InterMoor, an Acteon company, has completed an installation and recovery project for Apache Deepwater LLC (Apache) in Mississippi Canyon Block 148, Well 5 in the Gulf of Mexico.
The work scope included the overboard, wet transfer, deployment and recovery of a 30-ton interchangeable riserless intervention system (IRIS) owned by Blue Ocean Technologies. InterMoor undertook the work in water approximately 168 meters deep from Cal Dive’s Uncle John semisubmersible vessel.
InterMoor delivered the project using its compensated anchor handler subsea installation system (CASIM) which reduces heave motions relative to vessel motions. CASIM units are pre-charged at the surface to deliver the needed heave compensation for the load at depth. InterMoor’s proprietary CASIM method requires less deck space and demands fewer deck operations than the traditional buoy-based heave-compensated landing system. The company also provided the associated rigging equipment and a technician to help facilitate the subsea compensation.
“Apache selected InterMoor for this project on the basis of our service record, the fact that we had the necessary equipment available and because of our experience in subsea operations of this kind,” said InterMoor project manager Jacob Heikes. “Although we have used CASIM to deploy and recover many types of subsea equipment, this is the first time that we have used CASIM for IRIS deployment and recovery, and the project’s success shows that this proven installation method is suitable for a wide range of subsea equipment.”
For the very first time, remote-controlled machines and an underwater welding robot have installed a new tie-in point on a live gas pipeline, without the pipeline being prepared in advance.
Subsea Hot Tap Video Link
These types of operations can save Statoil lots of money in the long run.
The hot tap installation is the first to be carried out in connection with preparations for Åsgard subsea gas compression in the Norwegian Sea, and thus also represents a milestone for the project. The tie-in point was welded on to the Åsgard B production flowline at a water depth of 265 metres.
After ten days on the field, the hot-tap operation team on board the Technip-owned vessel Scandi Arctic could confirm success in the pioneering operation.
Kjell Edvard Apeland, project manager of the remote-controlled hot tap development in Statoil and head of the operation on the Åsgard field. (Photo: Rune Solheim)
“For a subsea engineer, this can be compared with landing on Mars,” says Kjell Edvard Apeland. He is project manager of the remote-controlled hot tap development in Statoil and head of the operation on the Åsgard field.
Simply explained, a remote-controlled hot tap operation consists of a robot welding a T-piece on to the pipe, while gas is flowing through it. When that has been done, a remote-controlled drilling machine will drill holes in the producing pipeline, with no effect on pressure and production.
“When the compressor module and the manifold for Åsgard subsea compression are installed next year, we will connect the pipeline from these to the hot-tap tie-in point,” says Apeland.
The Åsgard subsea compression project will be realised in 2015, as the first of its kind in the world. Compressors will be installed on the seabed, instead of on a platform. This will improve recovery from the Mikkel and Midgard reservoirs by around 280 million barrels of oil equivalents.
Hot tap technology is a technological breakthrough, and a door opener for developing marginal fields, as well as extending the lifetime of other fields.
The ability to connect anywhere on a pipeline, without stopping production, yields considerable flexibility and significant savings.
Torstein Vinterstø, portfolio manager for subsea compression projects in Statoil. (Photo: Anette Westgård)
“Since we will be connecting a new compressor station on the seabed to an existing pipeline system on Åsgard, it is very beneficial to use the hot tap technology to avoid disrupting production,” says Torstein Vinterstø, portfolio manager for subsea compression projects in Statoil.
“The savings are measured compared with what it would have cost to perform a similar operation, including shutting down production in the pipeline we were working on. This would also have taken much longer than the ten days we spent now – possibly as long as three months,” he says.
The method was developed by Statoil, and there is no comparable technology.
The work to develop the technology started in 1999, and was developed in Statoil’s pipe technology environment at Killingøy outside Haugesund. Statoil’s expertise in tie-in and repair of pipelines is gathered there.
Open and constructive cooperation with our key suppliers has been instrumental in achieving this.
Statoil has already thoroughly tested the hot tap technology, with good results. Remote-controlled hot tap has previously been performed on Tampen Link on the Statfjord field in the North Sea and on the Ormen Lange field in the Norwegian Sea, but then the T-piece had already been installed on the gas pipeline in advance.
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McDermott International, Inc. announced today that one of its subsidiaries has been awarded a contract by the Discovery system for offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. The value of this contract is included in McDermott’s second quarter 2012 backlog.
Williams Partners L.P.owns 60 percent of the Discovery system and operates it. DCP Midstream Partners, LP owns the other 40 percent of the Discovery system.
The project is to deliver new junction facilities for Discovery’s Keathley Canyon Connector™ pipeline system with a 3,300-ton, four-leg platform in 350 feet of water. The unmanned platform will provide pipeline junction facilities for incoming deepwater pipelines from the Hadrian South and Lucius fields and for outgoing shallow-water pipelines to shore.
Fabrication is expected to commence this summer at McDermott’s Morgan City facility in Louisiana. Offshore installation is expected to commence during the third quarter of 2013, and is intended to be ready for operational start-up before the end of the year.
McDermott’s deepwater combination heavy lift and pipelay vessel DB50 is expected to perform the installation. The DB50 has recently undergone extensive enhancement to its power and propulsion systems, and has a new deepwater lowering system.
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