In the oil and gas industry there is a common misconception that bonded flexible pipes designed according to the only approved standard for deepwater MPD applications, API 17K are overdesigned and heavy.

This paper is to clarify the misconception and present to the industry the flexibility that API 17K gives to tailor the hose construction reflecting the actual requirements and customer needs. Over the last few years a lot has been learned on the MPD operations, using inputs of the industry's major players, the hose requirements that in the past led to overdesigned, heavy and expensive flexibles have been revised, allowing a more efficient hose construction to be developed keeping the design premises of API 17K. This newly developed MPD mud return line construction assures a significantly lighter and easier to handle hose while not compromising on HSE and quality.

Brief overview on API specifications is given in terms of their applicability to MPD operations. Technical challenges and solutions are discussed in details for the flexible pipes carrying well effluents in kick situations with special emphasis on technological advances resulting meaningful weight and cost savings. Results of the full scale tests demonstrating the hose performance are presented, such as bending stiffness test, blistering test and burst test.

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