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Optimized Design of Pipe-in-Pipe Systems

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OTC 14182

Optimized Design of Pipe-in-Pipe Systems

This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2002 Offshore Technology Conference held in

Houston, Texas U.S.A., 69 May 2002.

This paper was selected for presentation by the OTC Program Committee following review of

information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as

presented, have not been reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to

correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any position

of the Offshore Technology Conference or its officers. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or

storage of any part of this paper for commercial purposes without the written consent of the

Offshore Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an

abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain

conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented.

Abstract

Deepwater subsea developments must address the flow

assurance issues and increasingly these are forming a more

critical part of the design. Pipe-in-pipe systems are one of the

options available in the designers toolbox for overcoming these

problems and are recognized as a thermally efficient, reliable

and proven technology for insulated subsea transportation of

well bore fluids.

Although extremely low U-values are

achievable pipe-in-pipe systems come at a cost and have their

increased weight as a penalty for use in deepwater

developments.

By applying an inside-out optimization process for the

design of pipe-in-pipe systems the top tension loading on the

surface vessel (installation or production) can be significantly

reduced whilst also minimizing procurement expenditure on raw

materials.

Specifically the design optimization of each

component reduces steel volumes and the overall outer diameter

of the system.

This paper presents the methodology for optimized design of

pipe-in-pipe systems and illustrates the potential cost savings in

terms of raw materials and installation cost through a case study

for a typical large West African field. In addition commercial

savings relating to surface platform hull costs are presented for a

case where the development employs pipe-in-pipe risers.

Introduction

At present the pipe-in-pipe (PIP) market is dynamic with

numerous projects requiring pipe-in-pipe solutions and many

more examining pipe-in-pipe as a development option.

The objective of this paper is to present an optimization

applications, specifically 1000m or deeper. The focus is on

establishing the actual required pipe diameters for flowline and

carrier, rather than employing API standard sizes, by performing

the thermal and mechanical design in an integrated manner. In

this way the design meets the project requirements for

production rate and steady state thermal performance whilst

minimizing as-installed system cost. Cooldown considerations

have not been included in the designs generated here.

The inside-out design methodology is presented along with

the as-installed costing, which has been used as the ultimate

comparison condition.

The following parameters are

investigated with pipe-in-pipe designs and costs generated for

each variable combination:

Flowline lengths of 5, 10, 20, 40 & 60 km

Water depths of 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 & 3000m

2 types of insulation material polyuethane foam

(PUF) and microporous material (MP)

matrix detailed above, a project with typical characteristics for a

large West Arican development are discussed including the cost

and top tension implications on the host platform when

employing pipe-in-pipe steel catenary risers (SCRs).

With an increasing number of pipe-in-pipe systems on offer

it is increasingly difficult to rapidly evaluate the options to

determine or identify the most appropriate options on a technical

and economic basis.

What follows is a brief definition and classification of pipein-pipe systems. There are two specific criteria that can be used

to describe any particular pipe-in-pipe system:

Structural compliance (configuration dependent)

field joints and installation methods.

Table 1 is the overall compatibility matrix showing the

M. HAUSNER, M. DIXON

installation method for the main structural categories. The table

is arranged in this manner, as it is the structural compliance that

drives the choice of insulation and installation method, the latter

of these heavily influencing selection of the field joint.

OTC 14182

are limited and may not justify the additional design and

procurement complexity. For deepwater project significant cost

benefits are obtainable.

Flow diagram 1 below represents the design methodology for

designing a pipe-in-pipe system using standard API pipe sizes.

Insulation

Group

Compatible

Field Joints

Installation

Methods

System

Usage

Injected PUF

Sprayed PUF

Granular

material (e.g.

microspheres)

Microporous

material

Vacuum (full or

assisted)

Phase change

material

Half shells

Carrier to carrier

butt weld

Threaded

Flowline weld

only (wet field

joint)

Reel

S-lay

J-lay

Flowlines

Risers

Sliding

Fixed

Restrained

!

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

(")

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

!

"

"

"

!

(")

"

"

"

!

