Turbo Speak

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By Drew Robb

Digitization was the hot topic in our last issue. And it continues to grab the

headlines. It dominated the proceedings at the GE Oil & Gas Annual

Meeting (AM) in Italy in January, as you can read about in our cover story.

While GE has been successful in gaining plenty of early adopters for its

Predix platform in the power sector, oil & gas has been late to the party. Based on those speaking at the AM, however, that appears to be changing.

The AM also gave plenty of attention to liquefied natural gas (LNG). Whether

due to low gas prices, politics or the investment-killing impact of the last recession, LNG’s once-bright star had faded. That suddenly shifted at this year’s AM. Speaker after speaker bullishly outlined gradiose LNG schemes and new megaplant openings.

The big surprise at the AM was two new gas turbines from GE. The turbomachinery giant used to develop GTs for power generation and then spend years retooling them for mechanical drive. Those days seem to be gone. Both models were developed specifically for oil & gas, though they will also find application in power plants. You can read all about the LM9000 and the NovaLT12 inside.


Further topics discussed in this issue include: the importance of testing after

a GT upgrade; the supercharging of power plants; twinning electric drivers with compressors; the impact of renewable generation on GT maintenance; general turbomachinery challenges; shaft-end connections; and once again, custom versus standard compressors.

Yes, the old debate we featured in our November/December 2016 cover story

generated two more stories for this issue. One is from our Myth Busters. The

other is from Ingersoll Rand. This is clearly a contentious issue, and one we

expect to revisit.

That’s a quick overview of what’s available in our latest edition. By the time

it hits your doorstep, let’s hope that the last throes of winter are behind us.