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Title:
SYSTEM AND SYSTEM ELEMENTS FOR DIRECT ELECTRICAL HEATING OF SUBSEA PIPELINES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2012/102624
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Means for high efficiency induction heating or direct electrical heating, DEH, of a number, M, M∈ [1, N] of a group of parallel subsea pipelines N, where N∈ [2,∞), and where a number of conductor cables, W, supplies electrical power from at least one top side power supply (207, G1, G2) to M of the parallel subsea pipelines N. The numbers of electric conductors, W, from the at least one top side (207, G1, G2) power supply connected to the M pipelines is defined to be in the group W∈ [N, N + 1], where N, W and M are natural numbers. It is furthermore disclosed a system for induction heating or DEH of subsea pipelines.

Inventors:
ROEKKE PETTER E (NO)
Application Number:
PCT/NO2012/050010
Publication Date:
August 02, 2012
Filing Date:
January 30, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SINVENT AS (NO)
ROEKKE PETTER E (NO)
International Classes:
H05B3/00; F16L53/00; F17D1/18; H05B6/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO2009027305A22009-03-05
WO2007011230A12007-01-25
Foreign References:
US6617556B12003-09-09
EP1524883A12005-04-20
US20100101663A12010-04-29
EP2166637A12010-03-24
US20030016028A12003-01-23
US6509557B12003-01-21
NO304533B11999-01-04
Other References:
LERVIK, J.K. ET AL.: "Direct Heating of Subsea Pipelines", ISOPE-93, 1993
KULBOTTEN, HARALD ET AL.: "Direct Electrical Heating of Pipelines - A Method for Preventing Hydrates and Wax in Subsea Transport Pipelines", NORDIS, 2005
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRYN AARFLOT AS (Oslo, NO)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. Means for high efficiency induction heating or direct electrical heating, DEH, of a number, M, Me [l,N] of a group of parallel subsea pipelines N arranged adjacent to each other, where Ne [2,∞), and where a number of conductor cables, W, supplies electrical power from at least one top side power supply (207, G1, G2) to M of the parallel subsea pipelines N,

characterised in that

the numbers of electric conductors, W, from the at least one top side (207, G1, G2) power supply connected to the M pipelines is defined to be in the group We [N,N + 1], where N, W and M are natural numbers.

2. Induction heating or DEH according to claim 1,

characterised in that electric AC current (203, 403, 603, 703, 803, 903) with different phase angle in each of the W electric conductors is supplied to the M pipeline(s).

3. Induction heating or DEH according to claim 1 or 2,

characterised in that at least a first of two pipelines are supplied with electric power at the far end CTZ of the at least two pipelines.

4. Induction heating or DEH according to claim 3,

characterised in that the electric power at the far end of two pipelines (Fig.2A,B, Fig.4), the first and a second pipeline, is fed by one power cable which runs in parallel to the two pipelines and which is connected to the first pipeline at the far end CTZ, current (202,402) is transferred through the first pipeline to the near end CTZ, at the near end CTZ the first pipeline is electrically connected (214,414) to the second pipeline, current (202, 402) is transferred through the second pipeline to the far end CTZ, whereas return current (203, 403, -I) is returned to a riser (205) by one power cable connected to the second pipeline at the far end CTZ.

5. Induction heating or DEH according to claim 4,

characterised in that a short circuit connection (214, 414, k) is connected between the connections at the far and near end CTZ of the two pipelines.

6. Induction heating or DEH according to claim 1 or 2,

characterised in that electric power at the far end of the at least two pipelines, the first and second pipeline, is fed by one power cable, which runs in parallel to the two pipelines, and which is connected to the first pipeline at the far end CTZ, current (203, 502) is transferred through the first pipeline to the near end CTZ, at the near end CTZ the first pipeline is electrically connected (214) to the second pipeline and to a centre return conductor, current (202, 502) is transferred through the second pipeline to the far end CTZ, whereas return current from the second pipeline is returned to a riser (205) by one power cable connected to the second pipeline at the far end CTZ.

7. Induction heating or DEH according to claim 2,

characterised in that the phase difference between current's phase angle supplied from top side (207, G1 , G2) is 2ττ/Μ, where M is the number of pipelines to be heated.

8. Induction heating or DEH according to any of the previous claims,

characterised in that the at least one power supply is a power source of 50 - 200Hzsource.

9. Induction heating or DEH according to any of the previous claims,

characterised in that intermediate anodes is connected to the M pipelines between the near end and far end CTZ.

10. Induction heating or DEH according to any of the previous claims,

characterised in that at least portions of the at least one of the pipelines to be heated are treated by surface treatments methods so as to provide an optimum pipe impedance.

