Industrial process plants use emergency shutdown valves (ESDVs) as safety barriers to protect against hazardous events, bringing the plant to a safe state when potential danger is detected. These ESDVs are used extensively in offshore oil and gas processing plants and have been mandated in the design of such systems from national and international standards and legislation. This paper has used actual ESDV operating data from four mid/late life oil and gas production platforms in the North Sea to research operational relationships that are of interest to those responsible for technical management and operation of ESDVs. The first of the two relationships is between the closure time (CT) of the ESDV and the time it remains in the open position, prior to the close command. It has been hypothesised that the CT of the ESDV is affected by the length of time that it has been open prior to being closed (Time since last stroke). In addition to the general analysis of the data series, two sub-categories were created to further investigate this possible relationship for CT and these are “above mean” and “below mean”. The correlations (Pearson's based) resulting from this analysis are in the “weak” and “very weak” categories. The second relationship investigated was the effect of very frequent closures to assess if this improves the CT. ESDV operational records for six subjects were analysed to find closures that occurred within a 24 h period of each other. However, no discriminating trend was apparent where CT was impacted positively or negatively by the frequent closure group. It was concluded that the variance of ESDV closure time cannot be influenced by the technical management of the ESDV in terms of scheduling the operation of the ESDV.
- Closure time
- Safety instrumented systems