A research and development partnership is set to reduce operational risk with a new subsea riser cleaning and inspection tool to be launched globally.
International joint integrity specialist Hydratight and deepwater pipeline specialists Connector Subsea Solutions partnered to design the Subsea Riser Cleaning and Inspection Tool (RCIT) and the first field units have operated successfully offshore Brazil in the last 12 months.
James Rowley, Global Subsea Market Development Manager, Hydratight, will present his paper on Remote Riser Cleaning and Inspection at the Subsea Expo 2016 today (Thursday, 4th February) as part of the Integrity Management conference session.
He explains the tool will prevent the costly use of diver intervention or ROV deployment: “The RCIT can be deployed either near to or onto the riser where it will traverse into position.
“The cleaning heads will then remove all excessive sea growth as the RCIT travels along the riser or pipeline. There is no need for ROV or diver intervention, which reduces risk, and the operation can be performed with the support of the most basic of vessels.
“As the riser is cleaned, a concurrent inspection can be performed. Such an inspection clearly provides assurance of continued system integrity. Should damage be discovered, the size, depth, location and severity can be recorded. Once the cleaning and inspection is complete, should there be requirements for repair or maintenance then we can support this.”
Flexible risers constructed in deepwater anywhere in the world are known to withstand the greatest variation in environmental change including pressures, temperatures and ocean currents.
Mr Rowley continued: “In regions of the world closer to the equator, in the likes of Brazil or West Africa, the pressures on the risers and associated pipelines are increased by the weight of significant sea growth. This is in the form of soft, shell and coral formations and best practice is for subsea professionals to conduct periodic inspections.
“The ability to clean and inspect these risers have previously been limited to ROV tools, making the process operationally expensive.
“This new Riser Cleaning and Inspection service will become a viable alternative to allow flexible risers to maintain their dynamic properties necessary to work with floating rigs and sea currents, while reducing cost and operational risk.”