Charles Harris, marketing manager - EMEA, instrumentation products division Europe at Parker Hannifin spoke to Pipeline Magazine about the outlook for the valves and pipes market
What is Parker’s outlook for the pipes and valves market?
Very positive, especially with a fast growing gas market and Parker has seen success within diversified markets such as transportation and industrial gases applications, as well as our traditional oil and gas. In those former markets we have been very successful in supplying cryogenic valves even in a very competitive market place. We have also seen year on year growth of our process to instrument valves, with customers’ keen to partner with Parker products as they see the value in reducing installation time, improving safety (eliminating leak paths) and reducing maintenance downtime, and have recently signed an extension to our Enterprise Frame Agreement (EFA) with Shell Global Solutions – which presents new opportunities in the region.
What recent new products has Parker introduced to the market?
API 6A process to instrument valves up to 15,000 psi, this is a ball –needle – ball design with a straight through bore to reduce the chances of plugging and are available with both flanged and hub ended. They are PSL 3/3G tested both for pressure and materials to ensure compliance to the API 6A codes and practices. Parker has been very successful in selling these offshore on wellhead applications where the valves are used in conjunction with pressure transmitters to monitor the integrity of the casings, and also onshore to high-integrity pressure protection systems (HIPPS). We have a range of FE valves ISO 15848 compliant to Shell TAMAP Two Star, which complements our recently signed EFA with the company.
What are some of your new technologies to serve the latest demand trends in pipes?
We manufacture in all the requested corrosion resistant alloys (CRA) materials as the industry is being faced with more corrosive environments and aggressive medias. We have solutions for the removal of NPT or threaded connections on valve outlets and drains to a preferred method of integral ended solution (Flange, two ferrule and single ferrule fittings or Autoclave connections). Customers are also requesting close coupled solutions which offer a method of bolting the instrument transmitter to the Mono-flange as opposed to screwed, again this removes NPT threads, prevents the chances of thread galling and the need for sealing tape or sealant.
What innovation is taking place in the valve and pipes sector?
Listening to and understanding customers’ challenges when exploring deeper, we are finding that innovation is being driven by the need for technology that can operate at higher pressure and temperature - in more corrosive environments.
How do Middle Eastern clients’ needs differ from clients in other regions due to climate, shallow waters and EOR/ deep drilling etc.?
Years ago, the needs would be different, but with globalisation the links are getting stronger and the requirement for safety and high quality products is increasing. The demand is being driven by end user specification. However, if the engineering teams do not carefully draft the specification we see instances where some companies will offer solutions that will just last the warranty period in order to win the business. On a technical stand point, the Middle East is equally challenging if not more (Temperature saline environment H2S...).
How are customers’ needs changing with the lower oil prices?
They are looking for one stop shops as they want fewer companies to deal with in the supply chain and Parker (with its strong network of distributors) is very well positioned in the region to meet the supply chain requirements of the end users and EPCs. They also look for new solutions such as close coupled valves that reduce installation costs and potential leak paths. One value that Parker will never compromise on is safety and integrity of the end user’s assets, and we will always partner with the customer to ensure they have the best possible solution and not the lowest cost.