11. Induction heating or DEH according to claim 10,

characterised in that the surface treatment method includes grit blasting.

12. Induction heating or DEH according to claim 10 or 11,

characterised in that rating of DEH of the at least portions of the pipelines to be heated is provided by means of finite element simulations in which an equivalent electrical circuit of the at least portions of the pipelines to be heated, and power supply conductors, are provided as input to the finite element simulations.

13. Induction heating or DEH according to claim 12,

c h a r a c t e r i s e d i n that the input parameters to the finite elements method at least comprises:

r, the relative permeability which is a function of current and distance between a pipeline to be heated and a power supply cable which runs in parallel to the pipeline or portion of pipeline;

Cp1 (1330),which is a function of the pipe current and distance between the power supply cable and the pipe ;

Zc1 (1317), Which is the impedance of the power supply cable which runs in parallel to the pipeline or portion of pipeline;

Zp1 (1318), which is the impedance of the pipeline or portion of pipeline excluding Cp1 (1330), and

Zs (1319), which is the impedance of the seawater surrounding said pipeline or portion of pipeline.

14. Induction heating or DEH according to any of the previous claims,

c h a r a c t e r i s e d i n that a second power supply G2 is provided to supply current (1431) in a reduction transfer current cable routed in parallel to the heated pipeline(s) M (1411) at a distance, d, the current through the reduction transfer current cable (1431) is adjusted to equal the absolute value of a steady state current in seawater (1401), thereby reducing current transfer through CTZ.

15. Induction heating or DEH according to claim 14,

c h a r a c t e r i s e d i n that the phase angle for the reduction current (1431 ) shall have approximately 180° displacement referred to the total transfer current (1401).

16. System for DEH or induction heating of at least a first of at least two parallel subsea pipelines comprising power cables in which at least one supplies electric power from a top side to the at least first of at least two parallel subsea pipelines, where the system further comprises,

at least one power supply at the top side;

at least one riser cable including at least two power cables; and

at least two connections from the at least two power cables from the at least one riser, one connection to a return power cable at the near end CTZ, where the return cable runs in parallel with a second pipeline and is connected to the second pipeline at the far end CTZ and one connection to a power supply cable at the near end CTZ which runs in parallel with the first pipeline and which is connected to the far end CTZ of the first pipeline.

17. System for DEH or induction heating according to claim 16,

characterised in that at least one capacitor bank is provided between the power supply cables.

18. System for DEH or induction heating according to claim 16,

characterised in that a second power supply G2 is provided to supply current (1431) in a reduction transfer current cable routed in parallel to the heated pipeline(s) M (1411) at a distance, d, the current through the reduction transfer current cable (1431) is adjusted to equal the absolute value of a steady state current in seawater (1401), thereby reducing current transfer through CTZ.

19. System for DEH or induction heating according to claim 16,

characterised in that at least one capacitor bank (1533) is provided between at least two power cables (1606) subsea, where the power cables are intended to supply current for DEH or induction heating of one or more subsea pipelines, thus reducing the power cable (1606) cross section between the capacitor bank (1533) and the at least one top side power supplies.

Description:
Description

System and system elements for direct electrical heating of subsea pipelines Technical Field

[0001] The present invention relates to means and a system for direct electrical heating of subsea pipelines, in more particular it relates to means for high efficiency induction heating or direct electrical heating, DEH, of a number, M, Me [1, N] of a group of parallel subsea pipelines N, where Ne [2,∞), and where a number of conductor cables, W, supplies electrical power from at least one top side power supply to M of the parallel subsea pipelines N.

According to the invention the disclosed system more particularly relates to a system for direct electrical heating of subsea pipelines, DEH, or induction heating of at least a first of at least two parallel subsea pipelines comprising conductor cables in which at least one supplies electric power from a top side to the at least first of at least two parallel subsea pipelines.

Background Art

[0002] For. unprocessed well stream in ordinary subsea pipelines, the temperature of oil, gas and produced water will drop rapidly due to cooling from the surrounding seawater. The low temperature results in undesired fluid properties. At high pressures hydrates start to precipitate already at temperatures in the range of 20-25°C. Large amounts of hydrate, which is similar to ice crystals, can precipitate on the pipe wall and cause blocking of well stream transport. For some fields wax formation in the flowing crude may also cause operational problems due to increased pressure loss in the pipeline. The viscosity of waxy oil can be of such magnitude, that full "shut in wellhead pressure" will not be sufficient for getting the cold fluid on stream again after long shut downs. The use of chemicals to remove hydrates will in practice mean to use methanol or glycol. The disadvantage with use of chemicals is that large amounts are often needed and implies a risk to the environment if leakage should occur.

