Tony Duncan considers smaller, simpler and more cost-effective options for age old industry problems
The oil and gas business has, is, and will probably continue to be, conservative in its approach to engineering. If it develops a product or system that works on one project, its variant will likely be used again on the next project and so on, project after project. Operators tend to repeat what has been done before, because it is tried and tested.
For example, the development of floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels found their original use in the UK North Sea. Since then, they have been adopted and adapted globally and the system designers have incrementally modified the designs, because of increases in top tension, water depth, environmental conditions and so on. However, these developments have driven the technology towards a trend of making everything larger, more complicated and more expensive. The flexible pipes used have become more complex, the vessels utilised to install the FPSOs have become larger, the buoy systems used to support the riser system have been made bigger, and the result is a FPSO that has a large turret or porch system that can, in some cases, break project economics or introduce a too high a level of project risk.
Engineers in oil companies, design houses and engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contractors, use past project experience when they look to a new project or tender. Take, for example, a mid-water arch, commonly used for supporting risers. When engineers start a new project, what is the first thing they look to? Past examples of mid-water arch design or design bases are a natural starting point. Then, they add in the new conditions such as water depths, environmental load, sour service and CO2 requirements, temperature, etc. Factoring in these new conditions often adds in more complexity, more weight and more risk, all without challenging why a mid-water arch is being used in the first place. Some of the early mid-water arches used in the UK sector weighed about 150 t. Offshore Brazil, projects such as Guará-Lula use a form of the mid-water arch that weighs in excess of 2000 t. The spiral is in train: larger projects mean more and larger installation vessels, and more commercial and technical risk.
The full article is available to download here: Simpler_Options_For_Oil_Industry_Problems
This article appeared in the December 2018 issue of Oilfield Technology.
Ocyan and Magma Global announce new CompRiser® partner
BrasFELS shipyard arrives to strengthen the project
Ocyan and Magma Global today signed a new MOU (Memorandun of Understanding) that guarantees the participation of BrasFELS in the CompRiser® solution, a riser tower system that utilises carbon fibre composite pipes. BrasFELS, located in Angra dos Reis, is the Brazilian shipyard of Keppel Offshore & Marine, the global leader in offshore rig design, construction and repair, ship repair and conversion, and specialised shipbuilding.
“The BrasFELS participation in the CompRiser® development is another achievement of this initiative. The shipyard location, its installed manufacturing capacity and reputation in the Brazilian market further reduces the project risk assessment. It’s certainly a partner that aggregates a lot of value”, explains Marcelo Nunes, Ocyan Director – Subsea Services.
Tony Duncan, Executive Vice President at Magma Global, said: “The CompRiser is an effective solution for deepwater and pre-salt environments. It’s a clever design that uses m-pipe in a static application thus streamlining the qualification needs versus dynamic riser designs. Confirming BraFELS as the manufacturing location means we can bring this design project to fruition in the very near future.”
Mr Marlin Khiew, CEO and President, Keppel FELS Brasil, said, “BrasFELS is the most established shipyard in the Latin American region, with a strong track record in the construction, integration, upgrading and repair of a wide range of products. We are proud to collaborate with Ocyan and Magma Global in the development of the innovative CompRiser® solution, which will strengthen the position of BrasFELS as a one-stop provider of solutions for deepwater production platforms.”
CompRiser® is a hybrid riser system created in partnership with Magma Global for use in the deepwater and ultradeep water oil exploration industry. The Thermoplastic Composite Pipe (TCP) used in the CompRiser® will be m-pipe®, manufactured by Magma. TCP provides high corrosion resistance (e.g. CO2 and H2S), of great value to the subsea systems at the pre-salt area, significant weight reduction and the possibility of withstanding high temperature and pressure. Its mechanical flexibility allows the design of a new concept for the lower termination (patent pending) that allows the riser to be connected directly to the flowline – both rigid and flexible.
Its compact and modular manufacturing method allows high local content. Additionally, m-pipe is delivered in reels and does not require welding, simplifying the bundle assembly which can be completed in less than 30 days. The offshore installation takes another 20 days, without the need for special vessels and with minimal exposure to bad weather conditions.
As a decoupled solution, the product uses less than 20% of the load applied by other solutions in the production units. The result of this difference can exceed 9,000 tons per FPSO, conditioned to quantity of project risers. The reduction of weight and load in the FPSOs (floating production storage and offloading) operations is a constant demand of the operators.
