Power: clean, dispatchable, and reliable.
Power: clean, dispatchable, and reliable.

Benefits of Microturbines for Oil & Gas

Oil and Gas operators are continually seeking innovative solutions for optimizing efficiency, reducing emissions, and enhancing operational reliability for achieving the highest uptime at the lowest cost. Increasingly, they are turning to small gas turbines and microturbine generators to meet their field power needs.

In this article, we delve into the realm of small gas turbines, exploring their applications in the Oil and Gas sector and comparing their benefits to traditional reciprocating engines.

READ MORE: Clearing the Air on Oilfield Electrification

How Big is a Microturbine?

Gas turbine generators have been around for some time and come in various sizes, providing a wide range of applications. The most powerful gas turbine generation performance was made by a Siemens Energy 60Hz SGT6-9000HL gas turbine in 2022, which achieved a power output of 410.9 MW (corrected to ISO standard conditions) during a multi-year field-test for Duke Energy. This performance earned it a Guinness world record for the most powerful simple cycle gas power plant.

On the other end of the size spectrum are microturbines, which offer power solutions from 30 to 330 Kilowatts (kW). Like their larger cousins, microturbines operate on various fuels, including natural gas, propane, diesel, and biogas. Microturbines are a subset of small gas turbines with an output of 5 MW or less.

To put things in perspective, a 1.0 MW gas turbine can power approximately 730 homes.

Key Characteristics of Microturbines and Small Gas Turbines

Whether a small gas turbine is capable of delivering a 300 kW or 2.0 MW, they have several common characteristics that make them ideal for use in dispatchable field power applications in the Oil and Gas sector.

  • Small Size. Compact design allows for installation in limited spaces, ideal for remote locations, including well sites, production pads, and production facilities.
  • Fuel Types. Versatility in fuel options, including natural gas, diesel, biogas, landfill gas, and propane.
  • Turbine Design. Utilizes a simple, lightweight design with few moving parts for enhanced efficiency and reliability.
  • Modular Design. Multiple units can be quickly connected together to provide ease of scalability, facilitating easy expansion or downsizing to meet changing power needs.
  • Low Emissions. Turbines equipped with lean burn combustors, such as the Flex Turbine, are inherently cleaner and help operators minimize air emissions.
  • Remote Monitoring. Advanced telemetry and SCADA enable real-time monitoring, enhancing efficiency, safety, and minimizing downtime with real-time alerts.

Oil & Gas Applications – Oilfield Electrification

Microturbines and small gas turbines find widespread application in the Oil and Gas industry, particularly in oilfield electrification initiatives. These applications include:

Well Site Power Gensets. Providing reliable electricity for well operations, powering pumps, gas lift systems, compressors, and other equipment.

Facilities Power Gensets. Supplying electricity to remote facilities, including processing plants, production pads, SWD injection facilities, and offshore platforms.

Microgrids. Integrating small gas turbines into new and existing transmission networks to create an off-grid solution to improve the stability and reliability of field power.

READ MORE: Best Practices for Oil & Gas Field Power Solutions

The 7 Primary Benefits of (FlexEnergy) Microturbines for Oil & Gas Applications

FlexEnergy Solutions is a leader in clean, dispatchable, and reliable power solutions for industrial and commercial institutions that require consistent, reliable power. We offer gas gensets in various “building blocks” of capacity, including 250 kW, 333 kW, and 2.0 MW offerings.

The Flex Turbine® small gas turbine from FlexEnergy Solutions as a generator driver delivers several benefits:

  1. High Uptime. Flex Turbines have a demonstrated track record of 99.5% uptime, which includes a single eight-hour scheduled maintenance annually, typically completed in one shift. The high reliability and few moving parts contribute to the highest uptime and reliability of the 333kW GT333S Flex Turbine microturbine and the 2.0-Megawatt GT2000S, especially when compared to reciprocating engine generators, safeguarding continuous production and cash flow.
  2. Eliminates Expensive Diesel and Associated Emissions. The Flex Turbine uses gas produced on site to generate power. This eliminates the emissions associated with the vehicles used for transporting expensive diesel fuel to the well site and provides a lower emissions power option than diesel- or natural gas-powered reciprocating engines. This helps minimize Scope 1 and Scope 3 emissions. READ MORE: Understanding Field Power Emissions Profiles and Options. 
  3. More Power on One Location. Flex Turbines are considered “Process” equipment by the EPA instead of pollution “Control” equipment when used for power generation at a well site or production facility. As a result, the low operating emissions can help you maintain emissions of VOC, NOx and other regulated substances (Potential to Emit) below Major Source emissions thresholds for air permitting, helping avoid expensive and time-consuming Title V operating permits. This allows you to put more power generation capacity on one location than compared to gas or diesel engines. NOTE: Air permitting can be a complex process, and your specific facilities may or may not be subject to Title V permit requirements depending on a variety of factors, including their location and Potential to Emit. We encourage you to seek expert counsel on all regulations applicable to your operations. We plan to cover this topic in more detail in a future article. 
  4. Low Operating Emissions. The Flex Turbine represents the lowest emissions alternative, aligning with environmental objectives and regulations. Low exhaust emissions of ≤10ppm NOx, VOC and CO (corrected to 15% Oxygen on natural gas at ISO conditions) are less than most electric power grids and meets the most stringent state and federal requirements for air permitting.
  5. Flare Mitigation. The Flex Turbine reliably generates power using collected flare gas and vent gas, converting a waste stream into beneficial use and reducing overall wellsite emissions.
  6. Wide Fuel Tolerance. Runs on gas ranging from 350 Btu/scf to 2,500 Btu/scf (lower heating value), handles sour gas with H2S content up to 6,500 ppmv, safely uses Acid Gas containing up to 70% CO2 and can burn gas with up to 30% hydrogen content.
  7. Remote Monitoring Capability. Flex Turbines come equipped with remote monitoring capabilities, enabling real-time performance tracking and predictive maintenance, ensuring maximum uptime and efficiency.
  8. Service Locations. FlexEnergy Solutions has service locations strategically positioned in key oil and gas regions, including North Dakota (Bakken), Texas (Permian Basin), Alberta (Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin), Pennsylvania (Appalachian Basin) and Southern California, for guaranteed swift and efficient support.
  9. Leasing Option. FlexEnergy provides a leasing option, offering cost-effective access to their reliable and efficient power solutions.

The FlexEnergy Advantage

FlexEnergy provides the cleanest, most reliable, and readily dispatchable power option in the oilfield today. Here is what makes us different:

Clean. Because Flex Turbines produce lower emissions compared to traditional reciprocating engines, and even most utility power grids, they contribute to environmental sustainability and can help you avoid operating permit emissions thresholds.

Dispatchable. Flex Turbines provide a portable dispatchable power option that can be quickly scaled up on demand to meet your changing power needs.

Reliable. In addition to a 99.5%+ uptime track record, FlexEnergy Solutions is known for our rapid service response times, minimizing downtime and ensuring maximum uptime.

READ MORE: Reliable Flex Turbines® From FlexEnergy Solutions

Responsive. Importantly, FlexEnergy is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of Flex Turbines. We train our technicians; our people perform the service (not outsourced agents), and we have service facilities located in every major Oil and Gas producing basin.


Small gas turbines, including microturbines, offer a compelling solution for powering generators in the oil and gas industry. Their compact design, fuel versatility, low emissions, and high efficiency make them ideal for a range of Oil and Gas applications, from well site operations to facility electrification.

Contact FlexEnergy Solutions to learn more about our clean, dispatchable, and reliable field power solutions at info@flexenergy.com or +1 (720) 573-7664.