Photo: DNV

Thermoplastic composite pipes significantly more eco-friendly than carbon steel pipes, report says

A report launched by DNV, Strohm, and the Non-Metallic Innovation Centre (NIC) has shown that thermoplastic composite pipes (TCP) have a significantly lower carbon footprint, in the range of 30-60%, than an equivalent carbon steel pipeline solution.

The report outlines the results from a joint industry project (JIP) between the three companies focusing on the lifecycle of a 22-kilometer pipeline transporting produced water for injection in a field outside Angola in Western Africa, with an operating lifetime of 20 years.

The parties considered all steps of the lifecycle carbon footprint which is a measure of the direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with all activities in the product’s life cycle, from material extraction and production to the end-of-life stage of the pipelines.

“This study shows the importance of choices made about technology, design, transport logistics, and installation of offshore pipeline solutions, when it comes to the lifecycle GHG impact,” Prajeev Rasiah, executive vice president for Energy Systems, Northern Europe at DNV.

“It focuses on the importance of efficient transport logistics and installation, including selection of vessels which have a high impact on the total carbon footprint for both steel and TCP. While admittedly limited to certain geographies and scenarios, the current case study has shown that TCP has an advantage within this area.”

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According to DNV, the findings from this collaboration complement a previous NIC study assessing CO2 footprint for onshore flowlines, with both studies showing consistent results.

In a world where all companies are seeking to improve their environmental credentials, deployment of TCP can offer oil and gas companies an easily deployable and greener alternative to their historically steel-based infrastructure, the company said.

“We are excited about the results of the study as it’s a great step towards establishing TCP as a suitable alternative to steel in offshore applications,” Caroline Justet, business growth executive for energy in transition at Strohm.

“The greatest GHG benefits from using TCP compared to steel will be in the cases when the pipe needs to be transported over long distances. TCP is spoolable and lightweight, allowing it to be delivered in long lengths and installed using small vessels or subsea pallets, significantly reducing CO2 emissions.”

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