Suncor has installed a de-sander skid for its gas well on the Hanze Platform, the North Sea, approximately 200km NW of Den Helder, The Netherlands. Suncor had already utilised the Able nucleonic equipment on another platform and therefore specified the same equipment for Hanze.

The de-sander skid's duty is to prevent sand being carried over into the process lines. On the Hanze gas well, the gas flow comes in to the de-sander vessel and any sand entrained in the flow falls out of the flow and fills up the de-sander vessel. The nucleonic level detector has been installed as a high-level trip/alarm on this vessel.

The Able nucleonic system gives a non-contact measurement, which reduces potential leak paths and is also unaffected by the abrasive process in the vessel. It is also useful on a gas well, where vessels often run at high pressures.

Sand carryover can damage valves, valve seals and, if carried over into the compressors, can cause catastrophic failures. The point level trip will provide a reliable indicaion of the amount of sand in the de-sander, allowing it to be removed well in advance of carryover, preventing any potential damage.