Magma wins Energy Institute Award for Innovation
Portsmouth, UK, 27th November 2018: Magma Global, manufacturer of carbon-fibre composite pipe, today announces it has won the Energy Institute’s 2018 Award For Innovation. Magma was up against a variety of renewable energy innovations, including SSE’s Wind Turbine Nitrogen Accumulators and Imperial College’s Next-Generation High-Efficiency Affordable Hybrid Solar Systems, but m-pipe was selected due to its positive impact on the oil and gas industry.
Martin Jones, MD at Magma Global, said: “m-pipe is being seen as a game changer as it delivers cost effective and ecologically improved development of deepwater reserves. It significantly simplifies engineering and in doing so reduces cost and time to first oil. Most importantly it doesn’t corrode or degrade in the oil field and can be lifted and reused at the end of a field’s life.
“We’d like to thank our early supporters who helped pave the way for qualification and market adoption, and our team of engineers who strive to simplify a complicated world. m-pipe is being embraced by a justifiably risk averse industry and we are delighted to be recognised with this award.”
Energy Institute President Malcolm Brinded CBE FREng FEI said: “Beating climate change – whilst extending the tremendous benefits of energy to all populations – calls for innovation and a lot of hard work, by many smart people, all around the world.
“Too often these efforts are behind the scenes and complicated, and so they go unnoticed. That’s what the Energy Institute Awards are for – an opportunity to sing the praises of the very best within our industry – from India to the Highlands, from oil and gas to the most advanced smart tech, from the seabed to our classrooms.
“In so doing we also acknowledge the collective endeavour of all energy professionals around the world whose day-to-day is building the energy system of the future.”
The EI Awards is a competition run by the Energy Institute for those shaping the world’s energy future. The awards celebrate the achievements of the energy industry across the globe, giving recognition to individuals and organisations who take an innovative and responsible approach to solving the industry’s challenges of providing society with clean, sustainable, low cost and dependable energy.
Understanding corrosion of flexible pipes at subsea oil and gas wells
“Flexible pipes installed at two offshore natural gas wells in Brazil’s pre-salt fields recently ruptured after only a few years of operation. These pipes were expected to last more than 20 years, so Petrobras, the company developing the fields, investigated the cause of the failure. They discovered damage to the pipes’ outer cover and found corroded steel armor wires in the pipes. Executives were surprised to learn that high concentrations of carbon dioxide contributed to the corrosion and eventual ruptured pipes. Failures, while infrequent relative to the thousands of flexible pipes in operation, have also occurred in at least four flexible risers connecting floating production vessels to subsea wells off the coasts of Norway and Africa.
When flexible pipes were first introduced 30 years ago, it was thought that the interior of the pipes remained dry and noncorrosive. However, engineers now know that the unique environment that traps water vapor and carbon dioxide between layers of steel inside the pipe contributes to corrosion—even when its external cover is undamaged. Producers are beginning to use corrosion-resistant composite flexible pipes for subsea flow lines at deep wells. Companies are also testing and developing hybrid systems that combine steel and composite pipes to maximize the benefits of both systems.
With oil and gas reserves in shallow waters running dry, producers are turning to fields in deep and ultra-deep waters off the coasts of Brazil, Norway, Angola, and the United States. Bringing fluids through 3000 meters of water to the surface poses new challenges for well operators: production fluids with increased temperatures and pressures that challenge welds; increased carbon dioxide—and sometimes hydrogen sulfide—that scour and weaken steel; deep ocean water pushing on pipes with increased pressures; and currents trying to drag pipes through the water.
However, there is a way to eliminate stress-induced corrosion cracking: Eliminate the steel from flexible pipes. Companies such as Magma produce flexible pipes for the oil and gas industry by winding layers of composite reinforced with glass or carbon fibers around a polymer liner. Each layer of the thermoplastic composite is fused to the one below it. Composite pipes are much lighter than steel flexible pipes, so operators can use simpler, less expensive equipment to install them.”
The full article is available to download here: Understanding_Corrosion_Of_Flexible_Pipes_At_Subsea_Oil_And_Gas_Wells.
