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Critical Friends Seminar Q&A

  • The main technologies in our supply chain include cold forming of high strength steel, the composition of high strength steel with good ductility, automated winding of steel strip, precision welding, 3D finite element computer modelling, pipeline engineering, connections and joining, control systems, integrity monitoring, coatings and mobile platforms. For each area we select leading companies in their field from across the UK and Europe. This forms a set of technology partners who have existing products and services as well as working on our project.

  • We recognise the excellent appetite for new technology in Oman and see Oman as the preferred centre for any exploitation of this technology in the Middle East. We intend to set up an Omani-owned subsidiary and develop a technology demonstration and test centre in Oman for our own technology and also that of our technology partners.

  • We are in the process of forming the Critical Friends group of pipeline operators, who will be invited to comment on our Phase 2 test programme to ensure testing addresses the key issues. We anticipate extensive physical testing during 2017 at an accredited GL-DnV test site and after that we would be ready to take part in cost benefit analysis for specific pipeline projects. Commercial implementation should be ready for 2018.

  • One of our technology partners is a leading developer of sub-sea mobile platforms for cable laying and sub-sea trenching. We will design and build a mobile platform to suit the specific terrain of the pipeline required and the manufacturing modules will be mounted on to the mobile platform.

  • We have developed a high-level design strategy for pipe joining. Pipe joining, tapping, hot tapping and repairs are all recognised as key operational requirements. We will be commencing work on a new $1.5m programme in 2017 which will have particular emphasis on improving pipe joining procedures.

  • This type of pipe is intrinsically much more flexible than conventional pipe. We have completed design studies showing that within the elastic limit, this is 3x more flexible than conventional pipe and that if a maximum of 1% plastic strain were allowed, then 40D bends could be accommodated naturally. The machine would follow any reasonable terrain and the machine modules would be container size.

  • One of the flexibilities of this type of pipe is that the materials of the liner, the structural layers and the outer environmental coating can all be separately optimised. At 6 inches we tested successfully at 120degC. Dry gas at ambient temperature can make use of low cost polymer linings. We have also looked at flow line applications that would need super duplex lining due to the corrosive nature of the fluid at elevated temperature.

  • The range of diameters we envisage is 6-48 inches. We have physically tested at 6-inch diameter, designed and modelled at 36-inch diameter and plan physical testing at 12-inch diameter during the first half of 2017.

  • There is no intrinsic pressure limitation because more layers can be wound on to increase the pressure rating. We have designed and modelled up to 900mm (36-inch) diameter pipe to operate at 94bar. Physical tests on 150mm pipe have been performed up to 200bar.

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