Oil prices fluctuate, but environmental sustainability needs to remain a constant focus, even during downturns like we’re seeing now. The good news for oil and gas companies looking to comply with the EPA and environmental guidelines is that the sustainable choice is also often the best choice for lowering costs and increasing margins.
One place oil and gas companies can look to achieve both their environmental and profit goals is the valves used in their facilities and along their pipelines.
We suggest taking a three-pronged approach:
Use data to size and select pressure relief valves and to establish maintenance schedules
Pressure relief valves protect the safety of your plant, your personnel, and the environment at large by limiting overpressure conditions and safeguarding against emergency shutdowns. The first key is having access to complete and accurate data when sizing and selecting a new pressure relief valve. After that, it’s essential to monitor and keep track of each valve so you can establish a preventative maintenance (PM) schedule based on historical valve performance, rather than on an arbitrary timeline.
Use control valve diagnostics to monitor valve performance
Control valves are the top sources of fugitive emissions in refineries. A control valve that isn’t calibrated correctly won’t perform well or may fail altogether. This can create environmental impacts and reduce production. By monitoring your control valves using diagnostic methods, you can determine if a valve is performing at peak levels. Often, internal valve trim changes or positioner upgrades can improve performance dramatically, which can both reduce fugitive emissions and increase production levels.
Recondition older valves rather than replacing them
When valves are replaced, they’re often thrown in a landfill or sent for recycling. While recycling is certainly the lesser evil, it still takes a considerable amount of energy to recycle metal. An even better option is to have a qualified valve repair center recondition the valves back to factory specifications, aka “like new” condition. This can save companies 40-60% compared to buying new valves. It also reduces waste and recycling costs.
Cost savings and sustainability don’t need to be at odds. Contact us to learn more about how you can achieve both.