Research / Research

Investigation of Hybrid Deep Water Production Systems

Project Number
Progress Date
Project Initiation Date
Performing Activity
Principal Investigator
John Rodgers Smith
Contracting Agency
Minerals Management Service
Estimated Completion Date

This project, 'Investigation of Hybrid Deep Water Production Systems' was initiated by a three-year cooperative agreement between the Minerals Management Service and LSU. Dr. Stuart Scott was the principal investigator. It was intended to complement another project with the same name and focus funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents, LSU, and Chevron. Both projects were to use field-scale experiments and analytical modeling to investigate the problems associated with subsea, multi-phase production systems.

The focus of this project / report is that the experiments were conducted to assess the previous method proposed for the detection of leaks in deep water, multi-phase pipelines. Six field-scale, multi-phase flow tests were conducted in June 2000, to compare a small leak with a no-leak condition during each test. Tests at least qualitatively demonstrate the feasibility of the previously proposed detection method. Specifically, knowing the characteristic pressure loss versus throughput in a line without a leak provides a basis for determining the presence of a leak by measuring pressure loss and flow-rate out of the said line. If the pressure loss is higher than expected for that flow-rate, a leak is a likely possible cause. Visual observation of a leaking oil or gas line is the best and easiest way of leak detection, but obviously, many lines are not visible, so therefore, other means of leak detection must be considered for more sensitive, timely detection of leaks in deepwater. The tests were conducted on land and do not allow evaluation of visual detection methods in deepwater. However, the experimental results do provide a basis of comparison for a variety of more sensitive leak detection methods

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Smith, J. R..