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Rev. 1, January 1995

Subsea Structures and Piping System

Rev. 1, January 1995

4.1 Definitions
4.2 Symbols and abbreviations
4.3 System Definition
5.1 General guidelines
5.2 Overall Requirements
5.3 Requirements for Structures
5.4 Requirements for Manifold and Piping System
5.5 Requirements for Replacement Devices
ANNEX A Subsea Data Sheet (Normative)
ANNEX B National Regulations (Informative)

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This standard has been developed by the NORSOK Standardisation Work Group.
ANNEX A is normative. ANNEX B is informative.


The purpose of this standard is to the minimum requirements to subsea structures and piping


Rules, regulations and standards
The latest edition and current amendments of the following regulations and standards shall
apply, where relevant, at the time of order placement:
ASME B31.3
ASME B31.4
ISO 10423

Chemical Plant and Petroleum Refinery Piping

Chemical Plant and Petroleum Refinery Piping
Rules for submarine pipelines, 1981
Specification for Wellhead and X-mas Tree Equipment
(replaces API 6A)
Specification for Pipeline Valves, Steel Gate, Plug, Ball and
Check Valves (To be replaced by ISO 14313)
Wellhead Surface Safety Valves and Underwater Safety
Valves for Offshore Service (To be replaced by ISO 10433)

NORSOK Standards:

Principles for design and operation of subsea production

Subsea Production Control System
Intervention System
Marine Operations
Colour and Marking
Material Selection
Subsea X-mas tree system.

Data sheets
Project specific requirements are defined by use of a relevant selection of the following
NORSOK data sheets.
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The following data sheets are specific for U-CR-001:


Load Matrix
Drilling loads - Default values
Dropped object loads
Design against fishing gear/overtrawlability
Design of hatches

A data heet outlinging the Test Requirements should also be developed.

Dummy data sheets including default values are attached in ANNEXA.
For the following general data sheets, reference is made to the other NORSOK Subsea

General Field Data

Production requirements/reservoir management
Environmental Data

It is considered favourable that datasheets covering the following areas should also be
developed for a specific field development:

Intervention Strategy
Guidewire anchor and guidepost locking mechanism
ROV torque tools.
Thermal Expansion Data
Flowline data
Control system design data
Condition monitoring
Process flowcharts
Operational requirements
Wellstream composition
Simultaneous operations




Reference is made to the general list of definitions given in U-DP-001.


Symbols and abbreviations

For definition of symbols and abbreviations used in the text, reference is made to U-DP-001.

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System Definition
This standard covers the subsea structures and piping systems (template and satellite
structures, manifold and riser base structures, protection structures, piping modules). This
subsystem interfaces with all of the other systems in a subsea production system, ref.
This standard is intended to give general requirements and should cover both shallow water,
deep water and very deep water; diver systems and diverless systems; guideline and
guidelineless systems; overtrawlable and non-overtrawlable systems, etc. Supplementary
data sheets defines special requirements to the actual application.




General guidelines
The subject standard is a part of the NORSOK system of standards, and should be read with
this in mind for instance will special requirements set to the structure by the marine
operations be defined in J-CR-003, material selection is covered in M-DP-001, colour and
marking requirements in U-CR-001 and intervention systems in U-CR-007.
The standards are supplemented by data sheets as required to specify the actual application.


Overall Requirements

5.2.1 General
The following functional requirements shall generally apply for the subsea structure and
manifold system:

The design life of non-retrievable equipment shall be equal to or exceed the specified
field lifetime.

In areas where this is required, a method for removal of or prevention of any damage
or inconvenience caused by the subsea structure and manifold system upon field
abandonment shall be developed. The design life and structural integrity of the
structure shall allow for this operation.

The subsea structure and piping system design shall comply with the intervention

Requirements for protection against fishing gear and overtrawlability is project

specific, ref data sheet UDS-A01.

