US Patent No: 4,367,980

Number of patents in Portfolio can not be more than 2000

Method and apparatus for completing diverless subsea large diameter flowline connections




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A diverless subsea flowline connection system includes a plurality of connectors for remotely connecting the end of a bundle of flowlines to the ends of a plurality of bundles of individual flowlines. Guidance components direct the end portion of each bundle of individual flowlines into precise connecting alignment with a corresponding end portion of the bundled flowlines without damage to the connecting seals. The end portion of the bundled flowlines are covered and sealed so that these flowlines can be pulled across a sea floor without damage to their connecting ends. Means are provided for pulling the flowline bundle toward an aligning structure so that the lines can approach the structure from a wide variety of angles and the structure will guide the bundled flowlines into position where they can be aligned exactly with the individual diameter flowlines. This pulling means includes means for connecting a pulling cable to the radial center of a pulling head attached to the ends of the bundled flowlines. The ends of the individual flowlines are connected to connector lugs and aligned before the fluid-tight seals are set to prevent possible damage to the seals. After the individual flowline ends are precisely aligned the seals are set. The pulling, aligning, replacement of seals and fluid-tight connecting of the individual flowlines is all directed by remote control from the surface of the sea.

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Inventor Name Address # of filed Patents Total Citations
Ames, Thomas J Houston, TX 6 97
Cuiper, Glen H Spring, TX 11 178

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Patent Info (Count) # Cites Year
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FMC do Brasil Industria E. Comercio S.A. (1)
6,340,057 Connection device 3 2000
* 4,457,378 Flowline pull-in apparatus and method 17 1982
* 4,558,972 Subsea pipeline connection 7 1983
* 4,687,377 Method and apparatus for subsea flexible conduit installation 9 1986
Mobil Oil Corporation (1)
* 4,842,075 Subsea flowline connection system 14 1988
ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company (2)
* 6,182,761 Flowline extendable pigging valve assembly 26 1997
7,958,938 System and vessel for supporting offshore fields 16 2005
Smart Drilling and Completion, Inc. (3)
* 7,311,151 Substantially neutrally buoyant and positively buoyant electrically heated flowlines for production of subsea hydrocarbons 24 2004
* 2004/0244,982 Substantially neutrally buoyant and positively buoyant electrically heated flowlines for production of subsea hydrocarbons 4 2004
8,515,677 Methods and apparatus to prevent failures of fiber-reinforced composite materials under compressive stresses caused by fluids and gases invading microfractures in the materials 0 2010
* Cited By Examiner