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KTH develops sealing system for Chevron Alba

Under a contract placed by John Crane, Halifax based KT Hydraulics has developed and manufactured an innovative sealing system for the Chevron Alba North Sea oil rig.

The £30,000 system will lubricate the seals that control the rig’s flare stacks that are used to burn off potentially hazardous hydrocarbon gases produced during the oil drilling process. The system is part of a gas compression system supplied to Chevron Alba by John Crane.

“As the system is used to lubricate the compressor drive shaft seals, it was vital that it always maintains a positive pressure over that of the gases in the compressor,” explained Mike Hogg, project manager at KT Hydraulics.

“The system therefore incorporates an I/P converter, back pressure control valve and differential pressure switch that collectively track the pressure inside the compressor. This allows a constant positive pressure differential of five bar to be maintained in the sealing system at all times – itself vital to the safety of the overall system”

The system also incorporates a positive displacement piston pump, non-return valves, a motor, a 100 litre synthetic lubricant tank and an accumulator to maintain pressure in the system should the motor fail. The system will be in operation constantly until the end of the year.

In securing the contract, KTH satisfied stringent criteria for quality of manufacture and demonstrated an ability to design to exact specification. The contract follows similar orders from John Crane and reflect KT Hydraulics’ abilities to develop and manufacture complex hydraulic systems for hazardous and arduous operating conditions.

A specialist in the design, manufacture and refurbishment of hydraulic systems, KTH has a long-standing track record in the development and repair of hydraulic systems for the petrochemical and processing industries. The company also manufactures its own 90deg. rack and pinion, single and double acting actuators and is the sole UK distributor for Kracht pumps, flowmeters and hydraulic equipment.

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API Standards

With many years of experience in design and manufacture to API standards including API Standard 614, Lubrication Shaft-Sealing and Control-Oil Systems for Special-Purpose Applications, 5th Edition, we have an in -depth understanding of the requirements and implications.

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