BEL Valves to Debut New Safety System at Subsea Europe

Subsea UK

A ground breaking Safety Instrumented System of Control that could prevent major accidents within the Oil and Gas Industry will be presented at a prestigious event in London next week.

The technology, pioneered by Newcastle-based BEL Valves in partnership with Hima-Sella, a provider of Logic Solvers and a Systems Integration Specialist, provides a single source solution for Oil and Gas companies seeking to install a High Integrity Pressure Protection System (HIPPS). The system is an enabling technology designed in accordance with IEC 61508 and IEC 61511 to minimise the Logistical and Safety Risks the Oil Industry faces during the development of High Temperature High Pressure (HTHP) and Deepwater wells.

The complete solution to HIPPS will be presented by BEL Valves during Subsea Europe, which is a key industry event talking place at the Islington Business Centre, on October 30.

Richard Dodd, Chief Technical and Commercial Officer at BEL Valves, said, "As the global search for new surface and subsea oil and gas reserves intensifies, Oil Operators have to deal, increasingly, with High Temperature High Pressure scenarios. Developing HTHP fields can be dangerous and mistakes can have a catastrophic impact on human life, the environment and equipment if the correct safety measures are not put in place or are not managed correctly.

"The Oil and Gas Industry's safety requirements are rigorous and, as a result, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of companies wanting to know about HIPPS because these systems are the only ones to protect against over pressure scenarios and the loss of containment simultaneously.

"They make sense; technologically, environmentally, economically and from a safety standpoint but only as long as they are designed, engineered, manufactured, tested and supplied to the most exacting criteria."

That is what the BEL Valves and Hima-Sella Partnership brings to the table. They have taken a revolutionary approach to supplying a Piggable HIPPS and, by combining their resources, have drawn on more than seventy years of experience in providing high integrity components to the energy industry to develop a system that provides customers with a custom-made package that is manufactured completely and assembled in-house with no third party involvement.

Traditionally, companies have turned to a Systems Integrator to provide a HIPPS; they, in turn, source the required components from a variety of suppliers. Where the BEL Valves and Hima Sella approach differs is that the Partnership integrates the supply and does all of the work themselves. The Partnership is able to provide clients with a warranty and pre-certification as part of the supply package.

HIPPS control the valving to exploit the difference between the shut-in pressure and flow-pressure to allow safe production in a fluid stream where the shut-in pressure is higher than the Maximum Admissible Operating Pressure of the flowline. It is a Safety Instrumented System of Control that prevents over pressurisation and is known as an SIS. They prevent the loss of containment due to vessel or pipeline rupture, which Bursting Discs and Safety Relief Valves cannot provide, by shutting down the flow quickly but the whole system must meet stringent Safety Integrity Levels (SILs).

Loss of containment can result in significant damage to human life, the environment and equipment when flammable, explosive, hazardous, or toxic chemicals are released to the atmosphere. These events can have an economic impact due to personal injury, production losses and the replacement or repair of production units.

A system that closes the source of over-pressure within 2 seconds with at least the same reliability as a safety relief valve is usually called a HIPPS. The complete functional loop consists of:

  • The Sensors, that detect the high pressure
  • The Logic Solver, that processes the input from the Sensors to an output to the Final Elements Under Control
  • The Final Elements Under Control, (FEUCs) that actually performs the corrective actions in the field by bringing the process to a safe state. The Final Elements Under Control consists of multiple valves, actuators and the solenoids.

Subsea Europe is a key focus for the Partnership to highlight the complete system and will enable it to cement its position at the leading edge of Safety Instrumented Systems for the Oil and Gas Industry.

BEL Valves manufactures high integrity valves for the Oil and Gas Industry. It is part of the British Engines Group and has a reputation for investing heavily in the latest capital equipment, Partnerships and people skills. The Company is committed to continuous improvement through the search for long-term partnerships with Customers via Open Contracting Policies and Superior Management Tools.

It provides a range of Valves, Actuators and Controls for Surface and Subsea applications, worldwide, with a specific focus on high pressure and high integrity applications.

Almost 40 companies from the subsea industry will be exhibiting at Subsea Europe. It is the first time the highly respected event has been held in London. The exhibition and conference which brings together key players within the subsea sector will showcase the wealth of opportunities and technologies in the booming subsea sector with a focus on the European and West African oil and gas markets.

Subsea Europe will take place on October 30, 2008 at the Business Design Centre in Islington. The event is organised with the support of Oil and Gas UK and BERR (Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform - now DECC, the Department of Energy and Climate Change) and will be preceded by a networking dinner at the London Aquarium on October 29, 2008, which is now sold out.