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24/06/2016

BasicsofWellheadControlPanel(WHCP)InstrumentationTools

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Basics of Wellhead Control Panel (WHCP)


ControlSystems January16,2016

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WHCP:WellheadControlPanel
WHCPsarealsoknownasShutdownPanels(SDP),EmergencyShutdownSystems(ESD)or
HydraulicSafetyShutdownSystem(HSSS).Thesearefailsafeshutdownsystemswhichhave
pneumatic/hydraulic/electric components WHCPs can also be integrated with PLC/ RTU/
SCADA. WHCPs are standalone control systems as well as an interface between the plant
control and the wellhead safety system. WHCPs are used for monitoring, controlling
(Remote/Local)andsafeshutdownofSubsurfaceControlledSafetyValves(SCSSV),Surface
Safety Valves (SSV), and other wellhead safety valves (Choke, ESD, HIPPS) in oil & gas
productionfieldstoensuresafeoperationofunattendedwells/platforms.
WHCPsmayhavemultipleapplications,whichinclude,butarenotlimitedto
SafeandSequentialOperationofWellheadValves(SCSSV/SSV/WingEtc.)
EmergencyandFireShutdown
SafeOperationofRiserValves
FlowlinePressurecontrol
WellTestOperation
HIPPS/ESD/ChokeValveControl
PartialStroking

OverviewofWellheadControlPanel
Gas wells and oil wells has a high potential hazard, either because the material ejected
flammablenorthepotentialhazardofthegaspressureishigh.Wellheadcontrolpaneliskey
equipment in oil & gas industry to protect oilfield facilities and environment from occurring
wellheadfireandemergencyincidents,whichisoneofmaincontrolsystemstoensureoilfield
oil production and transportation to be safely operation according to international standards
andnationalregulation.Itsfunctionistoshutdownthewellincaseconditionsthatharmorfor
otherinterventionsaswellastheworktest,etc.
Wellhead control panel is composed of hydraulic power unit (HPU), tubing & fitting and
instrument valve and electrical control devices. HPU supply hydraulic resource to open and
closeSSVsincludingMSSV,WSSVandSCSSV.

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BasicsofWellheadControlPanel(WHCP)InstrumentationTools

The level of complexity of each well head control panel vary, each company has its own
standard. So the definition of well head control panel in General will certainly vary, the
definition of well head control panel if we review of its functionality is part of the surface
facilitiesofthegaswelloranoilwellthatisusedtocontrolwell,like:beittoshutdownsystem,
the casing pressure reading parameters, tubing pressure reading parameters, temperature
wellparameters.SotoopenorcloseaWingValve(WV),MasterValve(MV),aswellasDown
Hole Safety Valve (DHSV) can be through the Wellhead control panel. Generally inside
wellhead control panel consists of control pneumatic or hydraulic. Control pneumatic or
hydrauliccomposedoftubingandthreewayvalve.
HereIwillonlydiscussWHCPfromgaswells,asIunderstand.FunctionorapplicationWHCP
dependingofeachtypeofwellheadcontrolpanel.Itisasimplesystem,untilthereisatricky.If
itcanbeinferredisactuallyafunctionofwellheadcontrolpanelistooperatewell,beitfor
shut in and POP (put on production). With the wellhead control panel we able to open or
closedtheDHSVviathepushbuttoninpanel.Alsowecanopenorcloseamastervalveor
wing valve with push button in the panel as well. It was all done manually, by pressing or
pulling a push button. But to close the DHSV, Master valve, Wing Valve can be done
automatically,namelythroughtheintegrationwithshutdownsystemfromthewell.Surelythis
shouldfollowthephilosophyoftheshutdownsystemusedbyeachcompany.

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By looking at the picture, it will give an overview of what functionality or usability of the
wellheadcontrolpanels.Thecomponentsarevisibleinthepicturecanbegroupedinto:
All of these components will give feedback or as a input signal to the Wellhead control
panel(WHCP).Whileinthewellitself(flowline)thereisasensorthatisusedtomonitorthe
conditionofthewell,eithertoshutdownthesystem,orjustforreadabilityonly.
Instrumentationforshutdownsysteme.g.:
PALL(pressureswitchlowlow)
PAHH(pressureswitchhighhigh)
The Fusible plug (for detection of fires), usually mounted above fangles, or parts that there is a
possibilityofleaks(thesourceoffire)

Theinstrumentationusedforreading,forexample:
FR(flowrecorder)orFlowIndicator
PR(pressurerecorder)orPressureindicator
TR(temperaturerecorder)orTemperatureIndicator

TheFinalelementofthesystemshutdown:
DHSV,DownholeSafetyvalve(drivedbyhydraulicpower)
MV,mastervalve(drivedbyhydraulicpower)
SSV,surfacesafetyvalve(drivedbypneumaticpower)
Chokevalve,manuallyoperated
SDV(shutdownvalve)installedinflowlineofwell,outsidethepartofthewellhead(Xmastree)

