The flowlines and control lines within a pipeline bundle are supported and clamped by internal spacers, which are fabricated from steel and required in relatively large quantities; up to 2500 for a long bundle (circa 7.5km).
The challenge is for an SME to propose a solution that will ideally reduce both weight and costs. However, acceptable solutions may offer a reduced weight with costs maintained or vice versa.
We are looking to challenge the existing design approach to improve the efficiency of the complete bundle system.
- Reducing weight of a spacer has both direct (spacer) and indirect (bundle system) positive outcomes, related to buoyancy and overall bundle weight requirements and of course overall commercial advantages.
- The spacer design also impacts costs directly (spacer unit cost) and indirectly through reduced bundle assembly time.
We currently utilise a standard approach for spacer design, which has been successfully developed and refined over the years. All pipeline bundles are bespoke, with different numbers and configurations of flowlines and control lines and hence different cross sections, with a correspondingly sized outer carrier diameter (ranging from circa 0.75m to 1.5m). Therefore, it follows that all spacer designs are bespoke.
The solution does not have to be a conventional spacer or indeed a spacer.
A typical bundle section is detailed in Figure 1 below
The current design typically comprises 3 parts as detailed in Figure 2 below: