As the tendency of the offshore oil industry is going deeper and further, the subsea pipeline is exposed under tougher condition combining lower temperature with higher hydrostatic pressure. The severe condition creates a challenge towards flow assurance, which often results in a high cost solution. Reducing the cost while providing a qualified insulation performance is of great significance to deepwater development. For ultra-deepwater beyond 1500m, single-wall pipe usually fails to meet the flow assurance requirements or requires a huge amount of insulation material. Pipe-in-pipe configuration can provide a good insulation performance but comes with a high cost associated. Sandwich pipe is a new concept composed of two concentric steel pipes separated by a cementitious composite annulus that provides a combination of high structural strength with thermal insulation. It is reported to be a promising alternative for both flexible and rigid conventional pipes in applications for long distance pipelines. In order to further investigate its feasibility in deep waters, a subsea production system with depth at 2200m was used as a case study for a comprehensive evaluation of insulation performance of the sandwich pipe, including both steady-state and shut-in working conditions. For a comparative study, scenarios using single-wall pipe (SW), pipe-in-pipe (PIP) and flexible pipe (FP) were also considered separately. The results showed that (i) sandwich-pipe performs better in steady-state but worse in between shut-in and the restart period (ii) sandwich-pipe with larger diameter performs better than it with smaller diameter. The reasons for the sandwich pipe behavior were discussed and suggestions to improve the performance are presented.

You do not currently have access to this content.