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Society for Underwater

Technology
The Life-Cycle of Flexible
Risers and Flowlines
(a design and operations awareness course)

Presenters

Course Structure
Follows the life-cycle of a flexible:
Design
Installation
Damage, Degradation and Failure modes (installation
and operation)
Integrity management (operators viewpoint)
Integrity management (specialists viewpoint)
Decommissioning

Course Dinner tonight

Objectives
To take you through the life-cycle of flexible
risers and flowlines
To give you an awareness of when and where
they might be used
To give you an awareness of design and
operational issues
To give you enough information for you to be
comfortable with your responsibilities

Modus Operandi

This is a course, not a conference


Please do not hesitate to ask questions
Please share experience
At the end, please tell us what you think of the
course

Flexibles at Work

What is a Flexible?
It is unbonded flexible pipe
It is a flowline or riser made up of a number of metallic and
polymeric elements fluid containment, pressure
containment and axial strength functions are separated
It can be bent to a much smaller
radius than the equivalent rigid
pipe without suffering plastic
deformation
It can endure dynamic
environments with much less
fatigue than the equivalent
rigid pipe
It does not feel flexible if you
try to bend it!
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Why a Flexible Flowline?


Fabrication is carried out in controlled conditions
ashore, off-line
Installation is quicker & easier just unreel it
Limited metrology requirements
Insulating properties
Resistance to buckling
Re-useability
Decommissioning
Cost/metre higher than rigid
pipe total package must be
viewed on a case by case basis
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Why a Flexible Riser?


All the benefits of flowlines, plus:
Catenary risers feasible in
shallow water depths
Decouple surface excitation
from seabed facilities (FPUs)
Freedom in location of riser bases
Components of hybrid risers, towers, etc
Cheaper alternative where all rigid riser slots
taken (fixed platforms)

NKT Facility

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Technip Facility

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Wellstream Facility

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Very Brief History


1943
1968
1973
1974
1986
1991

PLUTO fuel pipelines laid across the Channel


flexible flowlines laid between Vestmanna Islands and Iceland to
provide drinking water after volcanic eruption
first HP flexible flowline (Elf, Emeraude, Congo)
Le Trait facility opened; first flexible flowline in North Sea (Mobil,
Beryl)
first dynamic production riser system installed (Sun Oil, Balmoral,
North Sea)
flexibles reach 1000m water depth

2000

flexibles reach 1883m water depth - 6 Flowline (Petrobras,


Roncador, Brazil)

2002

first line using high insulation profile 6 in 550m water depth (AGIP,
Abo, Nigeria)

2005

11 prod riser, 2-section design, fully sour service rated, 1000m


(CNR, Baobab, Cte dIvoire)

2006

7.5 WI riser, 10,000psi, 1900m (BP Thunder Horse, GoM)

2006

11 Integrated Production Bundle (IPB) risers, 1300m (incl. active


electric heating and gas lift tubing) (Total, Dalia, WAf)

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What Might The Future Bring?

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Larger diameters?
Deeper water?
Higher pressures?
Hybrid solutions?
Unexpected failure modes (ageing related)?
Novel inspection techniques?
Intelligent pigs for flexibles?
More general acceptance of re-use?