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Case Study

Optimising valve criticality assessments: empowering an operator's safety and efficiency


Norwegian oil and gas operator

Asset type

Offshore oil platform



Client challenge

In 1998, the Offshore Department (OD) sent a letter to all operators, instructing them to perform criticality assessments of Emergency Shutdown (ESD) valves and conduct leak tests for those identified as critical. Vysus Group (previously Scandpower) was involved in developing a methodology for this purpose and conducted assessments for numerous installations.

Over time, several consulting firms have conducted criticality assessments using similar methodologies. However, due to the interpretative nature of the methodology, discrepancies have arisen. Consequently, a valve on one installation may be classified as critical with a leak test requirement, while a similar valve on another installation may not be considered critical. This disparity could result in one installation shutting down while the other continues normal production.

How we helped

At Vysus Group we take pride in providing tailored solutions to our clients, and the operator was no exception. When it approached us with its challenge to improve the criticality assessment of topside Emergency Shutdown (ESD) valves, we were eager to help with this ongoing project.

Our team of experts worked diligently to develop a new, state-of-the-art qualitative methodology for assessing the criticality of ESD valves, including sectional valves and riser valves. We understood the importance of accuracy and reliability in this process, so we based our methodology on a comprehensive analysis of available information, such as P&ID, total risk assessments and sectionalisation reports. This allowed us to create a robust assessment framework that minimised uncertainties and maximised safety measures.

As part of this project, we selected an oil platform on the Norwegian Continental Shelf as a case study, enabling us to refine and fine-tune our methodology through practical application. This hands-on approach allowed us to address specific challenges and optimise the assessment process for real-world scenarios.

Furthermore, the operator had several facilities waiting for criticality assessments. Understanding the unique characteristics of each facility, we recommended undertaking individual projects for a more precise and tailored evaluation. Our team stood ready to apply the newly developed methodology to each facility, ensuring that the assessments were accurate and aligned with the specific requirements of each installation.

Overall, our collaboration with the operator exemplifies our commitment to delivering innovative and effective solutions that enhance safety and efficiency in the energy industry. We are proud to have supported the operator in its mission to improve its criticality assessment processes, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to ensure the highest standards of safety and reliability across its operations. The work is ongoing and we are very pleased to be involved.

Powerful results

Establishing guidelines for classifying, which determined their need for internal leak testing. Simultaneously, it identified valves with lower criticality levels, exempting them from internal leak testing requirements. The primary objective was to minimise the number of ESD valves that needed to undergo internal leak testing.

Furthermore, the newly developed methodology clarified the potential downgrading of valves initially classified thereby relieving them from the mandatory internal leak testing. This addressed the varying interpretations of the original methodology, bringing much-needed clarity. The assessments factored in crucial elements such as fire durations (Worst Critical Process Fire) and the possibility of leakage from ESD valves.

To showcase the effectiveness of the approach, Vysus conducted a case study re-evaluating and reclassifying all valves on the example platform that were previously subject to leak testing requirements. The results demonstrated significant optimisation potential, allowing streamlining of internal leak testing processes while maintaining rigorous safety standards. The project's outcomes not only saved time and resources but also contributed to enhancing overall operational efficiency and safety. As a trusted partner, we at Vysus are dedicated to delivering innovative solutions that yield powerful results, driving our clients' success in the energy industry.

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