Essential Infrastructure: 3 Tips to Optimizing Your Flow Control Performance

Essential Infrastructure: 3 Tips to Optimizing Your Flow Control Performance

Posted: June 22, 2023

Flow control systems consist of multiple complex components, including pumps, valves, compressors, meters, and filtration products. Optimizing the performance of flow control systems is critical to ensure their safe and efficient operation.

Already providing reliable flow control solutions to the energy markets globally, Gilmore continues to research, collaborate, and innovate to successfully address new challenges. Gilmore’s advancements improve efficiencies, reduce operational costs, dramatically extend service life, and boost profitability. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at Gilmore's resources and support to customers to optimize overall system performance.

Flow Control Performance and Essential Infrastructure
Source: Shutterstock

Reliability of Essential Infrastructure in the Flow Control Sector

Industries that involve chemical, physical, or biological substances all risk exposure to potentially harmful matter. Poor management of these substances can have disastrous consequences, on both employees and the environment.

Maintaining equipment is critical to regulating hazardous substances within these sensitive environments. Flow control measures come in various highly specialized forms according to the industry and application.

A blowout preventer, for example, is a specialized stacked system designed to control, monitor, and seal a well to prevent crude oil and natural gas well blowouts. A HIPS or HIPPS (High Integrity Pressure-Protection System), on the other hand, combines a series of independent protection layers that aid in preventing an overpressure scenario. These may include mechanical protection devices, such as Quick Exhaust Valves, together with automated shutoff valves and associated instruments. HIPPS must meet defined criteria and requires specialist design, installation, and authorized documentation.

Gilmore’s innovative flow control solutions are designed to improve the reliability of a wide range of pneumatic and hydraulic control system applications for the energy and industrial markets. Our robust product catalog includes a full range of essential components such as SIL rated quick exhaust valves, shuttle valves, regulator valves, relief valves, check valves, SPMs, variable pilot valves, quick dump valves and multiple valve assemblies that meet a variety of size and configuration requirements.

3 Best Practices for Optimizing Your Essential Infrastructure for Flow Control

1. Carbon Emission Reduction

Optimizing essential infrastructure for flow control with high-quality, reliable products significantly reduces carbon emissions and, in turn, operational costs.

Gilmore’s flow control products for drilling control systems reduce the costs associated with repairs and replacements. More reliable parts mean fewer change-outs or repairs; this equates to reduced cost of material, manufacturing, labor, power requirements, and access logistics to fly out repair kits. By eliminating numerous resource requirements, there is a noteworthy indirect reduction in carbon emissions.

Similarly, as manufacturers of components for production and downhole control systems, Gilmore’s highly reliable components require fewer interventions, further reducing carbon emissions. Simply put, every time workers need to intervene or plug and abandon a broken or underperforming well, dozens of vessels need to be mobilized. There's an increased exposure to risk for environmental damage, as well as the health and safety of workers.

The number one strategy to reduce carbon emissions is to eliminate the need for damage control, repairs, and replacements in the first place. When it comes to unconventional systems, Gilmores new products all revolve around longevity—operating for longer, with the need for fewer repairs. This means pressure pumpers complete well fracking more efficiently and with less downtime.

More efficient pressure pumpers mean diesel trucks aren't operating as long. This reduction in CO²-heavy equipment run times positively contributes to carbon emission reduction over the long term.

2. Less Downtime While Increasing Equipment Availability

At Gilmore, we understand that our clients and their clients depend on a good return on investment. Less downtime while increasing equipment availability ensures more resources are available to do the work; oil and gas operators can continue to explore, intervene, and produce wells—and thus draw investors.

To reduce downtime and increase availability, hydraulic systems require state-of-the-art control fluids with highly precise valve and infrastructure performance.

This applies to offshore platforms, distributed control systems, hydraulic power units, and all other drilling, downhole, and unconventional systems. With dirty fluid, systems can’t function properly. Yet contaminated, dirty, or solids-laden control fluid is one of the most common causes of inefficiency and downtime.

Gilmore valves are now more tolerant to debris and dirt than the industry standard 15 years ago. This translates to improved system reliability, requiring fewer hours of system flushing to assure adequate control fluid cleanliness. Due to Gilmore control valves debris tolerance and reliability, other system components' exposure is lessened for wear and tear—thus reducing the overall cost of system ownership for our clients.

flow control technician
Source: Shutterstock

3. Improving Safety Measures for Flow Control Systems

Intervention, downhole control systems, and production equipment are designed to work on live wells. It’s thus critical to safety that these systems are reliable; if they don't work, people pay dearly for the cost of equipment, lives, and damage to the environment. At Gilmore, we prioritize that valves on system intervention kits work optimally and reliably. Our improved GEN2 Series offers a robust and reliable flow control solution, featuring hydraulic damping, tungsten carbide shear seals, and improved guidance. This creates a debris-tolerant valve with improved resilience and extended service life.

We’ve spent two years working on our newest Gilmore Agiliti™ product line developments for unconventional applications, over-engineering our products well beyond market standards. For instance, current competitor check valves are using 90ksi material. This means the tensile strength of the alloy material used can withstand 90,000 psi. Gilmore products, on the other hand, can withstand 150,000 psi.

The likelihood that the bodies of our check valves, for example, will have an integrity issue, leak, or failure, is thus significantly less than the competition.

In addition, the Gilmore Agiliti SAFEGUARD economical mechanical relief package offers benefits in terms of flow control redundancy that are not present in other systems. Most of its peers only have one backup valve, whereas Gilmore relief packages have two. This decreases the time workers need to spend replacing equipment, in turn reducing the risk of injury or other safety incidents.

We also evaluated our product portfolio and carefully considered design improvements that would make field maintenance easier. Pressurized fluid and gas in drilling flow control maintenance can be incredibly dangerous.

Gilmore offers maintenance manuals with detailed instructions, step-by-step visuals, and guidance including the tools required so that customers have the ability to reassemble Gilmore valves correctly in the field safeguarding product reliability and performance.

Reap the Benefits of Optimized Flow Control With Gilmore

Ensuring that essential infrastructure always works in optimal condition is key to reducing operational costs, keeping productivity high, and maintaining safety.

Gilmore’s reputation is built on providing essential flow control solutions to the energy sector for surface and subsea control systems, interventions, completions, plug and abandonment systems, well stimulation pressure control systems, drilling and measurements, rotary steerable, and smart completion control systems. Our wide variety of control valve designs employs soft-sealing and shear-sealing technologies with specialty materials and tungsten carbide to achieve industry-leading seal reliability and durability, even in the harshest conditions.

In addition to safe and highly reliable products, we ensure proper installation to offset challenges in the field and provide all documentation to set our clients up for success.

Whether in drilling, downhole, or unconventional flow control systems, Gilmore works to maximize system uptime while reducing operation expenses. From initiation through to successful deployment, we’re ready to help you meet development demands for your next project. Schedule a call with us and start reaping the immense benefits of optimized flow control performance.

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