Plastic pipeline liners are a new phenomenon in the offshore sector, although a great deal of interest has been generated by their use in several recent projects This paper catalogues the development of plastic pipe liners, from use within the onshore utilities markets, through plastic lined water injection pipelines in the offshore sector, and the current development of a liner for hydrocarbon use in submarine pipelines


Durapipe - S&LP have been producing plastic pipe for many years servicing both general industrial clients, and the water and gas utilities industries The company is a market leader and operates the largest polyethylene (PE) extrusion plant in western Europe Based on the success of plastic polyethylene (PE) liners for water injection service in the offshore pipeline industry, Durapipe - S&LP (with OSO backing) are developing a series of plastic pipes suitable for hydrocarbon service called "Sealine"

In 1995 Stewarts & Lloyds Plastics (as ~t then was) contracted ABB Lurnrnus Global (ABBLGL) to undertake a study investigating a number of offshore engineering considerations such as installation techniques and operational constraints, with a view to determining the feasibility of incorporating polymer liners in hydrocarbon pipelines, and to comment on the compatibility of plastic liner Insertion techniques with offshore pipeline installation methods. This paper draws from the results of that study The topics that are discussed in this paper cover

  • The background and development of lined pipelines

  • The advantages and disadvantages of plastic lined pipelines

  • An overview of current lining and jointing technologies

  • Plastic pipe for hydrocarbon service - Sealine

  • The way forward - further work


PE pipes have a long and established record in the onshore utilities markets for new water and gas pipelines and also for the re-habilitation of aging water and gas distribution networks Installation teams with large drums of blue and yellow pipe are a familiar sight on the streets of Britain today, as they are around the world

The utilities market has been quick to recognise the advantages that plastic pipe can offer and places ever increasing demands upon the pipe suppliers and the installation contractors This demand is exemplified by the fact that Durapipe - S&LP alone supplied more than 10,000kms of pipe to the utilities market alone In 1995 In line with this demand are the moves in lining and jointing technologies that are necessary to keep up with the evermore challenging projects that are undertaken each year

Much of the technology can be applied and used for the fabrication and installation of plastic liners within pipelines for offshore use, which is discussed in more detail later This is exemplified by the notable increase in use and Interest for plastic lined pipelines for the offshore Industry

Plastic liners in an offshore context 1s a relatively new concept with only a small number of field developments utilizing PE lined pipelines

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