[0003] A way to remove hydrates is to supply heat to the pipe content. Direct

Electrical Heating (DEH) has been developed and qualified for heating of pipelines and is installed on several subsea pipelines in the North Sea.

Electrical heating of pipelines implies reduced investments of depressurizing systems and recovery plants for chemical residual products. Especially for deep-water fields electrical heating of pipelines is attractive for achieving reliable operation of transport pipelines. The method, which has used a single phase 50/60 Hz powered system, is presented in [1, 2],

[0004] Both single and multiple pipelines are installed according to the principle

described in [1 , 2]. For dual pipelines the supply cables, dynamic riser and static feeder, are now designed with four conductors. Due to the high currents required for feeding the DEH system, large conductor cross sections are needed to avoid over-heating of these cables.

[0005] The DEH system is fed from the AC power supply by special supply cables (riser cables, static single core feeding cables etc) to the pipeline connection point at the near end and to the piggyback cable, which is routed along the pipeline to the pipe connection at the far end. At both connection ends the pipeline is supplied with anodes. These anodes make grounding of the pipeline and transfer some of the current to seawater. In order to keep the transfer current density both for the anodes and for pipe steel through possible cracks in the pipe thermal coating, a sufficient number of anodes distributed over approximately 50 m length (current transfer zone, CTZ) are required. The return current flows partly through seawater and partly through the pipeline, which is intended to be heated. The circuits are not closed loop circuits, due among others to safety reasons as the anodes and pipelines are not electrically isolated from the surrounding seawater. In addition to the anodes at each end, the pipeline may be supplied with distributed anodes in order to limit the pipe voltage, which occur if the magnetic and/or electrical properties of the pipe steel (in the individual pipe joints) varies along the pipeline.

[0006] In addition to the problem related to high cross sections of the riser cables, the prior art methods of DEH includes problems with AC corrosion of anodes. It is also problems related to safety distances to steel structures in particular close to CTZ (Current Transfer Zones) of traditional DEH systems for subsea pipelines. [0007] It is known from US2010101663 (A1) a fluid flow within a transportation pipeline that is heated with low voltage, high current electrical energy induced into a conductive closed loop structure by one or more transformers. The closed loop structure is preferably a fluid transportation pipeline constructed of electrically conductive sections of pipeline. The amount of current induced is sufficient in relation to the inherent resistivity of the conductive sections to cause the generation of heat within the pipeline sections. By conductive and convective heat transfer, the heat induced into the pipeline structure is transferred to a fluid flow within the pipeline. The current is preferably an alternating current of frequency which causes a majority of the current to travel at or near the outer surfaces of the pipeline sections which increases the effective resistivity of the sections and heat generation therein.

[0008] WO2007011230 (A1) discloses a power system that provides electrical power to an electric load circuit comprising a three-phase electrical power generation and power transmission system 1 being coupled to an electric load 4,2,21. The three-phase generation and transmission system is connected to said subsea located electric load 4,2,21 via a three-phase to two-phase transformer 2, said electric load being connected to the secondary side of said three-phase to two-phase transformer 2 so as to form a balanced electric load on the three-phase electrical power generation and power transmission system 1. The power system may further be connected to an end load 30 for providing power to components or equipment connected to or powered by the end load 30.

[0009] EP2166637 (A1 ) discloses a power supply arrangement for supplying

electrical power to a pipeline. The power supply arrangement is a direct electrical heating system for a pipeline system that comprises three phase transformer (2), a symmetrization unit (14) and a compensation unit (22).

[0010] Other examples of systems and methods for heating pipelines can be found in US 2003/0016028 A1 , US 6509557 B1 and NO 304533 B1.

[0011] The present invention discloses new configurations of the electrical circuits applicable for both single and multiple pipelines, which implies that the number of single core supply cables and the conductor cross section can be reduced. The power losses in the cables are significantly reduced, which solve a problem with overheating. This makes improvement especially for the supply cables, multi core riser cable, routed from topside to the connection of the DEH cables subsea. The new method implies that both number of single core cables and cable conductor cross section can be reduced and hence reduces investment cost considerably.

[0012] Furthermore it is an object according to the present invention to overcome or reduce problems related to AC corrosion and exposure of magnetic field and stray current in neighbouring structures as indicated above.

Disclosure of Invention

[0013] The objectives according to the present invention are met by means for high efficiency induction heating or direct heating, DEH, of a number of parallel subsea pipelines.

