We have experienced a buoyant 2015 carrying out numerous Inspection, Maintenance and Repair projects for global clients keeping the team busy despite difficult industry conditions. A tighter operating environment has placed an ever-increasing emphasis upon Flexlife’s core speciality, assisting clients to safely maximise the remnant life of ageing flexible pipe assets.
One typical project that is presently in progress for a SE Asian, National Oil Company involves packaging the company’s unique products and services in order to defer the need to replace a damaged riser system.
Firstly, Flexlife’s patented scanning technology is being used to measure and characterise the tensile armour wire condition on a number of risers. This utilises the ROV deployed Neptune Ultrasonic (UT) scanner which can provide high-resolution data relating to the tensile armour wires, anti-wear tapes and polymer outer sheath. Neptune is unique in being able to provide data relating to the flooded, or dry state of the riser annulus, which has significant impact upon the fatigue characteristics and where flooded, high resolution armour wire measurement.
Secondly, this riser’s breached outer sheath is being repaired using Flexlife’s proprietary Armadillo dynaic repair solution, which has been adapted to also provide a venting function. The Armadillo is diver installed, encapsulating the breach location, subsequently being filled with an elastic gel, which seals the breach area, preventing further ingress of seawater. This will allow the damage to be repaired, reinstating the venting functionality, critical for the safe operation of flexible risers and mitigating further degradation.
Finally, Flexlife is revisiting the global and local fatigue analysis of the riser system, using data derived from scanning to help to safely reduce conservatism.
This body of work will provide state of the art assurance regarding the riser’s safe remnant life, maximising the uptime on the offshore asset and safeguarding the wellbeing of the offshore personnel.
Flexlife is also currently providing the patented Armadillo repair system for another SE Asian operator which has suffered anchor damage to a flexible flowline. Our solution will allow the pipeline outer sheath to be reinstated without the need to recover the flowline on deck. This project is a fast track delivery being scheduled to coincide with vessel schedule during Summer 2015. The pipeline suffered localised damage in multiple locations and the Flexlife solution will provide two Armadillos of 5.5m and 4.5m length. They will be installed subsea using divers mobilising from a DSV.
The flexible pipe engineering team have been busy working on a number of life extension projects in the UK, Africa, Asia and North America and also verification studies to allow legacy spare pipes to be utilised on new marginal fields.
Life extension of flexible risers is becoming critical to most operators as some existing assets are nearing their matured life. Also as a requirement of constant justification to HSE and BSEE, flexible risers are required to be fit-for purpose and have sufficient operational life. Further to determining the condition of the riser is a possible life extension study. Having been involved in varying projects, Flexlife is recognised throughout the industry for our expertise and excellence in carrying out flexible riser offshore testing and assessments as well as other analyses required in riser remnant life assessment. Being independent and working with many clients on a series of different projects has allowed Flexlife to develop a unique knowledge and understanding of all the major flexible pipe providers.