Extract from MRS Bulletin, 43(9), 654-655. Understanding corrosion of flexible pipes at subsea oil and gas wells. Author Fellet, M., & Nyborg, R. (2018). doi:10.1557/mrs.2018.214
£10.5m funding secured to qualify an insulated all carbon fibre subsea pipe
Equinor joins Magma in UK government backed qualification programme
ONS, Norway and Portsmouth, UK, 29th August 2018: Magma Global, manufacturer of carbon-fibre composite pipe, today announces a joint initiative with Equinor, previously Statoil, to qualify an all-Magma solution for jumpers, initially envisaged for use in Norway. This secures the £10.5m project being supported by Innovate UK and will be a step towards fulfilling Magma’s vision of owning the fluid transfer infrastructure from seabed to surface.
Charles Tavner, COO at Magma Global, said: “There is no doubt in our minds that the future subsea infrastructure will be dominated by carbon-fibre composites. We have seen acceptance of this from large contractors, each developing their own solution using m-pipe, which is a natural adoption path. This initiative will fast forward the delivery of an all-Magma solution, thanks to funding support from Innovate UK and Equinor’s vision and understanding of how they can best use available technologies.”
Derek Allen, Innovation Lead at Innovate UK, said: “We are delighted to have supported this innovative project that will ultimately lead to improved efficiency and cost reduction in the UK energy sector”
Ocyan and Magma Global complete Composite Multi-Bore Hybrid Riser (CMHR) design
Commercial commitment signed in readiness to bid for Brazil’s deep-water fields
OTC, Houston, Texas. 2 May 2018: Ocyan and Magma Global, manufacturer of the world’s most advanced thermoplastic composite pipe (TCP), today announce the completion of a Composite Multi-Bore Hybrid Riser design for ultra-deep fields. The companies have signed a long term commercial agreement and will jointly bid the CMHR for deep water developments in Brazil. The design has been validated by a third-party engineering company and is in discussion and analysis with potential clients.
The CMHR offers multiple benefits which address barriers for operators. Today’s FPSOs are on a constant demand for reduced weight and loads. As a decoupled solution, the CMHR applies less than 20% of the loads applied by other solutions resulting in a weight difference of up to 9.000 tons per FPSO.
The use of TCP brings high resistance to corrosion (for example CO2 and H2S), light weight and the ability to withstand high temperature and pressure. Its flexibility enables the design of a novel lower riser termination assembly concept (patent already in place and under final analysis) which allows for the direct connection between the risers and the flowlines – either flexible or steel – with no design change to the CMHR.
The pipe used in the CMHR will be Magma’s m-pipe which is reeled onto reels and needs no welding which makes fabrication compact, simple and standardised, therefore enabling higher local content. Once all CMHR components are at the selected yard, the CMHR assembly takes just 20 days. To complete installation requires only 20 more days offshore, with no need for a specialized vessel and minimum risk from exposure to weather conditions.
Charles Tavner, COO at Magma Global said: “The design phase of this project with Ocyan has been really exciting as it fully exploits and builds on the capabilities of m-pipe. No other pipe can meet the requirements, as they are either not flexible enough or not able to withstand the requirements for strength and heat resistance. We look forward to seeing this excellent TCP riser solution used in large scale oil production in the very near future.”
Marcelo Nunes, Subsea Director at Ocyan said: “We have worked closely with Magma to design this incredibly simple yet robust riser system. It is a perfect match on the technical side as the CMHR provides a discrete support so that the riser works very much like a spool, in a quasi-static application. Furthermore, the concept takes advantage of the mechanical properties of m-pipe. The final result of the project has superseded our expectations and the complexity of the project has dropped dramatically.”
Magma at MCE Deepwater Development, Milan, 9-11th April
Join as for a drink at the icebreaker reception at 18:30 in the main exhibition hall then come and hear our Chief Operating Officer, Charles Tavner, present a paper at 14:45 on Tueday 10th April in Le Baron A.
Charles will present a case study detailing the cost, delivery, deployment and performance benefits of two 2.5in m-pipe® gas lift jumpers, linked to an ENI floating production system in a water depth of 850m in the Mediterranean.
He will cover m-pipe® materials, the manufacturing process and production automation systems and the transport and delivery methods. He will examine the commercial and product performance reasons ENI selected m-pipe® over flexible and hose alternatives, and the main factors behind a rapid and low risk deployment via a standard offshore supply vessel.