[0014] In particular it is disclosed means for high efficiency induction heating or direct electrical heating, DEH, of a number, M, Me [1, N] of a group of parallel subsea pipelines N, where Ne [2,∞), and where a number of conductor cables, W, supplies electrical power from at least one top side power supply to M of the parallel subsea pipelines N. Where the numbers of electric conductors, W, from the at least one top side power supply connected to the M pipelines is defined to be in the group We [N, N + 1], where N, W and M are natural numbers. The invention is further specified in that electric AC current with different phase angle in each of the W electric conductors is supplied to the M pipeline(s).

[0015] According to one embodiment of the invention the at least first of two

pipelines are supplied with electric power at the far end CTZ of the at least two pipelines.

[0016] According to another embodiment of the invention it is disclosed that the

electric power at the far end of two pipelines, the first and a second pipeline, is fed by one power cable which runs in parallel to the two pipelines and which is connected to the first pipeline at the far end CTZ, current is transferred through the first pipeline to the near end CTZ, at the near end CTZ the first pipeline is electrically connected to the second pipeline, current is transferred through the second pipeline to the far end CTZ, whereas return current is returned to a riser by one power cable connected to the second pipeline at the far end CTZ.

[0017] According to yet an embodiment of the invention it is disclosed that a short circuit connection (k) is connected between the connections at the far end/near end CTZ of the two pipelines.

[00 8] According to yet an embodiment of the invention it is disclosed that the

electric power at the far end of the at least two pipelines, the first and second pipeline, is fed by one power cable, which runs in parallel to the two pipelines, and which is connected to the first pipeline at the far end CTZ, current is transferred through the first pipeline to the near end CTZ, at the near end CTZ the first pipeline is electrically connected to the second pipeline and to a centre return conductor, current is transferred through the second pipeline to the far end CTZ, whereas return current from the second pipeline is returned to a riser by one power cable connected to the second pipeline at the far end CTZ.

[0019] According to yet an embodiment of the invention it is disclosed that the phase difference between current's phase angles supplied from top side is 2rr/M, where M is the number of pipelines to be heated.

[0020] According to yet an embodiment of the invention it is disclosed that the at least one power supply is a power source of 50- 200Hz.

[0021] According to yet an embodiment of the invention it is disclosed that

intermediate anodes is connected to the M pipelines between the near end and far end CTZ.

[0022] In accordance to one aspect of the invention the means for high efficiency induction heating or direct electrical heating indicated above is further specified in that least portions of the at least one of the pipelines to be heated are treated by surface treatments methods so as to provide an optimum pipe impedance. Where the surface treatment method may include grit blasting. It is further disclosed that rating of DEH of the at least portions of the pipelines to be heated is provided by means of finite element simulations in which an equivalent electrical circuit of the at least portions of the pipelines to be heated, and power supply conductors, are provided as input to the finite element simulations. According to one aspect of the invention the input parameters to the finite elements method at least comprises: r, the relative permeability which is a function of current and distance between a pipeline to be heated and a power supply cable which runs in parallel to the pipeline or portion of pipeline;

Cp1 ,which is a function of the pipe current and distance between the power supply cable and the pipe ;

Zc1 , which is the impedance of the power supply cable which runs in parallel to the pipeline or portion of pipeline;

Zp1 , which is the impedance of the pipeline or portion of pipeline excluding Cp1 , and

Zs, which is the impedance of the seawater surrounding said pipeline or portion of pipeline.

[0023] According to yet an embodiment of the invention it is disclosed that a second power supply G2 is provided to supply current in a reduction transfer current cable routed in parallel to the heated pipeline(s) M at a distance, d, the current through the reduction transfer current cable is adjusted to equal the absolute value of a steady state current in seawater, thereby reducing current transfer through CTZ. According to one aspect it is further assumed that the phase angle for the reduction current will have approximately 180° displacement referred to the total transfer current.

[0024] The objects according to the present invention are also met by a system for DEH or induction heating of at least a first of at least two parallel subsea pipelines.

[0025] In particular the system for DEH or induction heating of at least a first of at least two parallel subsea pipelines comprising power cables in which at least one supplies electric power from a top side to the at least first of at least two parallel subsea pipelines, where the system further comprises,

at least one power supply at the top side;

at least one riser cable including at least two power cables; and

at least two connections from the at least two power cables from the at least one riser, one connection to a return power cable at the near end CTZ, where the return cable runs in parallel with a second pipeline and is connected to the second pipeline at the far end CTZ and one connection to a power supply cable at the near end CTZ which runs in parallel with the first pipeline and which is connected to the far end CTZ of the first pipeline.

[0026] In accordance to one aspect of the invention the system for DEH or induction heating is specified in that at least one capacitor bank is provided between the power supply cables.

