Hot tapping dives deeper

Conecting new pipelines to old pipelines without interrupting production is valuable technology. Edgar Keijser of Oil Sates Industries discussed advances in hot tapping at the Offshore West Africa Conference & Exhibition on March 21.

Offshore staff

ABUJA, Nigeria -- Conecting new pipelines to old pipelines without interrupting production is valuable technology. Edgar Keijser of Oil Sates Industries discussed advances in "hot tapping" at the Offshore West Africa Conference & Exhibition on March 21.

Keijser talked about the varied applications of hot tapping, from connecting to existing piplelines to planning for tie-ins at the development stage of a project.

Hot tapping has particular value in marginal fields development, Keijser said. "Operators can save capex cost when a new discovery is near an existing pipeline."

Keijser presented a case study from the Gulf of Mexico where the operator installed a future tie-in point while making pipeline repairs on the Mars platform following Hurricane Katrina. Shell added a future tie-in point when it made repairs and resumed construction, he said, laying the groundwork for a future hot tap if it is necessary.

New technology has led to the development of a skid that can be laid in line with a pipeline using either J-lay or S-lay technology, Keijser said. Planning ahead allows easier connections later.

"Oil States' innovative engineering allows operators to add a future tie-in point even during pipeline repair," Keijser said.

3/21/2007

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