Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Qualification of Flexible Fiber Reinforced Pipe for 10,000-Foot Water Depths
Det Norske Veritas (DNV)
Southwest Research Institute (SWRI)
Engineering Testing and Analysis International (ETA)
Organizations providing the required cost share: BG Group, Chevron, DeepFlex, Shell, TOTAL
Researchers will design concepts for light-weight, flexible risers that allow for safe installation, will be capable of faster and easier repair than conventional risers and provide a stronger product that is less apt to rupture. The project will also include prototype manufacturing and qualification testing. The successful development of durable, lower-weight flexible riser technology with low intervention costs and greater than 3,000-meter water depth capability is a key enabling technology for future ultra-deepwater Gulf of Mexico production.
The goal of this project is to develop, qualify, and field deploy Flexible Fiber Reinforced Pipe (FFRP) for ultra-deep water applications in the Gulf of Mexico. FFRP is unbonded flexible pipe with composite reinforcement layers which have the advantages of light weight, high flexibility and corrosion resistance. Due to these advantages, a simple, low top tension riser configuration is enabled. The initial design basis, to be confirmed during Phase 1, is a 7-inch ID, 10,000 psi design pressure, 120°C design temperature, 3,000 meter design water depth production riser application. Phase 1 Engineering Study will confirm the product and system design to be employed in the subsequent phases. In Phase 2, a prototype pipe will be manufactured and qualification testing will be conducted in accordance with API RP 17B recommendations. With successful testing, and subject to approval via Phase 2 decision stage gate, Phase 3 will be an actual field deployment of the riser system with 6 months of performance monitoring.
The 50% top tension reduction offered by FFRP enables light weight and small footprint installation vessels and production platforms. FFRP enables installation vessels and floating production systems which previously had water depth limits of 3,000 to 5,000 feet to be used in ultra-deep water of up to 10,000 feet. This greatly expands the number of existing installation vessels and FPSOs that can be used in deepwater, substantially reducing overall project cost and risk.
Principal Investigators: Dr. Liang Yu
DOE share: $10,985,402
Recipient share: $9,410,005
Project Duration: 3¾ years