Input Data

reservoir hydraulics calculations

standard API carrier

pipe diameter

API pipe diameter

for carrier

Calculate U-value

than conventional pipe and this dependency is more pronounced

with:

high temperature) applications

The Table 2 contained at the back of this paper presents the

pros and cons for the three structural classifications.

The definitions for strucutral classification and a description

of the insulation material types are contined in Appendix 1.

Optimised Pipe-in-Pipe Design The Inside-Out Method

The inside-out process for designing focuses on optimization

of each layer from the flowline internal bore outwards in order

that thickness is minimized. In this way cost and weight of the

final system are also minimized. This requires the use of nonAPI standard size pipe for the carrier. The use of non-API size

for the flowline is also advocated as this leads to additional cost

and weight savings for deepwater, in particular for pipe-in-pipe

SCRs.

For shallow water applications the benefits of this approach

Project

U-value

met?

No

Yes

Pipe-in-pipe design

Flow Diagram 1

Flow diagram 2 below represents the design methodology for an

optimized pipe-in-pipe system. There is a certain amount of

iteration required in this design process as the contribution of the

carrier pipe wall thickness to the overall heat transfer coefficient

changes with variation in its diameter and wall thickness. This

change in contribution affects the amount of insulation required

to achieve the desired U-value, which then necessitates

recalculation of the carrier diameter and wall thickness. The

iteration continues until the optimized combination is achieved.

OTC 14182

Input Data

Ao = " ! Do ! L

(2)

where :

Do = Overall outside diameter of the pipe including

reservoir hydraulics calculations

L = Length of pipe section (ft or m)

the local heat transfer rate.

A reasonable estimate of Uo can generally be obtained from

the relationship,

satisfy required U-value

Uo =

OD " RF + ! RLayers + RS

(3)

where :

OD = Outermost diameter of the pipe (ft or m)

Re-Calculate U-value

Project

U-value

met?

Iterative

Loop

!R

(ft.F.hr/BTU or m.K/W)

R S = Surroundings resistance to heat transfer

No

(ft.F.hr/BTU or m.K/W)

The resistance to heat transfer of the product and

surroundings is not considered in the design calculations

performed in this paper as their contribution to the overall heat

transfer coefficient are small.

Yes

Result of optimised

pipe-in-pipe design

Walls. The resistance to heat transfer of the pipe layers is

calculated using the following equation:

Flow Diagram 2

Explanation of Heat Transfer Theory

The average rate at which heat is lost from the fluid flowing

through a section of pipe, due to steady state heat transfer

between the fluid and the pipe surroundings, is generally

calculated using the following equation:

Layers

(1)

where :

Q = Average heat transfer rate (BTU/hr or KJ/hr)

U o = Overall Heat Transfer Coefficient based on the

area A o (BTU/hr.ft?.F or W/m?.K)

A0 = Area of heat transfer surface (ft? or m?)

T F = Temperature of fluid flowing in pipe (F or C)

TS = Temperature of pipe surroundings (F or C)

Equation 1 and all subsequent theory are based on onedimensional conduction only. For a particular length of pipe, L,

RLayer =

& ODLayer

1

' ln$

2 ' k $% IDLayer

#

!

!

"

(4)

where :

k = Thermal conductivity of specific layer material

(BTU/hr.ft.F or W/m.K)

OD = Outer diamater of specific layer (ft or m)

ID = Inner diameter of specific layer (ft or m)

Generally the thermal conductivity of insulating materials

increases with increasing temperature and this dependence on

temperature must be included in the evaluation of equation (4).

Calculating the OHTC Referenced to the Inner or Outer

Diameter. As part of the supplied project information the

required OHTC will be specified with reference to either the

inner or outer diameter of the pipe. As a rule of thumb Gulf of

M. HAUSNER, M. DIXON

Mexico projects reference the outer diameter and the rest of the

world reference the OHTC to the inner diameter. Equation 3

calculates the OHTC at the outer diameter of the pipe i.e.:

U0 =

the outer diameter of the pipe. To calculate the OHTC

referenced to the inner diameter of the pipe the following

equation is used:

U o ! OD = U i ! ID

(5)

where :

ID = Inside diameter of the pipe (ft or m)

Rearranged, equation 5 provides the OHTC referenced to the

inner diameter:

