How tullow cuts infield costs

19 Dec 2017
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.

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.”

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