Proactive engine maintenance at crude oil facility

Proactive engine maintenance

Situation

Proactive maintenance of internal combustion engines is a powerful tool that can prevent the high costs related to catastrophic failure. In a Colombian oil field, a Caterpillar 3804 GTA engine was experiencing unusual vibrations during operation. To help diagnose this issue, the maintenance team at the crude oil facility contacted Mobil engineers. Through use of Mobil Planned Engineering Service (PES), a borescope inspection of the engine was conducted and results revealed piston damage that was likely caused by condensate liquid ingression into the combustion chamber.

Recommendation

The diagnosis provided by the borescope inspection led to immediate engine shutdown and scheduling of the required engine maintenance. In order to avoid similar damage caused by condensate liquids in the fuel gas, Mobil engineers also recommended that the crude oil company pretreat its fuel gas.

Result

Early problem detection allowed the customer to shut down the engine, thereby minimizing damage to the crankshaft, engine cylinder heads and block. Replacing the damaged pistons in lieu of major engine repair resulted in a cost savings of more than US $30,000, excluding the potential additional losses related to unexpected shutdowns.

The application expertise provided by local Mobil engineering support is helping improve customer productivity potential.

*This success story is based on the experience of a single customer. Actual results can vary depending upon the type of equipment used and its maintenance, operating conditions and environment, and any prior lubricant used.
*ExxonMobil shall include Exxon Mobil Corporation and its affiliates.

1598 kb PDF in English

02-23-2016

Success stories