New HT/HP Subsea Valve Coating Developed, Deployed

An international collaboration between Hardide Coatings and Master Flo Valve Inc. (MFV) has developed a new coating to protect HP/HT subsea choke valves, a press release stated.

The valves are the first of their kind to feature the Hardide-T coating, which can be applied to choke valve stems so they can withstand temperatures up to 204 C (400 F) and pressures of 20,000 psi.

MFV found that alternative hard coatings previously applied to the stem assembly were not rated to sufficiently high temperatures. The challenge was to have a durable coating with a completely smooth finish to form a tight metal-to-metal seal. The new coating has been applied to MFV’s P4-15K choke valve, which is rated from -29 C (-20 F) to 204 C and 15,000 psi, and the P4-20K choke valve, which is rated to the same temperatures but to 20,000 psi. They are typically installed on subsea production trees and are used for single/multiphase production or water/chemical/gas injection.

There is also an application for use on a capping stack, designed to be deployed in the event of a blowout situation.

Companies Partner To Advance Subsea Robotic Inspection

Avitas Systems, a GE Venture, announced a partnership with Kraken Robotics Inc. to integrate AUVs, acoustic and laser sensor technology, and artificial intelligence-based navigation software into unique subsea inspection solutions for the oil and gas, offshore renewable energy and shipping industries, a press release stated.

Routine subsea inspections can be slow and costly and often include manual visual inspection with a large margin of error. Utilizing enhanced imaging technology and inspection solutions will improve the jobs of inspectors and increase safety, accuracy, speed, cost efficiency and asset longevity. Avitas Systems will be able to complete subsea inspection with reduced cost, time and operational footprint. Kraken Robotics brings a broad range of cost-efficient AUV technologies such as sensors, pressure-tolerant batteries, thrusters and control electronics. Avitas Systems will integrate these technologies into an autonomous subsea inspection system.

The data from this inspection will be uploaded into a platform that includes robust data ingestion, automatic defect recognition, predictive analytics and a cloud-based visualization portal for oil and gas and offshore energy customers.

Avitas Systems provides autonomous inspection with robots that can target specific points on industrial assets and follow precise paths from digitized 3-D models. The paths’ repeatability enables artificial intelligence-based change detection and automated defect recognition for smarter inspection scheduling based on anticipated risk. Early detection and resolution of potential industrial issues means safer, more reliable operations and enhanced asset integrity.

Working with Kraken Robotics, Avitas Systems will now be able to apply this process to underwater inspections. The partnership expands capabilities for inspections of ship and FPSO hulls, underwater production fields, subsea pipelines and cables, and offshore wind farm assets.

Subsea UK, Scottish Enterprise Launch R&D Funding Call

In a quest to uncover new technology and methods to help solve complex challenges faced by the industry, Subsea UK and Scottish Enterprise have put out a $20 million funding call.

The funding call was recently announced after a memorandum of understanding was signed between Scottish Enterprise and The Nippon Foundation, a Japanese philanthropic group. The pact aims to help both countries seize opportunities in the subsea sector, according to a news release. The two will provide equal funding in support of joint projects, aiming to maximize use and development of digital technologies and challenge the status quo.

Applications are being sought under two categories:

• Subsea digital oilfield technologies (real-time underwater communication, inspection, monitoring and control, subsea sensors, robotics and artificial intelligence); and

• Subsea oil and gas innovation (well productivity and intervention, well design, low-cost drilling, decommissioning, subsea factory, remote monetization and challenging field development), the release said.

Interested companies may visit the Subsea UK website for proposal applications until March and for more information. Applications are due by June.

—Staff Reports