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SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Insulated Wire and Shrink Technology Zeus Introduces Groundbreaking High Temperature (300° C/ 572° F) NeoTem™ Product Lines Operating on an Heroic Scale Sweet and Sour The Power to Produce and the Cost of Delay Quality Cabling Means a Quality Process

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


Zeus NeoTem

They said a 300˚C magnet wire wasn’t possible.

As usual, we didn’t listen.

With SAGD motors operating at increasingly higher temperatures under sour conditions, engineers turned to Zeus for a wire insulation that would perform in the most hostile environments. Zeus delivered. The new 300° C/572° F Zeus NeoTem™ product lines represent a breakthrough for the industry. Zeus NeoTem™ magnet wires, heat shrinks, custom slot liners and extruded tubing all offer dependable dielectric strength, chemical resistance and permeation resistance, even at extreme temperatures. What does that mean to you? Less downtime due to equipment failure.

Specify Zeus NeoTem™

ECA NeoTem™ Insulated Wire

IDA Business Park | Lisnennan, Letterkenny | Co. Donegal, Ireland TEL: +353.74.9109700 | FAX: +353.74.9109702 | www.zeusinc.com


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

SPECIAL REPORT

Next Generation Insulated Wire and Shrink Technology Zeus Introduces Groundbreaking High Temperature (300° C/ 572° F) NeoTem™ Product Lines

Contents

Operating on an Heroic Scale Sweet and Sour The Power to Produce and the Cost of Delay Quality Cabling Means a Quality Process

Foreword 2 John Hancock, Editor

Zeus Introduces Groundbreaking High Temperature (300° C/ 572° F) NeoTem™ Product Lines

3

Zeus Inc. Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Editor John Hancock Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes

Zeus NeoTem™ Means a Wider Range of High Temperature Products Now Available When Downtime Is Not an Option: Zeus NeoTem’s™ Role In SAGD Coming Soon: High Temperature Extruded Options for Motor Winding Zeus PEEK Performance Zeus: A History of Innovation Zeus Thrives on Difficult Challenges

Operating on an Heroic Scale

7

Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

New Reserves to Meet Growing Demand Gaining Further Value from Established Fields Financial Considerations and the Challenges they Pose Engineering Evolving to Meet the Challenges

Sweet and Sour

9

Francis Slade, Staff Writer

Production Manager Paul Davies

End Products Have to be Sweet Reserves are Predominantly Sour The Challenges for Equipment from Sour Product Innovation is the Key to Optimum Economics

For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org

The Power to Produce and the Cost of Delay

11

John Hancock, Staff Writer The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles.

© 2014. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

The Cost of Maintenance and Repair Processes under the Sea Production from Further and Deeper, and for Longer The Growing Power of IT

Quality Cabling Means a Quality Process

13

Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

Mechanical to Digital Properties of Insulation The Need for Power Innovation to Match the Challenge of the Job

References 15

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

Foreword W

E ALL know that there are hundreds of

3000 by DuPont™, an epitaxial co-crystallized alloy that

thousands (or more) of parts that make up

breaks the previously maximum temperature threshold

an offshore production installation. However, no

of 260° C/500° F.

matter how well designed and built they might be,

In the second article, Peter Dunwell overviews the

in isolation they cannot do much. What makes the

sheer scale of offshore production and the forces

whole installation work is that all of those parts are

that drive producers to explore and exploit ever more

linked together. Sometimes that is a mechanical

remote and inhospitable places in order to satisfy the

link where pieces are, literally, bolted together but

growing global demand for energy. Francis Slade

even then, the resulting sub-assembly might still not

then considers some of the more specific challenges

do much. What makes things do their job is, more

faced by any equipment (including cables and wires)

often than not, power and instructions from their

used in the sector. In particular, he looks at the quality

controller; both of which are transmitted through

of product and what impact that might have on

cables and wires. The quality and reliability of those

equipment. Having looked at the challenges to be

cables and wires will determine the effectiveness

overcome, we then look at the cost of not overcoming

of the equipment to which they deliver power and

them: the cost of maintenance, repair and downtime –

operational control.

a word that strikes chill into every offshore manager’s

The opening article in this Special Report looks at

heart. Finally, Peter looks at the cables and wires

the launch of Zeus NeoTem™ product lines, extruded

themselves, what they need to be able to do and what

with a newly offered high temperature (300° C/572° F)

properties are desirable for their long-term viability.

polymer. Until recently, PEEK insulated wire alone had

Everything in the modern world is, they say,

a maximum continuous temperature of 260° C/500° F,

connected (the Internet of things) and while wireless

but some applications required higher levels of heat

might achieve a lot of this on the surface, in subsea

and electrical resistance. Zeus NeoTem™ magnet wire

conditions it will most likely be a cable or wire.

is a new solution available for extreme temperature situations not suitable for PEEK. The Zeus NeoTem™ product line items are extruded from ECCtreme® ECA

John Hancock Editor

John Hancock joined as Editor of Offshore Reports in early 2012. A journalist for 25 years, John has written and edited articles and papers on a range of engineering, support services and technology topics as well as for key events in the sector. Subjects have included aeroengineering, auto-engineering and electronics, high value manufacturing, testing, aviation IT, materials engineering, weapons research, supply chain, logistics and naval engineering.

