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SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Preventative Oil Maintenance Equipment An Holistic Approach For Sustainable And Total Lubricant Quality A Vital Component A Programme for Good Service Putting Lubricant and Hydraulic Fluid in Context Growth and the Cost of Success

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NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Preventative Oil Maintenance Equipment An Holistic Approach For Sustainable And Total Lubricant Quality

Contents

A Vital Component A Programme for Good Service Putting Lubricant and Hydraulic Fluid in Context Growth and the Cost of Success

Foreword 2 John Hancock, Editor

An Holistic Approach For Sustainable And Total Lubricant Quality

3

C.C.JENSEN A/S Sponsored by

Oil Management – More Than Just a Filter Published by Global Business Media

Pollutants and What They Can Do

Published by Global Business Media

Looking After Oil (Or Not) and the Consequences

Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom

Proud Of Our Contribution and Our Quality

Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Editor John Hancock Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

Working With Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants C.C.JENSEN A/S

A Vital Component

7

John Hancock, Editor

Keeping Everything Running Clean Lubricant Gives Better Performance Environmental Acceptability Benefits and Drawbacks of EALs

A Programme for Good Service

9

Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

Potential Contaminants The Case for Filters and a Management Programme

Putting Lubricant and Hydraulic Fluid in Context

11

Francis Slade, Staff Writer

Maintenance is the Key to Long-Term Operations Monitoring and Managing Lubricants The Cost of Failure

Growth and the Cost of Success

13

John Hancock, Editor

Demand Growth Extending the Life of Fields Expenditure Also Set to Rise

Š 2015. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

References 15

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NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

Foreword W

E HAVE long become used to the idea that,

becoming a requirement. And it addresses the latest

in a global and interconnected economy,

methodologies and processes used to ensure the

no single component can be viewed in isolation.

quality of lubricant and hydraulic fluids.

However, sometimes we do prioritise things

The Report continues with an assessment and

according to how much they impinge on our

explanation of the importance of lubrication and its key

daily thoughts and, in that sense, lubrication and

position in the good running of any offshore operation.

hydraulic fluids might not rank very high. However,

Then Peter Dunwell explains what contaminants can

in the offshore oil and gas sector, while lubricants

adversely affect the performance of lubricants as well

only account for 1% of costs, the whole equipment

as what might be the causes of their generation and/or

of the operation, amounting to about 50% of costs,

presence in the system. Francis Slade next considers

will depend on their success or failure. Therefore

the management and maintenance of lubricants

there is a lot of sense in the notion that, if the

and hydraulic fluids in the broader context of overall

lubricant or hydraulic fluid is to do its job properly,

maintenance programmes and with reference to the

it needs to be subject to a similar management

ability of lubrication to impact on the frequency and

and maintenance programme as the rest of the

cost of all maintenance programmes.

equipment on an offshore installation.

Finally we look at the widest possible context of

This Special Report opens with an article about the

global economic and population growth which has,

continual management of lubricant to ensure that it

in turn, driven demand for ever more energy and, from

not only lasts but also continues to deliver its qualities

that, the need to exploit reserves in ever more remote

at the highest standard throughout its operating

places, including under the deep ocean. The cost

life. The article looks at what can go wrong with

implications of this make good maintenance of every

lubricating oil and what could be the consequences

component, including lubricant not just desirable but

of neglecting to manage its condition with the same

good business sense.

care as is applied to other components in the system. It also considers environmental matters, how they can impact on lubrication and working with the environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) now

John Hancock Editor

John Hancock joined as Editor of Offshore Technology Reports in early 2012. A journalist for 25 years, John has written and edited articles and papers on a range of engineering, support services and technology topics as well as for key events in the sector. Subjects have included aero-engineering, auto-engineering and electronics, high value manufacturing, testing, aviation IT, materials engineering, weapons research, supply chain, logistics and naval engineering.

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NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

An Holistic Approach For Sustainable And Total Lubricant Quality C.C.JENSEN A/S Continual management of lubricant can contribute to lubricant life and system durability

