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Smith Flow Control unveils specialist pigging panel

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Oilfield Technology,

Smith Flow Control (SFC) has designed a specialist pigging panel to be installed on an FPSO built for the use in the Goliat field, the first oilfield to be developed in the Barents Sea.

SFC’s custom-built pigging panels will be used to control a series of actuated valves and ensures the safe opening of the pig vessel closure door. The panel itself is designed and built to exacting standards, which incorporates the strict environmental requirements stipulated for operations in the Barents Sea.

The stainless steel electronic panel, specifically engineered for Arctic conditions, conforms to Zone 1 Ex de classification and protection class IP66. It is designed to support applications in the most aggressive environments, suitable for temperatures ranging between -40 to +55°C (-40 to +131°F) with an anti-reflective coating that eliminates glare from the sun.  The innovative panel is designed to meet strict safety guidelines and regulatory body requirements and works as a communication and verification system, improving efficiency and safety in the most testing conditions.

The panel is designed around the requirement to isolate power to the panel, with two interlocked key units to ensure a specific sequence of operation:

The operator selects to close the valves as required

Red LED lights verify that the valves have reached their fully closed position

When all valves are closed, the operator can isolate the panel by removing the ‘A’ Key

The ‘A’ key is then entered into the solenoid key unit and only when the safety and automation system confirms all valves are closed, a permissive signal is sent to energise the solenoid and release the ‘B’ key

This allows the operator to safely continue the mechanical interlocking sequence and, in this instance, only after the panel has been isolated and all the valves have been closed and locked, will the key be available to manually unlock the pig trap door to load or unload a pig.

The operating panel can be used in a wide variety of applications involving actuated valves.  Manual valves can also be included within the key system logic (vent & drain), for example to launch or receive a pig. The panel has been designed with the operator in mind, providing a safe and simple means of controlling valves for the most complex of processes.

For more information about the operating panel and how it can be used, Smith Flow Control can be reached on +44 (0)1376 517901 or via email

Adapted from a press release by David Bizley

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