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

Zeus Introduces Groundbreaking High Temperature (300° C/ 572° F) NeoTem™ Product Lines

Zeus NeoTem

They said a

300˚C magnet wire

Zeus Inc.

wasn’t possible.

As usual, we

Edison illuminated our lives with the light bulb, Henry Ford revolutionized travel with the Model T and Steve Jobs introduced us to the Macintosh computer. Now Zeus answers history’s call of innovation with the launch of breakthrough Zeus NeoTem™ product lines, extruded with a newly offered high temperature (300° C/572° F) polymer.

Zeus NeoTem™ Means a Wider Range of High Temperature Products Now Available Until recently, PEEK insulated wire alone had a maximum continuous service temperature of approximately 260° C/500° F but some applications required higher levels of heat and electrical resistance, which left engineers searching for solutions. While PEEK is still a smart choice in many instances, the addition of Zeus NeoTem™ magnet wire means a new solution is available for extreme temperature situations not suitable for PEEK. The new Zeus NeoTem™ product line (including NeoTem™ insulated wire, NeoTem™ heat shrink and NeoTem™ extruded tubing, among others) are extruded from ECCtreme® ECA 3000 by DuPont™. The material is an epitaxial co-crystallized alloy and maintains performance under extreme conditions. It is the first perfluoroplastic that breaks the maximum temperature threshold of 260° C/500° F – a previously unachievable standard. Zeus experts have developed processes to extrude the high temperature perfluoroplastic into insulated wire, extruded tubing, heat shrinkable tubing, drawn fiber and film. This stand-alone class of product options are all robust enough to handle the moisture, temperature and pressures of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) environments.

“Zeus NeoTem™ represents a breakthrough not only for Zeus, but also for the industry,” states Rob Hall, vice president of engineered extrusions at Zeus. “Professionals in the field have long considered a 300° C/572° F engineered polymer solution the Holy Grail for high temp polymers. The ability of this polymer to retain its electrical integrity in elevated temperature environments will pave the way for breakthroughs across numerous industries.” New product ideation by Zeus scientists, using ECA 3000, offers exciting new possibilities for field applications. To date, Zeus supplies NeoTem™ for applications in the petroleum, aerospace, automotive, fiber optics and semiconductor industries.

didn’t listen. ECA NeoTem™ Insulated Wire

When Downtime Is Not an Option: Zeus NeoTem’s™ Role In SAGD Oil companies are under unrelenting pressure to find new sources of oil. As energy demands grow globally, petroleum exploration companies are going deeper under the surface to hotter, more sour environments than ever before. Oil production from SAGD in particular, is increasing. However, heat, pressure and steam can be a problem for many insulation materials. For years, polyimide film has been the most common insulation for electrical submersible pump motors (ESP). The depth of these wells, however, means SAGD motors are operating at continually higher temperatures and coming into contact with more moisture under increasingly harsh conditions. Polyimide, while long recognized for its stability at elevated temperatures, starts to degrade in the presence of high temperatures and steam, rendering it less than ideal for SAGD motors and resulting in lost production time.

www.zeusinc.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

The new 300° C/572° F Zeus NeoTem™ product lines represent a breakthrough for the industry.

NeoTem™ was developed when engineers looked to Zeus to provide a wire insulation that would perform in even the most hostile environments

NeoTem™ was developed when engineers looked to Zeus to provide a wire insulation that would perform in even the most hostile environments. Zeus NeoTem™ magnet wires, heat shrink, slot liners, extruded tubing and custom profiles all offer excellent dielectric strength, chemical resistance and permeation resistance even at extreme temperatures.

Coming Soon: High Temperature Extruded Options for Motor Winding While the Zeus NeoTem™ product lines represent a breakthrough in insulation technology, the work of the Zeus team remains ongoing. “We’re excited to have hit a homerun using ECA 3000 to create NeoTem™ magnet wire, but there’s one more challenge to address,” states Hall. “The magnet wire insulation needs to be able to withstand the demanding winding process of the ESP motors. NeoTem™ is fairly soft and we have ideas on how to make it more robust, which will continue to differentiate Zeus.” Zeus scientists are currently working through the next generation of solutions. Combinations of materials are being explored to enhance the thermal, electrical, mechanical, and chemical performance of the polymers as insulating materials continue to evolve to meet the industry’s ever changing demands. “Our team is already testing combinations of materials and new polymers that provide the mechanical integrity needed to survive the intensive motor winding process,” says Hall. “Our options will continue to meet our customers’ performance requirements. Zeus experts are raising the bar with innovative combinations of materials which may soon create new classes of options for the market.”