Oil Management – More Than Just a Filter The concept of oil filtration will be very familiar to readers and C.C.JENSEN A/S™ Offline Oil Filtration systems are designed to deliver filtration in the most testing conditions. However, in our view, filtration is limited, as the term suggests, to removing particles from oil and, while that might be a component in what we do at C.C.JENSEN A/S, it’s only part of the picture. We take a holistic view looking at the bigger picture in which the more comprehensive solution for oil quality is oil management. ‘Oil filtration’ alone does nothing about keeping oil and oil systems clean or the size of the particles filtered out; yet it is attention to all of these details that has real potential to boost efficiency and reliability in oil-based lubrication and hydraulic systems. To achieve the most economic cleanliness level in an oil system and the longest possible life for parts and oil, we need to look at the full picture. The best way management approach is to remove all contaminants in the same operation to not only give the customer best value, but also to minimise investment cost. We also believe in assisting customers with monitoring oil cleanliness on-line or with sampling as well as establishing good housekeeping procedures to maintain the long-term condition of both the oil and the system. So, while filtration is only part of the process, oil does need to be maintained free from particles, water and oil oxidation residuals or varnish. These contaminants not only act as catalysts for further degradation of the oil, but they lead to wear and tear of parts in the system, imprecise operation and eventually downtime; usually resulting in huge costs from lost production time.

Pollutants and What They Can Do There are numerous pollutants that can get into oil and they fall into two categories. One

category results from wear and breakdown of the components: the other includes those catalysts that can cause the oil to break down. These catalysts include varnish/oxidation residuals, water, high temperatures, air, particles and metals (very aggressive in further degrading the oil). The two categories are highly interdependent. It’s safe to assume that engineers who design systems set out to minimise the effect of temperature and air: so if the particles, the water and the varnish content in the oil can be reduced or eliminated, there is every chance that the optimum state of a reliable and cost effective oil system can be achieved.

SERVO VALVE PLUNGER CONTAMINATED WITH VARNISH

The problem is that pollutants in oil cause damage in a variety of ways. Typically, wear particles generate more wear particles on a logarithmic scale; and those same particles are also very aggressive catalysts for degrading the oil. Water typically results in micro pitting and rust, but it also degrades the oil and washes out additives. Varnish and acid reduce the oil’s working life and results in components failing. If oil becomes abrasive because of the pollutants suspended in it or if the additives in it have been degraded, it won’t have the ability to lubricate as well as it should. And the more contaminated the oil, the more contaminated is the system that it is supposed to lubricate. WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 3


NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

The most effective way to handle the lifetime of oil with respect to economy and the environment is to continuously monitor the state of the oil by independent oil analysis, and only change the oil when the analysis shows it to be necessary. With proper oil maintenance it WITH REGULAR OIL SAMPLING, VALUABLE INFORMATION ABOUT OIL AND EQUIPMENT IS ACHIEVED

is not unusual to manage an increase in oil working life of between five to 10 times

When oil is saturated with pollutants in suspension, it will start to deposit pollutants onto the moving parts, adding to wear and tear on the system.

Looking After Oil (Or Not) and the Consequences In theory it is possible to achieve a state where oil never has to be changed. However, operational parameters, top-up intervals, volume and many other factors can influence this, so the most effective way to handle the lifetime of oil with respect to economy and the environment is to continuously monitor the state of the oil by independent oil analysis, and only change the oil when the analysis shows it to be necessary. With proper oil maintenance it is not unusual to manage an increase in oil working life of between five to 10 times. That will be especially the case for hydraulic oils and gear oils but, under the right circumstances, we have also extended working life by three to four times longer, even with engine oil. As a rule of thumb, 80% of all oil related problems leading to downtime are the result of using contaminated oil. Rolls Royce even states, that, “The single most important preventive maintenance procedure is regular oil sampling and analysis,” and that over 96% of all hydraulic

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failures can be traced directly to oil that has been improperly cared for. With the daily operating cost for an offshore platform running to $500,000US imagine what the payback potential would be for reducing the incidence of failures and consequent downtime. It would be bad enough if it was only the equipment that was affected by poor management of oil in lubrication and hydraulic systems. However, that is far from the case: in the offshore energy sector, the key issue is uptime and reliability. The customers contracting platforms or vessels will buy in support services from suppliers that can supply a platform or vessel according to the customer’s specification and operate it with regards to reliability and availability according to or better than the contract. To stop the customer’s production, because a service supplier cannot provide or support according to contract, will cost huge amounts of money every day and, as importantly for the long-term, will cost a loss of credibility and new contracts for those service suppliers that are not able to offer a reliable service. If those are the problems that can be brought about from polluted oil, the benefits of maintaining clean oil are considerable and well worth the effort. The immediate benefit will be to extend the life of


NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

components in the system and to extend the life of the oil. Combine that with good management of the system and it will be possible easily to detect changes in the oil long before those changes can develop into problems. For example, where an oil sample already contains 1 million particles per 100ml of oil, it will be difficult to detect when additional particles are present whereas, if the oil only contains 8,000 particles per 100ml it will be easier to detect additional particles and to detect failures earlier.

