Blog post published Jun 9, 2017 Blog: Go with the flow

Blog: Reaching the harshest limits with reliable valves

It takes a lot for oil and gas equipment to operate reliably in sub-zero temperatures. Plus, the valves working silently alongside to keep production on target require a great deal of specialized expertise to guarantee that they will work relentlessly in safety-critical applications. To eliminate risks with valves and focus on production performance, oil and gas companies are choosing special low-temperature-proven control flow solutions.

Working with oil and gas in areas where temperatures reach below -53 °C takes special characteristics both from the production equipment and the flow control solutions to enable a plant to reach high, reliable and cost-efficient performance. Still, production continues to move to even more challenging geographic regions with frigid temperatures to find new energy sources.

To minimize the risk of working in severe conditions with high equipment failure potential, countries such as North America, Russia and China have issued more stringent regulations on the valve controllers used in the oil and gas production plants. Therefore, each plant must ensure that the valve controllers used have been properly certified for the extreme temperatures. This aims to make sure that the valves operate with the utmost reliability and do not require much, if any, servicing onsite.

Relentless reliability

For oil and gas customers who are exploring the possibilities in sub-zero conditions, it is vital to be able to count on unfailing process performance. One key to success is the selection of reliable equipment specifically designed to work in an extremely rough environment.

As actuators and intelligent valve controllers are critical to keeping a process working, quality compromises are not an option. Only flow control solutions with the expertise to tackle sub-zero temperatures will provide plant owners and operators with the peace of mind that their equipment offers relentless reliability, efficient valve diagnostics and cost-effective predictive maintenance in all safety-critical valve applications.

Diagnostics from inside a warm office

One significant benefit of special low-temperature-proven intelligent valve controllers is that they offer remote control valve diagnostics for optimization and maintenance planning.

This means that operators no longer need to go out in extreme conditions to carry out manual control valve diagnostic tasks. Instead, they can access troubleshooting reports from the warmth and comfort of their office. The online diagnostics collected lets you know the condition of your control valves at all times, eliminating the risk of unplanned failure.

Field-proven in countless applications

The topworks, actuators and smart positioners that we have been developing are designed specifically to be able to operate in extremely low temperatures. Metso’s products are field proven and also certified for sub-zero temperatures.

Our recent solutions, like Metso’s B series Neles actuators and ND9000 valve controllers, have demonstrated fail-safe operational reliability in numerous demanding applications, including gas production fields, gas processing plants as well as petrochemical plants with steam cracker, polyethylene and polypropylene units.

With oil and gas exploration moving into even colder regions, relentless reliability is becoming more of a key issue. This calls for specially adapted solutions, designed and tested to overcome the elements of extreme cold. The simplicity of commissioning, operating, control and maintenance in one package – from the smallest flow control solution to the largest ones – adds to the overall reliability necessary to meet a plant’s objectives.

Even when there’s a need in frigid conditions – we’ve got a way!

 

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