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PETROMAKS2-Stort program petroleum

LaserPIPE – Laser-based welding of pipelines for offshore industry

Alternative title: LaserPipe - Laserbasert sveising av rørledninger for offshore industien

Awarded: NOK 7.0 mill.

Project Number:


Project Period:

2024 - 2027


An improvement of production technologies will give lower costs for the industry to meet tomorrows requirements for clean energy. Traditionally, electrical arc welding has been the most common method in joining processes of steel and Aluminium. The use of Lasers, eventually in combination with conventional processes is an alternative, but very little used because of the capability of joining heavy wall constructions. With a Hybride Laser, this can be possible also for use in the oil/gas industry. Production costs will be lower since there is a significant use of welding consumables, and the process needs less energy than the case is with electrical arc welding to produce a welded joint. This will result in less CO2 emissions during welding, but also due to significant lower production time. Laser Hybride welding is today not commonly used since this is a relatively new process, and the oil/gas industry have very strict quality requirements for welded joints since these operate under high pressure and often corrosive liquids in the pipelines. New welding processes must therefore be qualified for the purpose, and show an equivalent or better weld quality than the traditional welding processes. The welded joints shall be tested according to the same standards and methods as used for traditional arc welding. This will be a challenge, as Laser welded seams are very slim and extraction of specimens for testing will be difficult. This project will therefore look into possibilities to see if alternative methods could be used for testing the Laser welded joint. If this turns out to be successful, Laser Hybrid welding may challenge traditional welding both on costs, quality and effectiveness. This project will cover research and development of process parameters, study material properties after welding and finally develope a robust production process with low repair rate.

To increase competitiveness in the petroleum sector and to subsequently meet the shift towards clean energy, more advanced manufacturing methods must be developed and used. Welding is one of the most important manufacturing processes in industry. Laser-arc hybrid welding (LAHW) is an alternative to conventional arc welding for manufacturing of pipelines and is promising for thick-walled structures. It may increase productivity by several times, reduce costs, CO2 footprint, and increase performance of welded joints. This will increase the competitiveness of the industrial partner immensely. However, LAHW requires extensive research to deal with many challenges met in deep and narrow welds. The project aims to introduce an innovative laser-arc hybrid welding for pipeline manufacturing. In the project, advanced research methods will be employed to optimize complex innovative laser-based welding to solve scientific and technical challenges. Positive results of the project may have a significant effect on standardization which is mainly focused on conventional arc welding to this date. This can be a game-changer in pipeline manufacturing industry and may strongly affect other welding intensive industries. Upon project completion, LAHW is planned to be realized in real manufacturing condition seeking a broader industrialization potential due to many benefits. In this project a few critical challenges will be solved to cover R&D needs: 1) development of process parameters to achieve high quality welds; 2) study of material reaction on thermal cycle and resulting mechanical properties; 3) development of robust manufacturing with minimization of fault welds. The planed and successful realization of the innovative laser-based welding will contribute to increased productivity, more resilient and safe manufacturing, improved mechanical performance of welded joints, and shift towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly production.

Funding scheme:

PETROMAKS2-Stort program petroleum