Proud Of Our Contribution and Our Quality At C.C.JENSEN A/S we are proud of our contribution to a more efficient offshore oil and gas sector. Working with clients, we have raised awareness of the challenges facing oil systems in the offshore operating environment and the importance of managing oil (whether in lubrication or hydraulic systems). We’ve also pointed out where savings are available and the benefits of reliability in ensuring consistent and predictable operations and outcomes. And, given the concerns that exist around environmental issues these days, we have shown clients how they can reduce their environmental impact as a result of prolonged oil life and the consequent reduction of wear

on parts and sludge in the system… all contributing to a reduced carbon footprint. We believe that environmental impact is one of the most important elements in any business activity and in an activity such as offshore oil and gas extraction that is even more the case. We have invested heavily to reduce our own carbon footprint by reducing the carbon footprint of our products. C.C.JENSEN A/S was a founding partner and remains a driving force in GO2 Green and its website. Along with this focus on our environmental impact, we operate a strong quality policy backed by a strong quality management process. As long ago as 2007, C.C.JENSEN A/Swas certified with ISO 9001-2008. In keeping with our overall policy towards quality, we have worked with business partners, including customers and the suppliers of components and materials used in the manufacture of our CJC™ Filter Systems, to ensure that all development are in line with the high environmental standards specified in IMO Resolution A.962 (23), the SR /CONF/45 Resolution for IHM MEPC.179(59), the demands of customers to meet the highest environmental standards and our own list of blacklisted materials in which we have specified potentially hazardous materials as NTBU (not to be used).

Working With Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants

MOST ENVIRONMENTALLY ACCEPTABLE LUBRICANTS

Another large environmental issue is the growing demand to use environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs); usually bio-oils. In particular, in December 2013, the US Environmental Protection Agency brought into force their latest Vessel General Permit that states that ships sailing in US waters are to use EALs in wherever oils can get into seawater. But there are problems with EALs in that most of them emulsify when they come into contact with seawater and are sometimes not compatible with rubber seals that still form the majority of seals in use today. If water enters into stern tubes, thruster mechanics, rudder controls and controllable pitch propeller systems, it can be difficult to remove. Also, higher water absorption will soon reduce lubricating qualities resulting in higher bills for wear and tear while emulsification will stop conventional filter/coalescer systems form working. One of the big challenges facing the business today is to understand how to meet a growing raft of environmental requirements while still maintaining the safety, quality and operating capability of equipment. That is where a holistic approach such as that taken by C.C.JENSEN A/S will pay dividends.

EMULSIFY HEAVILY WITH WATER

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NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

The benefits of maintaining clean oil are considerable and well worth the effort. The immediate benefit will be to extend the life of components AT C.C.JENSEN WE FOCUS ON INNOVATION AND TECHNICAL EXPERTISE,

in the system and to extend the life of the oil. Combine that with good management of

PROVIDING THE RIGHT SERVICE TO OUR CUSTOMERS

C.C.JENSEN A/S C.C.JENSEN A/S is a family-owned international company, established in 1953, and based in Denmark. What makes it unique is a combination of tradition, innovation and technical expertise. Worldwide, C.C.JENSEN A/S is well-known for products of the highest quality. The CJC™ Oil Filtration Filters and CJC™ Filter Inserts are available through a Global Network of 11 subsidiaries, five sales

the system and it will be possible easily to detect changes in the

offices, two affiliated companies, two joint venture partners and more than 40 distributors. The products are part of a range of filters, flushing units, varnish removal units, desorbers, cleaning tables and monitoring equipment… all with the purpose of managing oil for the efficient and reliable operation of lubrication and hydraulic equipment. In day-to-day dealings with C.C.JENSEN A/S or our distributors, customers experience a commitment to service. Our employees do their utmost to provide the right solution – every time.

oil long before those changes can develop into problems

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NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

A Vital Component John Hancock, Editor

Lubrication is a critical element in the good management and performance of any machine; so deserves its own management programme and system.

M

ODERN MACHINES are complicated pieces of equipment and none more so than those used in offshore oil and gas operations. Not only is the work arduous but they have to operate in the most challenging conditions. The engineering and mechanical construction of such equipment is important for long and reliable service. However, in addition to mechanical components, there is a further component without which most machines would not run for more than a few seconds and that is a lubricant, the medium that ensures that moving parts, often working at very high speeds, neither abrade nor overheat. Lubricant ensures that the operator gets the best and longest working life from a, usually expensive, investment. The other operational fluid will be hydraulic fluid, vital in exerting the considerable forces needed to operate equipment above and below the surface.

maintain operating temperature which, in turn, improves the bottom line. The management of lubricant is very important. Taking the example of compressors, the faster running and more continual running pieces of equipment, Machinery Lubrication1 explains, “lube oil is used to seal the compressor from gas leaks, lubricate moving parts and manage temperature during operation. The condition of lubricant oil is a critical factor in extending air compressors bearing life and overall reliability. Monitoring and managing lubricant viscosity can prevent costly breakdowns due to bearing failure… In contamination, vapours from hydrocarbons being processed can mix with lube oil. This light hydrocarbon methane contamination – sometimes called ‘a witches’ brew’ – makes measuring viscosity challenging.”

