Oil & gas and power industries examine the impact of lubricant selection in natural gas engine efficiency

A new study from ExxonMobil and PennEnergy shows industry support for high-performance industrial lubricants. ExxonMobil has partnered with PennEnergy to examine the role of industrial lubricants in gas engine operation. The company has long touted the efficacy of industrial lubricants in the oil and gas and power industries. Now, the company has put thorough research behind its claims, with a significant data acquisition effort that polls workers from across the industry. The findings reiterate what ExxonMobil has consistently said: the role of industrial lubricants in efficient natural gas engine operation cannot be understated.

The study was conducted in early 2013. 15 questions were answered by more than 200 individuals, presenting a cross-section of data from a variety of oil & gas and energy industry roles. The questions covered a myriad of topics relating to industrial lubrication. These include: the factors behind engine oil selection, the frequency of conducting used oil analysis, the types of lubricant used in gas engines, the importance of engine oil in optimizing the performance of gas engines, and the respondent’s expectations on what high-performance gas engine oil should deliver.

The resulting data shows a variety of opinions and experience, but industry professionals agree that engine oil is a key component in the efficient operation of gas engines. 65% of respondents feel that the role of an engine oil in gas engine performance optimization is either Quite Important or Very Important. An additional 21% believe it to be Important. 85% of all respondents felt that the role of an engine oil was significant with regard to gas engine performance optimization.

Respondents were also asked to rate the extent consistent, efficient gas engine operation has on company’s business. More than half (52%) indicated that this affects their company’s business, with a quarter of respondents ranked the importance of the consistent, efficient operation of their gas engines as a nine or 10 on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the greatest extent.

One way to optimise gas engine owner resources is to extend the drain interval of the lubricant. These extended drains can help reduce operating costs and increase engine availability. Regular oil and equipment condition monitoring allows customers to help safely extend oil drain intervals. Survey results indicate that 57% of industry experts do perform used engine oil analyses with varying degrees of regularity. Field tests have shown that Mobil SHC Pegasus helps extend oil drain intervals by four to eight times compared to a natural gas engine oil.

When asked to rank five (given) expectations of a high-performance gas engine oil in order, respondents placed Less downtime at the top of the list. Extended engine life also ranked high in the survey.

ExxonMobil has long touted the benefits of high-performance industrial lubricants. The new study shows these claims are strongly in tune with the needs of the natural gas industry. Gas engines continue to be a popular option for power-generation needs, and high performance lubricants help reduce the downtime and optimize performance of gas engines.

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