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5.2.2 Intervention
The following requirements shall apply to the subsea structures and piping system in order
to facilitate efficient intervention:

Suitable viewing positions shall be provided for observations during running,

connection and operation of tools, modules and equipment.

Suitable landing area and/or attachment points shall be provided where manipulative
tasks are required carried out.

Sensitive components/items on the subsea structure which may be damaged by the

intervention system shall be protected.

For entry of ROV operated tools onto valve spindles, a ROV landing frame or ROV
attachment points shall be provided. The frame shall not obstruct the access for visual
inspection of the piping. The valves spindles/docking receptacles shall then be located
a suitable distance below/behind the ROV platform/frontplate/grating such that the
torque tool can interface with the valve.

Minimum two buckets, designed for easy replacement of acoustic transponders shall
be provided diametric opposite on top of the structure. Acoustic shielding and
potential snagging shall be avoided.

The landing- and surrounding areas shall be designed to withstand loads imposed by
the respective intervention system during landing and operation.

All locking mechanisms on protection hatches and lifting frames shall be easily
operated according to the defined intervention strategy.

All guideposts shall be replaceable using locking mechanisms easily operated by the
selected intervention system.

A design based on running retrievable modules, structures and equipment on a

guidewire system, shall be in accordance with the required project standard, including
guidepost top design with respect to guidewire anchor system and guidepost locking

All permanently installed guideposts which require guidewire attachment must have
through bore to allow passage of the guidewire anchor.

Any special equipment or arrangements installed on the subsea structure, which

requires torque to be applied during operation, shall be designed to use the required
project standard torque tool and interface.

The design shall be such that location of anodes and other construction details do not
represent any obstruction or snagging point for the selected intervention system.

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For guidelineless intervention systems a proper guiding system shall be provided. The
guiding structure shall be designed for relevant operational impact loads.
Tools, BOP, modules and all retrievable equipment shall have an adequate running
clearance to any part of the structure, adjacent module or equipment etc to avoid any
unintended impacts or clashes during installation and retrieval:

minimum 0,2 m while running on guideposts

minimum 1,0 m for monohull and 0.5 m for semisubmersible operations,

respectively, at 0.8 m above guidepost top and upward when running on
guidewires. Tighter clearances can be accepted for final alignment.

Operational requirements for running intervention systems from vessels, necessitating

offset angles on the guidelines, shall not restrict ROT access, reduce running
clearances or otherwise deteriorate operational safety and reliability.

The subsea system shall enable any guidewire based ROT to be run vertically along
guidewires and guideposts onto the dedicated landing area.

The subsea systems shall be designed to provide sufficient access and manoeuvring
space to allow the ROV systems to perform the required work at the different task
sites (U-CR-007).

For further details conserning requirements set by the intervention operations reference is
made to U-CR-007.
5.2.3 Material Selection and Corrosion Protection
Material selection, fabrication and corrosion protection shall comply with the requirements
in the NORSOK standard for material selection (M-DP-001).
A corrosion protection system based on a combination of surface coating and cathodic
protection shall be included in the design of subsea structures, manifolds and modules
exposed to ambient seawater.
The following requirements apply with respect to the corrosion protection system:

Necessary corrosion protection shall be provided, including requirements from

interfacing subsystems.

The design shall ensure reliable electrical continuity to each individual element for the
defined design life, including continuity through the sealine termination (if relevant).

Location and number of cathodic protection inspection points shall be defined and
prepared for intervention.

Earthing connection cables for subsea structure installed systems shall be replaceable
or duplicated.