[0027] In another aspect of the system for DEH or induction heating it is disclosed that a second power supply G2 is provided to supply current in a reduction transfer current cable routed in parallel to the heated pipeline(s) M at a distance, d, the current through the reduction transfer current cable is adjusted to equal the absolute value of a steady state current in seawater, thereby reducing current transfer through CTZ.

[0028] These and further advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the appended independent claims.

[0029] Particularly advantageous embodiments will be apparent from the dependent claims.

Brief Description of Drawings

[0030] The present invention will now be described with reference to the

accompanying drawings in which;

[0031] Figure 1A shows a traditional DEH configuration, with equal phase angle, which needs a riser with 4 conductors;

[0032] Figure 1 B shows an equivalent circuit of Fig. 1 A, with a riser with 4

conductors;

[0033] Figure 2A shows one example of a new DEH configuration according to one aspect of the present invention, with different ohase angle and 2 or three conductors in the riser;

[0034] Figure 2B shows equivalent circuit of Fig. 2A with a 2 core riser configuration;

[0035] Figure 2C shows equivalent circuit of Fig 2A with a 3 core riser configuration

[0036] Figure 3a shows a traditional supply cable design, required for the case in Figure A;

[0037] Figure 3b shows an example of a design according to one embodiment of the present invention with two cores (simultaneous heating of two pipelines with equal supply currents), actual for the Case B in Figure 2B; [0038] Figure 3c shows an example of a design according to one embodiment of the present invention with three cores (simultaneous or individual heating of two pipelines), actual for the case C in Figure 2C;

[0039] Figure 4 shows the system in Figure 2A with pipelines connected (by cables) at the far end, with different phase angle;

[0040] Figure 5 shows the case with a single pipeline heated according to one

embodiment of the present invention in which a "third conductor" is required

(assuming approximatelyl 80° difference in phase angle between the two currents in case of heating of both pipelines);

[0041] Figure 6 shows one embodiment according to the present invention with three pipelines with a three phase system (three conductors in the riser cable are required);

[0042] Figure 7 shows induction heating with a single phase system where the

pipelines are connected by cables at each end;

[0043] Figure 8 shows an example of induction heating according to one

embodiment with three pipelines with a three phase induction heating system;

[0044] Figure 9 illustrates an example according to one embodiment with "n"

pipelines, where M of the n pipelines are heated and where n=M, the numbers of feeding conductors are W=n;

[0045] Figure 10 shows an example of a DEH configuration where the DEH cable can be piggybacked or located close to the pipeline, the cable can also be supported by a mechanical protection system;

[0046] Figure 1 shows an example of a laboratory test set-up to determine pipe joint impedance;

[0047] Figure 12 shows an equivalent electrical circuit for the laboratory test set-up in Figure 11 ;

[0048] Figure 13 shows an equivalent electrical circuit for the finite element

simulations of electrical rating of DEH with a compensation capacitor Cp1 ;

[0049] Figure 14 shows a method for reduction of transfer current through the

anodes in CTZ according to one aspect of the present invention in which the distance between a DEH pipeline and the reduction transfer current cable, d, is determined by the power frequency, typically 5 m (or more). 'I s ' and Ί ρ ' are currents in seawater and pipeline respectively;

[0050] Figure 15 shows an example of a compensation unit (capacitor bank) located subsea in order to reduce the conductor cross section of single core cables in the electrical riser,

[0051] Figure 16 shows an example of heating of a single pipeline according to prior art with a piggy backed feeding cable and a plurality of anodes, and

[0052] Figure 17 shows an example of heating of a single pipeline according to prior art, where the return current in seawater is indicated.

Mode(s) for Carrying Out the Invention

[0053] The present invention will now be described with support and reference to the accompanying drawings. The drawings are not to scale and they are intended to facilitate the understandings of the principles disclosed herein.

[0054] The invention includes a complete system for DEH or induction heating of one or more pipelines inclusive the cable system from topside through, risers, feeding power. According to the invention it is also disclosed configurations of elements being part of a complete system for DEH or induction heating. Configurations related to anodes for connection to DEH pipelines are also included.

[0055] It shall be noted that power supply cables to the DEH pipelines normally are piggybacked, however, wherever the wording piggyback is used it shall be understood that the wording may include one or more parallel supply cables which are not piggybacked to the DEH pipeline (Figure 10). Also, the wording power cable(s), feeding cable(s), and/or conductors in the meaning of conductors which supplies current/power are used interchangeably throughout the description

[0056] The present DEH system is qualified for 50/60 Hz, but in principle higher frequencies can be used. The most interesting frequency range is primarily up to 200 Hz. Power cables are in use for other purposes at these

frequencies (power cables to pumps by VSD etc.) and it is therefore expected that modifying the cables for DEH use will require limited modifications. Higher frequencies may require comprehensive qualification work to develop a proper cable insulation system.

