Amec Foster Wheeler provided engineering analysis for a fine tailing treatment project in the Athabasca Oil Sands region in Alberta, Canada.
The project handles 100 000 b/d capturing the fines from flotation tailings through a thickener. The project equipment included the flotation thickener, the recovered bitumen tank, the overflow water tank and gravity distributor, slurry pumps, the gland water pump and bitumen sump pump.
The 42 inch diameter pipe for overflow water would operate at a temperature of 95°C and a pressure of 2500 KPag. The pipe runs 1000 metres in a common trench with four other pipelines. Normal engineering practice calls for carbon steel (CS) for deep buried piping, but for overflow water service, the service life of CS is only five to eight years due to corrosion. It would be difficult to replace this individual pipe in a common trench with other pipes, entailing huge costs for soil excavation and backfill. To achieve a lifetime operation, fibreglass pipe (FRP) material would be needed.
Amec Foster Wheeler used Intergraph CAESAR II for 56 stress calculations. The FRP overflow line required the UK Offshore Operation Association (UKOOA) design code, one of the many standards included with CAESAR II.
This short case study originally appeared in PTQ's Technology In Action feature - Q3 2016 issue.