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Gas engine oils: Boosting efficiency

14 March 2017

ExxonMobil offers tips to help gas engine operators optimise engine performance by taking a best practice approach to lubrication and highlights the benefits a gas engine operator in Poland has seen since it started to analyse used oil on a regular basis

With the Mobil Pegasus series of gas engine oils and Mobil Serv Lubricant Analysis, ExxonMobil aims to protect engines running at different speeds and on different gases. These top tips help determine how operators can get the most out of their engines. 

•  Choose the right oil for your gas 

While lubricants may represent a small percentage of operating costs, simply selecting the right oil can have a significant impact on long-term maintenance costs. Operators should take into account OEM recommendations, as well as the gas type being used. ExxonMobil works with major OEMs to test and develop its lubricants, and is continuously developing new products that are tailored to specific gases. For example, Mobil Pegasus 605 Ultra is specifically designed to mitigate the contaminants commonly found in gases produced from waste. 

•  Choose high-performance versus conventional mineral oils

Advances in lubricant technology have resulted in breakthroughs in extending engine life, optimising oil drain intervals and improving the overall efficiency of equipment. By switching from conventional mineral oils to high performance lubricants, gas engine operators can help decrease the need for unscheduled maintenance, resulting in safer operations and cost savings.

•  Understand compatibility 

The full range of benefits of a high-performance oil can only be realised by implementing a successful switch-over. To do this, it’s important to test the compatibility of the old and new oils, as well as evaluate engine condition and current oil contamination. This will help determine the best oil change procedure for smooth operations.

•  Conduct oil condition monitoring

As part of routine maintenance, the 'health' of the lubricant and the equipment itself should be regularly checked. By trending oil analysis data it is possible to proactively address undesirable conditions before they result in equipment downtime. ExxonMobil’s new Mobil Serv Lubricant Analysis program is a quick and easy to use system that sends maintenance professionals expert oil analysis assessments to identify potential issues, list possible causes and recommend corrective actions.

Case study: Used oil analysis in action

One gas engine operator located in Poland has already seen the benefits of regularly analysing used oil. The pumping units at its natural gas mines experienced increased carbon deposits on the pistons, cylinder heads and combustion chamber surfaces. The units were operated in rough conditions and lubricated with high quality mineral oils. However, these increased carbon deposits caused pistons to touch valves, leading to an increased rate of necessary servicing. 

Following a recommendation by ExxonMobil, the company implemented a change to Mobil Pegasus 1 synthetic oil, and utilised ExxonMobil’s oil analysis program. This switch led to an oil change interval three times longer – from 1500 to 4500 hours. This interval was determined based on the oil analysis conducted and Mobil Pegasus 1 synthetic oil properties. As a result, the estimated savings for the pumping department will now reach approximately $150,000 over a three year period. 

•  Store and handle lubricants correctly

Specialised lubricants are formulated to help improve productivity of gas engines and protect equipment. If not handled and stored properly, they can deteriorate or become contaminated and provide inadequate lubrication or become waste. Good storage and handling practice includes correct unloading procedures and use of a single, designated storage area. Storage should be away from heaters, cold areas, moisture, dust and areas of varying temperature cycles.