Emergency Shutdown (ESD) valves play a vital role in meeting production and safety requirements in a process plant. On headers of a Gathering Center (GC), ESD valve assemblies are installed to protect the downstream processing equipment from over pressure, high level and other emergency conditions. ESD valves typically stay in open position for months or years awaiting a command signal to operate. Little attention is paid to these valves outside of scheduled turnarounds. The pressures of continuous production often stretch these intervals even longer. This leads to build up or corrosion on these valves that prevents them from moving. For safety critical applications, it must be ensured that the valves operate upon demand. The SIL-3 rated ESD valves complete with auto self-testing and acoustic leak detection are designed to operate upon demand. This paper discusses the enhancement of safety and integrity of the GCs following installation of new SIL-3 rated ESD valves in its headers.

Kuwait Oil Company is carrying out projects to enhance Safety Integrity Level (SIL) of header ESD systems by providing new SIL-3 certified ESD valves as replacement of the existing valves in its GCs.

This paper examines the numbers arrived in calculating various performance indicators of ESD valve reliability and interpret these for benefit of the engineers. It is evident that there is a marked improvement in the failure rate and hence integrity of new ESD valves compared to old system. This has also remarkably optimized production, leading to substantial savings.

If ESD valves are called into use, they have to work reliably, because the consequences of failure will be far more serious than the disruption, when they work. The new SIL-3 rated ESD valves are designed to operate when called for, thus enhancing safety and integrity of the GC.

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