The major oil companies are developing an ever- increasing number of offshore oilfields in their quest to maintain stable world oil and gas supplies. With the increasing price of oil, deepwater offshore oil fields are now an economically viable oil supply option. This includes European deepwater fields to the north west of Scotland and Norway. Water depth, ocean currents and harsh weather may mean that the deployment of traditional fixed oil production platforms is not technically feasible. However, Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessels are able to work year round, on station producing from deep-water oil fields. Flexible pipes, called flexible risers are used to carry oil and gas from sub sea oil wells to the FPSOs
When in service the flexible risers are expected to operate for the life of the oil field that may be up to 30 years. There is no current method of examining, in situ, the underwater risers and flow-lines to ensure their continued reliable high integrity operation. The failure of a single riser could lead to the failure of adjacent risers and flexible flow lines, dramatic long term environmental damage, loss of oil production and huge economic consequences for Europe. The project will develop the world's first underwater digital radiographic NDT method for the reliable, volumetric inspection of risers to detect defects in the areas of most concern. Sub sea radiography has been recognised by many of the FPSOs operators as the only inspection method that can provide the type of information required to detect the defects of concern to major oil companies operating FPSOs. Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV) manipulator tooling will be developed to deploy the sub-sea radiographic inspection system.
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call
Funding SchemeCooperative - SMEs-Co-operative research contracts