Deep flexpipe under surveillance

Technip and Schlumberger have signed a global co-operation agreement jointly to develop subsea integrity and surveillance solutions for flexible pipes used in deep offshore oil and gas production.

The new agreement extends a collaboration between the companies that began in 1998.

The agreement is initially focused on surveillance systems activities for new and challenging flexible pipe applications such as those required in the deepwater pre-salt environment in Brazil. Several key Schlumberger technologies used in subsurface applications have been identified for integration into Technip's new ultra deepwater flexible pipe designs.

Alain Marion, senior vice president, subsea assets and technologies, Technip, comments: 'By combining Technip's technical and manufacturing knowledge of flexible pipe with Schlumberger surveillance technology, a new generation of intelligent flexible pipe will be created. The 'measurement-enabled' flexible pipe will provide significant value to the industry in safety, reliability, and performance.' The monitoring technique has already been deployed on Total's Dalia project offshore Angola in 2006 (OE August 2007).

One of the initial integrity solutions that the partners expect to develop and qualify is focused on the use of optical fibres to monitor a variety of parameters characterising pipe behaviour.

Schlumberger Subsea vice president Andy Hendricks explains: 'The extremely robust nature of fibre-optic sensors in deepwater environments, combined with the possibility of using a single interrogation unit for a whole production system, makes this solution both technically and commercially superior.'

As part of the collaboration, retrofit solutions will also be pursued to address the large number of flexible pipes in operation using proven technologies and methodologies applied subsurface, but now tailored to the flexible pipe domain. OE

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