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Viper Subsea in JIP agreement with energy giants BP and Total

Oilfield Technology,

Viper Subsea has signed a Joint Industry Project (JIP) agreement with energy giants BP and Total to further develop its Subsea Line Insulation Monitoring (V-SLIM) technology for identifying and locating cable and connector faults in remote subsea electrical distribution systems. Viper Subsea will carry out all the research and development for the V-SLIM system, while the JIP partners will contribute funding and field test the pioneering technology.  The establishment of the JIP has been facilitated by the Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF). 

Electrical faults in subsea production systems

When electrical faults occur in subsea production systems it is often difficult to determine the precise cause or location of the fault. However, water ingress into the aging electrical conductors and connectors over time is a common cause of subsea faults. The generally accepted perception of such failures within the industry is expressed in terms of “when”, and not “if” they occur.

Viper Subsea is developing its V-SLIM technology with the backing of the JIP to provide a solution that will enable accurate electrical fault location. V-SLIM units can be strategically positioned within the subsea distribution system, and together with a surface Line Insulation Monitoring unit (V-LIM) that incorporates a topside modem, they build a network (V-NET) of electrical condition monitoring units that inter-communicate and transmit information back to the surface. Each V-SLIM can identify whether any electrical leakage is ‘upstream’ or ‘downstream’ of its self, and in dialogue with one another, fault locations can be accurately located.

The JIP also utilises the field-proven V-LIFE technology by incorporating it into the surface located V-LIM to create an all-encompassing electrical integrity monitoring and rejuvenation solution.

Identifying and predicting fault occurrence

The technology developed by the JIP could be incorporated into greenfield developments, or retrofitted into brownfields. Once installed, continuous integrity monitoring provides the operator with the ability to both identify and predict early fault occurrence.

Viper Subsea expects the new V-SLIM to be field-trialled in less than 18 months.

Adapted from press release by Cecilia Rehn

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