Improving safety and performance on oil production platform
Moore Industries-International recently helped a major oil and gas company comply with new federal safety regulations relating to communications with offshore oil platforms.
A new case study, Remote Emergency Shutdown Device Improves Safety and Performance at Oil Production Platform (pdf, 236k) by Jim McConahay, P.E., Senior Field Applications Engineer with Moore and Richard Conway, Facility Engineer, ENI Petroleum, highlights how ENI Petroleum was able to use the NCS NET Concentrator System® from Moore Industries to establish a direct, real-time communications link between its Devil’s Tower oil platform off the coast of Louisiana and drill ships operating more than 100 km away. The communications system assures that quick action can be taken in case of an emergency and reduces the risk of expensive shutdowns.
Rising more than one mile above the sea bed in the Mississippi Canyon region of the Gulf of Mexico, the Devil’s Tower oil rig is operated by ENI, an Italian multinational oil and gas company. The Devil’s Tower platform is one of the deepest production truss spars in the world, with ships performing drilling operations near subsea pipelines that transport oil and gas to and from the production platform.
New federal regulations forced ENI to create a solution that would allow control room operators to communicate with the drill ships and initiate an emergency shutdown in case of an serious event such as a “dropped object” impacting a submerged pipeline. The solution needed to be effective but avoid false shutdowns – a shutdown of one day costs $100,000 in lost production. ENI had previously used short-range radio links for communication but an expansion of operations took drill ships out of the range of this type of “over the horizon” communications link.
To meet its communications challenges, ENI developed a system across its Ethernet network using the NCS NET Concentrator System mounted on DIN rails. Using an Ethernet Interface Module in the control rooms of the oil platform and drill ships, the drill ship operator can use a push button switch to sound a klaxon horn at the oil platform control room to alert them of a potential threat. In addition, if communications are lost between the drill ship and the platform and human operators are not available to respond, a shutdown procedure is automatically triggered.
“ENI needed a reliable, low-cost communications platform to meet new federal requirements and extend the range that their drill ships could operate safely,” said Jim McConahay. “The NCS NET Concentrator System proved to be a flexible and dependable solution that allows ENI to maintain contact with drill ships and take quick action should any problems arise.”