Composite Riser Test Completed in North Sea

The world's first composite riser, developed by Kvaerner and Conoco, has successfully been tested in a live drilling operation on the Statoil operated Heidrun TLP platform in the Norwegian Sea. The composite riser weighs approximately half of a steel riser and is developed for production and drilling operations in deep waters.

For the first time ever a composite drilling riser, CompRiserTM, has been used in live operations offshore. The CompRiserTM is made of carbon fibres and epoxy resin. It has replaced an equivalent high pressure 22" titanium riser joint in the drilling string at Statoil's Heidrun TLP platform. The testing so far has been very successful. After the first drilling cycle on a well on Heidrun, the CompRiserTM was thoroughly inspected and pressure tested by DNV. The joint will remain on Heidrun TLP for further testing and operation.

The composite riser has been developed by Kvaerner Oilfield Products a.s and Norske Conoco AS. The two companies formed a Composite Alliance in 1995 and have since been involved with the development of both composite production and drilling risers and composite tethers (CompTetherTM). The main incentive for the development is to reach deeper waters, with composite risers to be applied for both drilling and production needs. Carbon fibre composite materials provide many desired properties such as high specific strength and stiffness, light-weight, corrosion resistance, high thermal insulation and excellent fatigue performance.

The Conoco/Kvaerner Composite Alliance see a large potential for its products and is now marketing the products globally to potential customers. This technology will facilitate cost efficient deepwater field developments and even in some cases contribute towards a step change in economic exploitation of deep water oil and gas fields.