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African Petrochemicals is South Africa’s leading quarterly print and digital trade magazine for the past 16 years. Featuring all the latest petrochemical industry news, special reports, technological advances and much more.

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Innovation Award for Mokveld’s Typhoon Valve System

Mokveld’s Typhoon Valve System has scooped the ONS2018 Innovation Award in recognition of its industry transforming low shear technology which sets a whole new standard in the oil and gas industry.     

The future of the international oil and gas industry depends increasingly on the supply chain’s ability to develop new technologies as the industry seeks to evolve and end its reliance on past practices to secure future business. That is exactly the purpose behind the ONS Innovation Awards – to discover and reward emerging technologies that can transform the oil, gas and energy industry. It is no surprise that Mokveld’s Typhoon Valve System – with its cutting-edge low shear technology – has been recognised for its contribution to cleaner production in the oil and gas industry with the ONS2018 Innovation Award.

Awarded since 1982, the Innovation Award recognises the crucial importance of cutting-edge technologies and solutions. “The ONS Innovation Award is one of the most important fairs in the oil and gas industry,” explains Laetitia Jansen van Vuuren, Technologies Product Engineer at Energas Technologies, the sub-Saharan Africa distributor of the Mokveld range of valves for the past 17 years. “The award is intended to recognise innovative technologies that demonstrate their ability to advance the oil and gas industry. Winning the ONS2018 Innovation Award recognises Mokveld’s innovative Typhoon Valve System and the value this technology will add to the oil and gas industry.”

So, what makes this technology tick? The Typhoon Valve system is a solution suited for existing or new oil production plants. In contrast to conventional choke and control valves, Typhoon Valve uses patented trim technology to involve a larger fluid volume that is actively dissipating energy. “By using low shear valves and pumps, it is also estimated that greenfield separation plants can be built 30-50% lighter and smaller, which will have large cost saving potential on both OPEX and CAPEX for oil companies. Oil production is a fluctuating market and Energas will support and supply the sub-Saharan African market with the new valve technology,” says Jansen van Vuuren.

Understanding the tech

In every process plant you will find sources of unwanted turbulence and emulsification of oil and water. The main principle behind low shear processing is prevention of separation problems caused by shearing of the production fluids in conventional valves and pumps. Switching from conventional valves to low shear versions gives significantly improved separation and less oil residues in the produced water.

In contrast to conventional choke and control valves, the Typhoon Valve uses the principles of a vortex to control petroleum flows. The main purpose of using the vortex is to involve a larger fluid volume in dissipating energy, which is required to control the flow. This is a totally new way of regulating flow through valves and the technology is patented in 22 countries/areas.

The physics in a Typhoon valve enables pressure decrease in a much gentler way than in a conventional valve. This means effects like cleaner water and/or cleaner oil phases in a multiphase flow. In the process train this would mean improved capacity in the separators; reduced need for emulsion breaker and flocculant chemicals; cleaner oil for export; improved capacity in the produced water handling system; and less discharge of oil residues to sea.

For mature fields with high water production, switching to low shear choke- and control valves mean that you can increase your separation and produced water handling capacity. This means extended lifetime for oil producing wells. Also, as much of the future field developments will be based on tie-back solutions, low shear choke- and control valves can release tie-back separation and produced water handling capacity on existing processing fields.

Process benefits

Using the Typhoon System technology will reduce the mixing and emulsification of oil, water and gas. Chemicals are often used to try to increase separation by repairing damage caused by emulsification of the well fluids due to shear. The effect of separation enhancing chemicals will vary over the well lifetime, dependent on the composition of the fluids.

“The Typhoon System deals with the cause of the separation issues by reducing emulsification and shear forces exerted on the fluids. Due to the permanent reduction in shear, Typhoon System has a lasting positive effect on separation, regardless of changes to the composition of the well stream over the field’s lifetime,” explains Jansen van Vuuren.

Used either as a choke or control valve in petroleum process streams, the Typhoon System will improve the efficiency of downstream separation without resorting to chemicals or additional treatment processes.

Potential process benefits include higher efficiency without the need to increase the in size of the separator; reduction of the number of separator steps; in brown field applications, increase in production when using the same separator; and less need for, or improved effect of process chemicals like emulsion breaker, flocculants and anti-foam.

“The Typhoon System may therefore reduce overall cost and may increase production rates. The Typhoon System will assure that oil producers will be able to produce in an environmentally friendly way by improving the quality of their waste water,” concludes Jansen van Vuuren.

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