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5.2.4 Design Loads

Subsea structures shall be designed according to the applicable rules and regulations of the
The methology for structural design given in Annex B has been used as basis for this
Production piping systems shall be designed according to ASME B31.3. For simple export
systems and water injection systems ASME B31.4 or DnV Rules for Submarine Pipelines,
1981 can be used.
All applicable loads that may affect the subsea structure and piping system during all
relevant phases such as fabrication, storing, testing, transportation, installation,
drilling/completion, operation, and removal shall be included in the design.
In general accidental loads are project specific and will be verified by a special risk analysis
for the actual application. Accidental loads may include dropped objects, snag loads (fishing
gear, anchors), abnormal environmental loads (earthquake), etc.
Relevant loads for the actual application are defined in a separate data sheet (UDS-A03).
5.2.5 Operational Requirements
Requirements for simultaneous operations (production, installation, drilling, intervention,
workover) and definition of relevant combinations is defined in a separate data sheet (UDSA09). The layout of the subsea structure and piping system shall allow for simultaneous
operations as defined in the subject data sheet.
5.2.6 Test Requirements
The subsea structures and piping systems shall be subject to factory acceptance testing
(FAT), integration testing and commissioning. The extent of each test is project and system
specific and shall be specified in separate data sheet.
The FAT shall ensure and demonstrate that equipment is assembled and function in
accordance with purchase order/contract requirements. FAT shall be performed for all
fabricated components including components with identical design.
The integration test shall:

verify correct installation, assembly and integration towards interfacing subsystems

including all inspection and testing work required to verify that equipment and
facilities are complete and fully installed according to approved drawings and
specifications, and that all inspections and non-operational test have been performed
and recorded

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verify correct function of all components and systems according to approved

specifications and requirement including debugging, function testing of equipment and
filling of consumables.

Commissioning shall:


verify that the total subsea production system is working satisfactory as an integrated

verify all interfaces to platform systems

demonstrate for the operation organization that the subsea production system is ready
for start-up.

Requirements for Structures

5.3.1 Main Frame and Protection Structure

The following functional requirements apply:

The structure shall ensure sufficient alignment capability for proper physical interfaces
between subsystems such as wellhead/production guide base, x-mas tree/manifold and
piping system, manifold/sealine termination and installation aids, protective structure
and other relevant interfaces.

The subsea structures may be designed to accept or not accept drilling loads, ref
section 5.2.4. The loads induced on the PGB/bottom frame from the well system will
depend upon the following:
Soil conditions and axial stiffness of well system.
Structural design and stiffness of bottom frame against vertical deflection.
Structure/well interface design.

Default values for skirt foundation structures are provided in UDS-A05:

Well supporting structures shall provide guiding/landing/latch capability for the

conductor housing, where required.

The well supporting structure/production guide base design shall allow for thermal
expansion of the conductor/wellhead housings. The thermal expansion data are to be
included in the basis for interface tolerance design of template mounted objects.

A drill cuttings disposal system should be included. Alternatively accumulation of

cuttings shall be considered.

Snagging on the structure during pull-in and pull-out of sealines shall be avoided.

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All retrievable modules and structures shall if not otherwise secured, be properly
locked to the bottom frame structure by means of a locking mechanism operated
according to the selected intervention strategy.

The structure shall allow onshore assembly and testing of its supported equipment.

The structure shall transfer all loads from interfacing systems and equipment to the
foundation system.

Where applicable protective structures shall protect the subsea equipment against
damage from dropped objects and fishing gear, by use of e.g. local protection, roof
hatches, etc. ref. separate data sheets UDS-A01, UDS-A06 and UDS-A08.

Where applicable openings in grating on the roof hatches shall be sufficiently small to
protect against objects that are lifted over the structure, i.e. control pods, valve inserts,

The height from top of the permanently installed equipment to underside roof, shall
be sufficient to prevent any damage on the equipment if the roof is deflected by
dropped objects.

The structure shall provide sufficient space for landing a BOP-stack, and a x-mas tree
in each wellbay. Envelopes will be project specific.

The structure, piping system and controls, and chemical distribution shall provide
proper access for intervention operations, ref. U-CR-007.

5.3.2 Sealine Protection System

When a sealine protection system is required, the following requirements to the system shall

A sealine protection system in the tie-in area shall be designed as a part of the total
protective design of the subsea structure and the sealines.

