Flow assurance is an important issue in the design and operation of production systems in deep waters. The implementation of prevention and remediation methods is necessary mainly due to the low temperatures, high production pressures, long tie-ins and oils prone to organic deposit formation. Despite the development and improvement of these prevention and remediation techniques, failures or exceptional operational conditions can lead to the complete blockage of the submarine flowlines, risers or equipment. Although the complete blockage is not frequent, the related production losses generally are high; furthermore, the technical difficulties and the costs involved in the removal of blockages can be high. The steps to the remediation of subsea blockages are the localization, identification and removal methods. Due to the variety of problems, the different subsea layouts and surface facilities, it is not possible to have a general recipe for all problems. This paper presents some blockage remediation cases, including the localization and blockage remediation methods. The blockage localization methods used for the blockage removal cases described in this paper are the following: a) the echo of pressure pulses reflected at the blockage and b) a tool that detects the pipeline diameter variation with the pipeline pressure variations. The field results for these methods and the pros and cons of the methods are discussed. The remediation methods described are the following: external heating, internal intervention and exothermal chemical reaction using gravity.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.