Zeus PEEK Performance Zeus’ PEEK extrusions are renowned for their precise, tenacious performance in extreme applications. They deliver mechanical and dielectric strength; chemical inertness including the ability to withstand moisture; tight tolerances and precision and resistance to bursting. Zeus PEEK insulated wire is a seamless extrusion that aligns and gives strength to the wire insulation versus a tape wrapped magnet wire that could possibly delaminate from the copper wire or create ridges that could be compromised during the winding process. PEEK magnet wire has successfully replaced polyimide wrapped magnet wire, which delaminates and causes electrical failures in the presence of extreme pressure, temperatures and moisture. Hall also points out that Zeus PEEK heatshrinkable tubing, also known as PEEKshrink® 4 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

can create a “second skin” around wires that can be used in telemetry tools to ensure data transmission in harsh environments. Companies are also currently using PEEKshrink® to replace the polyimide tape they used for splicing wire. This is due to the fact that PEEKshrink® improves the manufacturing process and makes the spliced joint more reliable due to its excellent electrical, chemical, and thermal properties. “PEEKshrink® is a major advantage when combined with PEEK magnet wire in that we’re working with complimentary materials,” notes Hall. “When manufacturing stator coils, Zeus can provide both the PEEK magnet wire and PEEKshrink® that will allow the entire coil to be insulated with PEEK. It’s a great example of how the Zeus team delivers total solutions for our clients.”

Zeus: A History of Innovation The Zeus Neotem™ product lines aren’t the first time Zeus has answered the industry’s call for innovation. Two other recent innovations were made at the request of clients seeking Zeus’ expertise. Innovation: Superior Slot Liner Options ESP motors that are used in well completion to pump the oil to the surface operate in some of the worst conditions on the planet. The combination of extreme heat combined with caustic fluids create design challenges that demand the best solutions for electrical insulation within the motors. Hydrogen Sulfide can attack copper wiring if the slot liner insulation allows high permeation, which will act as a conduit for degradation. Zeus offers PFA, FEP, PEEK and NeoTem™ options for slot liners, all chemically inert with very low permeation. Zeus can anneal the slot liner to reduce stress induced longitudinal change, to ensure that the slot liners do not shrink back into the slots during operational conditions which could create opportunities for electrical failures. The unique ability to cut their own dies and make tooling sets the Zeus team apart as the extrusion manufacturer of choice. Zeus makes tight tolerance shapes that are customized to slots for various motors in the industry. The applications are wide ranging, with Zeus recently engineering a custom profile shape that acts as a slot liner with PEEK for an automotive hybrid motor. Innovation: Rock Core Encapsulation Oil and gas engineers, pushing the limits of exploration into regions of the planet never before thought possible, came to Zeus when they started looking for methods to encapsulate rock samples. They wanted a


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

Zeus NeoTem

They said a

300˚C magnet wire wasn’t possible.

As usual, we

ZEUS PEEK INSULATED WIRE

product that could withstand high temperatures and chemicals and needed a product that was clear and easy to encapsulate various diameter core samples. They needed a solution that was seamless and easier to work with than a film, which until then, had been used, and required extra steps to create a seal. Zeus FEP heat shrink offered seamless encapsulation that even allowed the ends to close to prevent contaminating during storage via additional heating and sealing methods. The FEP heat shrink is easy to shrink and made it effortless to encapsulate and lock in the core samples for storage while maintaining traceability. PEEKshrink® was a further innovation for engineers as they needed solutions to utilize heat shrink in even higher temperature analysis of rock core samples. With PEEKshrink® able to achieve a continuous service temperature of 260°C/500° F, engineers recognized Zeus as being the only company in the world to create a heat shrinkable PEEK product.

Zeus Thrives on Difficult Challenges Zeus is the world’s leading polymer extrusion and material science innovator. Almost 50 years of experience in energy exploration, aerospace, automotive, fiber optics and more allows Zeus to leap past “can’t” and move into “how.” “We thrive on difficult applications,” notes Alan Andrews, senior vice president of global sales and marketing at Zeus. “It’s not the polymer that solves the problem; it’s what Zeus does to enhance the innate performance attributes of a polymer so it aligns with a specific application that leads to scientific, commercially viable breakthroughs. When a company becomes complacent, they get replaced. The oil and gas

didn’t listen. At A Glance • Zeus NeoTem™, made from DuPont™ ECCtreme® ECA 3000, is a first of its kind high temperature polymer that maintains performance under extreme temperatures up to 300° C/ 572° F.

ECA NeoTem™ Insulated Wire

• Zeus, the thought leader in material science innovations, has launched a line of high temperature products made from ECCtreme® ECA 3000. The product line includes film, heat shrinkable tubing, insulated wire, drawn fiber and extruded tubing – all robust enough to handle the moisture, temperature and pressures of SAGD environments.