The sealine protection system shall not imply restriction of any operations during
installation, drilling, completion, production or inspection, maintenance and repair
(IMR) of the structure or sealines.

The sealine protection system shall accommodate thermal and pressure expansion of
sealines, thermal insulation, long term settlement of sealines, and necessary
intervention operations to be performed.

5.3.3 Interfaces for Tie-in Porches

The following interface characteristics between tie-in porches and the subsea structure shall
be adhered to in design:
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Space requirements, including intervention.

Interface tolerances, including structure and manifolding, such as inboard hub/tie-in
Loads transferred to structure during tie-in, testing and operation.

5.3.4 Foundation and Levelling System

The levelling and foundation criteria for the actal application is defined in separate data
sheet UDS-A04. The following design requirements for the foundation and levelling system

Seabed slope, installation tolerances and effects from possible scouring caused by
currents near the bottom shall be evaluated with respect to the foundation and
levelling system.

Suction loads due to repositioning or levelling shall be catered for

Removal of soil-plug in pile top shall be possible

Intrusion of soil into pile sleeves shall be prevented

A foundation system for well supporting structures, based on support/anchoring on the

well conductor housings can be used. The integrity of the foundation system shall be

For foundation skirt systems, arrangement shall be made for air escape during splash
zone transfer and water escape during seabed penetration. Lift stability and wash out
of soil shall be taken into account.

Structures with skirt foundation should be designed for self penetration

For skirt systems facilities for suction and pumping shall where required be included
to allow for final penetration, levelling and breaking out prior to removal. The suction
and pump system shall be operated according to the selected intervention strategy.

Settlement of the structures shall be accounted for.

5.3.5 Installation
The installation method and equipment selected for the subsea structure and piping system
shall ensure a safe and reliable operation in accordance with the selected intervention

The installation equipment, temporary and permanent, shall not cause obstructions and
restrict intervention access.

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Disconnection of lifting slings, lifting beams/frames/arrangements used during

installation shall be according to the selected intervention strategy. A back-up system
shall be provided.

The installation system shall not represent any hazard to the permanent works during
installation, release, reconnection and removal.

Permanently installed lifting/installation arrangements should be located to minimize

lifting height.

An installation lifting frame (optional) should include a sling laydown area and
attachment for tugger lines, and if required, platforms and support for installation
instrumentation, temporary access ladders, and inspection platforms.
Design and arrangement of structural elements including those not being rigid
members of the overall structure (e.g. hatches), shall take special considerations to
drag/wave induced forces during launching/retrieval through the splash zone.


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Use of wire or soft rope lashing should be avoided.

Requirements for Manifold and Piping System

5.4.1 General
The manifold and piping system may be permanently integrated with the subsea structure or
installed as one or several separate modules.
The following functional requirements shall apply:

All critical interfaces and equipment such as valves, flanges, piping bends and
connectors, shall allow necessary intervention work.

Production piping insulation requirements are project specific and defined in data

Connection/disconnection of sealines shall not affect other manifold connections.

Installation and retrieval of x-mas trees on well supporting structures shall be

completed without affecting manifold connections and other x-mas trees.

Inspection areas and monitoring points for such as CP-measurements, wall thickness
measurements, sand detection and pig signalling, shall be provided and prepared for

Manifold piping joints shall be butt welded.

All non welded connections in hydrocarbon bearing lines shall have metal to metal
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Provision for installation of back-up electrical cables according to the selected

intervention strategy shall be included

Spare lines or provision for installation of back-up lines shall be provided for the
hydraulic power and chemical injection systems.

5.4.2 Valves
The manifold valves shall have the following basic criteria:

Valve design shall be according to ISO 10423 (API 6A), API 6D and API 14D.

The material and pressure classes of the valves shall conform to the system
requirements (in terms of corrosion/erosion resistance and pressure class). The
manifold valves shall at least be rated to the highest system pressure (e.g. max.
Injection system pressure or well kill pressure).

Manifold valves shall be classified to API and ANSI classes.

