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By Tim-Frederik Kohler I Posted: April 2018
Focus on Safety & Environment in the Valve Business
The equipment sold into the oil and gas industry must meet the highest standards when it comes to safety and environmental issues and industrial valves are no exception. Consistently over the years customers in this industry have made it clear that safety and the environment were on the top of their lists when evaluating products. The negative consequences for not paying attention to these areas can be devastating to an oil and gas company.
Safety

The oil and gas industry ranks as one of the most hazardous industries out there. The combination of powerful equipment, flammable chemicals under high pressure and remote locations make safety a huge priority. This extends to all the equipment deployed including valves. Valve failure or under-performance can lead to significant problems and in some cases be catastrophic.

The reason our customers focus on safety is that it has an impact on the bottom line. When evaluating equipment, effort needs to be put into ensuring that the components are up to standard and will withstand the extreme environment. Employee salary and benefits are impacted and insurance premiums go up if there is a poor safety record. Hiring and retaining top talent will also be negatively impacted by poor safety.

Some of the things oil and gas companies can do to increase safety include:

  • Investment in Safety Programs
  • Consistently Strong Housekeeping
  • Clear Visual Communications (signage)
  • Reassessment of Visual Communications when Projects Shift
  • Equipment Maintenance including Valve Maintenance and Replacement


This attention to detail is something that is critical to attaining a strong safety record.

Environment

Oil and gas companies face huge financial, regulatory and reputational risks when it comes to the environment. Close attention to minimizing the risk of accidents tops the list of the operation of a successful oil and gas company. Deploying high quality valves to this industry is critical to protect one’s quality track record.

Traditional environmental impacts of the industry spans:

  • Oil Spills
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Fugitive Emissions
  • Waste Oil


These traditional impacts are addressed mainly with high quality components that are regularly maintained for optimal performance. AS-Schneider works with all its customers to ensure that the correct valve is deployed and that the appropriate maintenance program is implemented.

In the oil and gas pipeline networks, AS-Schneider is now innovating on IoT solutions that will aid in the tracking and limiting Fugitive Emissions. Fugitive emissions are accidental emissions of vapours or gases from pressurised apparatus, either due to faulty equipment, leakage, evaporation or other unforeseen mishaps. The immediate threat of fugitive emissions are Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) such as benzene can be very harmful to humans exposed to them over a long period of time – meaning that workers in oil refineries or chemical plants are at risk of developing serious health complications. Similarly, communities which are based in close proximity to such plants are also at risk. Fugitive emissions are also responsible for contributing to climate change and air pollution.

This new approach promises to provide our customers with better:

  • Situational Awareness – better visualization of what is going on in the pipeline
  • Situational Intelligence – integrate geospatial and temporal data to give precise understanding
  • Predictive Analytics – use the real time data to build predictive models


The collection and analysis of real time data from IoT networks will enhance valve maintenance and performance. This will lead to lower failure and accident rates and improve the environmental record for our customers.

Summary
AS-Schneider will continue its focus on safety and environmental issues when producing state of the art valves for the oil and gas industry. The negative impact of “taking your eye off of these balls” is simply too high and the industry’s expectations will only rise with the deployment of IoT networks and systems.
Image Source: © Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash
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