Deepwater Flow Assurance – Part 1
Flow assurance is a relatively new term in oil and gas industry. It refers to ensuring successful and economical flow of hydrocarbons from reservoir to the point of sale and is closely linked to multiphase flow technology. Flow Assurance developed because traditional approaches were inappropriate for deepwater production due to extreme distances, depths, temperatures or economic constraints. The term “Flow Assurance” was first used by Petrobras in the early 1990s (Garantia do Escoamento in Portuguese), meaning literally Guarantee of Flow, or Flow Assurance. Flow assurance is an extremely diverse subject, encompassing many specialized engineering disciplines.
Subsea Flow Assurance and Pipeline Pigging
Pipeline pigging is actually a form of flow assurance for O&G pipelines and flowlines. This is because the use of pipeline pigging helps maintain subsea pipelines clear of unwanted material or debris that may build up in a pipeline and eventually cause the passage of O&G to slow or even stop altogether if the pipeline is plugged with these materials. This unwanted debris, such as wax and paraffin, when obstructing a pipeline's flow, may cause the subsea pipelines to crack, by increasing the pressure in the pipeline. A highly clogged pipeline section may also cause damage to other sections of the same pipeline, due to pressure increase along the line caused by the decrease in flow along the clogged pipeline section.
Offshore Port for Pre-salt Oil in 2012
Petrobras has decided on a novel way to transfer pre-salt oil to export and local market tankers from a maritime operations base. The projects named “Unidade Offshore de Transferência e Exportação” (UOTE) or Offshore Transfer and Export Unit (OTEU), will work as a floating port terminal. Due to the distance from land of pre-salt plays such as Tupi, which is nearly 300km from the nearest coast. The national operator chose to use an DP enabled FSO anchored in shallow waters, 80 to 90km from the coast Rio, in around 70 meters of water to receive and store production oil from shuttle tankers loaded at the production FPSOs, over the pre-salt plays. The FSO will have a capacity to store 2 million barrels of oil and will be connected to underwater pipelines.
Brazilian Pigging Technology
PipeWay is a Brazilian company specializing in pipeline inspection technology and pigging unit manufacture. Starting from a small back room in a Brazilian university, the company has grown to be the leading national pipe inspection company and is also gaining international reputation to boot.PipeWay Internatinal was formed by an alliance between a Brazilian company called PipeWay Engenharia and an American company, to work together in North America. PipeWay Engenharia is the sole company in the Southern Hemisphere with fully national production, which manufactures and operates tools for O&G pipeline inspection-pigs, which check anomalies such as ovalnesses, crushing and corrosions, contributing to avoid leakages that may cause ecological accidents.