Making its way from the Hyundai yard in South Korea in early 2015 to its home in the Barents Sea, the giant Eni Norge owned Goliat floating, production, storage and off-loading (FPSO) plant is the first ever to equip all of its automated pneumatic valves with intelligent valve controllers. Metso’s range of stainless steel controllers, featuring plug-and-play functionality and an easy-to-use remote graphic interface, was chosen for the project.
Goliat is one of the largest industrial projects ever and the first oilfield to be developed in the Barents Sea. It is also the first FPSO plant to have chosen to equip all of its automated pneumatic valves with stainless steel valve controllers in order to enhance safety and minimise the operational and maintenance costs associated with its large number of valves.
Maintaining maximum control of the giant
Metso’s special portfolio of stainless steel smart controllers was selected for the close to 900 pneumatic actuated control, on-off and emergency shutdown (ESD) valves in the Goliat plant. Now all the automated valves on the offshore platform will be under continuous online condition monitoring, enabling Eni Norge and Statoil as well as their maintenance partners to better monitor and report valve performance for the asset management purposes of the owners.
The Goliat platform is equipped with electronic nerve fibres in all of its production equipment and auxiliary systems. Approximately 200 devices, such as compressors and heat exchangers, feature model-based performance monitoring. Alerts with appropriate action proposals will be given whenever real performance deviates from the model’s expected performance. This gives Goliat the maximum control over the entire plant.
A smart move with speed and agility
To guarantee that everything works seamlessly, Eni Norge chose ABB to be the main supplier for the automation instrumentation complete with all the valves, telecommunications and electronics. ABB, in turn, chose Metso to supply the smart valve controllers.
What made this project special is that ABB and Metso partnered closely from the very early phases onwards. “It was important for us that we understood the requirements. This allowed us to make the necessary modifications to our products so that they perfectly fit the ABB system,” says Juha Yli-Petäys, head of Metso’s valve controls business line. “For example, we made a new version of our ValvGuard VG9000 firmware for the ESD valves as well as designed a stainless steel version of SwitchGuard for the on-off valves. We made joint tests with ABB to prove to Eni Norge and Statoil that we had all the capabilities that they required.”
Predictive diagnostics help cut costs
The ability to bring intelligence to any valve made Metso the ideal choice for the demanding offshore environment. The unrivalled third generation diagnostics and plug-and-play functionality of the stainless steel smart valve controllers convinced Eni Norge and Statoil that Metso could meet the targets.
“Our superior third generation diagnostics is one of the biggest assets of our product portfolio. For operators, the easy-to-use graphic interface quickly shows them how a valve is functioning,” states Juha. “This enables our customers to better optimise their processes and effectively manage the maintenance work. Especially in an offshore environment, the costs of unscheduled maintenance can be incredibly high.
“We have the know-how, but even more importantly, we know how to add value with our offering to the offshore business.”
Goliat will be able to use the diagnostic information provided by the smart controllers and integrate this with its asset management and enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to manage maintenance scheduling and the number of staff needed onboard. This results in significantly fewer working hours and less risk for the operators’ health and safety. Moreover, the system considerably lowers any negative impact on the surrounding marine environment.
With intelligent predictive diagnostics and maintenance capabilities, offshore as well as onshore project owners can decrease operational costs by reducing the number of valves needed overall. Maintenance costs are cut too as service visits can be better scheduled in advance and occur only as needed, which reduces servicing time and associated expenses.
Safety of the operations and the personnel is also paramount. Therefore, truly knowing the condition of the valves at any given time enables the operators and management to have a full picture of how to best mitigate risks. This is exactly what the stainless steel smart valve controllers from Metso bring to the Goliat plant.
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