Flexible pipe systems are complex technologies which allow the development of oil and gas fields that are difficult to reach. These products are increasingly being used to transport hazardous products in deeper water and harsher environmental conditions. It is therefore becoming increasingly important for owners and manufacturers of these systems to be able to demonstrate that their assets/products are compliant with the relevant specifications and standards, and are reliable and safe for use.
Given the complexity of flexible pipe structures, the methods of manufacture and the confidential nature of the technology, it is challenging for manufacturers and owners to demonstrate that each manufactured flexible pipe design is compliant with the relevant specifications and standards on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, manufacturers may seek Type Approval for their products (or a specific range of their products) in order to demonstrate that they have the capability to design and manufacture pipes within a certain envelope of sizes and operating conditions.
Additionally, it is acknowledged that flexible pipe structures vary in levels of complexity, from just a few simple layers of polymers and metals, to many layers of polymers and metals with complex profiles. It is therefore necessary to provide a framework for the appraisal of flexible pipes that enables manufacturers to seek assurance as required, either on a case-by-case basis, or wider assurance such as Type Approval.
These Guidance Notes describe the application of LR’s independent appraisal services, addressing flexible pipe systems, in order to provide a common scheme for appraisal methodology. The document provides guidance to manufacturers, owners, operators and other stakeholders with an interest in different types of appraisal.