Bal Seal Engineering, Inc., a leading producer of custom-engineered sealing solutions for equipment used in oil and gas processes, has achieved NORSOK M-710 compliance for its P-69D HT and GFP-55 HT seal materials. An independent organization confirmed this month that the materials qualified against the sour gas (H2S) tests defined in the standard.
Stephen Rust, Chief Materials Engineer for Bal Seal’s Research and Development group, says the achievement validates earlier internal testing, and that it highlights the company’s ability to solve tough oilfield sealing problems.
“These materials are already at work in some of the world’s most demanding energy applications,” says Rust. “But the NORSOK test results give us an unbiased, accurate means to represent their performance. More importantly, they provide our customers with an added level of confidence that the seals we engineer with these materials will meet their toughest requirements.”
According to Rust, P-69D HT is a blended polymer with a base of polyetheretherketone (PEEK). The GFP-55 HT material is also a blended polymer with a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) base. He says both materials are frequently employed in the design of the company’s Bal Seal® spring-energized seals, which protect against fluid leakage in top drives, progressive cavity pumps and other critical oilfield equipment.
During the testing, which was conducted by UK-based Element Materials Technology, Bal Seal subjected samples of the P-69D HT and GFP-55 HT to sour multiphase fluid aging and high H2S levels in order to simulate environments found in oil and gas production.
The materials were exposed to a standard NORSOK fluid mixture containing 2 mol% H2S in the test gas mixture. Exposure tests were conducted at 180, 200 and 220° C for up to 49 days, and results show that both materials performed “well within acceptable NORSOK limits.”
Developed by the Norwegian petroleum industry to ensure “adequate safety, value adding and cost effectiveness for existing and future petroleum industry developments,” the NORSOK M-710 standard complements available international standards. Specifically, Standard M-710 defines requirements for critical non-metallic sealing, seat and backup materials for permanent use in subsea and topside valves and critical gas systems. Knowing how a material performed against the testing in this standard, says Rust, allows engineers to better predict real-world polymer performance and seal life.