Oliver Valves Limited - World Leaders in the supply of Instrument Valves and Double Block & Bleed Valves



Company founder Dr Michael Oliver (left)
Starting in a one car garage in 1979, this privately owned business, founded by Dr Michael R Oliver OBE DL, has grown into a world leading valve supplier, by being “the best, not the biggest”.

In the early years, the company concentrated on the supply of small bore instrumentation needle valves and manifolds, gaining approvals from many of the oil and gas majors.

Needle valves were utilised in the early 19th century and manifolds not until the 1950s, however, it wasn’t until Michael invented his unique tip and spindle design that stem and seat leakage was solved.

Thus, at the time Michael pioneered the compact manifolds that are now standard worldwide today. The versatility of the instrumentation valves with pressure ratings of up to 1034bar made them ideal for isolation of pressure gauges and transmitters.

Over the following decade, the range grew to include many other small bore valves including ball and check valves. This allowed the company to offer far more isolation options for instrumentation engineers.

In 1982 the company gained approval from a major gas operator for its needle valves and manifolds. Finally in 1984, this allowed Michael to expand his business and purchase a small factory unit in Knutsford, Cheshire. The company headquarters are still in the town today.

In 1988, the oil production platform, Piper Alpha, located in the North Sea, exploded and resulted in oil and gas fires, killing 167 people. Lord William Cullen established The Cullen Inquiry in order to find the cause of the disaster; as a result of their findings double isolation of pipelines in oil, gas and petrochemical applications lines was recommended.

Michael and his team at the time designed a new range of compact double block bleed valve using their in-house ball and needle valve technology. Previously a DBB was a single isolate valve with two seats and a bleed valve on the cavity, or in some cases, three separate valves with a flanged T piece, whereas Oliver Valves concentrated their efforts on the development of single body assemblies with two independent isolates and a bleed valve.

These provide the operator with the assurance that if the primary valve leaks, any material getting through will be stopped by the second isolate and all trapped media between the isolates can escape through the open ‘bleed’ valve rather than continue down the pipeline to a location which might potentially become a hazard. The options of different valve types, sizes, materials and end connections, to name but four options, allows Oliver Valves to offer a staggering range of products.

In the mid 1990’s, following requests for DBB’s with bore sizes greater than DN25 (1inch), Oliver Valves designed and patented larger bore sized double block and bleed products and in 2000, a new company Oliver Twinsafe Valves Limited was launched to take over the supply of the larger bore valves.

As a result, these large bore pipeline ball valves will increase operator safety with double isolation, plus it saves space and weight, reduces potential leak paths and minimises maintenance. This enabled Oliver Valves Limited to concentrate on the supply of valves up to DN20 (0.75 inches).

In 1994 Oliver Valves made incredible effort and used their endless knowledge of small bore needle, ball and gate valves to understand the needs of manufacturers of subsea trees and formed a new company, Oliver Valvetek Limited, aimed at the subsea market.

With challenges, such as working pressures of up to 1550bar, water depths down to 4000m and direct operation by remote operated vehicles (ROVs) or remote operation through hydraulic subsea actuators. In 2012, Oliver Valvetek were awarded the Queen’s Award for Export, hand delivered by the Duke of Gloucester. Oliver Valvetek Ltd has now become one of the world leading companies for the supply of small bore subsea valves.All three Oliver companies pride themselves on the development of pioneering valve solutions for their customers.

Tel: 01565 632 636
Email: sales@valves.co.uk
Web: www.valves.co.uk

Spring 2020 // Issue 52
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