A new technology for the rejuvenation of subsea umbilicals and distribution equipment with insulation resistance degradation.

Problem

The most common cause of subsea electrical failures results from the ingress of water into the cable insulation. Such failures may produce short circuits between conductors and/or current flow from live conductors to earth. Subsea interventions to replace cables, equipment or even umbilicals have been the only solution to this problem. 

Awards

  • Winner of the Queen's Award for Enterprise 2016
  • Winner of the Technology Innovation of the Year category at the National Private Business Awards 2014
  • Winner of the Subsea UK 2014 Innovation Award.

Solution

The V-LIFE acts as both a preventative measure and an active 'healer' to low insulation resistance. By deploying an electro-kinetic and electrochemical process developed by Viper Subsea, the V-LIFE can minimise and mitigate the effect of water ingress into the insulation. It is a standalone device that can be readily retrofitted into topside equipment or provided as a function of the V-LIM. The V-LIFE also monitors the insulation resistance, voltage and current of the subsea umbilical with high accuracy and can display the IR graphically in real time giving a visual indication of the effectiveness of the system. Online data recovery allows Viper to optimise the configuration data and provide regular integrity reports.

Key Benefits

  • Reverses the effects of water ingress into electrical cables and equipment
  • Can extend the life of failing umbilicals:
  • ‘Buys time’ whilst a new umbilical is procured
  • Used instead of installing a new umbilical
  • Can be used to postpone field abandonment
  • Can increase technical margins to allow additional wells to be added
  • Can rejuvenate other subsea distribution equipment and components 

Key facts

  • Over 45 systems installed globally
  • V-LIFE is a scientific breakthrough
  • It can increase the insulation resistance of the umbilical and subsea electrical distribution system
  • The restorative function is only applied when V-LIFE is in use and so the unit is connected permanently
  • The V-LIFE continuously monitors the line and provides data on its operation and its condition
  • The first field trial, operational since July 2012, has shown significant improvement in insulation resistance after a few months use and has been stable and operational since installation