In recent years, many papers have been published describing the advantages and disadvantages of the high-frequency welded (HFW) and seamless (SMLS) carbon and low-alloy steel (LAS) pipe manufacturing processes for the oil and gas industry. However, there are few published papers that compare these different manufacturing processes in a way that would give a clear guidance for design house engineers, operators, and installation contractors. Such guidance could improve the selection process of a cost-effective carbon and LAS pipe product (i.e., a SMLS or an HFW pipe) for specific size range (4.5 to 26´ (114.3 to 660mm) OD)), applications (e.g., subsea, onshore) and service conditions (e.g., design and material limitations). The intent of this paper is not to suggest SMLS pipes are not high-quality products, but to put forward the idea that more cost-competitive alternatives, such as HFW, could suit and meet the requirements of some scopes which fall within HFW’s capabilities.
Wood successfully used HFW pipes on previous projects. This paper helps to re-evaluate the design approach, cost effective choices, and intelligent use of available pipe manufacturing processes in favour of HFW pipes which can offer 10 to 30% cost saving over its SMLS equivalent, and a potential 20 to 30% reduction in manufacturing lead times. This paper also discusses the feasibility of using HFW pipes alongside their SMLS equivalent and reviews various HFW manufacturing processes. It has been shown that from a cost-efficiency and general project cost-savings standpoint, HFW pipe which is used either alongside or instead of the SMLS equivalent is a viable alternative solution with HFW continuing to grow its successful project delivery portfolio. It is proposed that HFW carbon and LAS pipe can be considered as a viable alternative solution to SMLS equivalent for a range of scopes that fall into its capability range.