Latest News

Early consideration of Quick Opening Closures for FPSOs improves safety and reliability


Offshore production of hydrocarbons is moving into deeper and more remote locations. FPSOs have revolutionized deep-water drilling, allowing operations to produce oil in areas that were not previously viable. The economy and ease of deploying small scale FPSO vessels to exploit smaller reservoirs which would have traditionally necessitated the construction of an offshore platform is being made even more attractive through Government incentives.

However, design requirements are becoming more arduous. FPSOs require high pressure, Quick Opening Closures to maintain the required levels of operational safety and reliability. In addition to providing safe access to pipelines and associated pigging facilities, Quick Opening Closures are integral to produced water treatment systems, production separators, and fuel gas filter separators.

Early consideration of design requirements for deep water, high pressure applications such as FPSOs is essential to ensure efficient supply chain operations, as is timely integration and installation of the Quick Opening Closures into pressure vessel design packages. This means FPSO operators must think ahead, as Carla Connolly, Global Sales Director for GD Engineering, explains.

“Traditional oil and gas mid-pressure applications have benefited from closures using standard materials and shorter lead times. Arduous applications such as deepwater FPSOs require more complex material specifications and specialized closure designs made to specification. Manufacture involves forging materials such as Duplex Stainless Steel or using corrosion resistant weld overlay processes, with extensive testing requirements necessary to ensure reliability throughout the full product life cycle. Early engagement with specialist companies like ours is therefore essential to ensure that Quick Opening Closures for FPSOs are correctly specified, installed and maintained.”

FPSO Closure Projects

GD Engineering has extensive experience in the design and development of Quick Opening Closures based on its world-renowned Bandlock™2. The company has recently supplied Quick Opening Closures on 12” Guard Cartridge filters for an FPSO in South American waters. The filtration/closure combination is for a sulphate recovery system, with the filter designed to remove debris down to 10 microns. The closure allows safe and efficient access to the filter vessel within 60 seconds, using only one operator and without the need for any special tools. Both the closure and the vessels were supplied in Super Duplex Stainless Steel with full documentation and QA packages to meet operator and regulatory requirements.

Bandlock™2 Quick Opening Closures from GD Engineering also feature on an FPSO located in the world’s largest global deepwater oil field. The operation includes FPSO interconnection to 13 wells, with the vessel and field projected to produce above two million barrels of oil per day. GD Engineering supplied 25 specially designed Quick Opening Closures for the project’s pig launcher and receivers, including a specially designed 10k rated closure which withstands in excess of 600 bar pressure, yet operates at the same speed, efficiency and safety levels as their standard designs.

To further ensure the safety of operators, the Bandlock™2 closures were supplied with mechanical key interlocks which are integrated into the valve operation sequence. This minimizes safety risks and reduces human error using the key transfer principle to guarantee that operators follow the correct steps through the valve operations to the final opening of the pressure vessel access point once the system has been completely depressurised.


For more information, visit:

Pin It

This website is owned and operated by: MSL Media Limited

msl logo

Co. Number: 05359182

© 2005 MSL Media Ltd. All rights reserved. E&OE

ems logo mobile