Direct electrical heating is a single phase heating system that raises and maintains the temperature of a pipeline by transmitting an AC current through the flow line. It maintains the temperature of pipelines submerged beneath the sea for the purpose of exploration, transportation, and production of oil and gas. Direct electrical heating is widely used in offshore oil & gas exploration and production. It are used globally by major offshore oil & gas companies to mitigate the risks of pipe breakage and save production costs.
The direct electrical heating market can be segmented based on types of cables, application, and region. Based on types of cables, the direct heating market can be divided into riser cables, armored feeder cables, piggyback cables, and Integrated Protection System (IPS). Riser cables supply direct electric current from the platform to seabed pipelines. Armored feeder cables comprise two conductors and the power current is retrieved from the platform. Piggybank cables transmit electric current from the end of the platform to the far end of the pipeline immersed in the seabed. Piggybank cables are widely preferred due to their high efficiency. IPS is a type of cable that provides external support or surrounds the piggybank cables to protect against external load to the pipeline.
Direct electrical heating is used in the oil & gas industry, especially in offshore exploration & production projects. It is also used in developmental work for longer and larger underwater oil & gas pipelines. Furthermore, direct electrical heating helps study the calculation and development work in laboratories.
Demand for direct electrical heating has been rising as it effectively eliminates hydrates precipitating on pipelines in deep-water natural gas reservoirs. Usage of direct electrical heating prevents pipe breakage when making a pipe connection during production or exploration of oil & gas activities. It also prevents injection of chemicals in oil & gas pipelines in offshore projects.
Low temperatures induce hydrate formation on pipelines situated in seabed, thereby causing major flow line blockage. This is one of the major factor restraining the direct electrical heating market. Prevention of circuit failure or pipe breakage needs to be tackled if there is no dissipation of heat in direct electrical heating for oil & gas pipelines.
In terms of geography, North America dominated the direct electrical heating market, led by the latest oil and gas discoveries in the U.S. and Canada. Countries in Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar have increased oil production due to the rise in demand for petroleum for petroleum across the globe. Countries in Europe such as Norway, Sweden, and the U.K. have invested significantly in direct electrical heating in oil & gas offshore production and extraction owing to the increase in demand for energy. The direct electrical heating market in countries in Asia Pacific such as India, China, Japan, and Australia is expected to expand, led by the latest oil and gas discoveries in offshore areas in these countries. Demand for direct electrical heating has been rising in the Gulf of Mexico due to the growth in oil & gas offshore activities. This is boosting the market in Latin America, especially in Mexico. The direct electrical heating market in Africa is anticipated to expand due to the rapid increase in oil & gas activities in the region.
Key players operating in the direct electrical heating market include Statoil, Siemens Energy, Nexans, Saudi Aramco, and SINTEF Energi AS.
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