There are many ways to prevent hydrate formation in production flowline and riser systems. The most common and traditionally trusted means of prevention is a combination of thermal insulation during production and depressurization with chemical injection and inert fluid flushing during shutdown, all of which can be operationally expensive, as well as environmentally and logistically demanding on offshore real estate. Recently, actively heated pipelines are being considered for hydrate plug prevention, whereby heating is applied to maintain the production fluid operating temperature above the hydrate formation temperature either continuously during normal production, or intermittently during shutdown and restart periods. However, the transition from maintaining a minimum temperature in the production system to hydrate plug dissociation by using active heating is a change requiring qualification prior to operator implementation. The purpose of the work described here is to validate the use of active heated pipelines for safe hydrate plug dissociation.

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