Latest News

Technip and Heerema Awarded Angola SURF Contract

Total and partners are developing the Kaombo ultra-deepwater project offshore Angola. The project in Block 32 offshore Angola has an anticipated spend of $16billion USD and production facilities will process up to 230,000 barrels of oil per day from 59 subsea wells tied back to two FPSOs with start-up in 2017 and project completion in 2018.

A consortium of Technip and Heerema Marine Contractors has been awarded the largest ever SURF (subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines) contract to provide single top tension risers (STTRs), flexible riser jumpers, riser base spools, rigid pipe in pipe production pipelines and single pipe injection pipelines.

The water depth is 2,000m (6,662 ft) and the total contract value is $3.5 billion USD.


Huntingdon shut in on Pipeline Restrictions

The EON operated Huntingdon field located in the North Sea has had its output capacity severely restricted by access to the BP CATS pipeline due to fluid composition issues. The field is currently restricted to 40% of capacity.

The 36” diameter CATS pipeline is one of the UK’s most strategic pipeline assets and transports gas from a number of North Sea fields, including the associated gas from Huntingdon oil; without a gas export option, oil production is significantly restricted. Gas entry specification for CATS is strictly controlled by BP, in particular liquid content as a mitigation to internal corrosion.


MIC Joint Industry Project

Corrosion is one of, if not the greatest risks to pipeline integrity whether that is onshore or offshore. One of the trickiest forms of corrosion to deal with is MIC or, Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion which if left undetected and untreated can lead to significant corrosion growth rates and in many cases failure.

DNV GL has launched a Join Industry Project (JIP) aimed at developing a new DNV Recommended Practice (RP) to provide guidelines on the management of MIC for onshore pipelines.


Forties Pipeline SSIV

The Forties Pipeline is a 36” diameter 169km long pipeline which originates at the Apache North Sea operated Forties Charlie Platform and transports crude oil to landfall at Cruden Bay on the North East coast of Scotland.

The pipeline is owned and operated by BP FPS but Apache North Sea are the Duty Holder for the first 500m within the safety zone of Forties Charlie. As part of a risk reduction measure a new Subsea Isolation Valve (SSIV) was successfully tied-in earlier this year.

The tie-in involved the use of the STATS ‘Tecno’ plug system to isolate the pipeline subsea to enable the subsea tie-in and leak testing avoiding the need to de-pressurise the entire 169km long pipeline.

The use of isolation pigs can be extremely effective in providing pipeline isolation to carry out many types of interventions and their popularity and use has grown over the years.

Mark Richardson, Apache North Sea’s Projects Group Manager will be speaking about the intervention at the IMechE’s Piping and Pipeline Risk Based Inspection Seminar to be held on the 9th December 2014 at the Aberdeen Marriot Hotel.


PPSA Annual Seminar

On the 19th November 2014 the Pipeline Pigging and Products Association will be hosting their annual exhibition and conference at Ardoe House Hotel in Aberdeen. This is usually a well-attended event and this year’s papers look very interesting and Origin’s Technical Director will be attending to hear what is said.

We’ve picked out the papers by PII on ILI verification and the detection and sizing of pinhole leaksas looking particularly interesting to us.


Importance of leak testing

Pipeline design codes require thorough leak testing following the breaking of containment; this can either be hydraulic or pneumatic. The purpose of this leak test is to provide assurance of the integrity of re-made or new joints to ensure they are fit for purpose.

The HSE have recently released a statement on an incident which occurred in October 2010 on an unleaded petrol pipeline owned by British Pipeline Agency Ltd as a result of a leak at a joint.

An investigation by the HSE revealed that the joints in a section of replaced pipework had not been properly commissioned and tested prior to re-starting the pipeline and 35,000 litres of unleaded petrol was released under pressure. There was no ignition which limited the consequences of the release but an extensive clean up and decontamination exercise was required.

The HSE successfully prosecuted BPA on the 26th September under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

It is worth noting that much of the legislation governing pipeline operations in the UK is known as a Statutory Instrument (SI) which the HSE can prosecute against, however, the Act of Parliament which these SI’s sit under is the original 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act (including a 2013 order to amend Offshore inclusions) and it is not uncommon for the HSE to prosecute under the Health and Safety at Work Act which is less prescriptive than the Statutory Instruments.

OGA Chief Announced

One of the recommendations of the Wood Review was that stewardship of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) i.e. the oil and gas industry should be taken on by an industry funded organisation. The UK government accepted the recommendations of Sir Ian Wood and since then have committed to establish the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) which will be one of the first recommendations to be introduced.

Andy Samuel, currently Managing Director of BG Group’s Exploration and Production in Europe, has been appointed as the OGA’s first Chief executive joining from his current role as Managing Director of BG Exploration and Production in Europe.

One of the main roles of the OGA will be to maximise the economic recovery of the UK’s oil and gas resources which has been the subject of Sir Ian Wood’s review. There is a wide range of operating efficiencies throughout the North Sea Operators and production efficiency is likely to be high on the agenda of the new OGA.

We’ll be keeping a look out for updates on the OGA and we’ll be sure to keep this section of the news updated regularly and to assess the impact on our industry.

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