Van der Meer says: “For more than 35 years, Alder was extremely difficult to develop and needed several new technologies. Our TCP spool is on the seabed locked in at well flowing pressure and will be there for the life of field. It is the first high-pressure, hydrocarbon-containing TCP system – monumental progress.”
The company is looking to deploy a similar system in the South China Sea in 2017. It is also working with Shell on qualification for a TCP jumper spool for depths below 2,000 metres and pressures exceeding 10,000psi. Its first application is anticipated for Shell’s Perdido field in the Gulf of Mexico.
Cheaper qualification in sight
One drag on the uptake of composites is that their design and technical qualification is costly and lengthy, especially for documenting long-term performance.
An ongoing DNV GL-led joint industry project (JIP) aims to change this by cutting the cost of qualifying composite components for subsea use by reducing the need for large-scale tests with ‘certification by simulation’.
One current difficulty in real-life testing is that it is for a specific set of operating conditions; a specific temperature range or a sweet service environment, for example. Tests must be repeated if the component is used at a different operating temperature range or for a different application, such as in a sour service environment.
“This has been an obstacle for composites in the oil and gas industry,” confirms Ramin Moslemian, project manager, DNV GL – Oil & Gas. “Through the JIP, we aim to create models simulating variable conditions and applications. We hope to increase simulation and modeling’s share of total qualification cost from around two per cent now to 10-20%.”
The JIP has so far documented full-cycle qualification costs for a carbon-reinforced TCP subsea jumper pipe for different levels of qualification performed according to DNV GL Offshore Standard DNV-OS-C501 and Recommended Practice DNVGL-RP-F119 for composite components.
DNV GL hopes to generate a publicly-available initial document for a Recommended Practice describing how the new models can be used, and what a new qualification scheme will look like.
Airborne Oil & Gas is participating in the Affordable Composites JIP alongside GE, Mitsui, Nexans, NOV, Petrobras, Petronas, Statoil and Technip. “The model-based qualification approach can get end results so much quicker,” van der Meer says. “It is a massive cost and time saving, and we are convinced it will work.”
With the JIP expected to finish in mid-2019, there is still room and time for new participants to join, Moslemian says: “We are interested to recruit companies from across the value chain, such as material suppliers, service companies and more operators.”
1 MCE Deepwater Development conference, Amsterdam, Netherlands, April 2017
2 A technology certificate for a general design methodology affirms that the general design method can be used. A product certificate however, covers a specific design, manufacturing and the assembly of a product.