Valves are a part of which will receive command of the signal to be opened or closed from
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Wellheadcontrolpanel.SoifIcangiveanalogicalWHCPisacontroller(acontrolsystem),
SSV,MV,DHSV,SDVarethepartthatreceivestheoutputfromthecontroller,whilethePALL,
PAHH,fusibleplugistheinputofthecontroller.ButdontimagineWHCPlikePLCinGeneral.
WHCPIdiscusshereisthatitusescontrolpneumaticorhydraulic.
WhyWHCPgenerallyusepneumaticcontrol,becausemostofthewellgaswellsfarlocation
(remote)sohardtofindsourcesofenergysuchaselectricity.AndgenerallyWHCPfromgas
wells using gas from the well itself as a source of pneumatic power. Later will be discussed
wherethepneumaticpowersourcetoruntheWHCP.Withpneumaticpowerfromgas,wecan
also have hydraulic power, i.e. by install the hydraulic pump on run by pneumatic power.
Hydraulicpowerisusedtorunvalveactuatorwhichrelativelylargepowerneeds.Pneumatic
poweredconverthydraulicpowercanbecomelargerbyusingthepump.
TheProblemsThatOftenAriseinWellheadControlPanel(WHCP)
Fromthevariousexperiences,TheproblemsthatoftenariseinWHCPareleaking,popping,
andstuck.CommonlyLeakingoccurredintheconnectionofnutsontubing.Itcouldbeleaking
atathreewayvalvecomponents.Tothiswecanissueleakedretightentheboltsorgivena
Teflonsealant.Ifforthreewayvalveusuallyreplacetheinternalpartslikeitsoring,whereasin
ordertoovercomestuckatthreewayvalvedogreasingofinternalplunger.Stuckina3way
valvebecauseitisdirtyorarid.
For ordinary problems popping occurs at PSV. PSV is safety equipment to handle excess
pressure.EachpanelofapneumaticorhydraulictheremusthavebeenhisPSV.Justlikein
the WHCP. When there is an excess pressure, PSV will popping, to release the excess
pressure.WhenitwaspoppingPSVunbiasedbacktoitsnormalposition,theproblemisoften
thecase.Tofixthiswecleantheinsideandthencheckthesetting.
One of the disadvantages of pneumatic systems which use hydrocarbon gas as a source of
powerinstrumentisiftheliquidintoapneumaticsystem.Thiswillcausethreewayvalvenot
working well. If the wrong selection of the material, example the O ring not resistant with
hydrocarbonsubstances,willcertainlydamagetheoringitself.
MainFunctionofWHCP
LocalOn/OffSSV
RemotecontrolSSVthroughRTU
HighLowpressuresenseshutdownautomatically.
FusiblePlug,AntifireShutdownautomatically.
SSVcannotbeopenedunlesslocalresetaftershutoff
Functionofshowingsystempressure
ReliefValveshallbeinstalledoneachhydrauliccircuittopreventhighpressure
Functionofshowinghydrauliclevelandlevelswitchforalarm
Functionofdefendingpressureimpactofsystem
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Functionofdefendingexorbitantpressure
Functionofsystempressuremonitoring(bypressuretransmitterofcontrolpanel)
Functionofremoteemergencyshutdown(bymagneticvalveofcontrolpanel)
FunctionofOn/OffSSVmonitoring(bypressureswitchofcontrolloopofcontrolpanel)
FunctionofshieldHighlowpressuresense
TypesofWHCP
SinglewellheadControlPanel
wellhead control panel is used for controlling one well Surface controlled subsurface safety
valve (SCSSV), Master SSV and Wing SSV. SSVs can be shutdown automatically and
manuallybyWHCPtoresponseallkindofemergencysituation.
Single well control panel is categorized the following system according to driven
resource:
Manualcontrolsystem
Electricalcontrolsystem
Pneumaticcontrolsystem
Solarpoweredcontrolsystem

Manualcontrolsystem
FeatureandFunction:Manualhydraulicpumpsupplyhydrauliccontrolandoutputpressurefor
SSV. Main function includes Remote ESD, Fusible plugs, low pressure / high pressure
sensing,Manualshutdownatpanel.
Electricalcontrolsystem
Feature and Function: Electrical motor driven hydraulic pump with manual pump as standby
will supply hydraulic to control SSV. Main function includes Remote ESD, Fusible plugs, low
pressure/highpressuresensing,Manualshutdownatpanel.
Pneumaticcontrolsystem
Feature and function: Pneumatic driven hydraulic pump with manual pump as standby will
supply hydraulic to control SSV. Main function includes Remote ESD, Fusible plugs, low
pressure/highpressuresensing,Manualshutdownatpanel.
Solarpoweredcontrolsystem
Solarpoweredcontrolsystemisdesignedtobeusedforwellheadcontrollocatedremotearea
anddesertarea.
FeatureandFunction:Energyconservation,Reduceoperationexpense,Duelpowersupply,
Standardcontrolfeature
MainfunctionincludesRTUshutdownFusibleplugsLowpressure/highpressureLocal
Manualcontrol
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MultiwellheadControlPanel
Eachcontrolmoduleisdrawableandcanbeinterreplaceablewithoutanyinterruptionofother
welloperation.Commonmoduleincludeoilreservoir,Pneumatichydraulicpumpandstandby
manualpump.

