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The Importance of Regular Motor and Generator Repair in the Downstream Oil & Gas Industries

Ward Leonard

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Unplanned downtime is one of the largest sources of lost production in the oil and gas industry. In a recent study done by Kimberlite International Oilfield Research, oil and gas operators on average experience $49 million annually in financial impacts due to unplanned for downtime. For the worst performers, the negative financial impact can be upwards of $88 million.

Since high asset utilization is essential to downstream profitability, it only makes sense that routine maintenance should become essential to utilization. In other words, regularly planned turnaround and predictive and preventative maintenance for motor and generator repair are critical for operations. And today’s period of decreased demand is only further driving a need for improved efficiency in existing operations. At this point, adhering to the break/fix model is an operational weakness. Reliable industrial motor services and generator repair services aren’t an option—they’re a necessity.

Your Maintenance Plan: Preventative & Predictive

The motors and generators used in the oil and gas industry can be challenged with some incredibly harsh conditions, be they elemental, usage-related, or otherwise. Motor and generator repair issues can become complex quickly if problems aren’t addressed right away. Partnering with a company familiar with your industry that offers a comprehensive suite of repairs—from generator repair services to industrial motor services—is a smart operational move to keep productivity at a maximum. Whatever service provider you choose, they should include preventative, predictive, and reactive maintenance capabilities.

Preventative and predictive maintenance are sometimes used interchangeably, but for the sake of clarity, let’s review the definitions. While they’re both a proactive measure, preventative maintenance is like a regularly scheduled oil change for your car—it may not be a critical in the moment, but it keeps the engine healthy long term. For high horse-powered engines used in downstream oil and gas operations, that means regularly inspecting and repairing components that are historically most likely subject to failure. This includes checking for air gaps and insulation deterioration, dynamic balancing, testing power quality and circuitry, inspecting rotor and stator windings, and conducting surge and polarization index tests. Preventative maintenance creates a clear picture of how your equipment is currently performing and identifies what repairs are needed to keep operations up and running.

Predictive maintenance determines the existing condition of your equipment to understand where it is in its lifecycle. This helps pinpoint when repairs or replacements will be needed down the road, allowing you to plan strategically for budget, resource allocation, and downtime turnaround. A good predictive maintenance plan includes baseline equipment testing, fault zone testing, vibration analysis, thermal imaging, and more, giving you the analytics your need to predict and plan for repair work or replacements.

Reactive maintenance is the break/fix model mentioned above. No action is taken until something breaks down, which can cause critical issues affecting uptime and profitability. While it’s necessary that your industrial motor services have the capability to react at a moment’s notice, relying only on this reactive, break/fix approach is a recipe for disaster. Predictive and preventative maintenance, however, are tied to the two things that matter most: cost and reliability. Regular testing, stator rewinding, dynamic balancing—services like these exist to lower equipment lifecycle cost and catch functional problems before they arise.

Streamlining Downstream Servicing & Repair

The importance of servicing your generators and motors regularly is evident. The downtime associated with regular maintenance is, in essence, one of the most necessary operating expenses you have. How you accomplish it, however, can affect your bottom line. Partnering with a company that can provide preventative, predictive, and reactive industrial motor and generator repair services can result in longer uptime and fewer admin hours spent on scheduling and billing, translating to significant savings down the line.


At Ward Leonard, we offer one of the industry’s only fully comprehensive programs, customized to match every customer’s specific requirements, to consistently achieve peak performance and efficiency in the oil and gas sector. To learn more about how you can lower motor and generator repair costs and reduce potential downtime, contact us today.


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