Project Launched to Deploy Thermoplastic Composite Pipe Flowlines, Risers in Brazil's Pre-Salt Area

August 25, 2021

The TCP Riser can be installed quickly by existing flex-lay or reel-lay vessels - Credit: Strohm
The TCP Riser can be installed quickly by existing flex-lay or reel-lay vessels - Credit: Strohm

Thermoplastic composite pipe technology developer Strohm has entered a joint industry program with Shell and Petrobras with the goal of deploying its Thermoplastic Composite Pipe (TCP) Flowline and Riser technology offshore Brazil.

Strohm said that the four-year contract had the potential to revolutionize the deepwater flowline and riser market in Brazil and with a corrosion-free solution that has a 30-year design life. 

"It is the world’s most advanced program to bring TCP Flowline and Risers offshore under actual field conditions," Strohm, which described the contract a sizeable one - between EUR10 million and EUR50 million - said.

"The four-year award coincides with a large plant expansion which is well underway at Strohm’s premises in The Netherlands as part of its ongoing growth strategy. The JIP has also extended its footprint in Brazil triggering a raft of local engineering appointments and a new Rio de Janeiro office," the company said.

The region’s prolific pre-salt provinces have some of the most productive wells in the world. Typically, deepwater fields such as these, are produced through dynamic risers connected to floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels. Recently, conventional flexible flowlines and risers have been reported to exhibit premature integrity issues due to corrosion, leading to regular replacement which is costly and leads to deferred production, the company said.

"Strohm’s TCP Flowline and Riser is a disruptive new product that is corrosion-resistant with a three-decade design life. It has a superior fatigue performance and is lightweight compared to steel resulting in a cost-effective free-hanging catenary configuration once installed," Strohm claims.

"TCP was introduced to the market by Strohm in 2010 and since then, Strohm has built the world’s largest track record for TCP Flowlines and Jumpers," the company, previously known as Airborne Oil & Gas, said.

The TCP Flowline and Riser JIP builds on earlier work performed in Brazil and starts in August when the company will develop, qualify and test its composite pipe technology with the two operators to make it fully field-proven and commercially available to the Oil & Gas Industry. 

"The unique program will manufacture and pilot the installation of two TCP systems, one for TCP Flowlines and the second for TCP Risers. This will result in the industry’s first program to mature the TCP Riser to TRL-6 (API 17N), proving it is an enabling technology and ready for deployment," Strohm said. The TCP Riser requires no buoyancy modules and reduces the total installed cost  - Credit: Strohm

Prototypes by 2024

Strohm CEO Oliver Kassam, said: “This is a very significant and exciting moment as we join forces with Petrobras and Shell to qualify our TCP Flowline and Riser and see the prototypes installed in deepwater by 2024.  

"TCP has the potential to transform the global deepwater flowline and riser market and unlocks a huge potential for us in Brazil. The Brazilian pre-salt cluster currently has 20+ FPSOs in operation and each one is supporting numerous risers, providing a huge opportunity for us in the replacement market. In addition, the country also invests circa $1billion in risers to support new FPSO operations each year, and this is set to climb in line with its ambition to become the world’s fourth largest oil producer by 2029. 

This JIP confirms that TCP is well-positioned to be a game-changer for the deepwater sector and for Strohm. We are on track to fulfill our vision of being the leading provider of non-corrosive solutions and supporting our strategy to provide products that deliver a significantly lower carbon footprint.”

According to Strohm, the TCP Riser is low in its carbon footprint as it is spoolable and prepared in long lengths resulting in lower transportation and installation costs. The riser is installed using vessels currently available in the market, and as it does not require any buoyancy elements during installation, costs are significantly reduced leading to an overall saving. As a consequence, CO2 emissions are greatly reduced. It is also 100% recyclable.  

As part of the program, engineering activities and pipe testing will be carried out in The Netherlands and Brazil, and full-scale prototypes will be manufactured and installed offshore Brazil.

Juliano Dantas, Petrobras Chief of R&D, said: “We believe that this JIP built in collaboration with Strohm is well suited to successfully bring the TCP Riser technology to the field. This JIP fits in our strategy of deployment-driven development; it is our aim to be able to offer the TCP Riser as a solution to our projects within Petrobras as quickly as possible.”

Olivier Wambersie, designated Shell GM Brazil Technology, said: “We have been working closely with Strohm for many years. We are really keen to see this program leading to the world’s first application of TCP Flowline and Riser for deepwater Pre-salt conditions. Not only will it address the asset integrity challenges, it will also bring a positive impact on the Carbon Intensity of our operations. Me and my team are looking forward to be working with all parties involved.”

Worh noting, the news of the JIP comes less than a week after Strohm announced that it had opened a new office in Rio de Janeiro and that it was establishing a center of excellence for developing its Thermoplastic Composite Pipe (TCP) technology as part of its South American expansion strategy.

HPHT

Earlier this year, Strohm secured a contract with Total and ExxonMobil for a qualification testing program for a high pressure, high-temperature Thermoplastic Composite Pipe (TCP).

The qualification project will create a foundation for further development of this TCP technology for riser applications.

Under the agreement, Strohm will execute a qualification testing program for a TCP Jumper for permanent subsea application, for hydrocarbon service.



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