About Hazardous Areas
Oil & Gas - Upstream Applications
Product Selection Issues
- Salt water corrosion (Tankers)
- Extreme ambient temperature (High temperature Middle East / Low temperature Russia)
- Protection level
- Consequence of down time
- Approval level required (Ex e, Ex d, etc.)
- Approval specification required ATEX, IECEx, UL, GOST etc
- Where product will be positioned, e.g. Zone 1 or Zone 2
The oil and gas market is split into three sectors: Upstream, Midstream and Downstream. Upstream consists of Exploration and production both these areas offer very distinct and unique challenges to people and equipment working within them.
Firstly there are offshore applications such as the drilling rigs and production platforms; these are always open to extreme weather conditions so equipment used here needs to be able to withstand a salty environment. This is achieved through either manufacturing product from stainless steel as is the case for the Kopex-Ex conduit glands, and DTS enclosures, or by ensuring that the product is coated or painted to withstand marine environments as in the DTS XFF fluorescent lighting.
Equipment in offshore applications also needs to be hardwearing and easy to maintain as production downtime can be extremely costly. For example, FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) vessel can produce up to 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day at approximately $80 to $90 per barrel. A breakdown would result in the vessel producing a loss of revenue of over $700,000 and hour.
This has led to Kopex-Ex conduit systems> being used in many offshore applications to protect critical data and power cables across these massive vessels. Whether it is data cables from a gas detector, or the cable protection on a power transmission unit, Kopex-Ex offers a whole range of products that are tested and approved to many of the world standards.
DTS lighting on the other hand offers easy maintenance with removable gear trays allowing the entire gear tray to be removed and maintenance to be carried out quickly and safely. In fact on the XFF Exd luminaries the components such as ballasts and tubes are standard so the stocking and sourcing of spare parts is made easy. Again essential to an offshore vessel.
Secondly onshore applications can also be split into exploration and production. However onshore is more economically viable than offshore with some wells only producing as few as a dozen barrels of oil a day. However, they can become extremely large with wells being networked together to produce up to a million barrels of oil a day.
This brings with it a whole new series of challenges to be overcome. Firstly the drilling rigs tend to be mobile with motors and pumps often mounted on skids for easy transportation. This can lead to issues of connectivity for which Kopex-Ex have a range of thread converters in a variety of materials and approvals ready to resolve the problem.
Secondly with so many rigs in a network there is a massive monitoring operation to be done to ensure that the flow of all the rigs is on-going and consistent. This is where the DTS range of instrumentation boxes can offer great flexibility as they can be custom made to meet exact specifications.
The need to maintain flow also leads to the need for motors and controls on the well heads themselves, often referred to as "Christmas Trees". These are under high pressure and must be able to withstand up to 1400 bar. This is a critical area and has to be monitored closely to ensure that pressure does not fluctuate. This is done by the valves within the wellhead controlled by motors. DTS EJB enclosures can be custom built to control these valves and at the same time monitor the pressures and relay it back to the central control point.