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  • Alarm systems greatly affect offshore facilities amid high oil prices


    E. Habib and B. Hollifield

    Reliability of oil and gas production facilities has never been more important. Poorly performing alarm systems negatively impact reliability and production. They can interfere with, rather than assist, the operator in handling an abnormal situation. This article covers the problem’s origin, its nature and a seven-step methodology for significant improvement of alarm systems. BUTTERFLIES AND OIL PRICES Small changes can have drastic consequences. Chaos Theory’s “Butterfly Effect” proposes that the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings in the South China Sea could cause tiny changes in atmospheric conditions, which, over time, can propagate into hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. These are followed by offshore oil production losses and oil price increases. This effect applies to all sorts of processes that are sensitive to initial conditions and small changes, including hydrocarbon production processes and the systems that control them. Oil production facilities deal with this effect every day – in the alarm system.

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