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.