In maturing regions, being able to safely extend the operational life of flexible flowlines and risers is critical as existing assets approach the end of their design lives and operators consider their options for the future. As a safety critical item, operators must be able to demonstrate to the Regulator that flexible flowlines can continue to be operated in a safe manner. Ensuring that these important components of the overall infrastructure will continue to operate safely and efficiently is essential to continued production from aging assets.
Flexlife is a specialist provider of life of field subsea engineering and technology. The company works together with clients to assure the integrity of their subsea flexible assets, while contributing to shaping the development the industry with a unique combination of resourceful innovation and an in-depth understanding and expertise across the entire lifecycle of these flexible products.
“Flexlife is the go-to flexible riser specialist, providing wide-reaching, adaptable specialist expertise that enables us to manage the delivery and integrity of all flexible products. We ensure compliance throughout and extend operational lifespan, while optimising production, reducing costs and mitigating risks,” said Gilles Gardner, director of engineering, delivery & integrity.
“Our focus is on engineering, delivery, integrity and technology. To achieve success in these services we employ high calibre professionals with both academic and practical backgrounds who are complemented by specialist experience in subsea flexible product design, manufacture, installation and operation.”
As an example of its recent activity, Flexlife was asked to provide a solution for an operator with a 4” production flexible riser/flowline that was blocked with wax and preventing flow. Traditional chemical injection and pigging had been unsuccessful in clearing the blockage.
Flexlife provided a number of services during several phases to provide an effective answer. An initial review of previous similar remediation that had been attempted using coiled tubing was undertaken. This was followed by a finite element analysis to simulate the insertion of a drill string and snubbing unit into the riser and flowline to compare previous drilling software analysis. The results established acceptable loading and tool insertion rates for the snubbing operation.
Flexlife then conducted a chemical compatibility analysis that, when combined with a third party conducted thermal analysis, determined the ideal diesel injection temperatures required to free the wax blockage.
Flexlife provided offshore technical assistance during the successful snubbing operation, which cleared the wax and successfully restored well production to full flow without damaging the riser.
“We are recognised throughout the industry for our expertise and excellence in the analysis and design of flexible risers and flowlines and our engineers, who have more than 100 years of experience combined, are skilled in all subsea disciplines,” said Gardner.