Emission regulations for diesel engines used in upstream oil and gas activities

Emission regulations for diesel engines used in upstream oil and gas activities

Rapid progression of emission regulations in recent years, combined with regulatory variations across geographies made it more challenging to understand how these evolving regulations apply to engines used in the oil and gas industry. 

This article outlines two key exhaust emission regulations focused on diesel engines often used in upstream oil and gas activities. These are the diesel engines often used in equipment such as cementers, blenders, mixers, mud pumps and frac rigs you would see in upstream oil and gas activities.

Environmental Protections Agency’s (EPA) Nonroad Exhaust Emission Standards

Most recently in the United States, the EPA’s Tier 4 emission regulations have replaced the previous Tier 4 transitional, Tier 3 and Tier 2 regulations depending upon the engine range. For many of the upstream oil and gas activities, diesel engines now need to comply with the limits outlined in the EPA Nonroad Compression Ignition Exhaust Emission Standards. 

The key focus of current Tier 4 emission standards, in comparison to Tier 3 and Tier 2, has been the reduction in nitrous oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). 

For example: 

  • Diesel engines used in cementers, blenders, mixers and acidizing equipment often deliver 100 to 750 horsepower. These engines are required to comply with Tier 4 regulations since 2014 and 2015. These Tier 4 engines emit 90% less particulate matter than their Tier 3 versions. These engines also emit 85% less nitrous oxides compared to their Tier 3 versions.
  • Diesel engines used in frac rigs, electric power modules, mud pumps and some of the larger cementers and acidizing equipment often deliver over 750 horsepower. These engines were  required to comply with Tier 4 regulations since 2015 and emit 85% less particulate matter than their Tier 2 versions. They also emit 45% less nitrous oxides compared to their Tier 2 versions. 
Progression of EPA's Nonroad Exhaust Emission Standards over the last two decades
Progression of EPA's Nonroad Exhaust Emission Standards over the last two decades

With the most recent Tier 4 emission regulations, the U.S. EPA has also chosen to regulate the amount of sulfur within the diesel fuel used by these engines to 15 parts per million (ppm), a 97% decrease from the previous requirement of 500 ppm 

European Commission’s Non-road Mobile Machinery emission regulations

European Commission’s Non-road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) emissions regulate many of the diesel and natural gas engines used in various upstream oil and gas activities. The European Commission, like the EPA, chose to focus on reducing the emission of carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and particulate matter with these regulations.

Stage V is the latest and the strictest tier of these regulations. Here are the key highlights of Stage V emissions with regards to upstream oil and gas applications:

European Commission's NRMM emission regulations drove dramatic decreases in the emission of harmful pollutants
European Commission's NRMM emission regulations drove dramatic decreases in the emission of harmful pollutants
  • Stage V diesel engines that produce a power output of 130 to 560 kW, often used within cementers, blenders and mixers, emit 40% less particulate matter in comparison to their Stage IV counterparts. They also emit over 90% less particulate matter and nitrous oxides in comparison to their Stage II counterparts.
  • Diesel engines that produce over 560 kW, often used in frac rigs, power modules, mud pumps and larger cementers, are also included in the scope of Stage V emissions. These engines’ emissions were previously not regulated by Stage IV or Stage III regulations. 
  • The other scope expansion introduced with Stage V is the inclusion of particle numbers for engines that produce 19 to 560 kW power. 

How are the EPA and European Commission’s engine emission regulations different?

The most recent emission regulations from the EPA and European Commission (EC) have many commonalities. They both focus on similar pollutants, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrous oxides and particulate matter. They also have very similar target emission levels: 3.5 g/kW-hr of CO and 0.4 g/kW-hr of NOx emissions for larger high horsepower engines. 

Comparison of emission requirements across selected exhaust emission regulations
Comparison of emission requirements across selected exhaust emission regulations

One key difference between the EPA and European Commission’s engine emission regulations is the particulate number introduced with Stage V by the European Commission; the EPA’s Tier 4 regulations don’t have the same criteria. 

There are several more regional and local emission regulations that could impact your oil and gas equipment. This article aimed to provide you the basics around the emission regulations; you can also reach out to your local Cummins partner to discuss emission topics specific to your location and application.

