DNV GL has issued the report ‘Subsea – Technology Developments, Incidents and Future Trends’ on behalf of the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority. “The ongoing increase in technology enhancement and the number of worldwide subsea field developments will demand greater focus on a number of issues. The report aims to raise awareness and share knowledge within safety, industry cooperation, degradation mechanisms, failure modes, monitoring, integrity management and incident-related information,” said Bjørn Søgård, DNV GL’s segment director for subsea technology.
The oil and gas industry’s drive to develop more cost-efficient ways to produce, process and transport oil and gas offshore has in the past few years led to tremendous technology developments on subsea technology.
“Experience from both the North Sea and globally shows that the use of subsea facilities, like all other offshore oil and gas activities, may have the potential to cause major accidents. This, along with the great number of new entrants and the increasing complexity of subsea installation solutions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, has prompted the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority to commission this study,” said Trond Sundby, principal engineer at the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority.
The number of installed subsea XTs is currently about 800 on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and approximately 5,000 globally. These numbers are forecast to increase.
“The industry will encounter increasing complexity due its progression towards deeper, colder, more remote and environmentally sensitive areas. It is faced with more demanding production fluids and, in parallel, assets are becoming harder to test and it is more difficult to predict prospective failure modes. Complexity is now also increasing with the realisation of subsea processing and compression,” explained Søgård.
The report describes the current status of the industry and future trends. Mechanisms related to degradation and ageing, and the effect these have on the robustness in operation, are also described.
- Overview of the key trends in the development of subsea facilities
- Overview of the most serious incidents
- Relevant degradation mechanisms and failure modes
- The present state of knowledge and potential future risks
- Effects of degradation on robustness
- Future trends, developments and challenges
- Integrity management
- Ageing assets
- Inspection, maintenance and monitoring methodologies
- Initiatives for improvements in knowledge-sharing