BERKSHIRE, UK -- Castrol Offshore has installed two high pressure directional control valve (DCV) test rigs at the Castrol Global Technology Centre in the UK.
The hydraulic valves are typically used to control the main production gate valves on subsea trees. The DCV test rigs perform a variety of valve function checks together with statistical process control and fluid condition monitoring. Both rigs – one for oil-based fluids and one for water-based fluids – are fully automated and have four valve stations per rig.
Once a valve test has been completed, additional checks can be made using the analytical facilities available at the technology center. These include detailed fluid elemental analysis, changes in physical characteristics, and valve component measurements.
Fluid qualification tests can now be completed on valves from the major subsea OEM's including Aker Solutions, Cameron, Vetco Gray, and Rotator (used by FMC and Dril-Quip). Previously, subsea valve testing of hydraulic fluid would have been conducted principally in-house by the OEMs, the company says.