Charles will also include a cost analysis of m-pipe® versus comparative flexible hose which shows that, for a given specification, m-pipe® has the lowest fully deployed pipe and end fitting cost in the current market.
Download the MCEDD 2018 brochure here.
Portsmouth, UK, 23rd March 2018: Magma Global, manufacturer of the world’s most advanced thermoplastic composite subsea pipe (TCP), today announces that it has been selected by TechnipFMC to collaborate on the development of the core element of its hybrid flexible pipe solution. It will be used notably to address the challenges of the Libra field in the Santos basin pre-salt area in Brazil and other major deepwater projects. To secure its hybrid product TechnipFMC has also taken a minority share in Magma Global.
Brazil’s Libra field, operated by Libra Oil & Gas BV, is a deep-water pre-salt environment and considered to be one of the most challenging projects for the industry. The new hybrid flexible pipe incorporating Magma’s m-pipe® will deliver robust risers and flowlines with increased performance while offering significant overall reductions in the product installed cost. This will be achieved by combining the chemical resistance and fatigue performance of Magma’s high-end carbon fibre PEEK TCP with the stability and strength of flexible steel armour.
Martin Jones, Magma Global CEO, said: “We are delighted to be working with TechnipFMC and believe that their vision for a hybrid flexible product provides a logical step for the increased adoption of TCP in full field developments, paving the way towards Magma’s long-term vision of an all-composite subsea infrastructure. Ultimately we will deliver that by continuing to offer the unique benefits of Magma’s m-pipe® to a wide range of industry players and applications.
Barry Glickman, President of Engineering, Manufacturing & Supply Chain at TechnipFMC, stated: “I am very pleased that we have reached this agreement with Magma, which will further enhance TechnipFMC’s Subsea 2.0 product platform. The lighter, higher performance, and more cost-effective HFP solution, will enable TechnipFMC to strengthen its leadership position in the flexible pipe business and address the new challenges of offshore deepwater fields”.
Piping in a new way to lighten the load
Extract from Upstream published 26 January 2018 – by Russell McCulley.
A lighter, corrosion-resistant alternative to metal pipe is building a track record in the oilfield as its proponents eye the ultimate prize, a deep-water riser made entirely of composite materials
The past couple of years have witnessed a flurry of activity for the manufacturers of bonded thermoplastic composite pipe (TCP), a product that its makers say addresses many cost and safety concerns of operators.
The technology has recently been deployed in several oilfield applications following a decade of development and trials. UK-based Magma Global, which manufactures a high-end, bonded carbon composite product branded m-pipe, had a banner year, seeing its TCP light well intervention system deployed in the ultra-deepwater US Gulf of Mexico.
Magma delivered several high-sour gas TCP jumpers to Eni for use in the Adriatic Sea, supplied a number of high-sour hydrocarbon risers for onshore application in the Middle East and, early this year, announced a contract with Tullow Oil for two 2.5-kilometre, six-inch spoolable carbon composite flowlines at its Tweneboa, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) project off Ghana.
The company has been “building operational experience” in different applications, says Magma chief operating officer Charles Tavner, noting that m-pipe® was the first TCP product to receive third-party verification under a DNV GL recommended practice issued in 2015.
“It’s the same product every time,” Tavner says. “What we’ve done is put that same qualified product into high sour gas applications, high sour hydrocarbon applications, water injection applications and high-temperature lines.”
Bonded composite pipe resembles steel pipe in that it has a single solid wall, but unlike steel it is lightweight and mostly impervious to corrosion from seawater, hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbon dioxide (CO2) and many harsh chemicals used in oil and gas production.
While much more expensive than steel, its advocates say it can cut costs considerably in installation and over the life of a field and offer a durable alternative to steel flexible pipe in many applications.
The TEN flowline, for example, will save Tullow 65% in installation costs immediately, Magma says, because the 100-tonne pipe and deployment package can be mounted on a small offshore construction vessel rather than a large lay ship, which would be required for an equivalent steel flexible pipe package weighing 500 tonnes.
“That’s very exciting for us. It’s a validation of what we’ve been saying for a long time, that the light weight allows you to use much smaller installation vessels. It’s great to see a customer proactively identify that and come to us and put together a package that takes advantage of it,” Tavner says.
