Last month, multinational oil and gas product supplier Schlumberger announced the release of the GROVE IST integrated seat technology ball valve.
The company, which has an Angolan office that services the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda, reports that the new ball valve technology features a patented seat-on-ball design.
The seat-on-ball design is said to significantly improve performance over conventional metal-seated ball valves in addition to offering considerable size and weight benefits.
“As the industry deals with more demanding reservoir conditions, conventional trunnion-mounted ball valves have only been slightly modified in design to adapt to these challenging environments,” says Schlumberger valves and measurement president Brent Baumann.
“The GROVE IST ball valve introduces a disruptive technology uniquely designed to mitigate the risk of leakage at higher pressures and temperatures and to reduce operating cost,” he adds.
Conventional ball valves tend to become larger in size and weight as oil and gas companies explore harsher environments. Schlumberger states that the GROVE IST ball valve overcomes these conditions using its novel seat design that provides advanced sealing performance and increased valve life span, while minimising size and weight, enabling a reduction in total cost of ownership for customers.
The GROVE IST ball valve has undergone an extensive qualification test programme that qualifies the full product range to American Petroleum Standard (API), including standard API 6A PR2 for performance, API 6AV1 for slurry testing and API 607/6FA for fire testing. In addition, in-line flow testing validation was performed at an independent, accredited testing facility to further simulate real operating conditions.
The GROVE IST integrated seat technology ball valve offers “consistent superior sealing performance”.
Schlumberger notes that petroleum industry standards require conventional metal-seated ball valves to achieve International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) requirements consistent with ISO-5208 Rate D during pressure testing. The GROVE IST ball valve is capable of achieving up to ISO 5208 Rate A with no visible leakage – a “hundredfold” improvement over industry standards.
“Our valve also includes a patented flow-diversion spoiler that protects the primary sealing elements from flow.”
Further, the GROVE IST ball valve weighs up to 40% less, compared with conventional valves and requires up to 70% less torque, depending on valve size and pressure class. Schlumberger says these design modifications ensure a significant advantage in actuation sizing, resulting in a smaller and lighter package for automated valves. Lower torque also equates to less wear on moving components, which benefits overall service life.
Schlumberger concludes by noting that routine maintenance and replacement of GROVE IST ball valve internals are simple and streamlined, reducing overall facility downtime for the operator.