HWCG takes delivery of m-pipe emergency well containment riser

May 14, 2021
Magma Global has delivered what it claims is the world’s first high-pressure composite riser pipe to HWCG’s storage location on the US Gulf Coast.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON and PORTSMOUTH, UK Magma Global has delivered what it claims is the world’s first high-pressure composite riser pipe to HWCG’s storage location on the US Gulf Coast.

This is said to complete HWCG’s deployable Offset Flexible Riser (OFR) system.

HWCG commissioned the company to qualify and manufacture a high-pressure/high-temperature m-pipe to be used as a flexible riser connection to enhance its rapid deployment emergency well containment system. The lightweight, flexible m-pipe section will provide additional flow and capture emergency response options for HWCG’s members in the US Gulf of Mexico.

According to Magma, the m-pipe is designed for rapid installation and is suitable for responses where vertical access is restricted and an offset is required such as: i) shallow-water depths where the presence of combustible and volatile compounds affect personnel safety or ii) where access under a floating production facility is needed.

The system may also be used in deeper waters where more flexibility is desired in managing the marine systems during a response, the company said.

Deployed straight from the handling apparatus, the 800-ft (244-m) long section of m-pipe will provide a flexible riser connection between the capping stack placed on the incident well and a rigid riser suspended from a MODU. It will form a horizontally oriented “S” shape between the capping stack and the rigid pipe riser thus decoupling motion and decreasing surface station-keeping requirements for the temporary production facility.

Once in operation, hydrocarbons released from the well flow through the complete riser and are processed on board the temporary production facility to be collected in shuttle tankers for transportation.

HWCG specified a pipe that would need to be compliant with movement and resistant to degradation from continuous exposure to hydrocarbons at pressures up to 10,000 psi and temperatures up to 250°F (121°C) and would offer an alternative to conventional non-bonded flexible pipe.

Magma qualified the 6-in. m-pipe to meet the project requirements and completed manufacture and FAT testing during the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down.

HWCG is one of two deepwater oil and gas emergency response consortiums established for the US Gulf of Mexico following the Macondo blowout incident in 2010. Its response provides for the installation of a capping stack within seven-14 days and the ability to start contingent flow and capture operations within 18 days assuming no weather or other uncontrollable delays. Once installed the m-pipe is qualified to operate for at least six months.

Mitch Guinn, Technical Director for HWCG said: “The addition of a flexible riser component to our suite of response equipment further enhances our ability to respond even more efficiently by allowing more flexibility in selecting a temporary production facility and enabling the selected facility to increase its operating window regarding weather conditions.”

Andy Jefferies, Deep Sea Development Services, and OFR Project Manager for HWCG added: “The application of the Magma m-pipe design represents a step change in that technology and brings a time effective solution to well containment for flow and capture operations for all scenarios but is particularly well suited to shallow water, high-rate gas wells, and wells requiring an offset flow and capture operation.”