Miniature coiled tubing system

Paul Boughton

Paradigm Flow Services, the blockage removal experts for the oil and gas sector, has launched Flexi-Coil Extended Reach to take riser and flowline blockage remediation and internal inspection to new lengths.

Conventional methods for remediating riser and flowline blockages are limited due to deployment difficulties and inability to overcome bends and safely navigate beyond 200m.

Flexi-Coil Extended Reach has been proven in tests up to 2,000m. As the technology continues to be enhanced, Paradigm is positive of its potential to tackle more than double that distance to 4,000m. The firm is currently undertaking major projects with an international operator in West Africa.

The system, based on miniaturised coiled tubing principals, can be deployed in-situ into risers and flowlines and currently provides the only safe solution to unblock these lines when working from an FPSO. The innovative system can carry out high pressure jetting, chemical and nitrogen injection over long distances, to de-sand, de-wax and de-pressurise hydrate plugs.

This industry first can save operators tens of millions of pounds and solve blockage and restriction issues within a few days. Lines that may have been shut in for months or years can be remediated, restoring flow and enhancing oil recovery.

Rob Bain, managing director of Paradigm Flow Services, said: “Flexi-Coil Extended Reach is game changing, taking proven coiled tubing technology and adapting it in a way that makes it applicable and viable for the remediation of production systems. The only other option at the moment is to disconnect risers and bring another rig on site to carry out conventional coiled tubing. The safety and logistical implications have rendered this option redundant.
“Our method means the shut in line can be left in-situ and we can enter using existing facilities, reducing risk for operators. We can also attach monitoring devices and retrieve and analyse debris to provide assurance on operational success. Mature offshore basins such as the North Sea and West Africa are key markets for this and we are calling on UK operators to partner on the bespoke development of the technology to really push its boundaries and address the main issues they are facing.”

The technology can be adapted for several applications. In the UK, integrity of flexible risers is becoming a more prominent issue and inspection tools can be added to the system to address that challenge. Flexi-Coil Extended Reach can also be used for decommissioning to clean flowlines in-situ for safe abandonment as a cost effective and environmentally positive solution.

The Flexi-Coil Extended Reach system comprises a blow-out preventer stack, thruster system and lightweight composite hose reel. With capacity to clear sand and wax plugs, there is a unique mechanism to deploy the water through the outer annulus of the hose and return through the inner hose. The operation is managed by skilled Paradigm engineers.

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