TDW Offshore Services Completes Pipeline Pressure Isolation Operation in India
The operation was carried out on a pipeline that runs between two platforms offshore Mumbai. TDW was contacted by the operator after a leaking valve on a future tie-in connection (tee) on the pipeline was discovered. The operator was faced with a very difficult and potentially costly predicament. Due to the leaking valve subsea caused by an anchor drag accident, production was stopped so the valve could be removed and a blind flange placed on the connection. The operator had two options. The first was to bleed down the entire pipeline, which would have been very expensive and time consuming, costing potentially millions of dollars in lost production per day. Pipeline profiling is very difficult, especially when carried out in varying degrees of water depth. Had the operator been required to flood the pipeline in order to repair it, it would have been extremely challenging to dewater the pipeline before putting it back into production.
As an alternative, TDW proposed using its SmartPlug® isolation technology. TDW advised pigging the SmartPlug tool in from one of the platforms past the leaking tee, and then setting the tool so that the valve could be safely removed. The advantage of this option was that it could be completed in a matter of days without bleeding down the pipeline, saving millions of dollars in downtime.
The customer retained TDW to carry out the second option. A site visit followed immediately thereafter, and engineering personnel mobilized offshore from Mumbai six weeks later. The SmartPlug tool was set, and the operation was successfully and completed within two days. The crew and tool were then demobilized and normal production on the platform resumed.
The operator desperately needed a quick solution to the valve problem, and TDW provided just that. “The operation clearly demonstrated that our SmartPlug isolation technology offers a quick and cost-effective solution to subsea pipeline problems of this type,” said Rolf Gunnar Lie, Regional Business Development Manager - South East Asia for TDW. “When one considers the alternatives, the potential savings for a client are likely to be huge,” he added.
TDW personnel in Norway and Houston worked closely with colleagues in Singapore and India to respond quickly and efficiently. “A distinguishing feature of the job was the great teamwork exhibited by all concerned,” said Lie. “Our customer needed a quick and effective solution to a complicated and costly problem, and all of our units responded perfectly. We were impressed by the operator’s handling of the diving scope and subsea activities for removal of the damaged valve and installation of the blind flange on the tee.”
“TDW is delighted to have been given the opportunity to demonstrate the unique effectiveness of the SmartPlug tool,” said Rutger Schouten, Director of Operations and Technology for TDW. “We hope that ongoing discussions with this valued customer will yield further opportunities to demonstrate the effectiveness of this and other pipeline pressure isolation technology that is unique to TDW.”
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