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This paper is to be presented at the Symposium on Offshore Technology and Operations of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME in New Orleans, La., on May 23–24, 1966, and is considered the property of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Permission to publish is hereby restricted to an abstract of not more than 3000 words, with no illustrations, unless the paper is specifically released to the press by the Editor of the Journal of Petroleum Technology or the Executive Secretary. Such abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the Journal of Petroleum Technology or Society of Petroleum Engineers Journal is granted on request, providing proper credit is given that publication and the original presentation of the paper.

Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines with the paper.


A new system of offshore drilling rig power generation and distribution is presented that utilizes gas turbines as prime movers turning alternating current generators paralleled on a single power buss to furnish all rig power. All major drilling components are driven by totally enclosed fan-cooled motors with fluid coupling transmission assemblies utilized to provide speed control. An engineering evaluation and a cost comparison of the AC-turbine system is made with the conventional diesel electric system.


The gas turbine recently made its debut, as prime mover, on a land drilling rig. As the turbine rig spudded in, a paramount milestone was achieved in drilling rig power generating and distribution. The compact design, low maintenance, and high dependability of the turbine provide the key to the design of the high performance offshore drilling rigs of tomorrow. The nature of the turbine lends itself to AC(alternating current) power generation bringing a new perspective to rig power distribution.

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