ABERDEEN, UK – The University of Western Australia (UWA) is leading a joint industry project (JIP) to improve understanding of the mechanism of hydrate growth and blockages.
The 12-month ‘Hydrate Deposit Growth in Subsea Jumpers’ (HyJump) study, is currently supported by theIndustry Technology Facilitator (ITF), Chevron, Total, and Woodside, with more participants invited to join.
To simulate the flow geometry and risk of hydrate blockage in subsea equipment, the team will develop a new 2-in. jumper test section on the Hytra flowloop, owned by CSIRO and jointly operated by CSIRO and UWA, in Perth.
It will be used to characterize the growth rate and severity of hydrate blockage formation, providing insight into management methods needed for transient, multi-phase conditions.
Results could help determine how a temporary or permanent reduction in hydrate management chemicals, such as thermodynamic hydrate inhibitors, impacts the risk of blockage over a variety of re-start conditions.
In addition, the data should facilitate assessment of how low dosage hydrate inhibitors can prevent such blockages.
Currently, there are only limited laboratory-based studies using a prototype system to investigate hydrate risk management in jumpers. The new JIP aims to conduct functional and performance testing, followed by a full-scale prototype for eventual environment testing.
The team plans 14 tests with the simulated jumper, using the results to determine the criteria and allowable conditions for re-starting subsea gas pipelines, and appropriate hydrate-inhibition strategies for high-risk subsea geometries in the future.