The ONS show held recently in Stavanger, Norway, was a superb platform for companies to showcase their latest developments. Around 130 novel products and solutions were selected as candidates for the prestigious ONS Innovations Award. That number included several valve related products, which we are pleased to summarize below.
Cameron for example were on the awards list with their PULSE LF Low-Flow Ultrasonic Chemical Injection Metering Valve. According to the company website, this valve is designed for the injection of low-dose inhibitors (e.g., for wax, scale, corrosion) and uses an ultrasonic flowmeter and a precision needle valve in closed-loop or open-loop position control. It has been engineered to handle flow rates from 0.07 galUS/h to 159 galUS/h [0.25 L/h to 600 L/h] and it is retrievable by an ROV, whether mounted in a horizontal or vertical orientation.
Cameron adds that a precision needle valve regulates the flow of the chemical through the system. The needle has an equal percentage flow curve, providing exceptional control over a very large flow range. It is operated by an electric actuator, which provides very fine system adjustment, controlled by the feedback from the ultrasonic flowmeter via the onboard closed-loop control algorithm.
The Screen Saver Valve from Toolserv AS also made it onto the innovations award list. According to Toolserv the Screen Saver valve was developed initially for use in combination with sand screens utilizing check valve inflow control devices. The Screen Saver valve allows operators to run the lower completion while maintaining a pressure overbalance inside the screens. This prevents ‘dirty’ wellbore fluid and debris from entering the string and plugging the screens.
The Screen Saver valve has apparently since been used successfully to complete several wells on the NCS. The latest versions of the valve include designs for cementing applications and HPHT wells.
They may be a young start-up company, but Subsea Chokes International were also amongst the hopeful awards winners with their Instrumented Subsea Choke Valve. As they state on their webpages, there are few more crucial components to operators’ subsea production systems in the oil & gas industry today than that of the subsea choke. Chokes maintain selected flow characteristics, control the production flow, ensure that wells are operating at their full potential, and are central to operator needs to improve production performance, functionality and reliability.
However, Subsea Chokes International note that there are a number of limitations to today’s chokes – primarily their vulnerability to sand erosion and high pressures in the reservoir and the lack of flexibility and real-time information they can provide. The company says it is addressing these limitations through a new innovative, erosion and pressure resistant, retrievable subsea choke that brings greater reliability and operability to subsea operations – often in the most challenging of offshore environments.
And last but by no means least, an Autonomous Inflow Control Valve (AICV) from InflowControl also made it onto the ONS awards list. The company claims that AICV® technology is the first and only known technology that can shut-off the gas and/or water autonomously and locally in the well. It combines the best from passive Inflow Control Device (ICD), Autonomous ICD (AICD) and smart wells (ICV). The AICV® will significantly reduce the water cut (WC) and gas oil ratio (GOR) in your well.
They go on to say that AICV® is completely self-regulating, and does not require any form of control, electronics or connection to the surface. This provides the operator with significantly more efficient production and increased recovery. The AICV® technology also makes it possible to drill longer wells and achieve maximum reservoir contact from each one.
Valve innovations can help operators reduce costs – an important consideration with the on-going pressure on oil prices.