Magma Global has this week announced the delivery of what it claims to be the world’s first high-pressure composite riser pipe to HWCG’s storage location on the U.S Gulf Coast, completing its rapidly deployable Offset Flexible Riser (OFR) system.
HWCG, a consortium of deepwater oil and gas companies in the Gulf of Mexico formed following the Macondo blowout incident in 2010 with a goal of quickly responding to offshore oil spills, commissioned Magma Global to qualify and produce a high pressure, high-temperature pipe to be used as a flexible riser connection to enhance HWCG’s rapid deployment emergency well containment system.
According to Magma Global, based in Portsmouth, UK, the pipe - named "m-pipe®" - is designed for rapid installation and is suitable for responses where vertical access is restricted and an offset is required such as shallow water depths where the presence of combustible and volatile compounds affect personnel safety or where access under a floating production facility is needed.
The system may also be used in deeper waters where more flexibility is desired in managing the marine systems during a response, Magma Global said.
"Deployed straight from the handling apparatus, the 800 ft long section of m-pipe will provide a flexible riser connection between the capping stack placed on the incident well and a rigid riser suspended from a [mobile offshore drilling unit]," Magma said.
"The m-pipe will form a horizontally oriented “S” shape between the capping stack and the rigid pipe riser thus decoupling motion and decreasing surface station-keeping requirements for the temporary production facility. Once in operation, hydrocarbons released from the well flow through the complete riser flow path and are processed on board the temporary production facility to be collected in shuttle tankers for transportation," the company explained.
HWCG specified a pipe that would need to be compliant with movement and resistant to degradation from continuous exposure to hydrocarbons at pressures up to 10,000 psi and temperatures up to 250°F and would offer an alternative to conventional non-bonded flexible pipe. Magma qualified the 6-inch m-pipe to meet the project requirements and completed the manufacture and FAT testing during the Covid-19 pandemic lock-down.
HWCG consortium's offshore oil spill response provides for the installation of a capping stack within 7-14 days and the ability to start contingent flow and capture operations within 18 days assuming no weather or other uncontrollable delays. Once installed the m-pipe is qualified to operate for at least 6 months, which is enough time to drill a relief well to provide final well kill and containment, Magma said.
Magma CEO: We hope our m-pipe will never be used
Mitch Guinn, Technical Director for HWCG said: “HWCG was one of the first organizations to accept the responsibility for providing equipment and personnel to respond rapidly and safely to a deepwater well incident. The addition of a flexible riser component to our suite of response equipment further enhances our ability to respond even more efficiently by allowing more flexibility in selecting a temporary production facility and enabling the selected facility to increase its operating window regarding weather conditions. The addition of Magma’s composite m-pipe is a huge benefit for our Members and is seen as one of their critical response components. We hope this work will open the doors to future applications of this breakthrough technology.”
Andy Jefferies, Deep Sea Development Services, and OFR Project Manager for HWCG added “The initial concept, and subsequent evolution, of the Offset Flexible Riser builds on the industry’s use of riser technology to manage unique operating conditions and environments requiring incident well flowback as part of a well containment strategy. The engineering and design aspects of this breakthrough technology has been led by DSDS for HWCG. The application of the Magma m-pipe design represents a step-change in that technology and brings a time effective solution to well containment for flow and capture operations for all scenarios but is particularly well suited to shallow water, high-rate gas wells, and wells requiring an offset flow and capture operation.”
Martin Jones, CEO at Magma Global added: “This is a bittersweet success for Magma. We are proud to supply the first composite flexible riser for high pressure, high-temperature hydrocarbons, for use in the Gulf of Mexico yet we hope it will never have to be used. Nevertheless, m-pipe doesn’t corrode or degrade over time and hence will always be ready to enable HWCG to install at speed and with confidence.”