Erosive flow center to tackle sand issues

Offshore staff

EAST KILBRIDE, UKNEL is building a new erosive flow center at its base near Glasgow, Scotland. This will be the UK’s first facility to offer a complete range of erosive flow services, including flow testing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and operation and performance assessment.

It should allow operators and equipment manufacturers to reduce production costs by tackling sand erosion, reducing the risk of equipment failure, optimizing component life, and boosting production rates, NEL claims. 

The facility complies with the latest API and ISO standards, and will replicate an in-field environment. It will include an outside test area for large and complex equipment and pipework configurations.

“Sand production is a growing problem for the industry, as fields mature and new sand-rich fields are explored. Both operators and manufacturers are, therefore, demanding the assurance that equipment is thoroughly validated before it goes into service,” said John Peters, senior consultant at NEL. 

Erosion problems can be costly in terms of increased wear and maintenance downtime. Particularly vulnerable areas include bends within piping production systems, areas of severe turbulence or those where high local velocities occur.

Additionally, sand entrained within equipment leads to valves not closing and sealing.


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