The Kaybob Compressor Failure Revisited

In 1971, there was a major problem at the Kaybob South Beaverhill Lake plant in Fox Creek, Alberta. A massive compressor, comprised of three natural gas re-injection trains, became dangerously unstable and failed. To address the problem, teams of engineers spent more than five months and one hundred million modern U.S. dollars to fix the problem.

The months of troubleshooting that followed the Kaybob failure demonstrate the critical importance of understanding the underlying design principles of these machines. With the advent of advanced bearing and rotordynamic analysis tools such as Dyrobes, designers now have the ability to avoid these failures.

Dr. Edgar J. Gunter and Dr. Brian K. Weaver will present their paper, “Kaybob Revisited: What We Have Learned about Compressor Stability From Self-Excited Whirling“, on June 16, at the 2016 Vibration Institute Annual Training Conference in Asheville, N.C. Download the full paper here.


Kabob Paper