A joint industry project (JIP) has validated DNV GL's Helica software for umbilicals and flexible pipes in subsea applications depending on full-scale tests.

DNV GL said the project has replicated stresses measured in an umbilical subjected to tension and bending in full-scale tests.

The software, which calculates stresses in umbilical and flexible pipe components, analyzes various simulations in just minutes, resulting in enhanced engineering efficiency and reduced design cost.

Helica has earlier been verified against publicly available data. The JIP compared stresses measured using the software with calculated stresses in a full-scale umbilical sample subjected to tension and bending, and the analysis results correlated well with the test data.

On the basis of these analyses, engineers can save much time and money during the design stage. This software is not only useful during the design stage, but throughout the lifecycle of the subsea system.

The JIP includes Ultra Deep LCC, ExxonMobil, Oceaneering, Shell, Technip and ABB and data for the research has been provided by ExxonMobil.

The tests have validated the accuracy of Helica software which analyse thousands of tension and bending simulations within few minutes and improve engineering efficiency and in the process reduce design costs.

Helica software is mainly used by subsea engineers who calculate stresses in umbilicals and flexible pipes to ensure that individual components do not fail. Failures like these can lead to production shutdowns or leakage of hydrocarbons.

DNV GL – oil & gas riser technology vice president Nils Sodahl said: "As far as we know, this is the first time anyone has been able to demonstrate such a remarkably strong correlation between analysis results and such high quality stress measurements in full-scale subsea umbilicals."