U o ! OD

ID

(6)

The following equation can be used to calculate the flowline

wall thickness to withstand internal pressure (ref.1):

t

D!t

(7)

where :

! y = Yield strength of pipe (MPa)

t = Wall thickness (mm)

D = Outside diameter (mm)

Pb =

Py ! Pe

2

(9c)

where :

PC = Collapse Pressure (MPa)

Py = Plastic collapse pressure (MPa)

Pe = Elastic collapse pressure (MPa)

PC =

Po

0.7

(10)

and

Po = " ! g ! h

(11)

where :

Po = design hydrostatic pressure (MPa)

h = water depth (m)

Parametric Study

Case descriptions. Five cases have been selected to illustrate

the cost benefits that the Inside-out design optimization

methodology offers. It has been assumed that the hydraulic

design calculations indicate the flowline ID must be no less than

8.825 inch. This results in selection of a 10.75 inch OD flowline

from the API range for an unoptimised flowline case. Table 3

provides the main dimensions and components of the five cases

illustrating those with API and non-API flowline and carrier

pipe:

(8)

Pressure). The following equations can be used to determine

the carrier pipe wall thickness to withstand external hydrostatic

pressure(ref.1):

Py + Pe

Pd

0.72

where :

Pd = Design pressure (MPa)

PC =

(9b)

E = Young' s Modulus

! = Poisson' s ratio

Ui =

&t #

Py = 2 ' ( y ' $ !

%D"

(t %

& #

'D$

Pe = 2 ) E )

1 "! 2

1

OD " R F + ! R Layers + R S

OTC 14182

(9a)

2

Case Number

1

Flowline OD (inch)

10.75

14.11

Insulation material

Carrier size

10.75

9.84

9.84

10.75

14.11

12.92

12.92

14.11

PUF

PUF

PUF

MP

MP

API

NonAPI

NonAPI

NonAPI

NonAPI

optimized pipe sizes for flowline and carrier along with variation

in insulation material.

Case1

Case 1 is considered the base case. It comprises standard API

pipe sizes for both the flowline and carrier pipe with PUF

OTC 14182

insulation material.

Case 2

Case 2 comprises standard API pipe sizes for the flowline

with an optimized carrier pipe. The insulation material for Case

2 is PUF.

Case 3

Case 3 comprises an optimized flowline and an optimized carrier

pipe with PUF insulation material.

Case 4

Case 4 comprises an optimized flowline and an optimized

carrier pipe with MP insulation material.

Case 5

Case 5 is similar to Case 2 comprising a standard API pipe

size for the flowline and an optimized carrier pipe. The main

difference is that the insulation material used is MP. Table 4

summarises the relevant comparison cases:

Table 4: Comparison of Cases

Comparison

Reference

Compared

Cases

A

B

1 vs. 2

1 vs. 3

1 vs. 4

D

E

F

1 vs. 5

2 vs. 5

3 vs. 4

Non-API flowline & carrier, both

PUF

Non-API flowline & carrier, Case

4 MP

Non-API carrier, Case 4 MP

PUF vs. MP, both non-API carrier

PUF vs. MP, both non-API

flowline & carrier

pipe optimization each case was run for all combinations of the

following parameters to demonstrate the influence of each of

these parameters on the system cost:

Flowline lengths of 5, 10, 20, 40 & 60 km

Water depths of 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 & 3000m

2 types of insulation material polyurethane foam

(PUF) and microporous material (MP)

design pressure is taken as 300 bar (30 MPa).

Insulation Material Selection. Of the five cases three have

polyurethane foam (PUF) insulation material and the other two

have microporous (MP) insulation material.

The two insulation materials where chosen because their

thermal conductivity and costs are from either end of the

insulation material spectrum.

The PUF system considered is an injected system whereby

the entire annular gap between the flowline outer diameter and

the carrier inner diameter is filled with foam leaving no air gaps.

The microporous insulation (MP) is wrapped onto the

flowline and the system contains a minimum radial gap of 10mm

between the outside of the insulation and the inner diameter of

the carrier pipe. This is to account for tolerances during

insertion of the flowline into the carrier.