[0057] The installed DEH systems for parallel pipelines are traditionally fed from the same (equal) powered phase for the DEH piggyback cable to each pipeline (Figure 1A).

[0058] According to the present invention the system for DEH and induction heating among others introduces heating of parallel pipelines fed from power supply at different phase angles in order to reduce the current in the supply cables when the pipelines are simultaneously heated.

[0059] Traditional DEH systems include a separate feeding power cable and a

separate return cable per DEH pipeline (Figure 1A), furthermore the pipelines 111 and the connections from power cables 110 to the pipelines 111 are not electrically insulated from the surrounding seawater (Figure 17), and hence the DEH system is not a closed loop system as electric currents 1701 will flow in the seawater parallel to DEH pipelines. As a consequence of this it is not feasible to provide an efficient DEH system by simply providing a closed electric loop for several pipelines that are supposed to be heated either by DEH or induction heating (Figure 17).

[0060] In the following a new configuration for one or more power supplies from top side 207 to far end of one or more pipelines will be described. Following this it will be described solutions which increase the efficiency of the heating of single or parallel pipelines as such. To overcome problems related to high currents at anodes in CTZ and to complete the picture of a complete system for DEH of pipelines it is also disclosed a configuration for reduction of current through the anodes in CTZ (Figure 14). Finally, to encompass most possible DEH configurations attention the DEH system according to the present invention also discloses a compensation unit which reduces riser cable sizes (Figure 15). Hence, according to the present invention it is disclosed a complete system for DEH which includes several elements which forms such a system.

[0061] Figure 1A shows the case for the traditional system which uses equal phase for the piggyback cables 110. In this case 4 single core cables are needed in a riser cable 105, with equal total current in all single core cables. An equivalent circuit diagram Figure 1 B is included for this case with

impedances indicated as 1 17, 1 8 and 1 19 for the two pipelines 11 1. The following indexes apply for Figure B:

The impedances related to the pipelines 11 1 are:

1 17 - impedance of piggyback cable

18- impedance of pipeline 1

119- impedance of seawater and seabed

[0062] The feeding current to the uppermost pipeline is indicated as h, whereas the feeding current to the lowermost pipeline is indicated as .

[0063] Figure 2A shows means and a system according to one embodiment of the present invention with 180° difference in phase angle between the currents 203 in the piggyback cables to each pipeline.

[0064] The following indexes apply for Figure 2B and 2C respectively:

The circuit equivalents are:

Case B: A 2 core electrical riser is needed when equal absolute current U and are needed to supply the two pipelines.

• The references in the figures are:

• 217: impedance of piggyback cable

• 218: impedance of pipeline

219: impedance of seawater and seabed

202: represent the currents flowing in the pipelines

• 201 : represent the seawater current, l s , which in Case B is

approximately zero.

• Case C: A 3 core electrical riser is needed when heating two pipelines, which requires different currents. The same names are used for the references as in Figure 2B, however the seawater current 201 is a function of the current imbalance between the pipelines and this current is in communication with the top site,G1 , G2 through a separate cable in the riser.

[0065] At the far end the pipelines are connected by power cables (Figure 2A), and hence the transfer currents through the anodes in CTZ will be considerably reduced compared to the traditional case. On the Figure 2A it is indicated a short-circuit connection (cable) "k" 214 at the far end and at the near end. The short circuits at the pipe ends will reduce the current through seawater considerably and hence contribute to limit the current through the anodes to a minimum. The risk for corrosion due to AC will therefore be unlikely, even for continuous heating. Hence, the safety distance to steel structures, valves, etc. can be considerably reduced compared to the case in Figure 1A. Only two conductors (Figure 2B) in the riser cable are connected and hence the temperature rise in the electrical riser will be considerably reduced compared to the traditional case (Figure 1A). The total return current in seawater is close to zero. Two equivalent circuits (Figure 2B, Figure 2C) are shown indicating the case when equal currents are needed to feed the two pipelines (Figure 2b) and the other requiring different current levels (Figure 2C) to feed the pipelines. In case of equal values of the current a two core riser (Figure 2B) is needed and a three core riser (Figure 2C) is needed when different current values are supplied to each DEH pipeline.

[0066] The traditional and new designs for the supply cables for two pipelines are shown in Figure 3a, 3b and 3c. The traditional design is in Figure 3a. Figure 3b shows the new design for feeding two pipelines simultaneously. Figure 3c shows the design being applicable for both simultaneous and individual heating of two pipelines in a symmetric and asymmetric system.

