Eliminating the maintenance burden

Outer-sheath breeches and their consequences are the key integrity issues for flexible pipes. SPIRE monitoring and inspection technology provides our customers with a unique solution for managing these challenges—overcoming the drawbacks of alternative strategies that require either costly and complex additional ancillary equipment on the topsides, or the use of specialist contractors to carry out periodic offshore measurements. In its simplest form, the SPIRE system incorporates a sensor element within the pipe and a bespoke connection fitting located at the top termination—and involves no other topsides equipment.

A simple and cost-effective solution to pipe-integrity management

The system contains three hardware components: an in-pipe sensor (Flexsensor) incorporated as part of the pipe construction in the tensile armour wire layer, a connection at the top termination (Smart Bolt), and either a control-room module (for monitoring) or a portable measurement instrument (for inspection).

As a monitoring system, a stand-alone piece of equipment is housed in an industry-standard enclosure designed for a control-room environment. Connection is made from the SPIRE system to the riser using a single cable to the Smart Bolt located in the top termination.

In inspection mode, the system consists of the same technology as the monitor system. The only difference is that the electronics are housed within a portable, ruggedized instrument, which is connected to a riser at the Smart Bolt interface as required. Minimal training is required for its operation. A complete riser test takes an elapsed time of 10-15 minutes.

Solving critical integrity issues

Outer-sheath breaches and subsequent annulus flooding are the most significant concerns in the management of flexible pipes. They are of particular importance in the splash-zone region, where exposing the load-bearing armor wires to seawater in an oxygenated environment can pose an ongoing integrity threat. The SPIRE in-pipe-integrity technology offers a simple and cost-effective solution to the management of these critical integrity issues.

Features and benefits include:
  • Detects the presence of annular water resulting either from an outer-sheath breach or from permeation through the pressure barrier
  • Identifies the location of an outer-sheath breach
  • Provides reliability through a multi-mode approach not reliant on the detection and interpretation of a transient response
  • Minimizes the burden on the operator, with no requirements for ancillaries or complex topsides equipment, or for specialist contractors to be deployed offshore
  • Simplifies data management, providing real-time information on sheath breach, time and location of breach, and location of annular water
  • Can be deployed as an inspection service or a monitoring system

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