Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Qualification of Flexible Fiber Reinforced Pipe for 10,000-Foot Water Depths
GE Global Research
The objective of this program is to develop a novel hybrid (composite/metal) flexible deep-water pipe technology which meets the following oil & gas industry requirements:
- 10,000 foot (3,000m) water depth
- 12,000 Pound Per Square Inch (psi) capability
- 7 inch internal diameter
- 120°C fluid temperature capability
- 25 year field life
- Sour gas capability
Novel hybrid flexible riser technology will be developed by a combination of design, analysis of performance, material and subcomponent testing, and finally a field trial. The concept to be investigated consists of an engineered combination of metallic and composite reinforcing layers. This provides an elegant means by which the properties of the flexible pipe system can be tailored by the design team, yielding the most optimal result for the application conditions. This approach offers many advantages over risk-prone alternate concepts, particularly those which rely exclusively on composite reinforcement and have a thermoset matrix material. These advantages include: reduced risk on critical end fitting technology, reduction of collapse risk from explosive decompression and sheath leakage by fusing together the reinforcement and liner, superior matrix chemical resistance by using proven thermoplastic materials, and a reduced layer count leading to easier inspection.
The potential impact of this project would be the successful development of durable flexible riser technology with low intervention costs and >3000m capability which is a key enabling technology for future ultra-deep water oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and other temperate and arctic regions.
Principal Investigators: James Simpson
DOE share: $7,105,948
Recipient share: $6,331,586
Project Duration: 4 years