Baker Hughes, an energy technology company, has reached a significant technology milestone in pioneering a solution to overcome flexible pipe stress corrosion cracking (SCC) tendencies in high CO2 content fields, such as those found in Brazil’s pre-salt offshore developments.
The inspection, verification and assurance body, Lloyd’s Register, issued Baker Hughes a design appraisal document (DAD) certification, validating the company’s flexible pipe testing program and results. This follows an extensive three-year testing campaign by Baker Hughes — featuring more than 120 test setups, methodologies and characterizations, including dissection of pipes recovered from field operations — and marks a step toward a viable flexible pipe solution for the most demanding high CO2 offshore fields. The certification verifies that on top of the standard 25-30-year equipment service life, Baker Hughes can extend flexible pipes contracted service life by at least 50%, with the potential of 2.5 times life extension.
The DAD confirms that the combination of advanced materials and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes produces a flexible pipe that can withstand the most severe operating conditions while still retaining advantages including flexibility in field layout, simplified FPSO balcony configuration, and reduced time to first oil. Moving forward, all installed flexible pipes by Baker Hughes in Brazil will be covered by the DAD and offer operators extended operating life before replacement. In addition, the DAD enables Baker Hughes to assess and predict the integrity of flexible pipes operating for several years.