The design of the valves shall minimise the potential for hydrate formation and
damage that could be caused by possible sand, erosion or corrosion. For gate valves
with vertical movement of gate, special consideration shall be given to possibility for
sand accumulation or hydrate formation in valve cavity.

Special attention shall be paid to bonnet and stem sealing. Bonnet seals shall be metal
to metal or welded. Stem seals shall be compatible with service requirements.

Internal sealing. Seals between the gate/ball/plug/needle and the seats shall be metal
to metal. The seal between floating seats and body shall be compatible with service

The valves shall be designed for failure free operation during field life.
Manifold/distribution system failures are normally of common type (several wells are
shut in by failure of one component). As a general principle the system availability
should be increased through simple designs and selection of high quality components.
Use of insert valves or valve modules increase the number of possible leak paths and
thereby reduce the MTBF. If such solutions are selected, it shall be demonstrated that
the overall availability is increased compared to a simpler solution with high quality
valves integral with the manifold.
For frequently operated valves with remote actuation, the retrievability of valve or
valve parts should be assessed (e.g. retrievability of actuator alone, actuator with valve
insert, valve module or the complete manifold).
The method of retrievability shall be dependant on:

cost effective and simple retrieval/re-running

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minimal well/production downtime

robust/reliable valve to piping sealing mechanism

type and size of valve

For remotely operated valves that are not frequently actuated (e.g. round trip pigging
valves), the ROV override can be considered as a permanent fall back for a failed
primary actuator. No possibility to retrieve such valves may be accepted if a high
quality valve is selected.

Manifold valving shall be operable in accordance with the selected intervention

strategy. The valves can be remotely actuated. ROV or diver operated valves shall
have position indicators. The design of the ROV interface should be according to data

The operation of the valve shall be dictated by the overall philosophy of the
field/project. The method shall, however, take into account the intervention strategy.

Prototype qualification testing shall be proven for each valve size and rating. Optionally
sand slurry (not gel) performance shall be proven.
FAT-testing of the valves and actuators shall be conducted following ISO 10423 (API 6A)
PSL level 3 with gas test.
The testing shall register torque levels at maximum differential pressure.

5.4.3 Process Piping, Production Control and Chemical Distribution System Design
The pipe routing shall:

minimize level variations where liquids can be trapped (causing e.g. hydrate plugging,

minimize risk for damaging the piping during testing, installation and intervention.

ensure required flexibility.

minimize number of pipe bends and pipe supports.

The following requirements shall apply for pigable piping systems:

Bends in piggable lines should have a radius of minimum 5 times the pipe ID.

Successive bends, valves, branches and combination of such, should be separated with
a straight leg of minimum 3 times the pipe ID

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Branches to piggable lines shall be designed to avoid collection of deposits from the
pigging. The branches shall be taken above the centreline of the headers. Fabricated
tees and fittings to piggable lines shall be designed for pigging.

Piggable lines should have constant internal diameter, ref. DnV Rules for Submarine
Pipelines, 1981 and shall accommodate for roundtrip pigging if required.

Requirements for Replacement Devices

Where considered necessary replacement devices are used for replacement and installation
of structural elements and modules.

Replacement devices shall be designed in compliance with the selected intervention


The devices shall be passive, simple, small and light for easy operation, deck handling
and storage.

The devices shall have padeyes for seafastening and footings for transportation and
storage as required.

The replacement devices shall comply with the operational requirements, seastates,
intervention vessels, etc.

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General Field Data udsa0301.xls

Drilling loads Page 1 udsa0501.xls
Drilling loads Page 2 udsa051a.xls
Dropped object Loads udsa0601.xls
Design against fishing gear/overtrawlability Page 1 udsa0701.xls
Design against fishing gear/overtrawlability Page 2 udsa071a.xls
Design of Hatches udsa0801.xls

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ANNEX B National Regulations (Informative)

The latest edition and current amendments of the following standard shall apply:

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