Mainfunctionshowsasfollowing:RemoteRTUshutdownFirefusibleplugsprotection,Low
pressure/highpressuresensing,Manualcontrolatpanel.
WellHeadControlPanelWorkingPrinciple
Itisverycommonintheoil&gasplanttocontrolitsoilorgaswellthroughawellheadcontrol
panel(usuallycalledWHCP).EachwellisalwaysequippedwithaSCSSV(SurfaceControlled
Subsurface Safety Valves) or usually it is called as down hole valve (DHV) and a SSV
(Surface Safety Valves) which is consist of a Master Valves (MV) and Wing Valves (WV).
SCSSV in most application is an onoff valve with hydraulic actuators. While SSV can be
drivenbyhydraulicactuatororpneumaticactuatordependsonthepressurerating.Itisalsoa
need to open or close SCSSV and SSV in sequence and accommodate an Emergency
Shutdown signal from the systems. So what are WHCP and its essential component? This
articletriestoexplaintheWHCPsystemsingeneralapplicationandhowitworks.
WHCPsystemsusuallyconsistofhydraulicreservoir,strainer,hydraulicpumps,accumulator,
wellhead control module, and hydraulic line which are supply and return to wellhead control
module.Anyotherpartsexceptwellheadcontrolmoduleareclassifiedintobasiccabinet.Each
control module is built up dedicated for one well only. Therefore if there are 5 well in a
wellheadplatform,thentherewillbe1basiccabinetand5wellheadcontrolmoduleneeded.
FirstpartofWHCPisahydraulicreservoir.Thisreservoircontainshydraulicfluidinsufficient
quantitytooperateeachwellhead.Thesizeofreservoirisdeterminethroughanestimationof
hydraulicfluidneededtooperateeachactuator,possibleleakage,distancefromthewell,and
anadditionalsafetyfactor.Usuallythehydraulicreservoirisanatmospherictankwithaflame
arrestorventing.
Tobuildupahydraulicheader(highormediumpressure)theWHCPutilizeahydraulicpump.
In general the SCSSV will operate at high pressure rating and SSV will operate at medium
pressure rating. Thus there will be two hydraulic headers at WHCP with its own hydraulic
pump. The hydraulic pump can be pneumatic driven or electric driven depends on criticality
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andoperationarea.Allhydraulicpumpsuctionwillhaveastrainertofilterthehydraulicfluid
fromanyparticulatesothatthehydraulicfluidgoestoSCSSVorSSVisclean.Tomakethe
hydraulic demand from SCSSV or SSV achievable, the downstream of the hydraulic pump
(hydraulic header) is equipped with an accumulator. It helps the hydraulic pump to supply
quicklythehydraulicdemand.Thisarrangement(reservoir,hydraulicpumps,andaccumulator)
usuallyiscalledasahydraulicpowerpackorahydraulicpowerunit.
Afterthehydraulicfluidaccumulatedatthehydraulicheader(bothhighpressureandmedium
pressure) then its ready to supply each wellhead control module. Usually the line from
hydraulicheadertowellheadcontrolmoduleiscalledahydraulicsupplylines.Atthiswellhead
controlmodule,thesequenceandlogictooperatetheSCSSVandSSVisbuiltup.TheESD
signalmainlyalsogoestothismodule.WhenitneedstoopentheSCSSVandSSV,itsupplies
thehighpressureormediumpressurehydraulicfluidtotheSCSSVandSSV.Incasethereis
aneedtocloseitdown,thehydraulicfluidsupplywillcloseandthehydraulicfluidwillgoesto
ahydraulicreturnlinethroughathreewayvalvesselector.Thishydraulicreturnlinewillgoes
tothehydraulicreservoiragain.
Fromthisgeneralexplanationwecanconcludethatthewellheadcontrolpanel(WHCP)isa
hydraulicsystemthatutilizesahydraulicpowerpackandawellheadcontrolmoduletoperform
itstask.TheoutputofWHCPishighpressurehydraulicsupplyandmediumhydraulicsupply
to operate SCSSV and SSV. Wellhead control panel is also the interface between the plant
controlandsafetysystemwiththeSCSSVandSSVsystems.
AlsoRead:OverviewofHIPPSSystem
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POSTED BY S BHARADWAJ REDDY


InstrumentationProfessionalWorkinginareputedOil&GasCompany.

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