University examines tubular connections

Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) has awarded University of Dundee two grants to research ways to optimize performance and reliability of ultra-deepwater tubular connections.

Offshore staff

DUNDEE, UK -- Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) has awarded University of Dundee two grants to research ways to optimize performance and reliability of ultra-deepwater tubular connections. The combined value is close to £300,000 ($467,000).

A team, led by Dr Huirong Le from Mechanical Engineering in the university’s School of Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics, is collaborating in this program with Hunting Energy Services (UK), a supplier of tubular products for well construction and well completion.

The partnership plans to test existing design and coating products and develop future technologies.

Drilling deeper increases the need for more robust and universal piping. The team will examine the friction/anti-galling performance of pipe connections which are critical to pipeline integrity in deepwater wells.

They also propose to design a dry compound to allow non-lubricated make-ups to replace the grease traditionally used to assist operations in extreme conditions. The coating will have to withstand decomposition both in harsh corrosive environments, and while in storage for long periods.

Dr Le said: “We are looking at a very specific piece of technology with the potential to help improve the industry in general. Pipeline safety and reliability refers to the integrity of production string in terms of preventing leaks and making sure they fulfil their potential.

“The first KTP grant will see us developing a lab testing system to make sure the pipe connections hold when under extreme pressure in challenging conditions. The second will involve us developing a new surface coating technology for the products. An automated application process is currently in the design stage. This would allow multiple pipes to be processed within an hour, reducing the manufacturing costs and achieving a high quality application process at the flick of a switch.”

Dundee’s School of Engineering, Physics, and Mathematics also is collaborating with the universities of Aberdeen and Newcastle to investigate new materials and surface coatings for pipelines in ultra-deepwater, a program initiated by Britain’s National Subsea Research Institute (NRSI).



07/28/2010

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