Key benefits of Zeus NeoTem™ Insulated Wire: • High Operating Temperature: 300°C/ 572°F • Range of Wire Sizes Available Solid or Stranded Options • Rectangular Wire • Tight Tolerances • Chemically Inert • Great Dielectric Strength • Durable Insulation

Zeus Product Offerings Heat Shrink • New Innovation: Zeus NeoTem™ heat shrink • PEEKshrink® • Dual-Shrink® (combines PTFE and FEP) • FEP Heat Shrink • PTFE Heat Shrink Insulated Wire • New Innovation: Zeus Neotem™ Insulated Wire and Lead Wire • PEEK Magnet Wire and Lead Wire Custom Profiles • NeoTem™; PEEK; PFA; PTFE; FEP; ETFE and more

www.zeusinc.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

“We thrive on difficult applications. It’s not the polymer that solves the problem; it’s what Zeus does to enhance the innate performance attributes of a polymer so it aligns with a specific application that leads to scientific, commercially viable breakthroughs.” – Alan Andrews, senior vice president of global sales and marketing at Zeus

ZEUS PEEKSHRINK TM

industry reached out to Zeus to offer solutions for their demanding applications and Zeus was able to develop and now supplies two new products in PEEK insulated wire and PEEKshrink®. Once again, the oil and gas industry challenged Zeus with new demands in performance and Zeus has answered that challenge with NeoTem™.” Hall notes that oil and gas engineers look to Zeus as the industry leader that offers materials that perform in the demanding environments in which their companies explore. The industry leadership Zeus provides comes from experience. “Dating back 20 years ago, materials and temperatures weren’t as critical because wells didn’t go as deep as they do today,” he explains. “We innovated with polymers that could withstand temperatures up to 204.4° C / 400° F and the industry told us they needed 260° C / 500° F. We utilized our knowledge, experience, and

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technology with polymers to meet the needs of the application. Then about ten years ago, people started telling us they needed higher temperatures. It took time, but we delivered. And I’m sure the next step will be a demand for an extrusion from a 315°C / 600° F or 343° C / 650° F polymer. And Zeus will be there.” The Zeus team of experienced polymer scientists, design and chemical engineers and technical account representatives work together on customer-focused teams to find and deliver the best solution for an application. Not only does Zeus provide total solutions, the Zeus team provides R&D, manufacturing and troubleshooting support at critical junctures. Zeus is global in scope and has the capacity to meet companies growing manufacturing needs with facilities throughout the United States and in Europe.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

Operating on an Heroic Scale

Zeus NeoTem

Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

They said a

And finding ways and equipment to ensure that a business on this scale

300˚C magnet wire

can still make a profit

There are many engineering disciplines involved with Subsea energy discovery and production and the activity has driven the development of many specialist technology, equipment and operating methods. As a general rule, “Subsea [activities] are usually split into shallow water and deepwater categories to distinguish between the different facilities and approaches that are needed.”1 But, however categorized, these are among the most demanding and costly extraction and industrial undertakings. The oceans are probably the ‘last frontier’ repositories for traditional carbon-based fuels such as oil and gas but they are worth exploiting.

New Reserves to Meet Growing Demand There is currently an ever growing inventory of economically viable and exploitable reserves, that growth reflecting growth in demand. Not only are new reserves being located but also, with a rising price, more fields are considered financially viable. Oil and gas have powered the global economy for many decades and are still the fuels most sought after by emerging economies. While there remain significant reserves of both oil and gas beneath the deserts of the Middle East and under many other lands, all too often, the regimes in whose territory reserves are located are either not stable or not regarded as reliable long-term suppliers. In recent decades, global energy requirements have risen steadily in line with the growth of economies at all stages in the development cycle and the ever increasing demands and expectations of a rapidly growing world population. In response to this, energy businesses feel confident to exploit reserves of oil and gas in ever more challenging places and of ever more challenging quality. As price for the product increases, reserves that were once considered uneconomic are now regarded as worth exploiting. And such are today’s energy demands that reserves will

be considered and tested wherever they might be located. To an increasing extent, that means newly discovered or newly exploitable reserves are in inaccessible and often inhospitable environments. That is certainly the case with the deep oceans but significant reserves of oil and gas are to be found at ever increasing distances from land and ever greater depths beneath the oceans. When the price is right and can be realized, it becomes worth undertaking extraordinary engineering and technology programs in pursuit of a product. Any nation, whether developed or emerging, would prefer to create energy security and generate export dollars from resources in their jurisdiction. So, wherever possible, countries look to their own territorial waters as secure sources of energy and wealth; but the structures used to discover and produce oil and gas in these places will be subject to significant environmental wear and tear which will require reliable and durable equipment and components to ensure consistent operation. Whether it is a major installation such as a platform or a 10km length of cable, everything used in offshore oil and gas extraction has to be durable and made to the highest standards with the best available materials. Robert Lamb described the operational constraints which drive these demands in his article ‘How Offshore Drilling Works’2 for ‘How Stuff Works’. “… most of the world’s petroleum is trapped between 500 and 25,000 feet (152 and 7,620 meters) under dirt and rock.” That reality is what accounts for most of the high tech and very costly equipment, not to say the sophisticated processes and software solutions that are associated with any oil and gas extraction program. To compound those engineering challenges, not all oil deposits are conveniently located under land or below shallow waters which means that, while many of the more easily accessible fields are already well into their productive life, new reserves are

wasn’t possible.

