Tracerco’s Discovery™, the world’s first subsea CT scanner for flowlines, has successfully completed the first deepwater deployment on Shell-operated flowlines in the Gulf of Mexico. The technology is used to establish the integrity of subsea pipeline assets.
Shell’s Gulf of Mexico flowlines
In total, Discovery scanned 10 flowlines including jumpers, steel catenary risers, and pipe in pipe flowlines all of varying diameters. Over 250 CT scan images over a pipeline length of 50 000 ft, at depths down to 4200 ft, were generated. In the Gulf of Mexico, based on such data, Shell was able to build a complete profile of their pipeline, which helped to confirm the condition of the asset.
Advantages of subsea CT scanner technology
Tracerco’s subsea CT scanner offers three key advantages over alternative inspection technologies:
• The device attaches to the outside of the flowline, allowing the inspection campaign to be conducted while production continues.
• There is no need to remove the insulation coating on the flowline, minimising the risk of flowline damage or of the build-up of hydrates.
• Scan image data is available in real time, allowing engineers to rapidly evaluate and respond to any integrity and flow assurance problems.
Jim Bramlett, Business Development Manager for Tracerco’s Subsea Technologies division, said: “Using Discovery we were able to quickly deliver data, drip feeding the scans through to Shell engineers then providing an in-depth analysis once we had all the information. We understand that for each day a pipeline is out of action, or not performing at peak, there are significant financial implications: safety, speed and efficiency were key drivers in developing this cutting-edge technology.”
The planning, preparation and execution of the inspection campaign was a joint effort which provided access to the Discovery CT scan images, and Tracerco’s expert interpretation, within the same day.
Adapted from press release by Cecilia Rehn