Cost Breakdown. A cost model has been developed that

includes the procurement, onshore fabrication and installation of

the pipe-in-pipe systems for all combinations. Some of the key

cost assumptions are shown in Table 5.

Table 5: Summary of Costing Assumptions Employed

Cost Centre

Linepipe

Re-tooling for nonAPI size pipe

Insulation

PUF

MP

J-lay vessel day rate

Host hull cost

Value

1000

100,000

Units

$/tonne

$ per size

150

1700

250,000

3

$/m3

$/m3

$/day

$/kg buoyancy

employed the cost associated with the top tension required at the

vessel has been estimated from the hull cost per kg of uplift.

The riser lengths for a given water depth are calculated using

simple catenary equations and are shown in Table 6.

Table 6: SCR Length for Respective Water Depth

Water Depth (m)

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

1234

1857

2479

3102

3725

The data generated from the five cases and the various design

parameters are evaluated in two sections. Firstly the results

relating to a typical West African (WA) development are

considered and secondly all the results are considered and

analyzed to draw conclusions relating to the cost savings

involved with pipe-in-pipe optimization.

Typical West African Development. The West African

development considered here has the following field parameters:

FPSO host

U-value of 1.5 W/m!K

6 producing wells located in pairs

M. HAUSNER, M. DIXON

(pigable loops)

40 km total flowline length

showing the breakdown and contribution of the following cost

centres:

Linepipe

Insulation

Re-tooling (if applicable)

Onshore fabrication

Installation

Host hull cost for risers

The onshore fabrication and installation costs for each case

are the same as the variation in pipe diameter, and therefore the

increased welding time, is small in comparison to the overall

time and cost of these operations and is therefore neglected.

The host cost refers to hullform cost due to the risers. The

water depth, and therefore the riser line length, is constant for

this WA development, the cost variation being dependent on the

submerged weight of the riser.

Table 7 presents the total costs for each case (without riser

costs) as well as the percentage saving over the Base Case (Case

1).

Table 7: Total Cost Comparison

Case Number

1

18.7

17.4

16.3

17.0

18.2

Difference ($M)

1.3

2.5

1.8

0.5

% difference

14

11

flowline and carrier utilising PUF insulation, offers the most cost

effective solution at $16.3M. Case 4, which uses the more

expensive MP insulation material but also has an optimized

flowline and carrier, is the closest solution to this at $17.0M, the

difference being 3% between these two cases.

By comparing the steel costs of these two cases (Figure 2),

there is a greater saving by using the MP insulation (circa 5.3%)

however the increased cost of the insulation material makes the

total onshore, and therefore the overall cost, higher than Case 3

(Figures 3 and 4 respectively).

Case 2 and Case 5, each with the standard flowline and

optimized carrier but with PUF and MP insulation respectively,

represent the third and forth most cost effective systems

respectively. The cost difference between these two cases is in

the region of 3.7%.

Case 1 (Base case) represents the least cost effective option

OTC 14182

achieved by the full optimization of the system (i.e. optimizing

flowline and carrier) is 14%, a saving of $2.5M.

By only partially optimizing the system (i.e. optimizing the

carrier only) a significant saving can still be achieved. When

compared to Case 1, Cases 2 and 5 offer cost savings of $1.3M

(7%) and $0.5M (3%) respectively.

By referring to Figures 2, 3 and 4 graphical comparisons for

steel cost, onshore cost and total cost can be seen.

Pipe-in-Pipe SCR Costs

The total costs shown in Figure 1 for the host hullform costs

are difficult to rationalize as specific values due to their complex

dependence on host type (FPSO, Semi, TLP or SPAR) and

project requirements for topsides processing, storage etc. They

are presented to give a feel for their magnitude.

Figures 5 and 6 are more useful in that the top tension saving

over the Base Case is clearly identified for the optimized

designs. Case 4 has a reduction in top tension of 325 Te and

Case 3 this value is 316 Te, allowing greater host deck load.

This is particularly important for top tension-sensitive host types

such as TLPs, Semi-submersibles and SPARs.

Discussion of General Trends

The following evaluation of the five cases is for the range of

water depths, U-values and pipe lengths as described previously

in this paper.