As usual, we

didn’t listen. ECA NeoTem™ Insulated Wire

www.zeusinc.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

Financial Considerations and the Challenges they Pose

Whether it is a major

As in most of life, everything starts with the money; that’s what a business is about, applying investment, skills and time to generate value and monetize it in order to make a commensurate return. Nowhere is this more true than in the offshore energy sector. The investments are colossal; the skills required to leverage the best performance from the investment are considerable across a broad spectrum of capabilities and the time over which the whole process takes place is measured in decades. Given all that, it is not surprising that the costs associated with failure or delay are prohibitive and that any components and materials used should be of the highest quality, reliability and durability to minimize the likelihood and occurrence of failure or delay.

installation such as a platform or a 10km length of cable, everything used in offshore oil and gas extraction has to be durable and made to the highest standards with the best available materials

increasingly located beneath deep oceans and even beneath the Arctic ice.

Gaining Further Value from Established Fields But it isn’t only new reserves that are being exploited. The same economic reality that makes more challenging fields economic also makes the challenging parts of existing fields worthwhile – whether they are at the outer reaches of the reserve, in geologically difficult conditions, or the less easily recovered product that remains later in field life. This possibility to extract further value has driven another phenomenon. The Journal of Petroleum Technology3 explains. “To keep capital and operational expenditures at a minimum, there is an increasing requirement from operators to use existing infrastructure, and, consequently, there is a trend to use subsea tiebacks to existing platforms. Therefore, platforms become ‘hubs’ and often their operational life is extended.” With decommissioning delayed, equipment might be expected to continue in service for a further 10 to 20 years beyond its original design life. Aging installations can have a direct effect on integrity and safety so aging associated with life extension is a major issue for the offshore oil and gas industry. But safe aging is not only about how old the equipment is; it is also about its original quality and ability to continue to operate effectively and safely.

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Engineering Evolving to Meet the Challenges This drive to exploit ever more difficult reserves with a continuing need to remain competitive on cost and compliant on quality means that there are numerous issues to be faced by energy businesses operating in the offshore sector. Not least of these is to meet the challenges outlined above and remain profitably productive for the future, to which end, “The subsea oil and gas industry is changing again.” The words are taken from the Subsea Oil & Gas Directory review of The Subsea Industry4 which continues to inform us that, “The last change was from large budget field developments in the North Sea shallow waters; the trend was towards marginal field development, smaller tie backs to already developed fields, and deepwater challenges offshore [of] Africa, GoM [Gulf of Mexico] and Brazil. The subsea oil and gas industry was faced with the deepwater challenges of what was called the ‘last frontiers’ on this planet. Developing subsea prospects in water depths up to 3,000m required outstanding engineering skills, equipment qualification and extreme focus on reliability.” The bottom line for all of this is that oil and gas suppliers will need a whole range of options for new exploration, development and production (EDP) potential with the engineering and technology solutions to support it.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

Sweet and Sour

Zeus NeoTem

Francis Slade, Staff Writer The different qualities of product make for different challenges in the market

and at the offshore production point

They said a

Infield Systems’ research published in late February 20135, concluded “… the subsea industry is amongst the most promising in the offshore oil and gas world, with subsea capital expenditure (Capex) set to grow at a staggering 14.8% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) to 2017.” In a similar vein, Douglas-Westwood is projecting a global fleet of more than 7,000 fixed and more than 200 floating platforms, and with 190,000 km of pipeline currently installed plus a number of major modification programs to push growth in offshore operations and maintenance in the next couple of years. This scale of offshore production is only possible because of advances in subsea technology, and those advances have been heavily reliant on continually improving levels of quality, capability and durability in the components used; certainly true for insulated wire and shrink technology.

End Products Have to be Sweet Given the cost and technology developments, oil and gas fields are not short term investments: on the contrary, to profit from a field requires a commitment up to 31 years of which perhaps only 12 or 15 years will see returns sufficient to make the whole operation worthwhile. And it isn’t all plain sailing. If the oil and gas that is lifted was all of consistent quality, it would make life easier, but that is far from the case. In an ideal world, raw resources of carbon fuels would be described as ‘sweet’: low in sulphur and acidity, requiring less processing before being ready to use. Most applications which use oil and gasbased fuel run better with and are increasingly expected to use low sulphur products – it’s all part of the global drive to reduce emissions and their pollution. Unfortunately, not all reserves are sweet: in fact, because they are easier to process, much of the world’s sweet reserves have already been depleted.

