Advances in Flexible Pipe Design and Construction
The industry’s strong desire during a time of uncertain oil prices to more economically exploit marginal oilfields has provided a strong stimulus to the development of associated pipeline technologies. Largely as a result of pioneering work performed in the 1970s, an alternative pipeline technology centered around the use of flexible steel reinforced pipe has been gaining greater prominence. The need for the introduction of a dynamic pipe capability into many subsea or floating prodution scenaria stems largely from the requirement to accomodate the system’s high inertial loads generated as a consequence of connecting fixed subsea hardware to a floating surface facility. Because of flexible pipe’s properties and composite construction, it provides a structure that can be quickly installed, variably configured, and which can adapt to a great range of system motions and environmental loads. Over the past 15 years, advances in oil resistant polymers and increases in the chemical resistivity of certain classes of steel have resulted in the construction of new types of flexible pipes capable of transporting ever harsher well fluids at higher temperatures. These and other improvements have resulted in greater product reliability and extended service lifetimes.
KeywordsAmerican Petroleum Institute SUBSEA Pipeline Integrity Monitoring Riser System Flexible Riser
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