Case 1 is the Base Case with API sized flowline and carrier,

utilizing PUF insulation.

Cases 2 and 5 are comparable as they have optimized carrier

pipe and employ PUF and MP insulation respectively.

Case 3 and 4 are comparable as they have optimized flowline

and carrier pipes and employ PUF and MP insulation

respectively.

U-Value Trends

For a U-value of 1.0 W/m!K use of the more expensive MP

insulation (Cases 4 and 5) is consistently the cheapest option.

The cost differential increases with increasing water depth and

line length. Figures 7 and 8 show the total installed cost for U =

1.0 W/m!K with line lengths of 5,000 and 60,000 m

respectively.

As U-value increases there is a switchover and the PUF

insulation costs drive the cheapest solution (Cases 2 and 3). The

cost differential between the PUF and MP solutions decreses

with water depth but increases for greater line length. The

influence of water depth decreases ae U-value increases fro 1.5

to 2.0 W/m!K. Figures 9 and 10 show the total installed cost for

U = 2.0 W/m!K with line lengths of 5,000 and 60,000 m

respectively.

Re-Tooling Costs

The re-tooling cost has greatest influence on the solutions

OTC 14182

where the water depth is 2000m or less. After this depth the

Base Case requires a jump to the next API size for the carrier.

This reinforces the benefits of optimizing pipe diameter.

Steel Costs

For U = 1.0 W/m2K there is a cross-over from the Base Case

steel cost being cheaper to the carrier optimized cases (Cases 2

and 5) being less sexpensive. This happens at a water depth of

2000m or for flowline lengths greater than 10 km.

For all U-values greater than this steel costs are lower for

Cases 2 and 5.

Water Depth

Generally speaking as water depth increases so the cost

savings achieved from pipe-in-pipe optimized design increase

over the Base Case. Depending on the various parameters

(water depth, U-value, lie length, insulation type) these savings

range from zero to 35% at the extremes.

Conclusions

(1)

(2)

(3)

more expensive insulation (microporous material) provides

the most economic and the lightest systems

To offset the additonal cost for re-tooling to non-API size

pipe for the carrier only then either of the follwoing

conditions are required:

Flowline length must be greater than 10 km

Water depth must be greater than 2000m

For pipe-in-pipe SCRs top tension savings of over 20% are

achievable through full design optimization.

References

1.

of Offshore Hydrocarbon Pipeline (Limit State Design), 3rd Edn.,

July 1999

OTC 14182

PIP

Classification

Pros

Cons

Sliding

Greater fatigue life for riser applications

Small reduction in thermal efficiency between main body & field joint

Compatible with all installation methods

Compatible with sprayed PUF, microporous blanket & aerogel insulation

Possible use of mechanical connectors on carrier pipe instead of welding

Suitable for single, double or quad joints

Need for some flexibility in welding position (S-lay only)

Intermittent or no axial connections between flow line and carrier

Requires spacers

Not compatible with granular material, vacuums or phase change

material insulation

Offshore sequencing is highly installation vessel dependent

Fixed

Compatible with all types of insulation

Exceptional insulation capability can be achieved

Flow line only weld at field joint in conjunction with a wet field joint

Good track record

Almost entirely independent of installation vessel setup

Most suitable for double joints

tulips) or additional forged components (bulkheads & tulips)

Cold spots where flow line and carrier are welded together

Localized cool down time driven by cold spots

Cannot be reeled

Good insulation required at field joint to counter cold spots

Restrained

Good track record

Relatively independent of installation vessel setup

Most suitable for double joints

Cannot be reeled

Limited axial compliance between flow line and carrier

Requires spacers and stoppers such as rubber bulkheads

25000

20000

15000

Host hullform

Cost ($ k)

Installation

Onshore Fab

Re-tooling

Insulation

Linepipe

10000

5000

0

Case 1

Case 2

Case 3

Case 4

Case 5

OTC 14182

(U = 1.5 W/m_K, Pipe length = 40000m)

14000

13500

13000

12500

12000

Steel Cost ($ k)

11500

11000

Case 1

10500

Case 2

Case 3

10000

Case 4

9500

Case 5

9000

8500

8000

7500

7000

6500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

(U = 1.5 W/m_K, Pipe length = 40000m)