Reserves are Predominantly Sour Much of what is left and of the more geologically challenging reserves would be categorised as

‘sour’. Darkhan Duissenov writing for Norwegian University of Science and Technology6 (NTNU) explains… “Depending on the amount of sulphur the crude oil can be sweet or sour. When the total sulphur level in the oil is less than 0.5 % the oil is called sweet and if it is more than that the oil is called sour. Sweet crude oil is more preferred by refineries as it contains valuable chemicals… needed to produce the light distillates and high quality feed stocks.” Further on, he contrasts this with sour crude, “Because the sulphur compounds in the crude oils are generally harmful impurities, they are toxic, have an unpleasant odor, contribute to the deposition of resin and in combination with water, cause intense corrosion… [however] the data shows that from 1995 to 2011 medium sour crude has been the major hydrocarbon produced in the world… about 55 to 60% of whole crude production…” Duissenov opens his paper; “According to the International Energy Agency 70% of crude oil reserves and 40% of natural gas reserves are defined as having high content of organosulfur compounds. Obviously, for decades to come, to satisfy the growing global needs for fossil fuels, reservoirs with sour contaminants will be developed intensively.” The Challenges for Equipment from Sour Product The challenges of sour oil and gas are not only manifested at the user end of the process; it is also a challenge for equipment and components. GE Global Research sums it up in, ‘Subsea Electrification and Seafloor Oil and Gas’7 “Conventional oil and gas reserves are diminishing, which is driving the need to explore new unconventional resources that are more difficult to access. Imagine ultra-deep water off-shore fields 100 kilometers from land and nearly two miles deep in the sea. The distance itself is daunting, but other challenges exist for enabling production in these new environments. The conditions and elements can be harsher. In some cases, you might be dealing with sour gas that is more corrosive on your equipment. And the pressures and temperatures can be more volatile. Advanced

300˚C magnet wire wasn’t possible.

As usual, we

didn’t listen. ECA NeoTem™ Insulated Wire

www.zeusinc.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

To optimize project economics, particularly when reservoirs are small, distant from shore, or contain oil that is harder to produce, innovation remains the vital key to a viable future electric system architectures and seabed processing technologies are required to achieve production that is reliable, economical and minimizes environmental impact.” Even more specifically for our topic, the paper continues to identify, “Subsea Electric Power” as a particular challenge, adding that… “Being able to deliver electric power to hard-to-reach places like the ocean floor will increase the extraction of unconventional oil and gas resources.”

Innovation is the Key to Optimum Economics Pumping, processing, transporting and other equipment that has to operate in subsea conditions usually has to contend with a harsh environment. This offers a particular challenge for electrical equipment and high power electronics. The quality of cabling and how it is made is a key element in the ability to exploit even the most challenging reserves. As in many aspects

10 | WWW.OFFSHORETECHNOLOGYREPORTS.COM

of offshore operations, there is a constant need for innovation in the equipment and components used for delivery and management of electrical power under the ocean and in inhospitable product conditions. Oil major, Total8 explains; “Although the major technological hurdles of the deep offshore have now been overcome, the cost of exploiting these resources bears no comparison to that of the conventional offshore. To optimize project economics, particularly when reservoirs are small, distant from shore, or contain oil that is harder to produce, innovation remains the vital key to a viable future. By the same token, innovation is essential to improve recovery factors, extend the service life of facilities and ensure their reliability over time.” Challenging conditions drive the continual need to innovate components and materials (including insulated wiring and cabling) not only to withstand harsh and corrosive environments but operate efficiently for long periods in those conditions.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

The Power to Produce and the Cost of Delay

Zeus NeoTem

John Hancock, Editor

For every part of the process there is a need for consistent power and equipment that won’t break down or need too much costly maintenance

I

F IT is axiomatic that offshore production could not exist without subsea technology, equally true is that subsea technology could not function without the many components and materials that make it possible to carry out industrial processes under the water in harsh conditions. The quality of components and materials is a key factor in the reliable operation of any offshore installation. Not only is any failure a problem, because of the safety and environmental consequences that might follow, but also most failures will require that the process (exploration or production) is halted pending a repair. “The costs associated with downtime in oil and gas operations can be as high as $1 million per hour. If power is lost during production, the current production may have to be scrapped as well as the process equipment. Due to the high cost of downtime, oil and gas facilities prefer to use better performing materials and products to minimize maintenance…”9

The Cost of Maintenance and Repair Maintenance is an important process as SAS points out10, “Equipment that isn’t properly maintained is prone to malfunction and breakdown – a huge safety risk and shutdown threat. And noncompliance with regulatory reporting requirements for equipment maintenance puts you at risk of losing your operating license.” But maintenance is also expensive. Industry analyst DouglasWestwood11 has predicted that some $77 billion will be spent on subsea vessel operations, new field development, well intervention, and inspection repair and maintenance (IRM) in the period between 2012 and 2016. The use of components and materials that can be relied upon is one simple way to minimize those costs. In a perfect world, equipment would be located away from hazards but in an offshore

They said a

300˚C magnet wire

operation, that will rarely be possible so the sensible alternative is to ensure that it is built to withstand hazards.

