to produce new products to cope with the requirements of oil drillers. Just as money dictates where exploration happens, it also dictates how much money can be dedicated to new equipment and innovation. New synthetic oils not only cost more by themselves, but their introduction also represents a potential risk. Swapping out existing oil for a new oil may not necessarily work and, if results are disappointing, the drilling operator will feel the results on their balance sheet. Much will depend on where the oil price is going next and, once again, there is little consensus. Some analysts believe we have reached a new normal – a place where oil prices will stabilise at around $60 for the foreseeable future. Others expect a swift return to earlier higher levels. Naturally, the level of the oil price will feed into how much money is available for innovation. Whatever the future brings, the onus will be well and truly on developers to hasten innovation. Here there is some good news. Innovation is accelerating. The development of synthetic oils has done much to improve safety and productivity and reduce down time, but more changes are on the horizon in the shape of highly advanced solutions such as nano-technology, which can push the boundaries even further. We’ll examine these new technologies in the final article in this report.


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

The Latest Developments in Lubricant Technologies John Hancock, Editor How the industry is developing the next generation of advanced lubrication technologies.

C

ONDITIONS ON board an oil rig have always been tough. However, in the future they’re going to be even worse. Temperatures will fluctuate between extreme heat and extreme cold; pressures will be higher and the risks of accident will grow. At the same time operators will need new ways to reduce the amount of downtime for maintenance. All these require a new generation of lubrication oils which can cope in tougher environments.

Developing New Technologies Stage one in this process is developing a new generation of technologies – lubricants which are equipped to cope with the worst that modern exploration can throw. This is why Shell has opened a research and development facility in China dedicated to developing new lubricant technologies. The facility is pressing ahead with a number of innovations such as low viscosity engine oil which Shell says results in better engine performance and fuel consumption. These products, they say, are expected to be available from around 2016.9

Synthetics A key feature of the new products entering the market is the move away from mineral oils to a series of highly sophisticated synthetics based lubricants. These promise improved performance stats, longer drain time intervals, lower energy consumption, greater environmental responsibility and extended equipment life cycle. Kluber engineering, one of the leading pioneers in this field, point out that synthetic products can produce a 1-2% saving on energy consumption. Even at this level this can result in substantial savings in money and energy consumption. These are becoming increasingly common as oil exploration regularly brings equipment into contact with high temperatures. Most mineral oil lubricants are unable to function at these levels, which is why

synthetics are increasingly being used. However, while mineral oils remain in use for most easyplay oil projects, the next task for suppliers is to convince the wider industry of the value that synthetics bring. As part of this effort a National Synthetics Lube Seminar is being held by Shell in India to educate the industry about the benefits synthetics bring. The use of synthetics is significantly lower in Asia than the rest of the world. Closing that gap can open up new opportunities for suppliers and help spur on the general acceptance of synthetics in the wider environment. Manufacturers of lubricants therefore have two challenges. They not only need to develop the next generation of products in a way which can deliver significant improvements, but they also need to demonstrate their worth to a sceptical industry. Inertia is always a major obstacle and to gain acceptance they need to demonstrate that they are worth the cost and risk of making the change.

OSPAR Plus High Performance Jack-up Rack & Pinion systems need to function reliably on demand in harsh environments. Klübersustain OM 40-42 OS is a biodegradable lubricant, for use in all climate conditions, offering wear and corrosion protection of these components to ensure asset functionality.

Environmental Responsibility The last couple of years have also seen so called green products really coming of age. For years, these have been unable to produce the same performance levels as existing mineral oils, but all that is changing. The Klüberbio EG 2 gear oil series, is one of a new generation of biodegradable oils which promise at least to match the performance of equivalent mineral oils. This open gear lubricant is designed to break down in the water and to comply with the increasingly severe global regulations coming into force. However, from now on, the task is to not only meet existing performance criteria, but also to start delivering tangibly superior stats. This is happening and many of the latest generation products already outperform mineral based competitors. However, there is still a perception problem to be overcome. The industry sees

Klüber Lubrication Great Britain Ltd. Tel: +44 1422 205115 Email: info@uk.klueber.com www.klueber.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

While mineral oils remain in use for most easyplay oil projects, the next task for suppliers is to convince the wider industry of the value that synthetics bring

APPROVED FOR USE BY LEADING OEMS

these as inferior and it will take a lot of real world performance metrics to convince them otherwise. Developing new products and enhancing industry education will be key over the next few years.

What the Future Holds As we move into the future, advancements in lubricant technology are accelerating. The development of enhanced synthetic oils has enabled manufacturers to come up with increased thermal resistance creating a range of products which outperform conventional oils on the market. However, this is an ongoing process and research is being conducted into the next step. Nanotechnology is an exciting development in many areas of the drilling operation. It is being used to develop new ways of improving recovery from the well head, and also promises to produce improved resistance of coating materials. It also holds some potential for lubrication fluids. Nano particles suspended in a fluid as an additive can enhance thermal properties – namely it can improve a fluid’s ability to operate in high

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temperature environments. It also offers another crucial feature – customisation. To be cost-effective lubricants need to have multiple applications across an oil rig. Operators are looking to reduce the number of different lubricants on their portfolios in order to bring their costs under control. The desire to economise can, on occasion, lead to using fluids in sub-optimal situations. Doing so reduces the effectiveness of machinery, shortens lifespan and contributes to increased running costs. The more applications a single product can work on, the fewer products an operator will have to buy.

Conclusion As we look ahead, the technology is being made available, but in a complicated environment it is not always straightforward for drilling operators to make the right selection. Effective communication between the innovators and the end-users will be critical if the industry is to get the most out of what the new generation of technologies can offer.


SPECIAL REPORT: INNOVATIONS IN SPECIALITY LUBRICANTS FOR MARINE AND OFFSHORE OIL AND GAS APPLICATIONS

References: 1

2

The implications of $50 per barrel. http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/01/the-implications-of-50-dollar-a-barrel-oil-for-the-world-energy-mix/

$60 a barrel will be new norm: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102259827

Bad timing? Chevron christens new deep water oil platform. http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2014/12/02/bad-timing-chevron-christens-new-8b-deepwater-oil-platform/

3

4

Arctic oil exploration: opportunities and problems. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14728856

5

Shell’s Arctic oil contractor fined: http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/12/09/shells-arctic-oil-drilling-contractor-fined-12-2m/

Developing an effective lubrication programme: http://www.maintenancetechnology.com/2013/08/developing-an-effective-lubrication-management-program/

6

Arctic drilling is inevitable: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/11080635/Arctic-drilling-is-inevitable-if-we-dont-find-oil-in-the-ice-then-Russia-will.html

7

8

Oil exploration in the Arctic is slowing down: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31850688

New tech center part of Shell’s plan to tackle next gen engine oils. http://www.overdriveonline.com/new-tech-center-part-of-shells-plan-to-tackle-next-gen-engine-oils-future-energy-challenges/

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Defence Industry – Special Report on Innovations in Speciality Lubricants for Marine & Offshore Oil & Gas Operations

Offshore Technology – ‘Innovations in Speciality Lubricants for Marine & Offshore Oil & Gas Apps  

Defence Industry – Special Report on Innovations in Speciality Lubricants for Marine & Offshore Oil & Gas Operations