[0067] In Figure 1A and Figure 2 platform (power supply location) and the electrical riser are shown. In the following figures these parts of the installation are not shown in the figures.

[0068] Figure 4 shows the system in Figure 2 with the pipelines connected (by

cables) at the far end. By the cable connections in both ends, the transfer current through the anodes in CTZ will be reduced to a minimum and the safety distance can be reduced in both ends compared to the traditional case in Figure 1A. Only two conductors in the riser cable are connected and hence the temperature rise in the riser will be considerably reduced compared to the traditional case (Figure 1A ). The total return 415 in seawater is close to zero.

[0069] Figure 5 shows the case with a single pipeline heated. In this case the "third conductor" is required (assuming 180° difference in phase angle between the two currents in case of heating of both pipelines). In this case the current through the anodes in CTZ transfer the total seawater current, which is typically 30%-50% of the piggyback cable current.

[0070] Figure 6 shows the case with three pipelines where all of the three pipelines are to be heated with a three phase system l r , Is, It, i.e. three conductors in the riser cable are required.

[0071] An alternative to DEH is induction heating. Figure 7 shows an example with a single phase system. The pipelines are connected by cables at each end.

The end zone lengths are negligible and by this method "cold pipe ends" are avoided. The required current is similar to the DEH case in Figure 4. Two conductors in the riser cable are required.

[0072] Figure 8 shows the case with three pipelines with a three phase induction heating system (three conductors in the riser cable are required).

[0073] Figure 9 illustrates the case with "N" pipelines, where all of the N pipelines are to be heated. In the event that the number of pipe lines to be heated differs from the total numbers of pipeline, the denomination N is used for the total numbers of pipelines and the denomination M is used for the numbers of pipelines to be heated, obviously N> M. An "M" phase system (DEH or induction heating system) is possible.

[0074] The circuit designs indicated above for supply of power to DEH pipelines will at least effectively result in;

Reduction of phase conductors and heat development (temperature rise) in the riser cable (the cable routed from the topside power system to the connections to the DEH cables subsea, consisting of several single core cables).

Reduction of currents through the anodes in CTZ

Reduced area exposed to electrical and magnetic field at the pipelines ends

Reduced currents in seawater i.e. reduced currents and induced voltages in neighbouring structures, umbilicals, etc.

Increased efficiency of DEH

[0075] The outer surface pipe structure is important regarding efficiency of DEH [

2]. According to one aspect of the present invention it is provided a special grit blasting, or alternative surface treatment methods, technique for the outer steel pipe surface. It is also disclosed a method and means for providing an optimum pipe self-impedance regarding efficiency of DEH (power

development in the steel pipe related to the current in the DEH cable).

Furthermore the invention also includes a computation method for rating DEH by taking into account the effect of pipe surface electrical and magnetic properties.

[0076] Increased efficiency by the special grit blasting (surface treatment) technique is applicable for both single and parallel pipelines. The method is applicable for different power frequencies (typical 50 - 200 Hz) and pipe materials (carbon steel, clad steel, BUBI, stainless steel, duplex, 13Cr pipelines). The method is applicable for the entire pipeline length, but also for parts of the pipelines where there are advantageous with a defined pipe self-impedance for instance in the CTZ (current transfer zones), close to inline Tees etc.

[0077] Measurements are required to provide the circuit equivalent resistance, Rp, and reactance, Xp, Figure 12. A principle test set-up to provide these data is shown in Figure 11. The test set-up consists of a pipe joint 1123 (typically 6 m or 12 m long) applied current through a cable connected to the near end and a cable routed at constant distance d from the pipe connected to the far end. The impedance (Rp + Xp) is determined by measuring the total impedance, Z1 1124, and the impedance, Z2 1125, for the end connection at the far end. By subtracting Z2 from Z1 , the pipe impedance is determined. Figure 12 shows the equivalent circuit diagram for the test set-up in Figure 11. For rating of DEH the finite element method (FEM) is required and the pipe impedance determined by the test-set up in Figure 1 cannot be used directly as input. By comparative finite element simulations a relative permeability value can be determined from the tests. To make agreement with both the pipe resistance, Rp 1228, and the pipe reactance, Xp 1229, a virtual capacitor 1330 is introduced as shown in the equivalent circuit diagram for the DEH system in Figure 13, and this modified circuit is applied in the combined thermal/electrodynamic computations utilizing an FEM tool. The pipe joint impedance, and hence relative permeability (pr) and the virtual capacitor (Cp1 1330), can be determined as a function of the pipe current (I) 1302 and distance (d) between the piggyback cable and pipe, i.e. as a function of the magnetic flux density (B):

[0078] Mr = pr (l, d) = pr (B) (Eq. 1)

[0079] Cp1 = Cp1 (B) (Eq. 2)

[0080] The rating of DEH by finite element simulations is carried out by using the relative permeability from Eq.1 and the virtual capacitor 1330 given from Eq 2 in the circuit equivalent for the DEH simulations in Figure 13. The impedance values (Zc1 1317, Zp1 1318, Zs 1319) can then be derived for the finite element simulations, where Zp1 = Rp1 + j Xp1 (complex number). This method has been verified by tests for different steel grades and power frequencies.

