Hess makes history with in situ flexible riser scan

Hess, flexlife, and AGR Field Operations have successfully scanned flexible risers in situ, marking an industry first, according to the companies.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON -- Hess, flexlife, and AGR Field Operations have successfully scanned flexible risers in situ, marking an industry first, according to the companies.

Hess commissioned the inspection of flexible risers on the FPSOTriton, which produces oil and gas from the Bittern and Guillemot West Area fields.

The work was carried out in February. It involved the use of flexlife's ultrasonic scanning technology delivered by AGR Field Operations' Neptune device, and was carried by Film-ocean's inspection class ROV.

High-resolution images were obtained by scanning through the riser outer sheath showing the armor wires underneath. Deployment, attachment, detachment, and recovery were performed to meet strict safety and integrity conditions, the companies say. The ROV was deployed from the FPSO and testing was carried out in depths of 20 to 30 m (66 to 98 ft) with currents approaching one knot.

The results were recorded using AGR's proprietary technology design software and delivered to the client in real time.

"Having seen the results achieved in onshore trials, Hess was sufficiently confident to commission the flexlife-AGR partnership to undertake the first commercial scanning operation using this innovative technology," says Glenn Wilson, Hess' North Sea facilities engineering manager. "The operation provided valuable new information about the condition of our risers, contributing to our ongoing integrity management program and the long-term safety of our facilities."

"This is the first time in the 40 years since flexibles were brought into service that it has been possible to inspect risers for a flooded annulus and be absolutely certain of the results," says John Marsden, director of flexlife.

03/10/2009

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