NOV Introduces Breakthrough Heated Flexible Pipe System for Subsea Operations

(P&GJ) — In March 2024, NOV’s Subsea Production Systems (SPS) business unit signed a contract with an undisclosed customer to deliver an actively heated flexible pipe system for a gas project in the Black Sea.

NOV will supply its first active heated pipe system in 2025, introducing a proprietary technology solution of electrically heating the bore of the pipe through the resistance of the pipe’s inner carcass layer.

NOV’s heated pipe technology is designed to tackle wax and hydrate issues in subsea energy operations. This innovative method eliminates traditional, costly, time-sensitive, and potentially ineffective mitigation techniques - and offers a more compact footprint compared to other heating technologies.

The heated pipe system uses the properties of a standard flexible pipe, bringing a range of flow assurance benefits to operations. It aims to increase operational flexibility, reduce costs, prevent or remove hydrate plugs, and facilitate transporting viscous fluids over long distances.

This certified technology comes with standard power components, leading to lower installation, lifetime, and operational costs than competing technologies. The electrical current simply passes through the inner stainless steel carcass layer and returns via the metallic armor layers.

“The original idea for this technology came from our engineers, who realized that conventional unbonded flexible pipe in its nature is also a coaxial cable, with its mixture of metallic and polymeric layers,” Jan Rytter, R&D director of NOV’s SPS, said. “We spent several years in the laboratory and on detailing the design of end connectors to create a robust and fully certified solution, ready for deployment. Dissipating the heat directly in the bore, like your electric kitchen kettle, brings maximum energy efficiency.”

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