The Surface Safety Valves (SSVs) installed downstream of the well head were put in lock open condition for many of the flowing ESP wells at West Kuwait field of Kuwait Oil Company. This was done to prevent damage to ESPs (installed down hole) due to frequent faulty trips of these valves. In such operational scenario, the SSV was not performing its normal function for which it is designed for, that is, to act as a safety barrier against abnormal flow conditions. The SSV malfunction was attributed to contact of hydraulic oil with the flowing sour crude oil and resulting contamination from the suspended solids, asphaltene and wax present in the crude. A pilot trial was conducted to upgrade these SSVs with Self-contained hydraulic control system and to evaluate functioning of this control system in providing adequate hydraulic actuation control to the already installed surface safety valves. This up gradation of flow powered SSVs (actuators) with self-contained hydraulic control system provides a low cost solution for improving performance and reliability these SSVs without any need of replacing complete surface safety valve. It is possible to achieve almost 100% reliable performance by installing such retrofit.

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