Keeping Everything Running

As one might expect, the effectiveness with which lubricant does its job relies on its cleanliness and freedom from contamination. As Mary Moon explains in her article ‘Lubricant Contaminants Limit Gear Life’2 “It’s been estimated that 82% of machine wear is particle-induced, pointing to the importance of purchasing quality lubricants and keeping them free of particulate matter.” It’s all down to good monitoring as part of a lubricant management programme. The elements of a monitoring process are set out in the Maintenance Technology paper ‘Lubricant-Health Monitoring: What We Test For’3 opening with the statement, “Lubricant-health monitoring provides the maintenance department an inexpensive predictive method for understanding the condition of a lubricant.” The paper sets out monitoring methodologies for a range of contaminants and wear effects in lubricants.

The qualities and properties of lubricants and hydraulic fluids have evolved over a century or more to the very clean and hard wearing oil-based and synthetic materials used today. Special lubricants have been developed to meet the very demanding conditions in the marine and offshore oil and gas environments. But like any component, lubricant will only perform as well as it is managed and maintained. As we’ve already said, there is no more demanding environment than the extreme conditions encountered in the exploration, extraction and transportation of oil and gas from under the deep oceans. Also, given the costs involved in this undertaking, operators will be particularly concerned to eliminate unnecessary downtime, reduce maintenance and avoid the costs that can be incurred by either. Almost all moving parts on an offshore oil or gas platform will rely on high-quality lubrication for their continuing effective and efficient operation. From drills to compressors; from anchor winches to generators; they are all scheduled to run near continually between maintenance events and any failure which interrupts operation will be very expensive. Good quality lubricants deliver protection against wear and tear and help to

Clean Lubricant Gives Better Performance

Environmental Acceptability As with nearly every aspect of industry today, lubricants and hydraulic fluids have to meet a number of environmental acceptability standards. As from December 2013, all vessels over a certain size operating in US waters must use Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 7


NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

As from December 2013, all vessels over a certain size operating in US waters must use Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs) wherever there is a possibility that oil or lubricant will interface with the surrounding ocean

CONTAMINATED IN LINE FILTER OF IGV SERVO VALVE HYDRAULICS

(EALs) wherever there is a possibility that oil or lubricant will interface with the surrounding ocean. This requires operators to identify properly all oil-to-sea interfaces and to ensure that only EALs are used on equipment that might discharge through those interfaces. Some of the equipment where this applies have been identified by the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) 4 as stern tubes, controllable-pitch propellers, stabilisers, rudders, thrusters, Azipods, towing notch interfaces, wire rope and any mechanical equipment subject to immersion such as dredges and grabs. EALs need to be biodegradable, offer low aquatic toxicity and have low bioaccumulation potential‌ all of these to the level of performance standards defined by the EPA.

Benefits and Drawbacks of EALs EALs offer operators a number of benefits including a higher viscosity index, higher lubricity or ability to reduce friction and a high flashpoint as well as ability to perform at

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extreme pressures and not react with paints seals and varnishes. All that said, there are also several performance drawbacks. Aside from the cost incurred in converting a current system to the new lubricants, the lubricants themselves are often more expensive than those they replace. The EPA estimates that EALs will cost from between 50% and 120% more than mineral oils and disposal of them is currently an issue although, presumably, that will be dealt with by the market in time. Also, some of the materials used in current systems might not be compatible with some types of EAL and so operators need to check the compatibility of a product before using it in their systems. None of these are reasons against EALs but they do point to the need, more than ever, to ensure that lubricants are always kept in the best possible condition. That, in turn points to the need to consider using the latest oil maintenance techniques and equipment to ensure the optimum performance of the vital machinery used on an offshore installation.


NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

A Programme for Good Service Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

Keeping lubricants and hydraulic fluids in good condition is the best way to ensure that all of the equipment on a platform continues to work effectively and reliably.

