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Guidance on thermoplastic composite pipes offers cost savings

15th January 2016

The oil and gas industry invests billions annually in offshore pipelines and risers.

Thermoplastic composite pipes are a new, robust lightweight pipe alternative
Thermoplastic composite pipes are a new, robust lightweight pipe alternative

DNV GL has launched a recommended practice (RP) that allows operators to choose thermoplastic composite pipes instead of steel or traditional flexibles, enabling substantial cost reductions throughout the project lifecycle. 

“Thermoplastic composite pipes are a new, robust lightweight pipe alternative that will impact field layout, and installation methods and ultimately reduce the cost level,” says Per Anker Hassel, project manager with DNV GL – Oil & Gas.

Thermoplastic composite pipes offer advantages across all stages of the lifecycle of a pipeline or riser:

1. Design: easy-to-tailor strength and good fatigue capacity, sufficient for the deepest waters and resilience to fluids and elevated temperatures
2. Manufacture: cost-effective continuous spoolable lengths and fully bonded, and the  same thermoplastic material can be used for the liner, composite layers and outer coating
3. Installation and decommissioning: cost-effective; lightweight and spoolable
4. Operation: no metal corrosion, high thermal and pressure tolerance and minimal flow resistance

DNVGL-RP-F119 Thermoplastic composite pipes (TCP) was developed through a DNV GL-led joint industry project involving 18 companies covering the whole supply chain; from polymer producers, via TCP manufacturers, to oil companies as the end users.

“As the recommended practice describes the requirements for flexible TCP for offshore applications, it builds trust and confidence in the safe and reliable use of these pipelines,” states Espen Cramer, global service director with DNV GL – Oil & Gas. “This opens up new, cost-efficient, innovative offshore pipeline solutions, which are of vital importance for reducing overall costs in the industry.”

TCP have a variety of application areas offshore, including: flowlines, risers, jumpers, choke and kill lines, expansion spools, access lines, and chemical injection lines, as well as commissioning and intervention lines.

The offshore oil and gas industry can now benefit from the use of TCP, whose qualification using DNVGL-RP-F119 assures performance, reliability and safety during their lifetime.

The RP targets towards operators, contractors, suppliers and others seeking acceptance for using TCP in offshore operations, and is intended for:
• Suppliers of TCP for offshore operations and suppliers of raw materials for such pipes that are seeking market access for their products
• Operators and contractors seeking acceptance for using TCP in offshore operations
• Suppliers and recipients of TCP which need a common technical basis for contractual reference

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