Processes under the Sea Another development in offshore subsea operations has been the emergence of subsea processing with the paraphernalia that accompanies it being sited on the seabed. Subsea processing was identified as ‘The Game changer’ in an Offshore Magazine article of the name12 which stated that, “…the short-term future for subsea processing is most likely to involve equipment being installed on fields to de-bottleneck topsides facilities. These fields are less likely to be long-distance tie-backs or low-pressure reservoirs and more likely to be deepwater fields or fields with high water content.” The article continues to add that while the range of areas where subsea processing is likely to be used has decreased, the likelihood of operators using the technology has increased, with nearly all of them expecting to install some subsea processing equipment within the next five years. What this means is even more reliance on the quality of components and materials to support sustainable and profitable operation. High quality and reliable power delivery is an important factor in any offshore operation. Flowtech Energy describes the complexity of an offshore platform as a, “structure that comprises of a number of multifarious parts, each with its own specific function and purpose. It is a unit made of smaller units like drill machinery, the control and power system, and all sorts of instrumentation required for efficient oil extraction. Offshore Oil Field Drilling Systems [need] wide-ranging, integrated power along with proper instrumentation and control, and a communication system as the working conditions in an oil field are highly demanding.”13

wasn’t possible.

As usual, we

didn’t listen. ECA NeoTem™ Insulated Wire

www.zeusinc.com

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SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

Poor connections and faulty wiring can, at best, degrade information and, at worst, break the link between the information source and the person who needs to use it. And the loss of power at a critical moment can wreak havoc with a system

Production from Further and Deeper, and for Longer There is an increasing movement for extending the reach and life of offshore installations. This is a sensible process which, governed by extensive regulation, won’t compromise safety or environmental impact. However, given the likelihood that more installations will be operated beyond their design reach and/or life, it makes sense to use components and materials that will last and not hinder any extension program. As Thomas & Betts (see reference 9 above) explains it, “When quality products reduce the overall costs associated with an oil or gas operation, the savings add up in so many ways.” Whether it is to protect against the corrosive elements within the product, the corrosive ingredients used in processing or a hazardous environment, there is a strong case for specifying and using components made from corrosion resistant materials and/or protected by corrosion resistance coatings.

The Growing Power of IT A reliable power supply isn’t the only requirement for industrial equipment in an offshore installation. In any operation today, there will always be a

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significant element of IT and control electronics. For instance, a management tool deployed in all fields but especially extended life fields is well monitoring. Well monitoring systems use the processing power of IT to deliver to operators not only real time reports of well conditions but up to date information about a wide range of factors. As any user of IT will know, poor connections and faulty wiring can, at best, degrade information and, at worst, break the link between the information source and the person who needs to use it. And the loss of power at a critical moment can wreak havoc with a system. As with the cost of downtime (see above) when data records are lost and where they are required for regulatory purposes, that single loss could result in having to write-off the whole batch to which the data applies. Although sometimes a satellite link might be suggested, there are still many circumstances where satellite links don’t have the capacity or the security of ownership that a fixed cable can offer plus satellite links are often very much more costly (up to 10 times more) than hard wiring for a continual data stream. There are plenty of tasks for which wires and cables remain the first choice and, in those cases, quality and durability will be paramount.


SPECIAL REPORT: NEXT GENERATION INSULATED WIRE AND SHRINK TECHNOLOGY

Quality Cabling Means a Quality Process

Zeus NeoTem

Peter Dunwell, Correspondent

They said a

The combination of powered functions and digital control systems put cables and wires at the heart of offshore production

Mechanical to Digital Much of what were mechanical processes in offshore oil and gas production are now digital processes in which the quality of the cable or wire link is critical to powering and controlling operations. Offshore magazine highlighted one such development14, “The industry’s ability to remotely monitor downhole conditions in real time and to control the flow of fluids between the reservoir and the wellbore without physical intervention has been achieved through intelligent completion technology and continues to prove its value in unconventional applications... [reducing] operating costs through minimized well intervention, and optimized production.” In conditions such as those faced at any offshore, subsea installation, there will be many threats to the integrity and function of a wire or cable. These can range from abrasion and corrosion to constant flexing, flammability and exposure to fuels and oils used in the process as well as water and any chemicals suspended in it. For these reasons, the cladding and insulation of cables has always been a key concern for operators of equipment in oceanic conditions, including offshore oil and gas.

Properties of Insulation There are a number of factors that matter with regard to insulation. The first is dielectric strength – the maximum voltage that can be applied to a given material without causing it to break down, i.e. the extent of its insulating properties. Dielectric strength can be affected by outside influences such as temperature (higher temperatures reduce dielectric strength), humidity (higher humidity increases dielectric strength) and with the quality or thickness of the insulation material. Another important factor is chemical resistance, i.e. the extent to which exposure to a given chemical can alter color and surface quality, texture, density of material, volume and retention of coatings (where more than one is applied). Permeation is a factor that would be

300˚C magnet wire

of particular importance in a subsea environment, i.e. it is the extent to which a material might absorb or allow the passage of a liquid or gas from the outside world to the protected element within the insulating sleeve. Extreme temperatures are often encountered in subsea oil and gas installations and so the ability of an insulating material to cope with them and retain its insulating qualities within acceptable boundaries is important. Finally, it is important that insulating material is able to retain its structural integrity during long periods of flexing and movement. Of course, all of these factors are interlinked inasmuch as a change in one factor will almost certainly impact on performance in another factor.

wasn’t possible.

