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TechnipFMC develops versatile subsea inspection system

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Oilfield Technology,

The complex structure of flexible pipes combined with their installed configuration makes inspection challenging. One of the most difficult aspects of flexible pipe inspection lies in the multi-layer structure design. Various materials, profiles and thicknesses in a single product generate difficulties for the efficient implementation of inspection technologies.

TechnipFMC develops versatile subsea inspection system

TechnipFMC’s In-Service Riser Inspection System (IRIS) is a versatile subsea inspection system that deploys and operates non-destructive testing (NDT) techniques simultaneously to detect damages in risers. IRIS is a new generation of inspection systems that works in parallel with Electromagnetic Testing, Ultrasonic Testing and X-ray Computed Tomography.

IRIS is remotely controlled and operated in real time via an umbilical from the control room of a support vessel. All inspected results are displayed and analysed in real time using dedicated software.

The objective of inspections is to gather information to establish the current condition of a component and analyse its degradation rate. The IRIS solution allows autonomous inspection of multiple riser sizes with different NDT technologies, like Electromagnetic Testing, resulting in a riser inspection report and integrity diagnostic report.

IRIS enables the detection of flooding and defects like corrosion, breaks and cracks in multi-layer products such as flexible pipes. Given its architecture, this subsea non-destructive testing laboratory also allows operators to inspect risers without halting production underwater, in the splash zone or in the air.

While the historical reliability of flexible risers has been relatively high, operators remain concerned about a lack of asset integrity information available regarding changes in operating conditions, general maintenance, life extension and replacement. The introduction of IRIS and the resulting increased confidence in flexible risers could open the market to greater acceptance of flexible pipes and additional floating systems developments.

IRIS has been developed primarily for complex flexible pipe structures but will be suitable soon for other kinds of pipes such as rigid pipe, pipe-in-pipe and umbilical.

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