Flexlife completes successful trials for Petrobras Brasil
HOUSTON -- Flexlife, an oil and gas industry specialist in subsea project and integrity management, has successfully completed onshore and offshore trials of its Armadillo technology for Petrobras Brasil with local operational partner Oceânica Diving Services.
Flexlife has invested approximately £200,000 into the Armadillo technology to date. It is designed to repair damage on the outer sheath of flexible risers by creating a seal that will prevent sea water entering the riser - which would ultimately lead to corrosion.
It is estimated that approximately 35% of risers have outer sheath damage thus, with around 3500 globally, being able to repair rather than replace them by using the Armadillo will significantly benefit the operators of flexible risers.
An onshore trial was completed at Oceanica's base in Macae in a diving test tank to confirm the technologies capability and demonstrate what could be achieved during an offshore trial. This testing was witnessed by Petrobras R&D and operation specialists.
During this initial test the Armadillo was installed onto a section of pipe in the test tank and nitrogen was then injected into annulus to prove the integrity of the repair.
This was followed by an offshore operational demonstration of the technology on a gas-lift riser in a semi-submersible production platform located in Campos Basin, conducted in June 2012.
Armadillo was installed at a water depth of approximately 4m, followed by a pressure test of 2.5bar in the annulus proving the repair and testing annulus integrity to a depth of 25 m.
Leonardo Dias, executive manager Brazil, said: “The successful trial marks the first offshore operation in Brazil performed by Flexlife and demonstrated that the pioneering repair system, using this kind of technology, is the most reliable solution for outer sheath repair and damage identification, available and field proven in the most strict offshore market in the world.
“We have a team of engineering, technical and support staff who are all highly experienced in the Brazilian oil and gas market and we are all are very proud to be working with Petrobras. The potential is enormous for us and it is very significant for the future of Flexlife in Brazil.’’
The modular Armadillo system is constructed in bespoke lengths and diameters in order to encapsulate and seal known outer sheath damages. It allows continued operation of the flexible pipe, preventing the ingress of oxygenated seawater and consequently arresting corrosion, allowing life expansion techniques, increase of integrity awareness and operational safety.
Flexlife also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Petrobras America in October 2011 to develop and provide a new integrity management system and specialised engineering services for its international oil and gas projects offshore. The agreement includes the provision of Flexlife’s ground-breaking subsea products and services to maintain and extend asset life.