Sign up below to receive periodic insights, updates and news relevant to the oil and gas industry. To learn more about oil and gas power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage.

 

References: 

  1. Update of Engine Categories, Emission Rates and Speciation Profiles for Tier-4 Nonroad Compression Ignition Engines (December 2017). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/
  2. Non-Road mobile machinery emissions (September 2016). Regulation (EU) 2016/1628 of the European Parliament and of the Council [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://eur-lex.europa.eu/

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Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Engine selection, emission regulations and repowering; frequently asked questions from mariners

Engine selection, emission regulations and repowering; frequently asked questions from mariners

There are over 200,000 ships sailing on the rivers, seas and oceans of the world while you are reading this article. Whether through carrying cargo or transporting people, the maritime industry is a key pillar of our modern world. 

With a strong marine heritage dating back to the company’s start in 1919, Cummins Inc. has long been partnering with the maritime industry across commercial, government and recreational applications. 

Our teams receive a wide range of questions through these partnerships; and we want to share perspectives that can help you find answers on a few of the most frequently asked questions. We also recommend you reach out to your local dealer if you want to discuss these further.   

How to select engines for ships and boats? 

  • Performance: Outline the needs you have of the engine. This will help you decide how much power your engine needs to produce. It might be unrealistic to expect an engine to deliver the highest power, smallest footprint, best reliability, lowest price and least noise all at once. More often, you will need to make trade-offs on these parameters; and outlining your needs could help you figure out which features to prioritize. 
  • Total cost of ownership (TCO): Evaluate the costs beyond the initial purchase price of your engine and power system. Fuel consumption often becomes an important component of TCO. Check whether there is need for any mid-life work or overhaul that could impact the TCO. Finally, consider learning more about the cost of parts and service needed for routine maintenance.  
  • Uptime or availability: In other words, the duration the vessel is ready to operate when it matters. There are two components of availability to consider, one is pro-active and the other is reactive. On the pro-active front, you simply don’t want your equipment to fail to begin with; ask about mean time between failures (MTBF) to your engine suppliers. The reactive aspect to consider is the service network of the engine provider. If your engine fails, what is the mean time to fix it. Ideally, you are looking for high MTBF combined with a strong service network.

What marine emission regulation does my ship need to comply with?

Meeting marine emission regulations is more complicated than many other industries; and this comes from a team of experts that have been working for decades with partners in almost every industry and type of equipment on earth. The underlying complication for this complexity is that a ship or vessel can be operating in many parts of the world, where different emission regulations are in effect.

  • Geography to operate: Start with where your ship will be operating. There are few major regulations affecting mariners: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 3 and Tier 4 and International Maritime Organization’s IMO III and IMO II regulations. The European Union also has its Stage III and IV regulations but those affect only inland waterway vessels. There are also several port specific emission requirements that change based on local regulations. If your ship is operating across geographies with differing emission regulations, then your ship needs to comply with each of them, independent of where it is built. 
  • Switching between emission regulations: Some engine manufacturers offer the capability to switch the engine’s emission mid-journey; consider if this flexibility matters to you. This switching is accomplished simply by pausing the operation of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR). 

What to consider when repowering a ship or a boat?

Repowering a ship is an effective way to extend the useful life of your equipment. Given how long ships stay in operation, many experience multiple repowers through their lifecycle. We will soon share our detailed take on repowering considerations. Meanwhile, here are the key points summarized

  • Performance: Evaluate whether your ship’s performance requirements have changed. If your ship needs to be faster or stronger to stay competitive, then you could need a more powerful engine.
  • Fit: Check the space, noise and weight capacity limitations for your engine and power system. Often, these limitations could help you narrow your options. 
  • Emissions: Most often, you can repower using an engine that has an equivalent or better emission level with the engine replaced. One common exception to this; if your new engine delivers power greater than 10% of the engine replaced, then you need to be compliant with the most recent emission regulations. 

Once applied to your unique circumstances, the perspectives shared above will help you narrow your options in addressing the questions you have. The next step is to have a discussion with a partner local to you, with a deeper understanding of your business and geographical considerations.

Sign up below to receive periodic insights, updates and news relevant to the marine industry. To learn more about marine power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage.

