SAS Gouda has received a contract to lay three parallel lines simultaneously offshore Brazil. The contract includes the laying of umbilicals and flexible lines with an ID up to 16-in. The complete system will include five tensioners and four abandonment and recovery winches. Three tensioners have a capacity of 65 metric tons each and are 4-track winches.
The systems will be fully integrated with the tensioners and the winches to allow easy and smooth operation of the overall systems and a reduced need for electric power. The system will use AC electric drives to further reduce its physical size and improve operating efficiency. Bodewes Winches of The Netherlands will supply the winches and SAS will deliver the equipment to the UK shipyard early in 2000.
Flexible pipe okayed for Roncador
Petrobras has approved the use of Wellstream's unbonded flexible pipe for static flowlines and dynamic risers in water depth close to 2,000 meters in the Roncador field. The prototype pipe design was manufactured and qualification tested under a technical cooperation agreement between Wellstream and Petrobras.
Wellstream said it is looking ahead to further innovations in this area, which will include the use of composite armor materials as structural layers to reduce the weight of the installed pipe. This could allow unbonded pipe to be used in even deeper waters, according to Wellstream.
Azure looks at floating LNG
Bouygues Offshore is spearheading a consortium of eight European companies to investigate the technical issues associated with a fully floating Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) chain from gas well to gas distribution network. The 18-month work program calls for the design of floating liquefaction plants, floating LNG terminals and offshore LNG transfer systems. It includes testing of the key components of the chain.
The cryogenic storage is based on a membrane containment system. MW Kellogg, Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Fincantieri, FMC Europe, GazTransport & Technigaz, Bureau Veritas, Registro Italiano Navale (RINA), and Institut de Recherches de la Construction Navale (IRCN) signed the consortium agreement. The project, Azure, will be conducted under the auspices of the European Union's Thermie program.
Igniting flares from 2,000 ft away
Umoe Process Technologies has developed and tested what it calls the first long-distance pneumatic tube flare ignition system.
Umoe Process Technologies has developed and tested what it calls the first long-distance pneumatic tube flare ignition system. The system is installed on Statoil's Troll gas treatment plant in Kollsnes, Norway. According to UPT, it provides safe flare ignition for a 100-meter high flare set 200 meters from the control station. Over time, the goal is to use this system to replace conventional approaches such as flame front generators and electronic ignition systems. The new design eliminates the need for pilot flares and, according to UPT, the pneumatic tube system cannot blow out, and has the added advantage of positioning all the working parts away from the flame. The design was conceived with the goal of igniting flares from a long distance away, such as subsea-connected flares, which are common in the Gulf of Mexico. The system involves an ignition pellet that is launched through a guide pipe to the flare tower. Upon release into the open air the pellet explodes, igniting the gas cloud. UPT said the system could ignite flares in gas towers up to 2,000 meters from the launching unit.
Drilling buoys feature production type system
The Transocean Marianas is working for Shell Deepwater in Green Canyon Block 854. Moored in 5,768-ft water depth, the vessel is taking advantage of a new buoyancy system incorporated by Delmar Systems into the eight legs. Rather than the traditional single-point buoy used to lighten the load on mooring lines, this new system uses buoys popular among production vessels.
The box shaped buoys feature a central through pipe that allows a chain to be run through the buoy. The chain is connected to the mooring leg at each end bringing the chain into tension. The buoys are rectangular with a steel outer cage for easy handling and efficient storage. They contain a syntactic material called Eccofloat, manufactured by Emerson & Cummings Composite Materials. Each buoy has a net lift of 60 kips. Total weight relief for the Marianas is equal to almost 1 million lb. The buoys are used in conjunction with Delmar's Suction Anchor System.
New lifeboat system
One of the priorities when launching a lifeboat from a ship, FPSO, or fixed platform is to get the boat clears of the vessel as soon as possible. Conventional davit systems lower the lifeboat alongside the hull, but a new system will allow the boat to be oriented further out before it reaches the water. Schat-Harding has developed a system called Preferred Orienta-tion and Displacement (PROD) which lowers a lifeboat from a long, flexible boom.
The boom is mounted in the davit location and points out at a right angle from the side of the vessel. A tag line runs from the end of the boom to the bow of the lifeboat. When the boat is launched, the tag line tightens and the boom dips down like a giant fishing rod. This action automatically charges hydraulic accumulators mounted in the system's control cabinet. As the boat hits the sea and is freed from the falls, the accumulators take over and begin to raise the boom. The tension applied to the tag line then pulls the boat clear of the rig or vessel automatically.
The tag line, which is attached by a unique hook assembly at the forward boat hook automatically releases and the bow of the boat passes under the end of the boom sending the boat clear of the rig and moving in the right direction. Scat-Harding reports it has installed this system on a number of fixed operations and is now developing it for FPSOs.