Mist elimination specialist Munters recently delivered harsh-environment equipment for use on two new semisubmersible drilling rigs and also for the Kashagan development in the Caspian Sea.
The specification for Kashagan was particularly demanding, says sales engineer Hans Carlsson. In addition to a mist eliminator and heated veins, the delivery included a sand filter, which is unusual for an application in a cold environment. The equipment had to be guaranteed to work through a temperature range of -35º C to +50º C (-31º F to + 122º F).
The Swedish supplier also supplied air intakes with heated veins to Aker Drilling, whose sixth-generation semisAker Spitsbergen and Aker Barents are due for delivery in late 2008 and early 2009. The intakes are installed in the living quarter modules, which were built by Leirvik Sveis.
“We have got good experience with these intakes as we have sold them for use on many ice-breaker vessels,” says Carlsson.
Equipment for both the recent projects had to be ATEX-certified. The material specified for Kashagan was stainless steel and for the Aker rigs, aluminum.
For its first major cold-environment delivery, Shell’s Sakhalin development in the Russian Far East, Munters developed the DFH mist eliminator system, which incorporates vertical profiles with a heating element. Captured snow, ice, and hail are either melted or evaporated once they have coalesced on the heated surface. The melted particles then drain from the eliminator through heated drainage.
The retrofit sector is also important to the company, with offshore operators striving to keep aging platforms operational beyond their design lifetime. Recently, Munters supplied new air intakes for StatoilHydro’s Heidrun platform in the Norwegian Sea.
Again this was a demanding job – while the original equipment incorporated only a mist eliminator, the customer wanted filtration capacity included. This meant installing a relatively large amount of kit in a small space with limited access, with a special solution devised for sliding the filters in.
However, the company can also customize solutions where necessary, says Carlsson, noting that some rival suppliers were unable to tackle the job. Munters will now monitor the performance of the intakes to ensure that they are working properly.