Condition monitoring

prevents costly shut down of critical units

  • Condition monitoring
    Condition monitoring

Remote monitoring of rotating machinery has helped BP in Azerbaijan to prevent unnecessary shut down of main oil pumps, flash gas compressors and other critical units by predicting and notifying early deterioration and unit condition changes.

A shut down could have led to costly production losses. In addition, the continued support provided by the GE service team together with the efforts of the rotating machinery engineers over the past five years in delivering high quality condition monitoring and timely advice to prevent failures has resulted in the Azerbaijan team winning BP’s regional 2010 Knowledge Management engineering award.

GE’s Bently Nevada service team in Azerbaijan has provided operation and maintenance services to BP Azerbaijan for the past five years. These services help BP Azerbaijan to increase production and cut costs by monitoring the condition of rotating machinery and cover six oil and gas platforms, one oil terminal and four pumping stations, two of which are located in Georgia. The System 1 software platform was first installed in 2003, completed at all sites in 2008 and has since undergone continuous improvement with the GE team working very closely with the local BP engineers and technicians providing formal trainings, OJTs (on job trainings) at site, onshore and offshore machinery health management, helping to build scientific temper and technical competence enhancements.

In 2010, an upgraded version of the Web interface tool was installed, and this allows GE’s remotely sited engineers to track any new alarms directly, produce a customer notification as an exception report for action on site and store the information in the Web portal. At the same time, significant work was carried out on the optimization of early indication alarm levels, and multiple custom rules were developed for the mitigation of nuisance alarms.

One of the benefits of the comprehensive condition monitoring system was demonstrated when alarms were triggered on the power turbine bearing of the main oil line pump at one of the Georgia pumping stations. These pump stations are part of the line that pumps oil from Azerbaijan to Turkey, and any shut down is extremely expensive. Vibration parameters of these MOL (main oil line) pumps are monitored and protected using the Bently Nevada 1701 system. The triggered alarms were first investigated remotely by a Bently Nevada service engineer in Baku and an exception report with recommendations was issued and sent to the Georgia team. The source of the problem was identified as a faulty instrumentation and appropriate checks were recommended. Corrective action was then taken at the station, all vibration indication disappeared, and the problem had been confirmed as a false instrumentation alarm.

As Ajay Khetarpal, rotating equipment manager, BP Exploration, Caspian Sea Ltd, comments, “With the combined performance and alarms monitoring system and the notification of exceptions, we now have greater insight into the performance of our plant, which means better protection and cost-effective maintenance for our assets. In 2010, more than 200 exception reports were issued and, based on the recommendations of the Bently Nevada’s engineers, significant production losses have been avoided. Their expertise together with the efforts of the rotating machinery engineers has been duly recognized with the TEAM winning the Knowledge Management award at AGT region 2010 Engineering awards function.