Well tie-in is an activity that requires careful measurement and fabrication methods. One of the most critical spools in onshore well tie-in is the riser connecting the wing valve in the X-mas tree to the choke valve. This piping section is regularly constructed of carbon steel and rated for high temperatures and high pressures, making it expensive and difficult to manufacture. The process of measurement and fabrication can only be initiated after the rig installs the X-mas tree in order to obtain as-built measurements. In order to optimize well tie-in, Saudi Aramco installed its first two non-metallic flexible onshore risers in two oil producers.

The non-metallic flexible onshore riser is a thermoplastic composite pipe (TCP) manufactured from carbon fiber and Polyether Ether Ketone (PEEK). This construction enables it to be lightweight, strong, and able to accommodate high levels of bending strain (flexible). This TCP can be manufactured to sustain pressures of up to 15,000 psi, temperatures of up to 248 °F, and corrosion resistance to seawater, H2S and CO2. This paper describes in detail the TPC onshore riser technology design, installation and performance evaluation process.

TCP can mitigate elevation/orientation changes of wing valves and consequently accelerate tie-in procedures. The installations of these non-metallic risers were performed in under five hours each. This optimization allows for cost and time savings, as well as releasing locked potential.

This paper provides a case study of the first installations of non-metallic flexible onshore risers for well tie- in in Saudi Arabia. By comparing the conventional method of installing carbon steel sections with TCP, the reader will be able to benefit from the technology benefits analysis, lessons learned, and future applications of this technology.

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