Viper Subsea will unveil its latest innovation on its stand (6A20) at the Offshore Europe exhibition. The V-LIFE® provides a solution to one of subsea engineering’s most common problems – the degradation of insulation resistance in subsea cables and umbilicals.
The V-LIFE is a unit that is installed on the topsides with no subsea intervention being necessary. As well as offering increased insulation resistance, V-LIFE continuously monitors umbilicals to give operators vital information about the overall integrity of the electrical conductors and insulation.
This new innovative technology could potentially save the subsea industry millions of dollars in umbilical replacement costs and prevention of early field decommissioning due to umbilical failures. Neil Douglas, managing director of Viper Subsea, explains: “V-LIFE provides a breakthrough in subsea engineering because it can, in effect, help to ‘heal’ ageing umbilicals. The cost of replacing subsea umbilicals is significant in terms of the capital, installation and lost production costs. Such costs for operators can run into millions of dollars. Through the use of novel and proprietary techniques, our field trials have proved that V-LIFE can improve the performance of degraded subsea cables after just a few weeks of V-LIFE use. The field trials have shown improvements in insulation resistance of many orders of magnitude.
V-LIFE has been designed to answer the recurring problem of water leakage in subsea umbilicals, which happens with increasing frequency as subsea cables age. By reducing the likelihood of this type of failure, V-LIFE extends the life of cables and connectors, substantially reducing the need for subsea repair work and equipment replacement.
When fitted to ageing umbilicals with water ingress problems, V-LIFE increases the insulation resistance of the umbilical and the subsea electrical distribution system. The restorative function is only applied when V-LIFE is in use so the unit needs to be permanently connected to the umbilical electrical conductors for the restorative effect to be maintained, monitored, and optimised.
Douglas continues “This new technology demonstrates how our significant investment into research and development is delivering valuable and practical benefits to oilfield operators. Our investment into V-LIFE also demonstrates our commitment to further growing our already established offering in subsea asset integrity management.”