Oil & gas company Eni Norge approached valve safety expert Smith Flow Control to help simplify its valve processes on the Goliat Field oilfield. Smith Flow Control provided a solution by developing a custom-built operating panel that enhances safety and increases efficiency. It does this by moving the control and operation of Eni Norge’s large number of valves to a single, safe location.
The electronic operating panel works as a communication and verification system and enables an operator to control a sequence of actuated valves directly from the panel. Two operating panels were installed on a Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel built-for-use on the Goliat Field, the first oilfield to be developed in the Barents Sea. Although the operating panel can be used in a wide variety of applications, in this case the panel was specifically designed for use with a pigging procedure. Each panel controlled four valves and incorporated two mechanical interlock key units to ensure a specific sequence of operation.
For example, an operator can select to close valves from the panel. An LED lights up to confirm the valve has reached its fully closed status. The incorporation of mechanical interlocks allows the operator to safely continue the sequence of the pigging process; after the panel has been isolated and all the valves closed and locked, the final key is released to manually unlock the pig trap door to load or unload a pig.
Used in this way the operating panel enhances safety but also serves to streamline complex processes and boost efficiency by providing a one-stop control and verification system.