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Annulus Testing for Condition Assessment and Monitoring of Flexible Pipes

[+] Author Affiliations
Jon Olav Bondevik

SeaFlex a.s., Asker, Norway

Sigmund Lunde

Norsk Hydro ASA, Oslo, Norway

Rune Haakonsen

SeaFlex Riser Technology, Inc., Houston, TX

Paper No. OMAE2004-51431, pp. 763-768; 6 pages
  • ASME 2004 23rd International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
  • 23rd International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, Volume 1, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, June 20–25, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3743-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3738-6
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


The Norwegian operator Norsk Hydro has more than 80 flexible dynamic risers and service lines in operation at different platforms. Riser integrity monitoring programs have been established for the flexible risers in order to ensure safe and reliable operation. SeaFlex has performed annulus testing on a large number of these risers as a part of the programs. The free annulus volume of a flexible pipe is defined as the volume between the extruded internal pressure barrier layer and the extruded external sheath subtracted the volume occupied by pressure- and tension armor, tape and eventual other layers. Two methods are presently used by the industry for annulus free volume testing of flexible pipes, namely nitrogen pressure testing and vacuum testing. Both methods identify trends of volume reduction with time and to detect annulus flooding. Annulus testing has proven to be an efficient and reliable tool for detecting annulus flooding, blocked vent ports and outer sheet damages. This paper address the challenges related to annulus testing of flexible pipes, advantages, experiences and how such tests and the results are used for condition assessment and monitoring of the risers.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Pipes , Testing , Annulus



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