DNV to Research Pipelines Safety under Deepwater Pressure

DNV, a global provider of knowledge for managing risk, has recognized the need to capture more knowledge on how pipelines can safely withstand the pressures of 3000 meters depth, without prohibitive cost, bearing in mind that 65% of the world’s offshore pipelines are designed and installed to DNV’s pipeline standard.

Through a Joint Industry Project (JIP), DNV aims to research and explore together with relevant companies from throughout the industry, including manufacturing, engineering and design companies, as well as oil majors, what is the optimal balance between feasibility, safety and cost. Thick pipelines demand more expensive steel, is hard to install and may not reflect recent improvements in steel quality and manufacturing.

While immediately relevant for the extreme conditions facing the industry in Brazil’s pre-salt fields, advances in optimisation of pipelines will be welcomed throughout the industry. As the easily recoverable fields have been developed, the trend within the offshore oil and gas industry is to go for the more challenging prospects, reaching water depth of 3000m.

Companies who join the project will get to shape its scope and deliverables, and influence how it adresses pressing needs for their operations and ability to break new frontiers.

“We are in the phase where the objectives are clear, the systematics are in place, but want to capture more knowledge and experience. From this Joint Industry Project, the recommendations and possible updates to the standard will have far reaching consequences, so we welcome broad industry participation,” states Ana Paula Franca de Souza who will manage the JIP on behalf of the DNV.

She is well aware of the risks involved, having worked 20 years in the oil and gas industry, and writing her PhD thesis on the collapse of flexible pipes under external pressure and a Master’s thesis on local collapse of rigid offshore pipelines under combined external pressure, bending and tension loads.

March 13, 2013

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