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Petrobras, Shell and Strohm join forces to bring TCP Flowline and Riser to Brazil’s pre-salt

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

Strohm has announced a joint industry programme (JIP) with Petrobras and Shell for its thermoplastic composite pipe (TCP) Flowline and riser technology. The contract, which Strohm values as sizeable1, has the potential to revolutionise the deepwater flowline and riser market in Brazil and beyond with a corrosion-free solution that has a 30-year design life. It is the world’s most advanced programme to bring TCP Flowline and Risers offshore under actual field conditions.

The four-year award coincides with a large plant expansion which is well underway at Strohm’s premises in The Netherlands as part of its ongoing growth strategy. The JIP has also extended its footprint in Brazil triggering a raft of local engineering appointments and a new Rio de Janeiro office.

The region’s prolific pre-salt provinces have some of the most productive wells in the world. Typically, deepwater fields such as these, are produced through dynamic risers connected to floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels. Recently, conventional flexible flowline and risers have been reported to exhibit premature integrity issues due to corrosion, leading to regular replacement which is costly and leads to deferred production.

Strohm’s TCP Flowline and Riser is a disruptive new product that is corrosion-resistant with a three-decade design life. It has a superior fatigue performance and is light weight compared to steel resulting in a cost effective free-hanging catenary configuration once installed.

TCP was introduced to the market by Strohm in 2010 and since then, Strohm has built the world’s largest track record for TCP Flowlines and Jumpers. The TCP Flowline and Riser JIP builds on earlier work performed in Brazil and commences this month (August) when the global pioneer will develop, qualify and test its composite pipe technology with the two operators to make it fully field proven and commercially available to the oil and gas industry. The unique programme will manufacture and pilot the installation of two TCP systems, one for TCP Flowlines and the second for TCP Risers. This will result in the industry’s first programme to mature the TCP Riser to TRL-6 (API 17N), proving it is an enabling technology and ready for deployment.

Strohm CEO Oliver Kassam, said: “This is a very significant and exciting moment as we join forces with Petrobras and Shell to qualify our TCP Flowline and Riser and see the prototypes installed in deepwater by 2024.

“TCP has the potential to transform the global deepwater flowline and riser market and unlocks a huge potential for us in Brazil. The Brazilian pre-salt cluster currently has 20+ FPSOs in operation and each one is supporting numerous risers, providing a huge opportunity for us in the replacement market. In addition, the country also invests circa US$1 billion in risers to support new FPSO operations each year, and this is set to climb in line with its ambition to become the world’s fourth largest oil producer by 2029. This JIP confirms that TCP is well positioned to be a game changer for the deepwater sector and for Strohm. We are on track to fulfil our vison of being the leading provider of non-corrosive solutions and supporting our strategy to provide products that deliver a significantly lower carbon footprint.”

The TCP Riser is low in its carbon footprint as it is spoolable and prepared in long lengths resulting in lower transportation and installation costs. The riser is installed using vessels currently available in the market, and as it does not require any buoyancy elements during installation, costs are significantly reduced leading to an overall saving. As a consequence, CO2 emissions are greatly reduced. It is also 100% recyclable.

Henk de Boer, Strohm’s chief technology officer added: “We’ve worked closely with Petrobras and Shell to understand their requirements for installation, subsea configuration as well as fluids, pressures and design life requirements. The result is a TCP Riser technology that is insensitive to CO2 and H2S, can be installed with existing vessels with modest modifications and support the free hanging catenary configuration, negating the need for buoyancy elements, a big cost driver in deepwater.”

As part of the programme, engineering activities and pipe testing will be carried out in The Netherlands and Brazil, and full-scale prototypes will be manufactured and installed offshore Brazil.

Juliano Dantas, Petrobras Chief of R&D, said: “We believe that this JIP built in collaboration with Strohm is well suited to successfully bring the TCP Riser technology to the field. This JIP fits in our strategy of deployment driven development; it is our aim to be able to offer the TCP Riser as a solution to our projects within Petrobras as quickly as possible.”

Olivier Wambersie, designated Shell GM Brazil Technology, said: “We have been working closely with Strohm for many years. We are really keen to see this programme leading to the world’s first application of TCP Flowline and Riser for deepwater Pre-salt conditions.?Not only will it address the asset integrity challenges, it will also bring a positive impact on the Carbon Intensity of our operations.?Me and my team are looking forward to be working with all parties involved.”

[1] Strohm defines a sizeable contract as being between €10 million and €50 million.

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