Baker Hughes opens Motor Center of Excellence at its supercenter in north Oklahoma City
Baker Hughes on Wednesday celebrated the opening of a new division in Oklahoma City.
The company's BHGE Motor Center of Excellence is designed to serve Western Hemisphere oil and gas operators that use downhole drilling motors as they drill ever-more accurate wells efficiently.
Officials marked the center’s official opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gov. Kevin Stitt; Maria Claudia Borras, president and CEO of Baker Hughes Oilfield Services; Greater Oklahoma City Chamber officials; and customers of Baker Hughes, a General Electric company.
“We are excited to open the Motor Center of Excellence in Oklahoma City, in the heart of North America — the world’s largest market for drilling motors,” said Borras, addressing employees and guests attending the celebration.
“The technologies and engineered solutions we develop here will drive smarter well construction and deliver better drilling efficiencies to our customers throughout the world. We’re proud of the facility and the potential it brings.”
The addition of a manufacturing plant to Oklahoma City is a significant deal, especially when it is one as advanced as the BHGE Motor Center of Excellence.
Downhole drilling motors, typically used in directional drilling applications, convert hydraulic energy generated by drilling fluid pumped down a pipe string by a rig into mechanical horsepower that boosts the RPMs and torque of a steerable drilling bit.
Each motor is comprised of various components, but two that really make it go are a rotor, a long, cylindrical grooved gear that spins inside the motor, and a stator, or stationary housing, which allows the fluid, commonly referred to as mud, to pass through the inside of the assembly and cause the rotor to spin.
Engineering specifications and manufacturing processes must be exact for the system to perform to expectations, and BHGE spared no effort to be sure the equipment that is manufactured, repaired and maintained by the center is the best in the business, said Karen Lane, the center’s senior plant manager.
Lane said BHGE spent about five years to design the BHGE Motor Center of Excellence, which is located at a Baker Hughes “supercenter” in north Oklahoma City.
It uses automated, robotic equipment to move needed raw materials from storage to manufacturing stations and to lift and maneuver materials and completed parts and assemblies as they move through the manufacturing, maintenance and servicing processes.
The center provides space for engineering, repair and maintenance work beyond manufacturing, plus an elastomer and materials laboratory, allowing center personnel to closely monitor and fine-tune all aspects of motor manufacturing processes.
And because the 128,000-square-foot center uses advanced monitoring systems and a state-of-the-art plant control center, that makes it possible for the company to design and manufacture drilling motors to exacting tolerances, resulting in better motor quality, she said.
The center, which currently employs about 100 people, is building and maintaining BHGE’s next-generation of Navi-Drill DuraMax high-performance motors, which officials said were redesigned to provide increased horsepower, torque and durability to drill faster in all motor applications.
“We have invested into a state-of-the-art facility that positions us to better serve our customer base,” Lane said. “We have everything centrally located in one shop.”
Tom Thissen, president of Baker Hughes’ Drilling Services division, said the BHGE Center of Motor Excellence is like one the company operates in Germany, only more technologically advanced.
Thissen said it made sense to build the center in Oklahoma. The company employs more than 2,000 workers in the state, he noted.
“We know Oklahoma, and Oklahoma knows us, and it is hard to beat the workforce in Oklahoma, whether it is engineers, operators or administrators,” he said.