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Analysis

Cable Solutions for Hazardous Locations and Deepwater Ventures

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 10:22

As an international cable supplier, General Cable offers its electrical solutions to offshore operations in the upstream segment, as well as in the midstream and downstream segments. The application of the firm’s products ranges from drilling and production platforms to jack-ups rigs and FPSOs, where it provides 600V to 2kV/1000V low voltage cables, 5 to 35kV medium voltage cables, instrumentation, and fiber optics. Subsea electrical connections are another key component to the company’s offshore product portfolio, supplying submarine power cables for medium and high voltage, and fiber optic cables for the interconnection of various platform types.

The company’s most prolific product in the oil and gas industry is the Continuously Corrugated Welded Cable (CCW) intended for power, control, instrumentation, and communications. The application of CCWs in refining and petrochemical operations has become an important solution for accident prevention in hazardous locations. Commonly, CCWs are useful when operations require cables impervious to gas, liquids, and vapors. At the same time, CCWs can avoid fires with electrical equipment as these are terminated with explosion-proof glands that enable them to withstand high temperatures. General Cable’s range of products for the global oil and gas industry is developed under specifications from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and its solutions are approved by the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Lloyd’s Register of Shipping (LR), Canadian Standard Association (CSA), Transport Canada Marine Safety, Det Norske Veritas (DNV), Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL), Intertek Testing Services (ETL), and United States Coast Guard (USCG) .

The firm’s presence in petrochemical and refining facilities is based on the application of low, medium, and high voltage cables up to 500kV that are used for a variety of purposes, ranging from nitrogen injection to cryogenic plants. Additionally, the firm’s GenFire cables may become of critical importance to the downstream segment’s operations in cases of fire hazards. Such cables can withstand temperatures of over 830°C for more than 90 minutes, even when in direct contact with fire. Every cable meets performance standards for fire resistance, low smoke, and fume properties. Luis Adame, Oil and Gas Business Development Manager for Latin America of General Cable, is certain that adhering to international norms will maintain the company’s advantageous position in the Mexican market. While the company is already well-established in the offshore market, Adame hopes that General Cable’s presence will increase in the downstream segment on the back of cables with extreme flame and fire resistance, such as the CCW and GenFire lines, used respectively in refining and petrochemical processes. Adame believes that having been in the oil and gas business in Mexico for the past three years, his firm will be able to tap into an even broader share of Mexico’s offshore operations with growing deepwater activities, leveraging the extensive experience and knowledge that General Cable has acquired all around the world. The company’s latest involvement with PEMEX is at Ayatsil-Tekel, where it has already provided 80km of 20/34.5kV Submarine Power Cable, through its strategic partner DEMAR, to connect different platforms in the Ayatsil-Tekel oilfield. “We believe that by engaging with the upcoming developments in Mexico’s Gulf operations, we can begin consolidating our product line in additional projects,” states Adame. Parallel to this, the firm’s manufacturing capabilities in Mexico are set to increase through the creation of new facilities in order to have products readily available for distribution.