Raise Your Energy IQ

Grow professionally with energy trends and insights delivered to your inbox. Read about energy technologies and trends on our Energy IQ Hub.

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

How smart is the worksite of the future ?

Worksite of the future

The worksite of the future will see site managers using digital technologies as integrated components to drive business results, with the Internet-of-Things and machine learning becoming more than just buzz words.   

In this post we’ll explore how connectivity combined with intelligent site planning and the right equipment can improve productivity, while reducing costs and improving safety. We’ll also explore why adoption of the latest technologies has been slower than expected and what the potential challenges site managers and industry leaders need to consider when designing their own infrastructure. 

As the world transforms into a truly digital economy, strong and reliable connectivity will be paramount for the site managers to benefit from the many opportunities available to them. The good news is with Wi-Fi, cellular and satellite offerings, there are no shortage of options when it comes to selecting internet sources or telematics providers. Whether it’s flying drones, remote diagnostics, virtual service events, autonomous operators or smart charging for electric equipment. Once connectivity is prioritized as a requirement of the worksite, a new way of working becomes possible.   

For example, imagine the productivity you could achieve if equipment never failed while on a job because its engines were being monitored remotely through cloud computing systems that can detect issues early and send software updates (similar to your smart phone) to fix problems. Or, automatically trigger replacement part orders online so preventative maintenance could occur with minimal steps or time lag.     

Alternatively, what if you knew exactly how much work you could get done with an electric machine before its battery needed charging and then you could plan your charges during downtime to not only save on utility costs but also ensure availability during regular work shifts? Similarly, how much risk could you mitigate if you utilized autonomous operators who directed equipment from computer rooms instead of working on site? The common thread here for these examples is connectivity. 

With advanced hardware and sensors now being increasingly added to construction equipment- machines are in fact collecting data and learning the way sites work. These anonymous insights apply machine learning to help manufacturers design more and more advanced technologies. However, here within lies the heart of the challenge. Let’s consider a simple example where a construction site has 12-pieces of equipment from 3 OEM brands.   

Each brand could have its own telematics solution installed and ready, meaning that the site manager may need to monitor their mixed fleet through 3 different web portals.  This could negate a notable amount of the expected efficiency gains. For machines without factory installed telematics solutions, external service providers can visit sites and add aftermarket hardware to upgrade equipment. This solution must of course pay for itself in the long run.    

And then of course these new sets of technology do require new skills. This could mean upskilling current labor or hiring new talent. Data management will be one of the key skills, without it the amount of information could prove overwhelming.

While challenges do exist, Cummins is building open and agnostic technology solutions that are connectable with a range of telematics service providers and customer specific systems. As our powertrains are found in a wide variety of construction equipment, we are developing a suite of Connected Solutions™ to help support customers over the life of their equipment.     

Learn more and join the conversation

Join the conversation with #Cummins on your social platforms or learn more about our current and future product solutions. We also have Cummins experts around the world happy to answer your questions. Find your nearest Cummins professional by visiting care.cummins.com or calling 1-800-Cummins.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Repurposing methane produced from landfills for a more sustainable refuse market

Cummins Renewable Natural Gas

It’s no secret that trucking markets around the world are calling for cleaner fuel alternatives. In 2018, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched the Clean Trucking Initiative to “ensure emissions reductions occur in the real world in all types of truck operation.”

With a specific reference to heavy-duty trucks and their impact on the environment, the refuse market has a unique opportunity to increase their use of renewable resources. How? By capturing and reusing landfill gases.

Landfills are an extreme threat to the ozone and are responsible for emitting raw methane gases. Raw methane gas is 40 times more potent than tail pipe exhaust and will remain trapped in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. But on the flip side, methane emissions from landfills also represent an undervalued opportunity to seize and repurpose a significant energy resource. 

Once methane is produced, it can go through three different levels of treatments in order to repurpose the gas in a productive manner. The primary and secondary treatments remove moisture and impurities, respectively. If these two steps are completed, the gas can be used to generate electricity in power generation plants. If the methane undergoes a third treatment to remove CO2, N2, O2, and VOCs (as needed), it can be reused for vehicle fuel as renewable natural gas (RNG). 

