Shell Hires 4Subsea for Flexible Risers R&D Project in Brazil

Illustration: 4Subsea

4Subsea has been awarded a Shell-funded contract to support COPPE, the centre for engineering research and education at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

The project is funded by Shell Brazil and is a partnership with UFRJ-COPPE EMBRAPII. The primary goal is to extend the safe operational life of flexible risers.

The research project focuses on reducing operational risk and increasing the life expectancy of flexible risers. The project runs for 3 years and has a contract value of about NOK 25 million (approximately $3.1 million).

“We are pleased that Shell Brazil and UFRJ-COPPE have chosen 4Subsea as their partner for this research programme,” says CEO of 4Subsea Peter Jenkins. “We will contribute by providing our broad experience from operation of flexible risers in the North Sea, including online monitoring technologies. We also bring in centres of R&D excellence, IFE and SINTEF to support the work. The goal is that our joint efforts significantly reduce the life cycle cost of flexible risers.”

4Subsea will deliver digital solutions for monitoring riser integrity and develop new methodologies for life extension of risers. 4Subsea will also support UFRJ-COPPE with a material research programme to develop improved models for polymer ageing and steel corrosion. According to Mr Jenkins “the project encourages technology exchange between Brazil and Norway, aligning the development of digital and automated solutions for live follow-up of flexible risers in operation.”

“Shell considers the project important in terms of bringing together the strong materials technology expertise of UFRJ-COPPE with one of the leading providers of operational services for flexible risers,” says Leury Pereira, Subsea Principal R&D Engineer in Shell Brazil. “This Shell Brazil R&D project enables us to combine best practices from two key regions of the world that rely on the use of flexible risers to improve safety operations of Brazil offshore fields not only today, but creating better concepts for the future”, Mr Pereira says.

“The project represents a unique opportunity to build a strong operational presence in Brazil, the market with the world’s highest number of flexible risers,” Peter Jenkins states. “The use of flexible risers has posed some operational challenges to the industry. However, managed correctly such risers provide robust and cost-efficient solutions for offshore oil and gas production in challenging environments like Brazil and the North Sea.”

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