ITF requests participants for new JIP on pipeline anchoring
The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) has requested additional participants for a new joint industry project (JIP) to develop pipeline anchoring and monitoring systems which could mitigate the risk of pipeline walking and reduce pipeline anchor installation costs.
The initial phase of the Anchoring Pipeline Technology (APT) JIP – which currently involves Shell – will run for eight months and bring together major global operators and pipeline installation companies to collaborate with the ITF and independent oil and gas consultancy, Crondall Energy.
The aim of the APT JIP is to investigate alternative and cheaper solutions and create a roadmap on how to manage and mitigate the pipe-walking challenge.
Crondall Energy Director Subsea David Bruton said “There is much uncertainty over walking rate predictions in design, leading to increased design costs and schedule overruns.
“In many cases, these uncertainties are resolved by installing anchors as a pre-emptive mitigation measure, which has proven to be extremely costly, not entirely successful and, in some cases, unnecessary.
“Because the evaluation of alternative, less costly, more-elegant design solutions are generally beyond the timescale of a typical project, there has been little opportunity for optimisation or more considered evaluation of alternatives.
“The knowledge gained from the APT JIP will add significant value to a client’s ability to design and install efficient and safe pipeline anchoring systems.”
Pipe-walking, or axial ratcheting, has been observed on a number of pipelines and can cause integrity concerns, including very large global axial displacements of the pipeline.
In some cases, it has resulted in tie-in connector failures or subsea intervention to mitigate or control high rates of walking.
Large suction anchors, with a capacity of around 100 tonne are typically installed at the end of the pipeline to control walking.
In more recent projects, some long pipelines have required several anchors to be installed over the pipeline length.
The potential overall saving from the deployment of optimised distributed-anchoring systems is expected to be up to 50 per cent of a typical installed cost.
ITF Technology Team Lead Ben Foreman said “The APT JIP is focused on providing the necessary research to present viable and economical solutions to this problem and we aim to do this over a relatively short timeframe.
“The JIP team already demonstrates a great deal of expertise and knowledge in this subject matter and will work together to develop and test more effective, low-cost pipeline anchoring systems that are simpler to deploy, more cost-effective to install and able to be retrofitted.
“This JIP is the latest in a number of collaborative initiatives being led by ITF and we look forward to sharing progress at our annual Technology Showcase event taking place in Aberdeen in March next year.”
For more information visit the ITF website.
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