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Cooper Crouse-Hinds supplies eXLink plugs to West Chirag


COOPER Crouse-Hinds, a manufacturer of explosion-protected electrical equipment, announced that it has supplied 240 explosion-protected eXLink connectors (EExd plugs and sockets) to Weatherford Production Optimisation for use on two wellhead control panels for the West Chirag Oil Platform.

The West Chirag platform produces both oil and gas and is located off the coast of Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea, south east of Baku. The wellhead control panels form part of a comprehensive control and monitoring package supplied by Weatherford Production Optimisation’s UK operation in Great Yarmouth.

Weatherford Production Optimisation is part of the Weatherford International Group, which is a global provider of products and services for drilling, evaluation, completion, production and intervention cycles of oil and natural gas wells.

For West Chirag, Weatherford has supplied the Equipment and Instrumentation to interface to the Plant Control System for the wells, production and hydraulic systems using multiplexed electro-hydraulic control systems. The package supplied includes one Hydraulic Power Unit (HPU) and two wellhead control panels.

Each of the wellhead control panels has the capacity for 24 removable drawer type well control panels and is capable of accommodating either gas lift production, water injection or cutting injection well control modules. Electrical power to the HPU motors is supplied from the platform [400V/50Hz/3 phase]. This supply is dual redundant supplying two separate 400V motors.

The main hydraulic supply to the wellhead control panels is dual redundant. The system is designed to have sufficient hydraulic energy accumulation to enable operation of all the valves in case of loss of hydraulic power. 24V DC electrical power for the solenoids is from ICSS.

All 24V DC-supplied solenoid valves mounted within each drawer module are fitted with a CEAG eXLink explosion-protected [EExd] plug, which is connected to its corresponding socket connector. A maximum of five solenoids are fitted to a well control module and each plug is colour-coded and keyed to ensure that the solenoids are connected to the correct socket connection at the rear of the Well Control Panel.

The eXLink range of connectors enable the connection and disconnection of electrical apparatus in potentially explosive gas (or dust) atmospheres, without the use of tools and without an engineer having to isolate the apparatus from the mains or disconnect the terminals.

For West Chirag, the eXLink connectors provide each wellhead control panel with ‘hot swappability’ in terms of the solenoid valves that control multiple wells.

As Ed Beardshaw, Regional Manager at COOPER Crouse-Hinds UK comments: “For the user, the eXLink plugs and sockets fitted to each solenoid valve enable the rapid disconnection and connection when swapping or installing a new Drawer Module. Cables can therefore be disconnected safely but quickly without the engineer requiring a hot work permit, which saves time and prevents any delays to production.”

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