(EnergyAsia, April 5 2013, Friday) — Upstream energy equipment and solutions services providers are anticipating a continuing surge in Asian demand in coming years as China and other countries step up their exploration and production activities.

While China’s international expansion has been capturing most of the headlines, Beijing is also encouraging deepwater projects off its coast as well as development of the country’s own ample onshore oil, gas and coal reserves. One of the hottest areas now is shale gas, with China said to hold the world’s largest reserves of 1,275 trillion cubic feet or more than 36 trillion cubic metres, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

To feed the Chinese economy still growing at more than 7% annually, its numerous companies and equipment suppliers are helping to exploit the country’s own domestic energy resources as well as supporting the development of hydrocarbon reserves in other countries.

Already, the world’s largest energy consumer, China’s oil demand is expected to rise by 800,000 b/d a year from 2011 to 2013, said Germany’s Tognum Group, citing the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The Friedrichshafen-based world-leading supplier of engines and propulsion systems for off-highway applications and distributed power generation systems is rapidly growing its business and operational presence in China and other parts of the Asia Pacific region.

While supplying power solutions for China’s own domestic use, the company is also supporting Chinese firms exporting their equipment for use in exploration and production abroad.

The hydraulic fracturing (fracking) boom in the shale sectors of North America and Europe has led to growing demand for Chinese equipment in onshore drilling.

“Chinese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are increasingly exporting to overseas markets. To satisfy China’s and the world’s tremendous appetite for natural resources, Chinese companies have begun seeking powerful, reliable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective power generation technologies to power their onshore ambitions,” said Peter Knoop, a spokesman for the group’s Singapore-based regional company Tognum Asia Pte Ltd.

Back home, the Chinese companies face challenges as roughly 85% of their country’s domestic oil production capacity is located onshore in difficult, high-altitude terrains with unpredictable weather conditions. OEMs must meet the demands for continuous, reliable and powerful propulsion solutions in hydraulic fracturing trucks and onshore and offshore drill rigs.

In addition, Mr Knoop said these companies must deal with increasingly stringent environmental regulations that make it imperative for their equipment to use reliable and powerful engines that also meet international emissions standards.

Tognum said its MTU brand of large diesel engines and complete propulsion systems is capable of operating in difficult environments while meeting tough environmental standards.

Senior Tognum executive Tony Chan said: “MTU engines have proven successful operational safety performances while delivering continuous, reliable power for drilling operations in oilfields worldwide. This is made possible as a result of an all-star lineup featuring: MTU’s Electric Drilling Package (EDP), Series 4000 and Series 60 engines.

“MTU engines can work in high altitude oil fields, in hot deserts or in freezing Northeast China.”

Last year, he said the company delivered its MTU 12V4000G43 engines, each rated 1520 kW at 1800rpm, to a Chinese OEM for use in Electric Drilling Package (EDP) rig sets in Venezuela.

In China, the company demonstrated its value at a major shale fracking project in Sichuan province last year.

“For this project, the owner of the oil field specifically asked to use hydraulic fracturing trucks from Zhongyuan oil field which are powered by MTU 16V4000 engines,” said Tognum.

“These 16 fracturing trucks marked a new milestone for China’s shale gas industry. After completing the project, a consensus was reached that MTU engines should be as priority selection in future shale gas fracturing projects in order to guarantee the project’s reliability.”

Last month, Tognum showcased its MTU range of engines and equipment at the 13th China International Petroleum & Petrochemical Technology and Equipment Exhibition 2013 at the New China International Exhibition Centre in Beijing.