Direct electrical heating (DEH) of pipelines is a technique used to avoid hydrate and wax formation in pipelines used for transport of oil between the manifolds on the seabed to the offshore facility. Heating up the pipeline will prevent it from becoming blocked due to hydrate formation during shut-down periods thereby minimising the use of chemicals and optimising the shut down periods.
“The simplified explanation is that we are attaching cables to the subsea pipelines. The oil from the wells may freeze and create a plug in the pipeline if the production stops. The current from the cables heats the pipelines and the oil content so that it remains viscous until production can start again,” says Tove Røskaft, senior vice president for umbilical technology, Aker Solutions.
“We have developed this system based on our market leading subsea umbilical technology, with support from oil companies who want this product. The combination of deeper waters, longer transportation distances and more complex reservoir conditions will drive the need for flow assurance technologies like our DEH-system.”
Aker Solutions has previously successfully installed its DEH-system at a development offshore West Africa.
“Technip as the installation contractor already has a long track record in DEH installations. We look forward to working with Technip on the Goliat project. We will work hard to make it a success, which will open up new and exciting markets for this technology,” concludes Røskaft.
The DEH cables will be assembled at Aker Solutions cable and umbilical facility in Moss, Norway. Final deliveries will be made in Q2 2013.
Aker Solutions’ contract party is Aker Subsea AS.