Thermoplastic Composite Pipe (TCP) is a spoolable, fully bonded, thermoplastic pipe with glass or carbon fibre reinforcements. The bonded composite pipe has a solid wall, like steel pipe and is able to cope with corrosive environments without being affected. For its lightweight and collapse resistance, TCP is most often associated with deep water. However, it is the combination of the solid wall, spoolability and no corrosion what makes TCP very attractive for production flowline applications, also in shallow water.
Leading TCP manufacturer Airborne Oil & Gas has qualified TCP for a number of applications and companies and has successfully delivered multiple TCP projects. In support of the market implementation, and as a the result of a broad industry JIP with participation of 19 companies, DNVGL has issued a Recommended Practice for Flexible Thermoplastic Composite Pipe. Furthermore, API has established a committee to draft a recommended practice for bonded composite pipe for offshore applications, API 17Z.
The spoolability and the ability to manufacture TCP in long lengths reduces installation cost significantly. This paper describes a shallow water reel laying installation method for TCP and compares the typical project scope with other pipeline options. With corrosion being a major cost driver for operational cost, thanks to the lack of corrosion of TCP, the operational cost for the operator are also reduced significantly in comparison to rigid steel pipe.
Reducing both installation and operational cost offsets the higher material cost for TCP compared to steel pipe and results in a total reduced life-cycle cost of the flowline.