16500

15500

Onshore Cost ($ k)

14500

13500

Case 1

Case 2

12500

Case 3

Case 4

Case 5

11500

10500

9500

8500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

(U = 1.5 W/m_K, Pipe length = 40000m)

28000

27000

26000

25000

Total Cost ($ k)

24000

23000

Case 1

22000

Case 2

Case 3

21000

Case 4

20000

Case 5

19000

18000

17000

16000

15000

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

10

M. HAUSNER, M. DIXON

OTC 14182

(U=1.5 Wm 2K, water depth 1500m)

1600

1400

1200

1000

800

600

400

Diference to Case 1

200

0

Case 1

Case 2

Case 3

Case 4

Case 5

(U=1.5 Wm 2K, water depth 1500m)

100%

80%

60%

40%

Diference to Case 1

20%

0%

Case 1

Case 2

Case 3

Case 4

Case 5

(U = 1.0 W/m_K, Pipe length = 5,000m)

7000

6500

6000

Total Cost ($ k)

5500

5000

4500

4000

Case 1

3500

Case 2

Case 3

3000

Case 4

Case 5

2500

2000

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

OTC 14182

11

(U = 1.0 W/m_K, Pipe length = 60,000m)

45000

43000

41000

39000

Total Cost ($ k)

37000

35000

33000

31000

Case 1

29000

Case 2

Case 3

27000

Case 4

25000

Case 5

23000

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

(U = 2.0 W/m_K, Pipe length = 5,000m)

6000

5500

5000

Total Cost ($ k)

4500

4000

3500

Case 1

Case 2

3000

Case 3

Case 4

2500

Case 5

2000

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

(U = 2.0 W/m_K, Pipe length = 60,000m)

41000

39000

37000

Total Cost ($ k)

35000

33000

31000

29000

Case 1

27000

Case 2

25000

Case 3

Case 4

23000

Case 5

21000

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

OTC 14182

Classification

Structural Compliance Definitions

Sliding

The sliding configuration is so named for the capability of

the carrier pipe to slide over the flow line and insulation such

that consecutive joints of carrier can be butt-welded.

Sliding systems will usually have spacers for alignment and

centralisation of the two pipes but the system can work without

spacers.

An additional requirement is a temporary clamp (or similar

device) to axially hold the flowline and carrier during

transportation, handling and loading into the firing line. This

device is removed prior to welding and may be located at either

end of the joint depending on the installation vessel setup.

Typically the field jointing sequence is as follows:

often the same as the main body insulation

Suitable vessels for sliding systems include J-lay vessels,

such as the Saipem FDS, and S-lay vessels, e.g. the Allseas

Solitaire, but adaptation of other vessels is possible. Fabrication

of the pipe-in-pipe strings for reeling can be preformed using the

sliding approach.

The sliding configuration does not have any regular axial

connection between flow line and carrier but can easily

accommodate bulkheads to lock the pipes together axially and

to provide compartmentalisation of insulation against carrier

breach.

Fixed

The fixed type of pipe-in-pipe systems use either swaged

connectors, forged bulkheads or forged tulips that are welded to

both the carrier and the flowline. This fixes the flow line and

carrier both axially and laterally at the end of each joint length,

hence the term Fixed system.

The swaged connectors and forged tulips are initially welded

to the carrier pipe and then welded to the outer surface of the

flowline. This is done at both ends of the joint. With a forged

bulkhead arrangement the following sequence is followed for

onshore fabrication of double, treble or quad joints:

1. First bulkhead butt welded to the flow line

2. Flowline inserted into the carrier pipe (non-bulkhead

end first)

3. Carrier butt welded to the bulkhead upstand

4. Second bulkhead butt welded to the end of the flowline

12

Insulation placed over the flowline weld region

Gap between carrier and upstand on the second bulkhead

is closed with steel half shells

Offshore construction involves either:

application of insulation on the outside of the joint, i.e.

insulation is exposed to the seawater

This structural category of pipe-in-pipe system can be

installed by almost any S-lay and J-lay vessel but cannot be

reeled due to the structural discontinuity at the field joint

location.

