Flexible risers are fundamental enabling components of nearly all floating production systems and form a key link in the hydrocarbon delivery chain to and from the platform. The integrity of these risers can drive the uptime availability of the entire production system or at least some elements of it. While the historical reliability of flexible risers has been relatively high, operators remain concerned about a lack of integrity condition information available to make key decisions relating to changes in operating conditions, replacement, life extension and general maintenance. The resulting increased confidence in the performance of flexible risers potentially could open the market to greater acceptance of flexible pipes and additional floating systems developments.
A new approach to in-service inspection of flexible pipes is presented in this paper. TechnipFMC develops a versatile subsea inspection tool (IRIS) that can deploy and operate in parallel several Non-Destructive Testing Technologies. This new generation of an in-service subsea inspection system for risers focuses on detection of defects on multi layers products (corrosion, cracks and breaks) and flooding detection. IRIS is remotely controlled and operated in real-time via an umbilical from the control room on a support vessel. Given its architecture, this "Underwater Non-Destructive Testing laboratory" also allows inspecting risers without stopping the production under water, in the splash zone as well as in its aerial part when relevant. Thanks to its in-depth knowledge of flexible pipe and specific Non-Destructive Testing modeling tools, TechnipFMC will propose a dedicated inspection strategy for each flexible pipe.