We now understand that, like every component in a machine, lubricant oil and hydraulic fluids need to be maintained in good condition in order for them to perform as required. It will also be useful to know what can contaminate them or reduce their effectiveness. There are several things that, over time, adversely affect the performance of lubricant and hydraulic fluids, usually as a consequence of the jobs they are used to undertake.

Potential Contaminants Varnish, caused by thermal stressing of lubricating oil, lays a sticky deposit on metal surfaces in the lubricant circulation system, “… piping, valves, heat exchangers, strainers, filters and other sensitive equipment. In turn, this growing film catches other fine particulates on the sticky surface, which continues to build up around the particulates, forming an abrasive, destructive surface.” is how Machinery Lubrication5 describes the problem. Varnish can also have other degrading effects on the equipment – detailed in the same article – not only increasing wear but also reducing performance. It cannot be neglected: “Without an effective removal system for oil oxidation products, the varnish contamination level in the oil will inevitably grow until it exceeds the capability of the inhibitors, regardless of the robustness of the oil additive package for oxidative and thermal stability.” But sometimes, additives themselves can, after some time of operation, breakdown leaving a residue in the oil or fluid which, again, will degrade performance. As before, it is important to remove these residues. One method for removing residuals is to pass lubricant through a system that, by absorption, separates the residuals from the fluid lubricant and allows them to be removed. Water is a significant contaminant in lubricating oil, in fact, liquids generally, “Moisture, solvents, fuels, and other incompatible lubricants are harmful contaminants as well.” That is the

conclusion of The Noria Corporation, Lubrication Guideline6 which adds, “Dissolved, emulsified and free water all pose potential risks. In addition to distress imposed by water on additives and base oil oxidation, free water in bulk storage vessels provides a habitat for microbial contamination which is corrosive and harmful to lubricant performance properties.” The term, ‘dissolved, emulsified and free water’, relates to the fact that water in lubricant oil can exists in three states7. Up to a point, it can be dissolved in the oil but when the quantity of water exceeds the maximum level for it to be dissolved, it will form droplets which, suspended in the oil, is known as emulsion. If the water content increases even further, the excess will eventually separate from the emulsified oil and settle as a layer of free water at the bottom of the sump or tank. In whatever state it exists, water will reduce the lubrication qualities of oil. In a similar way, air might get into a lubricant or hydraulic fluid, possibly through a faulty seal, and will degrade its lubricating qualities and/or the force it is able to exert. Even temperature can affect the quality of oil. It’s not the greatest hazard, as the Noria Corporation paper explains that most good quality synthetic and conventional mineral oils are not affected by storage temperatures below 120°F (49°C). However, storing lubricants near furnaces, steam lines or direct sunlight in high temperature climates for a prolonged time period may cause additives and base oils to oxidize prematurely. Equally, short duration cold temperature storage normally does not affect the quality of hydraulic fluids and conventional lubricating oils and greases. The major difficulty from cold storage temperature arises from the high viscosity of these fluids and the difficulty of pumping them to operating equipment and transport vessels. Particle contamination is a potentially more serious concern with the risk that particles in lubricant or hydraulic fluids can damage the WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 9


NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

Most good quality synthetic and conventional mineral oils are not affected by storage temperatures below 120°F (49°C). However, storing lubricants near furnaces, steam lines or direct sunlight in high temperature climates for a prolonged time period may cause additives and base oils to oxidize prematurely

GEAR TOOTH, WORN BY PARTICLE CONTAMINATION

operating surfaces within a piece of machinery, degrading its functionality and leading to earlier than planned for failure and replacement. “Particles are the most harmful form of lubricant contamination. A sample of lubricant may appear to be immaculate but actually contain many microscopic particles. Dirt, dust, sand, metal shards, metal oxide particles, soot, fibres, lint, coal dust, and other miscellaneous debris can contaminate lubricants.”8 In the Machinery Lubrication article ‘A Much Closer Look at Particle Contamination’9, Jim Fitch identifies ten particle characteristics, which demonstrates that this is not an issue that can be dealt with using just one methodology. Also, even though some particles will only cause microscopic damage at the outset, that will immediately degrade performance and soon develop into a much more serious level of damage as the particles’ abrasion creates further particles. What it also points to is the importance of good quality fluid management to ensure that operators know the current condition of their lubricant oils and hydraulic fluids, and have plans to deal with each contamination that might occur.