Renewable Natural Gas landfill process

This process creates the opportunity for a full life cycle of natural gas landfills. Waste companies, like Waste Management, are sending RNG-powered trucks to your neighborhood to collect waste and recycling. The material collected is then deposited into landfills and over time produces methane. That methane becomes a RNG through the cleansing process and then fuel to power the natural gas powered trucks that collect the waste. Cummins’ natural gas engine line already produces emissions 90% lower than EPA requirements; adding this fuel type further reduces Waste Management’s vehicles to net sub-zero emissions! 

On a larger scale, there are also opportunities for waste companies to funnel their RNG from landfills into the national natural gas pipeline network. The U.S. natural gas pipeline system totals over three million miles of pipeline across the country, providing natural gas to factories, hotels, city-owned facilities, convention sites, airports, commercial ship and motorized vehicle refueling sites, and finally into residential homes across the country. 

While both RNG and fossil natural gas share the same pipeline, the year-over-year expansion of injecting RNG into the pipeline will continue to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. To further encourage the growth and use of RNG in the United States, the EPA established the Renewable Identification Number program (or RIN). Fleets who contract the purchases and use RNG from authorized brokers receive full Greenhouse Gas reduction credits when pulling natural gas off the pipeline. 

It seems like a perfect solution. Is that because it is? Landfills, dairy farms, livestock farms and sewerage treatment plants all produce raw methane naturally. Capturing this abundant energy source and converting it to a very affordable energy source, then coupling it with Cummins’ renewable natural gas engine delivers net sub-zero emissions goods movement today. 

Next question, please. 

Learn more about Cummins natural gas solutions.  

Sources
Environmental Protection Agency: https://www.epa.gov/lmop/basic-information-about-landfill-gas 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Digging Deeper: Two aspects of improving productivity of mining operations

Digging Deeper: Two aspects of improving productivity of mining operations

Let’s define productivity as getting the job done faster, and increased productivity helps miners do more with less. In the mining business, productivity is sometimes less space being consumed by an engine, leaving room for more payload or less time to accelerate, thus maximizing the number of trips a day. 

Miners have several opportunities to improve their operational productivity; below focuses on two opportunities most relevant to increasing productivity of equipment ranging from haul trucks to excavators. 

No. 1: Extended maintenance intervals deliver higher productivity

Service intervals achieved at Dawson Mine through new filter technology
Service intervals achieved at Dawson Mine through new filter technology

The longer miners can run their equipment, the higher their productivity is. In most cases, mining equipment operates near continuously through days, weeks and months, and this creates the need for periodic maintenance events for filters, fluids and beyond. In this quest towards higher productivity, even these periodic planned maintenance events are open to questioning. 

Dawson coal mine in Queensland, Australia had firsthand experience of productivity gains, a 74% reduction of maintenance hours, with the use of new filter and telematics technologies from Cummins Inc. A combination of advanced analytics and telematics have helped the mine operator extend service intervals for fuel, lube, water and air filters and for lube oil. 

No.2: Engines capable to do more with less even in most extreme conditions

Miners are familiar with extreme conditions whether it is the elevation, temperature or accessibility, and understand how these conditions impact the performance of their equipment. For instance, reduced oxygen in high altitude locations result in losses in engine power; resulting in overall reduced mine productivity. Loss of engine power could lead into more trucks doing the same work or work being done slower, and neither are good solutions. More trucks would mean increased carbon footprint while doing the work slower means low productivity. 

Cummins engines accept the challenge of  extreme conditions  in a variety of applications at China’s largest copper mine site. Located at an altitude of 5,500 meters, higher than the base camp for Mt. Everest, the Julong Copper Mine features over 65 Cummins engines powering excavators, dump trucks, power generators, drillings and bulldozers. Haul trucks powered by Cummins QSK60 engines have continuous uptime in this severe environment, making it the top engine of choice at Julong.

“The mining industry will continue to find solutions to improve the productivity of its operations. Some of these, such as the extended maintenance intervals and engines capable to do more with less, will help miners both on sustainability and productivity fronts, a double gain for the industry,” said Steve Cummins, Director of Mining Business at Cummins.

 

To learn more about trends in the mining industry follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. To learn more about mining power solutions Cummins offers, visit our webpage. To learn more about how Cummins is powering a world that’s “Always On,” visit our webpage.

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

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