STAVANGER, Norway – September 11, 2014 –T.D. Williamson (TDW) and Statoil Petroleum AS share a frame agreement that requires TDW to provide pipeline pressure isolation services. The advantages of having such an agreement in place are immediately apparent in emergency pipeline repair scenarios (EPRS) where both companies are well prepared to move quickly and efficiently to repair pipelines without delay.
Statoil requested that TDW provide emergency isolation services on a 36-inch dry gas pipeline attached to the Heimdal Riser platform in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. As the Heimdal platform is a major distribution point for the transport of Norwegian gas to the rest of Europe, it was critical that the platform be returned to production as soon as possible.
Statoil contracted TDW to use a 36-inch remote-controlled SmartPlug® pressure isolation tool to isolate the line while the repair works were performed. TDW had previously performed a successful isolation on the same line, and was therefore confident that the operation could be repeated with similar success within the narrow time frame. Pre-engineering for the line was complete, and specialist pipeline pressure isolation equipment and an experienced crew were on-hand, ready to respond, saving time and money.
Rapid response reduces downtime
Just eight days after receiving the request from Statoil, TDW began to mobilize crew and equipment to the Heimdal platform. The actual operation commenced in less than two weeks after TDW received the first phone call.
Working from the platform, TDW launched the tool into the line and monitored its progress with its remotely operated SmartTrack™ tracking and monitoring system. The SmartTrack system, which uses two-way, through-wall, electromagnetic communication between an external transponder and the receiver in the tool, also monitors pressure in the line to ensure that it remains at a safe operating level throughout isolation operation. For three days, the pipeline was isolated and sealed against a pressure of 122 bar (1,769 psi) while the valve was replaced.
When a major gas export pipeline such as this is down for even one day longer than planned, it’s a loss to all stakeholders. It is also a major interruption to business, affecting customers both upstream and downstream. “We appreciate what a pivotal role the Heimdal platform plays, so we are extremely pleased that the operation was quickly and so well executed,” said Atle Halvorsen, Project Manager for TDW. “We attribute much of our ability to deliver such an extremely rapid turnaround to the care and attention that Statoil and TDW invested in developing a plan that would allow us both to respond as promptly and efficiently as possible.”