The Case for Filters and a Management Programme As well as the mechanical and engineering case for fluid management and maintenance, there are sound economic reasons why offshore operations need to look after their working fluids. The development of subsea oil and gas fields requires specialized equipment which must be reliable enough to safeguard the environment, and make the exploitation of subsea hydrocarbons economically feasible. From platforms to wellheads with their Christmas tree array of valves, sensors

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and controls to the kilometres of pipework that tie it all together, everything has to be maintained to a clear programme to avoid unscheduled failures for which the expense can range from a couple of days’ lost production to the nightmare of a product spill into the sea. It is important that working fluids (lubricant oils and hydraulic fluids) are part of this maintenance process. And the task continues to grow in complexity as technology makes ever more difficult reserves accessible. The condition of equipment can be affected by so many outside factors but principally, in this context, it will be usage (wear and tear), environmental factors (climate and the ocean), location and the product being lifted. Good quality documentation recording the conditions of all of these will greatly assist all aspects of process and maintenance planning. Equally, from the moment that structures and equipment leave the yard or factory, they start to deteriorate. The case for filters to ensure the condition of working fluids which affect every part of the equipment with which they make contact, is very strong. As Power Magazine10 explains, “Although industrial lubricants typically account for only 1% of plant operational costs, the lack of proper lubrication products, techniques, or applications can have a much more severe effect on overall maintenance costs. One of the smallest items in the budget directly influences more than half of the total maintenance cost.” And we can leave the last word to the same article, “Lubrication has proven to be the most important factor regarding machinery reliability and productivity… The… implementation of a lubrication management program (LMP) can reduce costs and improve productivity.”


NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

Putting Lubricant and Hydraulic Fluid in Context Francis Slade, Staff Writer

Management and maintenance of lubricant oils and hydraulic fluids in a system should be part of an overall equipment management process.

A

S IMPORTANT as the management and maintenance of lubricants and hydraulic fluids might be, they are part of a wider maintenance requirement on offshore operators to ensure the economic and safe operation of their installations. Whichever type of platform structure is used, there will need to be a long-term management programme to encompass routine checks and to plan any remedial work required. An added consideration is that a growing number of offshore platforms are now either well into or operating beyond their intended design life (see below). In these circumstances, a management programme is absolutely vital. It isn’t only when things go wrong but life extended and reach extended platforms may also include similarly life extended equipment whose continued safe and economic performance will rely heavily on the quality of lubricants or on the quality of hydraulic fluids doing the work.

Maintenance is the Key to Long-Term Operations As has already been intimated, the issue is not only one of commercial economics but also of safety and there is an enormous obligation on operators to run safe installations. Energy businesses want to avoid major offshore incidents because the risks and consequences can be devastating for those involved and for the company. Because of this, there has been an understandable focus in recent times on systems and alerts that can help to avoid such incidents. However, risk related systems aren’t everything. “A focus on preventing major offshore incidents has led some companies to neglect general maintenance, it has been claimed.”11 This comment from a BBC news report following a UK Health and Safety (HSE) report on the state of offshore platform maintenance identified a key area for operators. The item went on to quote HSE’s head of offshore, Steve Walker: “while we recognise the commitment of companies

in preventing any failures that could lead to major incidents offshore, it is essential that they are not neglecting the general fabric of their installations. Offshore installations that progressively deteriorate and corrode… in the event of a major incident can exacerbate the consequences. The report shows that the industry still has a way to go in this, and given the ageing nature of our offshore platforms this is not an issue that can be ignored.” John McKenna in the September 2013 issue of Process Engineering11 quoted ABB Consulting’s Philip Lawson, who said of properly planned maintenance for North Sea oil and gas assets; “There is no question the region can still be profitable for many years to come, but maintenance programmes must now be targeted very carefully in order to achieve those targets.”

Monitoring and Managing Lubricants The diverse array of assets employed in today’s offshore sector requires regular monitoring to ensure not only their economic operation but also their continuing to safely support the processes of the business and protect the environment from the risk of pollution. That is where information is necessary to guide and appropriately schedule operations. Monitoring all this entails inspections and testing, and inspection routines will need to cover a range of equipment, including lubricants and hydraulic fluids. Good record systems with relevant content and information about the assets will ensure that all maintenance routines are just that; routine and planned rather than in response to events, failures and declines in effectiveness. In this context, lubricating oils figure in two ways: one as the component that supports continued safe and efficient operation and as a component that, itself, requires good management and maintenance practices. But, looking again in the wider context, a case study performed by the Institute of WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 11


NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

Lubricating oils figure in two ways: one as the component that supports continued safe and efficient operation and as a component that, itself, requires good management and maintenance practices

WEAR ON ROLLER BEARING

Mechanical Engineers12 revealed that 43% of machine failures could be attributed to the incorrect choice and usage of lubricants. Most people still believe that machine failure is a unique event. However, failure is a process. Understanding lubrication fundamentals can reduce maintenance expenses by more than 30% by ensuring the proper lubrication and LMP (lubricant management programme) is implemented. Lubrication education and training teaches staff how to develop a successful LMP and proactive maintenance programme, which improves reliability at the lowest cost.

