Ten Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the North Sea’s Worst Kept Secret.

February 20, 2018

Used by twenty operators on control systems from six different OEMs, V-LIFE is fast becoming the leading alternative to subsea interventions, replacing electrical equipment, and even umbilicals when water ingress is the cause of a drop in system insulation resistance (IR).

But what is IR and why should you care? Insulation resistance is the indication of the integrity of the insulating material, protecting the electrical conductors. As the insulation fails the electrical current flows into the seawater, resulting in further cable and conductor degradation, putting the control system at risk of failure. Insulation failure can ultimately lead to a loss of production.

Why is V-LIFE gaining such traction? Installed in just one day, here are just ten of the many great things about V-LIFE that could make a difference on your system;

  1. It is the only IR recovery service. It reverses the effect of water ingress into subsea umbilicals and electrical distribution equipment.
  2. It will work on all components within subsea electrical distribution systems including both cables, and connectors provided the fault is due to water ingress.
  3. The passivation signal is applied to both power cores (L1 and L2) equally, and therefore does not have any detrimental effect on the control or communication system power supply.
  4. The signal is created between the Lines and Earth which generates an electrokinetic/ electrochemical process that increases the insulation resistance.
  5. IR recovery has been successful on Aker, GE, FMC, OneSubsea, Proserv and RRC systems, so far.
  6. It is installed on either the power and communication cables and is designed to not have any impact on the subsea control or communications system.
  7. There is no effect on the subsea cathodic protection, and likewise, impressed current CP systems do not affect the operation of V-LIFE.
  8. V-LIFE has worked on systems as low as 23 kΩ. However, the chances of successfully recovering the system are greater, the higher the system’s starting IR, so while playing chicken can be fun when it’s with your system, it’s probably not the best idea.
  9. Used extensively as a cost-effective means of field life extension, instead of replacing electrical equipment, a recent installation of V-LIFE off the Irish coast has provided the customer an estimated extra five years of production.
  10. Several customers have had such success that they’ve brought wells back online that have previously failed due to the drop in system IR.

So if you’re experiencing IR issues, drop us a line, and we can use our 400 combined years of engineering expertise to design a solution that is right for you. From turnkey infrastructure replacement to the installation of V-LIFE, Viper Innovations can design a bespoke solution to fit your needs and make you sleep better at night.