Installed in both onshore and offshore applications, Christmas trees perform a critical function in the production flow of oil and gas. The valves attached to a Christmas tree are one of three major components that make up its assembly. For many years, these valves were traditionally used in newly drilled oil and gas wells, where there was sufficient pressure for the natural flow of oil and gas. In more recent times however, a lack of natural flow has seen gas operators turn to artificial lift systems which has since restricted the use of Christmas tree valves to newly drilled wells.
With the price of crude oil in mind, the Christmas tree valves market has seen steady growth over the past year, despite some restrictions. Innovation of automation solutions and remote monitoring have been driving the installation of automatic Christmas tree valves, which is expected to result in further growth over the coming years.
Automation solutions and remote monitoring are not the only factors in this recent growth however. CMM equipment too has played a vital role in the installation of automatic Christmas tree valves, the reason being is that automatic valves are highly complex to manufacture and require highly specialised production processes and control procedures that ensures compliance with requirements and specifications. In tasks of such complexity with fine margins for error, the use of highly accurate measuring devices is a must if requirements and specifications are to be met. For this reason, devices such as the FARO Edge ScanArm are now being used to solve problems related to the measurement of actuators with highly complex geometry, recently produced for undersea valves.
With their ability to take fast, precise measurements of geometrically complex components, CMM equipment has helped operators overcome the difficulties faced when installing automatic Christmas tree valves. Since the transition over to automatic valves began, the overall Christmas tree valve market has thrived, and this simply would not have been possible without the use of CMM equipment.
About Manchester Metrology
Manchester Metrology Limited is an industry leading supplier of CMM equipment such as the FARO Arm Edge, FARO Gageand the FARO Quantum S. In addition to their extensive range of equipment, Manchester Metrology also offers training and software packages to help customers get the very most from their equipment.