As usual, we

didn’t listen. ECA NeoTem™ Insulated Wire

The Need for Power There are a number of power-hungry processes involved in oil and gas extraction such as ‘Steamassisted gravity drainage’ (SAGD), “an Enhanced oil recovery technology for producing heavy crude oil and bitumen. It is an advanced form of steam stimulation in which a pair of horizontal wells are drilled into the oil reservoir, one a few meters above the other. High pressure steam is continuously injected into the upper wellbore to heat the oil and reduce its viscosity, causing the heated oil to drain into the lower wellbore, where it is pumped out.”15 SAGD is doubly dependent on cabling both to pump steam in and to pump product out. A similar challenge is faced by the equipment to and from which subsea cables and wiring runs. For instance, electrical submersible pumps (ESPs) are often used in subsea operations such as SAGD described above and… “In ESP systems, an electric motor and a multistage centrifugal pump run on a production string, connected back to a surface control mechanism and transformer via an electric power cable. The energy to turn the pump comes from a high voltage (3 to 5 kV) alternating current source to drive

www.zeusinc.com

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The subsea oil and gas industry [is] faced with the deepwater challenges of what was called the “last frontiers” on this planet. Developing subsea prospects in water depths up to 3,000m required outstanding engineering skills, equipment qualification and extreme focus on reliability

a special motor that can work at temperatures up to 260˚C, pressures up to 35 MPa, from wells up to 4.5 km deep, and with energy requirements up to 1,000-hp”16 A big advantage of ESPs is that they push fluid to the surface as opposed to surface mounted jet pumps that pull the fluids: in this context, pushing is more efficient than pulling. ESPs are used in a range of applications including artificial lift and gas lift – two significant methods of enhanced oil recovery.

Innovation to Match the Challenge of the Job As in many areas of engineering, there is a continuing drive to find and produce better materials for insulation purposes and, as that happens, it also increases the scope and reach of industries reliant on the cable and wires that have to be insulated. Perhaps it will be sensible to close this paper with an overview of the challenges that have shaped the context in which all this, including the need to insulate wires and cables, happens.

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A combination of past disasters, increasing awareness of safety and ever more hazardous environments has posed a whole raft of new challenges for the operation of an offshore oil and/or gas platform. And it’s not as if the industry was short of challenges already, according to Subsea Oil and Gas Directory17. “The subsea oil and gas industry [is] faced with the deepwater challenges of what was called the “last frontiers” on this planet. Developing subsea prospects in water depths up to 3,000m required outstanding engineering skills, equipment qualification and extreme focus on reliability.” Most offshore environments are harsh and pose significant challenges to platform operators. Offshore oil and gas fields can be found in all climatic conditions and offshore oil and gas production is more challenging than land-based installations due to the remote and harsher environment. While cabling might not be the most high profile component in all this, like everything in that mix, its performance is critical to the operation.


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References: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subsea_%28technology%29

1

2

How Stuff Works http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/offshore-drilling.htm/printable

3

The Journal of Petroleum Technology

http://www.mydigitalpublication.com/article/Offshore+Oil+and+Gas+Installation%E2%80%94Aging+and+Life+Extension/951953/0/article.html 4

Subsea Oil & Gas Directory http://www.subsea.org/subsea.html

5

Infield Systems, ‘Subsea Oil and Gas Sector Set For 14.8% CAGR Growth To 2017’

http://www.infield.com/news/subsea-oil-gas-sector-growth-2017/62

6

Norwegian University of Science and Technology http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:649648/FULLTEXT01.pdf

7

Subsea Electrification and Seafloor Oil and Gas http://www.geglobalresearch.com/innovation/subsea-electrification-seafloor-oil-gas-processing

8

Total ‘Deep offshore: a technological and human adventure’ http://www.total.com/sites/default/files/atoms/file/brochure-dop-en

9

Thomas & Betts http://www.tnb.com.cn/A_UpLoad/file/shiyoushihua.pdf

10

SAS http://www.sas.com/industry/oilgas/oil_gas_solution_brief3.pdf

11

Jason Waldie at the ‘Subsea Asia Conference’, Kuala Lumpur

http://www.subseauk.com/documents/subsea%20asia%20-%20jason%20waldie.pdf 12

Offshore Magazine ‘Subsea processing – the gamechanger’

http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/print/volume-63/issue-11/technology/subsea-processing-ndash-the-gamechanger.html 13

Flowtech Energy http://www.flowtechenergy.com/Oilfield-Services/offshore-oil-field-drilling-rigs/

14

Offshore magazine

http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/print/volume-67/issue-1/drilling-completion/intelligent-well-technology-can-control-oil-reservoir-inflow-auto-gaslift-system.html

15

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam-assisted_gravity_drainage

16

Stamford University ‘High-temperature electrical insulations for EGS downhole equipment”

https://pangea.stanford.edu/ERE/pdf/IGAstandard/SGW/2010/hooker.pdf 17

Subsea Oil & Gas Directory http://www.subsea.org/subsea.html

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