HWCG selects m-pipe for next generation emergency well containment riser
Magma to qualify performance of m-pipe at high pressures and temperatures to augment HWCG’s well containment solution to perform top kill operations or capture hydrocarbons when a subsea well has lost mechanical integrity.
29 January 2019, Houston, Texas and Portsmouth, UK: HWCG, a deepwater oil and gas emergency response consortium for the US Gulf of Mexico, today announces it has commissioned Magma Global, manufacturer of carbon-fibre composite pipe, to qualify m-pipe® for a 350°F, 15ksi rated riser to augment HWCG’s rapid deployment emergency well containment system. The lightweight, flexible m-pipe section will enable a quicker response in shallow waters and for floating production facilities where vertical access may be a challenge.
The flexible riser would remain in a ready-for-deployment mode on the US Gulf Coast for deployment following a subsea well blowout. When installed to capture hydrocarbons it could remain in place for up to 6 months while a relief well is drilled. The design envisions approximately 800-ft (~250-m) of m-pipe connected on one end to a ridged riser and on the other end to the incident well. The m-pipe will form a lazy wave between the two ridged ends thereby decoupling motions and improving operability. Using a temporary flowback solution, hydrocarbons are processed via the riser system and then collected in tankers for transportation.
HWCG requires the flexible section to be lightweight and easy to handle offshore to enable rapid deployment. It must also be resistant to degradation with continuous exposure to hydrocarbons at temperatures up to 350 degrees F (180C), pressures up to 15,000 psi and water depths of up to 10,000-ft (~3,000-m). Magma will qualify a 6-inch nominal ID m-pipe specimen to meet the specified project requirements prior to manufacturing the final pipe order.
HWCG’s Members have identified a range of potential demanding containment scenarios requiring high pressure and high temperature performance. HWCG selected m-pipe for its pressure and temperature performance, is lightweight and flexible properties which enable heave compensation at the base of a steel riser and because it is suitable for a wide range of fluids, provides low frictional resistance and is resident to abrasion.
Craig Castile, Managing Director for HWCG, said: “HWCG is committed to providing a Rapid Response Solution for well containment which minimizes potentially severe environmental and economic impacts to the Gulf of Mexico and its stake holders. Our Members approved the OFR Project to accomplish this mission. We are committed to working with Magma Global to develop and manufacture an m-pipe solution to enhance our Member’s response plans.”
Martin Jones, CEO at Magma Global added: “We created m-pipe to solve the problems that were a challenge to steel and flexibles, such as corrosion, high temperatures, high pressures and speed and ease of deployment. This is one such scenario; where the unknowns of an incident mean that high temperatures and pressures may be encountered in an emergency situation. It is crucial in this area of the oil and gas industry that the very best technology can be put in place at speed and with confidence. We are excited to be working with HWCG to develop such a solution.”
In response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, HWCG LLC formed with the commitment to provide a new containment response capability for the Gulf of Mexico, recognising the need to be better prepared for a deep-water well control incident. HWCG is a not-for-profit consortium of deepwater oil and gas companies. HWCG maintains a comprehensive deepwater well containment response model that can be activated immediately in the event of a US Gulf of Mexico subsea blowout. It comprises 16 oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf and who incorporate the consortium’s generic well containment plan. HWCG has a robust mutual aid component whereby HWCG members will respond and support another member’s incident.