One major advantage of this type of construction is the

automatic compartmentalization of the system every double,

treble or quad joint. The primary drawback is the additional heat

loss throught the steel connection between the flowline and the

carrier

5.

6.

Restrained

The restrained structural category of pipe-in-pipe systems

consists of the flowline concentrically located inside the carrier

by spacers in the main body of the joint and by some form of

non-metallic bulkhead at either end, typically of rubber/EDPM

material. The term Restraied is used as the bulkheads provide

an amount of axial and lateral compliance between the flowline

and carrier, prinaily during installation, but differenctial axial

movement of the flowline and carrier may occur during

operation.

The insulation material is either pre-attached to the flowline

prior to insertion into the carrier or the annulus is filled once the

flow line has been inserted.

The purpose of the bulkheads is as follows:

1. To prevent relative axial movement of the flowline

and carrier during fabrication, transportation and

handling

2. To contain the insulation when filling the assembled

joint (flowline already inserted in carrier)

3. Concentric alignment of the flowline in the carrier

The field joint arrangement offshore usually utilises steel

half shells to close the gap between consecutive joints of carrier

pipe, requiring two circumferential and two longitudinal welds.

The field joint insulation may be of foam half shells or

rockwool.

Installation of restrined pipe-in-pipe systems is relatively

independent of S-lay and J-lay vessel setup and current wok is

ongoing to prove this type of system for reeling.

Insulation Material Categories

Polyurethane Foam (PUF)

A common and cheap material that can be sprayed onto the

flowline prior to insertion in the carrier pipe or injected into the

OTC 14182

pipes. These two methods of insulation are distinctly different

and determine the type of structural system that can be used.

For example the injected version cannot be used for sliding

PIP systems as the PUF bonds to both carrier and flowline,

thereby eliminating the axial movement required to achieve butt

welding of the carrier pipe. Sprayed PUF, however, permits the

sliding option.

Thermal conductivity of PUF material is in the range of 0.03

to 0.04 W/m2K depending on cell size and foam blowing agent.

Granular Materials (e.g. microspheres)

This category consists of granular material that is poured into

the annular space between the flowline and carrier pipe. The

granules are usually alumina-silicate microspheres, also known

as fly ash, which is a waste product from coal-fired power

stations. The microspheres range in diameter from 10 to 150

"m, are almost perfectly spherical and are completely inert.

Thermal conductivity of microspheres is between 0.09 and

0.11 W/m2K.

The pipe assembly can consist of single or, more usually,

double joints and is normally inclined to a specific angle and

vibrated at a specific frequency to ensure compaction and

optimum filling. In order to fill the annulus a stopper is

required at the bottom end of the PIP section being filled to

contain the granular material and to hold the flow line and

carrier pipe concentric and axially aligned during filling.

Microporous Materials (MP)

Microporous material is formed from spherical particles of

fumed silica that are bonded together at their point of contact

with one another, minimizing the heat conduction through the

solid. The interstitial voids between the particles trap air

molecules and prevent heat transmission through convection.

The panels are prepared for application to the pipe with parallel

saw cuts and then sealed in either a polyethylene-polyamide film

or aluminium foil packet. This packet/film may be filler with

air, inert gas (e.g. argon) or a drawn vacuum. The insulation

needs to remain dry.

Thermal conductivity of microporous materials range from

0.025 to 0.015 W/m2K for air-filled systems, 0.015 to 0.01

W/m2K for gas-filled and down to 0.006 W/m2K for a vacuum

system.

Vacuum (full or assisted)

A perfect vacuum provides the best insulation possible but

creating and maintaining a near-perfect vacuum is difficult as

diffusion of gases through steel (mainly hydrogen) create partial

pressures. These significantly affect the overall heat transfer

coefficient and require inclusion of special getters, types of

material that absorb the diffused gases. Getters are typically

granules or tablets and are added during the fabrication process.

13

insulated tubing technology, which has been used extensively

since the early 1980s.

Phase Change Materials

This is a new class of material under consideration for use in

subsea pipelines. Essentially the insulation material stores heat

that is released during shutdown as the material crystallizes.

This technology is currently being investigated for use in other

areas of the industry.

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