Delivering better outcomes by embracing new ideas requires a different mind-set from what currently prevails in today's oil & gas industry. Impactful change can be best realised when organisations are emboldened to think and act differently.

Our industry has been seeking holistic and integrated solutions that maximise economic recovery of E&P operator assets. Although we are seeing improvements in certain areas, there is still an opportunity to enable faster technology introduction, apply more collaborative working and adopt innovative commercial models. By looking at the production system holistically, operators can increase production efficiency, maximise economic recovery and more effectively extend the life of their brownfield assets.

Flexible Pipe is an essential component within the overall production system, where its unique characteristics provide an enabling capability for the cost-effective exploitation of oil & gas resources using floating production systems.

However, the design and construction of such systems is complex rendering the application of conventional integrity management technology ineffective. Manufacturers of flexible pipe, including GE Oil & Gas, have risen to this challenge, meeting the needs of operators through the offer of a comprehensive package of products and services not only for the assurance of on-going integrity, but also to provide the essential information necessary to answer questions related to remnant life, changing operating conditions, service upsets and lifetime extension.

This paper describes a number of the technologies now available that have been specifically designed to cater for those degradation mechanisms that can impact the service life of flexible pipe, whilst accommodating the nuances of its design. Examples, include the use of embedded sensors incorporated within the pipe during manufacture, monitoring equipment that can be mounted externally to the pipe, and bespoke inspection solutions targeted at specific elements of the pipe construction. Particular focus is given on fibre optic and electrical sensor systems for the detection of outer sheath breaches, the most common form of damage seen in flexible pipe during service, and in the application of the MAPS® stress measurement technology. The latter can provide a unique insight into the integrity of the primary load bearing elements within the pipe design.

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