The Cost of Failure Failure, or its consequences, can cause multiple losses to a business. In the first case, there is the cost of repairing or replacing equipment in a business where margins are often fine, especially at a time when oil and gas prices are low. A worse risk is that a failed piece of equipment will have been part of the system’s integrity arrangements which could lead to product leaking into the environment: bad enough with flammable gas into the atmosphere which can be flared off but catastrophic when oil leaks into the ocean. Beyond the commercial costs, regulators might levy punitive fines and there might even be litigation from affected individuals plus there is the matter of reputational damage. A brand whose reputation has taken

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SEVERELY DAMAGED ROLLER BEARING DUE TO OIL CONTAMINATION

decades to build could see that knocked down in hours which might adversely affect the share price, making the business vulnerable to predatory take-over bids. Lubricants and hydraulic fluid quality are not the whole story but they are a very important element in the task of avoiding costly failures. It was alluded to above, but another key issue in ensuring that equipment is well lubricated is that it often has to run beyond its planned operating life. The Journal of Petroleum Technology, February 2012 edition13 summed up the situation. “Aging and life extension are major issues for the offshore oil and gas industry… [However,] Aging is not about how old the equipment is; it is about what is known about its condition, how that is changing over time, and how effectively the associated risks are being managed.”


NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

Growth and the Cost of Success John Hancock, Editor

The outlook for global investment in offshore oil and gas is good, fuelled by the expected growth in populations, economies and demand around the world

N

OTWITHSTANDING THE foregoing material, the success or otherwise of offshore oil and gas operations will ultimately depend on a healthy demand for the products it can deliver at the price it needs to charge.

Demand Growth Fortunately, world demand for energy continues to grow and, with little prospect that any of the current sustainable or renewable resources will be able to fill that appetite in the near future, there is an increasingly urgent incentive to find exploitable reserves of carbon based fuels and solutions to make more of the known reserves exploitable. In reality, much of the world’s carbon fuel reserves are already known but not all are yet exploited. There are several reasons for this including that as yet unexploited reserves tend to be in inaccessible or inhospitable environments. According to Ken Lindsay, of ECI Partners,14 “Between 2010 and 2040, global energy demand is projected to increase by one third reaching 120 billion barrels of oil equivalent (bn boe) per annum. This will be driven by a projected rise in global population from 7 billion to 9 billion and growth in the global economy of 130%.” Referring particularly to the offshore sector, he continues, “Until recently, the vast majority of the world’s oil came from conventional sources, wells drilled on land or not far offshore. However, as conventional production declines over the next few decades, more of the world’s oil demand will be met by emerging sources such as oil sands, tight oil, deepwater, natural gas liquids and biofuels. For example, over 50% of large oil discoveries and most gas discoveries in the last six years were deepwater, enabled by advances in subsea surveying and completion technology, and improved access to specialist drilling and production equipment.” Infield systems15 would agree. “… the subsea industry is amongst the most promising in the

offshore oil and gas world, with subsea capital expenditure (Capex) set to grow at a staggering 14.8% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) to 2017.” Some estimates are projecting a global fleet of more than 7,000 fixed and more than 200 floating platforms in the next few years which adds up to a lot of equipment to be maintained and properly lubricated.

Extending the Life of Fields As well as the establishment of new operations, market growth is driving another process of extension. Demand and economics are the principal drivers of life extension programmes. With growing numbers of economies seeking to move from ‘third world’ to ‘emerging’ status (and, ultimately, on to ‘developed’), the demand to fuel economic expansion requires ever greater oil and gas reserves to be found and exploited. It’s also a driver in the economic case for field life extension because when demand growth meets finite resources, prices rise. And when prices rise, reserves whose exploitation, for technical or accessibility reasons, might not previously have been worthwhile become economically exploitable. Also, with the cost of capital items being so great, purchasing new equipment and structures can significantly counteract any economic benefit plus the opportunity to wrest increased productive life from older equipment will be welcome. The Journal of Petroleum Technology, February 2012 edition16 summed up the situation. “To keep capital and operational expenditures at a minimum, there is an increasing requirement from operators to use existing infrastructure… Extending the life of existing assets ultimately results in installations operating well beyond their original design life. However, the aging of facilities can have a direct effect on installation integrity and safety… Aging and life extension are major issues for the offshore oil and gas industry.” The longer a piece of equipment is kept operating, the greater demands it will make WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 13


NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

Driven by sustained economic expansion and population growth, global primary energy consumption is forecast to increase by an estimated 39% by 2030... much of this growth will be met by increased consumption of hydrocarbon fuels NEXT GENERATION INJECTORS HIGHLY DEPENDENT ON CLEAR DIESEL

on its lubricant and the more important it becomes that the lubricant is itself properly managed.

