A Deeper Level of High Performance: Motion Control Solutions for Oil and Gas Exploration and Production

Imagine the North Sea waves thrashing up against your oil rig with the high winds trying to throw you off balance. Think about feeling virtually baked under the hot sun as you work on your rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Couple this with current never-ending thirst for energy and understand that you have a harsh and dangerous job to do.

Oil rigs are in some of the world's toughest environments and Moog offers innovative high-performance motion control solutions designed for today’s critical oil and gas exploration and production applications.

Working with our customers in this industry, Moog has developed motion control solutions that improve the performance of downhole tools, rig and subsea equipment in a range of applications for this industry. These solutions help oil and gas professionals meet key challenges including:

  • Oil exploration in off-shore and other hostile environments with increased drilling depths
  • Enhanced recovery from mature fields
  • Improving the return on investment for exploration and production
  • Extended drilling times between trips

As the industry responds to such challenges with solutions that emphasize faster drilling, improved accuracy and quicker completion rates, Moog can help. We improve the reliability and performance of downhole tools such as:

  • Rotary Steering Systems (RSS), a tool designed to drill directionally with continuous rotation from the surface, eliminating the need to slide a steerable motor.
  • Measurement While Drilling (MWD), is a tool that transmits information in real time from the tool, located near the drill bit, to the surface.
  • Logging While Drilling (LWD), the measurement of formation properties during the excavation of the hole through the use of tools integrated into the bottomhole assembly. LWD has the advantage of measuring properties of a formation before drilling fluids invade deeply.
  • Completion tools, the hardware used to optimize the production of hydrocarbons from the well. This may range from nothing but a packer on tubing above an openhole completion ("barefoot" completion), to a system of mechanical filtering elements outside of perforated pipe, to a fully automated measurement and control system that optimizes reservoir economics without human intervention (an "intelligent" completion).
  • Production testing: a procedure that involves sampling gas and liquid at different points across the diameter of pipe to evaluate the degree of stratification at a specific location

We also provide precision automation for rig equipment and add productivity in subsea applications.

New Challenges and Solutions

Our down hole drilling customers are challenging us even further with a new technology called HTHP that is increasingly important as new market directives are pushing oil producers further offshore. HTHP, high temperature/high pressure, is synonymous with ultra deep water drilling defined as water depth over 1828 m (6,000 feet) with actual drilling depths over 6,100 m (20,000 feet). This will require even stricter guidelines and new designs to be tested and stretched to their limits. Unbelievable environmental requirements of 35,000 psi (2,450 bar), 300 ºC (572 ºF), 250 G shock are being placed on our components.

And here are a few of the key industry challenges that our global teams’ are working to meet:

Maximizing Tool time on bottom

Our expertise in the design and manufacture of premium quality servomotors, alternators, motor control electronics and actuators are combined to create motion control solutions that are ideal for severe duty applications with high reliability at the high temperatures that downhole applications demand.

Positive Impact on Rate of Penetration (ROP)

Moog solutions enable improved performance of directional drilling tools for higher efficiency in reaching pay zones (a reservoir or portion of a reservoir that contains economically producible hydrocarbons). Moog also has application-specific solutions for RSS, tractors, and wireline (related to any aspect of logging that employs an electrical cable to lower tools into the borehole and to transmit data), MWD, LWD and telemetry tools that enhance data transmission speed and reliability.

Delivering higher precision for rig equipments

Our automation solutions cover pipe handling equipment, power tongs, rotary tables and brake control systems. In addition Moog quality servovalves provide safe reliable performance in exploration applications as on Vibroseis vehicles and subsea equipment like Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs).

Case Study - Success through Collaboration

A leading energy company sought to maximize productivity, increase operational hours and significantly reduce downtime related to equipment maintenance in an extremely harsh operating environment. Through close collaboration with the company’s engineers, Moog tailored a solution that provides optimal performance in some of the world’s most severe ambient conditions.

This company requested that we provide fully assembled and tested servomotors and alternators that meet strict performance specifications, deliver continuous power for higher output and work flawlessly despite tight space constraints.

Using a variety of Moog building block components, we designed a rugged servomotor within a unique package constraint that achieved the desired application’s speed and torque requirements. We also delivered a robust alternator for a given voltage per RPM range and load.

The resulting solution exceeded the customer’s expectations for productivity and performance in some of the world’s most unforgiving environments.

Building Blocks for a Turnkey Solution


Electro-mechanical actuators

provide precision actuation with integrated motor, gearing and ball screw for compact design. Ideal for use in completion, formations testing and inspection tools.

Force range: capabilities over 100,000 lb peak
Speed range: up to 30 IPS
Stroke: up to 60 in.
Motor voltage: range from 24 to 1,000 Vdc


Brushless Servomotors

are customer designed for demanding downhole drilling applications. They offer high performance, reliability and a long service life.

Voltages from 24-1,000 Vdc
Existing sizes: <1.oo in. – 10.0 in. outside diameter
Speed range: Up to 10,000 RPM
Power Range: 7.5 kW


Moog Alternators

are application-specific and provide a reliable power supply to critical downhole tools.

Voltage range: 24 – 600 Vdc
Speed range: up to 8,000 RPM
Power: 50-50K watts

Moog also offers oil and gas motion control solutions for rig equipment and subsea equipment.

Simply put, Moog's mission is to deliver the flexibility, innovations and collaborative expertise you need for a smart approach to your most difficult engineering challenges. 


R. Scott Scheffler has over 15 years experience in engineering, systems integration and sales in the motion control industry including the past 4 years as Project Engineer for down hole oil drilling products. He has a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from State University of New York at Buffalo and a Masters of Business Administration degree from St. Bonaventure University.