The aerospace and automobile manufacturing industries have used thermoplastic composite materials in non-load bearing applications. Offshore has been an early proving ground for TCP use in load-bearing applications, but a conservative oil industry has been slow to embrace the technology.
Magma has formed important alliances to help push the technology along. Subsea 7 and BP have worked with Magma to qualify m-pipe for increasingly demanding subsea applications, and last year Magma reached an agreement with Odebrecht Oil & Gas (now renamed Ocyan) to supply its product for use in composite multi-bore hybrid risers in high-CO2 pre-salt projects off Brazil.
Charles Tavner said: “That’s why the m-pipe® intervention downline is exciting, because it’s effectively a small riser system. It’s only three inches inner diameter but it’s a dynamic system. By deploying it, we underpinned what the testing shows – that the product is effective in dynamic scenarios.”
A TCP riser could deliver significant savings, he says, because it would require fewer buoyancy modules and allow shorter flowlines by rendering lazy-wave systems unnecessary. Installation costs would also be much less, he adds.
“It’s always been about riser systems, because that’s really where the biggest cost benefits are.”
The corrosion-induced failure of two steel flexible gas re-injection risers last year at Petrobras’ pre-salt Lula field has lent some urgency to the quest, highlighting the potential life of field benefits of TCP. Magma reports a significant increase in interest in TCP and in the number of actual projects in the works.
Tavner says: “What has surprised me over the past few years is how there will be periods when you don’t see huge amounts of progress, and then you’ll see a number of operators move quite quickly. We seem to be in that period at the moment.”
Does light weight carbon fibre pipe spell the end for big expensive and environmentally unfriendly offshore vessels?
Based in Portsmouth, Magma Global set out with the vision to build the world’s most technologically advanced pipe for use in subsea oil and gas production. Their rationale was based on the conviction that light weight carbon fibre composite pipe could revolutionise subsea and deepwater oil and gas production by fundamentally changing both its economics and environmental impact. After seven years of pipe development and qualification is the dream coming true?
Tullow Oil is an independent producer who views technology as a way of significantly reducing cost and risk. For its TEN project in Ghana Tullow has awarded Magma Global with two 2.5km m-pipe flowlines. The 6 inch spoolable carbon composite m-pipe flowlines will be deployed from a 10m diameter reel, with the total weight of pipe and deployment package only 100 tons. This compares with over 500 tons for the equivalent steel flexible pipe product normally used in the industry.
This very significant saving in weight means both of the new flowlines can be deployed from the MPCV, a 4,800 ton vessel of which there are many around the world, as opposed to the 14,000 ton specialist lay ship which would normally be required.
“Being able to use a small vessel has allowed us to effectively manage and reduce costs.”
“Reducing the operational costs through the adoption of proven new technologies is great example of the impact we can have by selecting the right pipe and deployment system for developments.”
Aside from the cost benefits, the pipe’s light weight means shipping costs are reduced and handling is much easier. Being a carbon fibre composite, m-pipe is also much stronger and, most importantly, does not rust in seawater or corrode with exposure to H2S, CO2 or some of the more aggressive chemicals involved in oil and gas production.
Martin Jones, Founder and CEO of Magma commented, “Our goal is eventually to replace metallic pipes for subsea oil and gas production in all applications, but we recognise it’s a long road in an industry which is naturally cautious with any new technologies responsible for transporting oil under water.”
“That said, a number of operators are recognising the benefits Magma’s approach and m-pipe technology can bring, not just in cost savings but in a more environmentally friendly approach that is intrinsically safer. As a result, we are seeing a significant acceleration in adoption by clients around the world in a wide range of subsea applications.”
Tullow Oil subsidiary, Tullow Ghana Limited, has awarded a 2.5km flowline to Magma Global for its TEN project in Ghana.
The 6 inch spoolable carbon composite m-pipe® will be deployed from a 10m diameter reel with a 20-ton tensioner, and the total weight of pipe and deployment package is under 100 tons. As a result the flowline can be deployed from the Tullow infield MPCV, currently in-country on long term charter.
Magma Global COO Charles Tavner said, “We are delighted to be able to help Tullow reduce the cost for this infill work. At 1,800m this is another deepwater deployment in a production application for Magma m-pipe®, in what has already been a busy year for us.”