[0081] Figure 14 shows an additional principle for avoiding current transfer through the anodes in the CTZ at the DEH pipeline ends. The disclosed method is applicable for heating of single pipelines 1411 (N=M=1), for a plurality of pipelines (N) where all of the pipelines shall be heated or where a fraction M of the pipelines shall be heated. In the event of avoiding/reducing current transfer for one single pipeline this is carried out by supplying current 1431 from at least one additional power source 1407 in a separate cable that should be routed in parallel to the heated pipeline 1411 at a distance determined by the power frequency, see Figure 14. The current 1431 through this cable ("reduction transfer current cable") is adjusted equal to the value of the total transfer current through the anodes in CTZ (i.e. steady state current in seawater) without this cable connected. The phase angle for the reduction current shall have 180° displacement referred to the total transfer current 1402, 1401. The efficiency of this method depends on the power frequency, which should be in the range of 50 - 200 Hz. This method reduces the number of anodes in CTZ and risk for ac corrosion. Furthermore there are also advantages regarding exposure of magnetic field and stray current in neighbouring structures.

[0082] Also this configuration will be applicable for a retrofit DEH system, for

traditional configurations as indicated in Figure 1 , or for configurations as indicated in figure 2 - 9. Reduction of riser cable size by subsea compensation unit:

[0083] Until now the compensation unit for reactive power compensation has been located topside. The conductor cross section of the supply cable (electrical riser and connection cables between the riser cable and DEH cables subsea) from the topside power supply to the DEH cable connections subsea can be considerably reduced by locating a compensation unit, a capacitor bank, subsea as indicated in Figure 15. It is possible to achieve a reduction of approximately 70% for the cable conductor cross section of the supply cables since the power factor is approximately 0.3 for the DEH system. This will be a significant improvement regarding installation, reduction of weight topside and subsequently cost reduction. The configuration with a subsea capacitor bank is applicable for all DEH or induction heating configurations disclosed herein.

[0084] Reference numerals in the drawings

Label Component type, parameter (e.g. current, impedance,..)

number

xOl Current in seawater

x02 Current in steel pipeline/flowline (production, transport of oil/gas)

x03 Current in piggyback cable (DEH cable)

x04 Cable joints

x05 Riser cable

x05a

x05b

x05c

x06 Feeder cable (overlength cable for installation of riser and maintenance of

DEH system)

x07 DEH topside power supply

x08 Cable to pipe connection (termination plate)

x09 Anodes in CTZ or along main pipeline/flowline xlO DEH cable

xll Pipeline/flowline

xl2 Current transfer zone (CTZ). This part is supplied with anodes for grounding and current transfer

xl3 Seawater/seabed

xl4 Short circuit connection between two pipelines at the far or near ends of DEH pipelines

xl5 Current in common return conductor from two or more DEH pipelines xl6 DEH cable current from the near end of DEH pipeline

xl7 DEH cable impedance

xl8 DEH pipeline/flowline impedance

xl9 Seawater impedance

x20 Single core cable in riser

x21 Pipe content

x22 Pipe thermal insulation

x23 Test pipe joint

x24 Total impedance

x25 End connection impedance

x26 Power source

x27 Test pipe current

x28 Test DEH pipe resistance

x29 Test DEH pipe reactance

x30 Compensation capacitor

x31 Reduction transfer current cable

x32 Applied current equal to seawater current

x33 Capacitor bank

Definition list [0085]

CTZ Current Transfer Zones

DEH Direct Electrical Heating

VSD Variable Speed Drive

Piggyback cable or DEH Cable routed along the entire length of a pipeline, cable normally parallel to the pipeline at a defined

distance to the pipeline

Piggybacked A cable or cables that run along the entire length

of a pipeline in a piggyback configuration.

IH Induction Heating AC Alternating Current FEA Finite Element Analysis FEM Finite Element Method

References

[0086]

1. LERVIK, J.K., et al. Direct Heating of Subsea Pipelines. ISOPE-93.

2. KULBOTTEN, Harald, et al. Direct Electrical Heating of Pipelines - A Method for Preventing Hydrates and Wax in Subsea Transport Pipelines. NordlS 2005.