Expenditure Also Set to Rise The cost of maintenance for all of this equipment will be significant. Douglas-Westwood 17 predicts, “In 2013, demand for offshore maintenance, modifications and operations services totalled $112 billion (bn) for the world’s nearly nine thousand offshore platforms. Over the period 2014 to 2018 spend of $672bn is forecast; a 31% growth on the previous fiveyear period. This growth is driven by a combination of high oil prices, buoyant offshore development activity, ageing infrastructure (requiring modification) and price inflation for equipment and services.” Well organised and executed lubricant management would only need to reduce this maintenance requirement by 1 per cent to generate a saving of $6.7 billion over the period. In a similar vein, Scottish Enterprise in its report ‘Spends & Trends 2008-2017’18 predicts, “…the total number of offshore field developments is expected to increase from 819 between 2008 and 2012 to over 1,500 between 2013 and 2017.” The reason underlying

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this growth is, again according to Scottish enterprise, “primarily due to rapid population growth and industrialisation in emerging markets. Indeed, oil demand in the developing world is set to grow by 3% in 2013 and 3.4% in 2014, compared to -0.65% and -0.18% in OECD countries over the same period.” In summary, looking to the long term and finally from Scottish Enterprise, “Driven by sustained economic expansion and population growth, global primary energy consumption is forecast to increase by an estimated 39% by 2030... much of this growth will be met by increased consumption of hydrocarbon fuels…” The long term outlook for the offshore oil and gas sector is good and the industry is certainly making the necessary investments to leverage that outlook into returns and profits. In this context, lubrication might not attract great attention but engineers charged with making the sector work safely and cleanly as well as profitably will do well to consider their lubrication management policy as part of an overall programme to maintain equipment at high levels of efficiency, productivity and reliability.


NEXT GENERATION PREVENTATIVE OIL MAINTENANCE EQUIPMENT

References: Machinery Lubrication http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/28521/lubricant-viscosity-compressor

1

2

Gear Solutions http://gearsolutions.com/article/detail/5903/lubricant-contaminants-limit-gear-life

3

Maintenance Technology http://www.maintenancetechnology.com/2014/09/lubricant-health-monitoring-test/

4

Professional Mariner http://www.professionalmariner.com/April-2014/environmentally-acceptable-lubricants/

5

Machinery Lubrication http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/998/varnish-formation

6

Noria Corporation

https://www.finning.ca/Products/Parts/Maintenance_Products/Contamination_Control/_downloads/BulkLubricantandStoragehandling.pdf 7

Machinery Lubrication http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/192/water-contaminant-oil

8

Gear Solutions http://gearsolutions.com/article/detail/5903/lubricant-contaminants-limit-gear-life

9

Machinery Lubrication http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/781/particle-contamination

10

Power Magazine http://www.powermag.com/proper-lubrication-practices-improve-plant-operations/

11

BBC News NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-12049340

12

Power Magazine http://www.powermag.com/proper-lubrication-practices-improve-plant-operations/

13

The Journal of Petroleum Technology

http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Offshore+Oil+and+Gas+Installation%E2%80%94Aging+and+Life+Extension/951953/0/article.html 14

ECI http://www.ecipartners.com/news-and-media/opinion/global-energy-demand-exploration-extraction-and-efficiency

15

Infield Systems, ‘Subsea Oil and Gas Sector Set For 14.8% CAGR Growth To 2017’

http://www.infield.com/news/subsea-oil-gas-sector-growth-2017/62 16

The Journal of Petroleum Technology

http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Offshore+Oil+and+Gas+Installation%E2%80%94Aging+and+Life+Extension/951953/0/article.html 17

Douglas-Westwood http://www.douglas-westwood.com/shop/shop-infopage.php?longref=1232#.VFy1t_msXAk

18

Scottish Enterprise

http://www.scottish-enterprise.com/~/media/se_2013/knowledge%20hub/insight/oil%20and%20gas/summary%20spends%20trends%20report.pdf

WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM | 15


Notes:

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Offshore Technology Reports – Next Generation Preventative Oil Maintenance Equipment – C C Jensen  

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Defence Industry – Special Report on Next Generation Preventative Oil Maintenance Equipment