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A critical, though not very glamorous, segment of the deepwater oil and gas sector is riser technology. Risers provide a vital conduit for the circulation of drilling fluids and protect the drillstring in offshore drilling operations. In the production stage of offshore field development, they allow the flow of hydrocarbons between seafloor and surface—both bringing production from the wellhead to the production vessel and, in some cases, returning processed oil and gas to the seafloor for pipeline export. They also transport water and gas to injection wells for secondary recovery. As drilling and production operations have moved into deeper waters, riser technology has faced new challenges, including keeping high subsea pressures at bay and accommodating an increasing array of power, hydraulic and chemical umbilicals.
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