For the past decade the use of composite materials in repairing offshore systems has been of interest to operators and regulators. Risers are one of the most important elements in an offshore system and are often susceptible to damage and degradation including outside impact and corrosion. While risers have been repaired using composite materials, to date there has not been a program to specifically assess the use of this technology relative to mechanical integrity requirements. For this reason MMS sponsored a research program starting in 2006 with the Offshore Technology Research Center (OTRC) to assess existing composite repair technology. One primary aim of this work was to develop guidelines to assist regulators, operators, and manufacturers in using composite technology to repair risers.
The development of this guideline is based on findings of the funded research that also involved co-sponsored research activities from four manufacturers in the form of a joint industry project (JIP). The aim of this document is to provide guidance to industry in terms of the following areas: (1) design and development, (2) installation and implementation, and (3) operations and maintenance. The sections that follow provide details on each of these areas, with each serving a critical role in the deployment of effective repairs for long-term service.
Also included is information presented and gathered at a workshop hosted by the OTRC at Stress Engineering Services, Inc. in Houston, Texas on March 29, 2007. The workshop was attended by representatives from MMS and other regulatory bodies, academia and research organizations, oil and gas companies, service/consulting firms, and composite repair manufacturers. A beneficial exchange of information and ideas took place as participants learned about the background of composite repairs as well as the critical aspects of integrating this technology for the repair of offshore risers.