CARE Industries introduces Canada’s first Tier 4 Final service rig
More than 100 years ago, Red Deer, Alberta was a quiet prairie town dotted with a few trading posts. Then in the 1950s, major oil and natural gas fields were discovered. The area underwent a dramatic transformation. Today, Red Deer is a modern and thriving city, and the area's oil and gas industry is changing with the times as well.
To stay productive, oil and gas operations must upgrade their equipment to keep up with the latest technology and environmental regulations. As of 2018, new diesel engines over 174 horsepower used in off-highway applications must meet Environment Canada and EPA Tier 4 final emissions standards. The focus is on reducing diesel engine exhaust pollutants, which may cause serious health and environmental problems.
After lengthy design and testing phases, new equipment sporting Tier 4 final engines are moving from manufacturing facilities to worksites in Canada. CARE Industries is leading the way, working closely with Wajax, an MTU distributor that operates 100 branches across Canada. The partnership has resulted in the delivery of Canada's first service rig powered by Tier 4 final engines.
Rising to the occasion
Located near Red Deer, CARE Industries primarily manufactures service (or workover) rigs. Typically operated by a well-servicing company, the rigs travel on- and off-highway to an oil or gas extraction site. Once on site, the rig's large mast is raised to a vertical position of more than 100 feet high. From this position, it can perform a wide range of maintenance on a well—from cleanouts to pipe replacements—anything needed to keep the operation running smoothly. Crew shifts run between 12 to 24 hours, depending on the job requirements and the customer's needs.
CARE Industries has been a customer of Wajax for nearly 15 years. During that time, Series 60 engines powered its service rigs. Since the engines and the support from Wajax have been so reliable over the years, when it was time to upgrade to meet new Tier 4 final emissions standards, the manufacturer decided to stay with MTU. To match the power range of the Series 60, the Tier 4-certified MTU Series 1100 was chosen as its replacement.
Since 1858, Wajax has been serving major Canadian industries as one of the nation's leading industrial products and services providers. With a vast expertise in engines and the high demands of the oil and gas industry, Wajax designed a service rig drop-in (Peter Julien change) package for CARE Industries that includes the Series 1100, transmission, control system and aftertreatment system. "It's the only fully integrated Tier 4 drop-in package of its kind available," says Dan Lott, off-highway sales, Wajax. "With the competition, a manufacturer would have to buy pre-packaged factory solutions and customize them to fit, which would be quite time consuming and costly."
The Series 1100 offers another point of difference—it's the only Tier 4 engine in its power range that doesn't need a diesel particulate filter (DPF). A DPF needs to periodically regenerate at temperatures that can reach 537°C (1000°F). This not only causes downtime at a worksite, its incinerated ash is a safety hazard, especially near dry grass and oil extraction sites. The Series 1100 engine does not need a DPF since its internal combustion processes and integrated selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system are capable of removing more than 90 per cent of the nitrogen oxides from the exhaust gas, along with significantly reducing particulate emissions.
Changes for the better
While CARE Industries has relied on the Series 60 for many years, the transition to the Tier 4-certified Series 1100 will have many advantages. "Not only will it reduce emissions, this engine is expected to be at least 20 per cent more fuel-efficient. Over an engine's typical 25,000 to 30,000 hour lifespan, you will save a considerable amount of fuel costs," says Lott. Other benefits include quieter operation and the ability to deliver maximum torque at low RPM, which makes pulling pipe out of a well much quicker and easier.
The Series 1100 engine features the latest in clean diesel engine technology, with no drop-off in availability compared to the Series 60. "It's important that the engine is completely reliable, backed by a support team that can work through issues quickly to have a solution," says Jim Howdle, VP Drilling, CARE Industries. "With a Wajax office right here in Red Deer, along with locations all over Canada, it means parts and service are never too far away."
As CFO of CARE Industries, Peter Julien can attest to a service rig fleet's impact on a company's bottom line. "These are high-dollar operations. Downtime is costly—for the operator and for the well-servicing company. The partnership between CARE Industries, MTU and Wajax has resulted in a proven solution for our oilfield application. It allows us to be confident that we can provide a package for any customer that meets the emissions requirements, with worldwide support and reliable performance."
A fitting introduction
Built by CARE Industries, Canada's first Tier 4 final-certified service rig was recently delivered to Compass Well Servicing in Red Deer. And more are in production. All the hard work and teamwork that went into it was certainly cause for celebration. Yet the rig's debut was made in less than glamorous conditions. Its startup and commissioning occurred in the dead of winter at a frigid -30°C (-22°F). Which, for the hardworking people in the oil and gas industry, and the industrial-strength equipment they count on every day, is a setting that makes perfect sense.