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PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE

PIPELINE REPAIR
9.1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................... 356 9.2 REPAIR TECHNIQUES ................................................................................................ 358 9.2.1 Do nothing............................................................................................................... 358 9.2.2 Do nothing but monitor the defect. ......................................................................... 359 9.2.3 Downrate the pipeline ............................................................................................. 359 9.2.4 Remove the defect by dressing it out. ..................................................................... 359 9.2.5 Mechanical Clamps................................................................................................. 360 9.2.6 Epoxy grouted repair sleeves. ................................................................................. 362 9.2.7 Clock Spring Repair................................................................................................ 365 9.2.8 Alternative Composite Repair Systems .................................................................. 366 9.2.9 Welded patches and half shells. .............................................................................. 367 9.2.10 Welded full encirclement shells and hot tap fittings............................................... 368 9.2.11 Local weld deposition repair................................................................................... 369 9.2.12 Cut out pipe section and replace – welded spool piece........................................... 372 9.2.13 Cut out pipe section and replace - mechanical connectors ..................................... 374 9.2.13.1 Elastomer systems........................................................................................... 374 9.2.13.2 Forging systems .............................................................................................. 374 9.2.13.3 Metal seals....................................................................................................... 375 9.3 ANCILLIARY REPAIR EQUIPMENT ......................................................................... 375 9.4 REFERENCES ............................................................................................................... 380

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PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE

MODULE 9B: PIPELINE REPAIR
9.1 INTRODUCTION The cost of repair of damaged offshore pipelines is very much greater than that for onshore pipelines, since an offshore repair usually requires at least a diving support vessel and diving crew, but possibly a full hyperbaric welding spread and associated pipe handling frames etc. If the pipeline is at a depth beyond that at which divers are able to work then a remotely deployed repair system may need to be used. For these reasons before any decision to repair is taken all other possibilities should be explored, for example the use of engineering critical assessment calculations to allow acceptance of the defect, supported by full scale trials if necessary, or even downrating of the pipeline to allow continued operation at lower pressure without repair. Before a repair is attempted on an offshore pipeline a number of details should be obtained. These include : • • • • • • • • • • pipe details (dimensions, grade, material, manufacturing route) pipeline operating conditions (including those at the time of damage if known). pipeline product specification type and dimensions of any external corrosion/weight coatings. type of CP system. pipe burial conditions. water depth, temperature. current conditions. seabed conditions. details of damage (type, extent, location).

The nature of the damage will influence the type of repair that may be chosen. Damage to offshore pipelines may be of many types but can be classified into four main groups : 1. Manufacturing/Design/Construction fault. • • • • material/quality problem with pipe or fitting. welding defect. overload etc. due to design deficiency. damage/buckling during construction.

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local corrosion (e. stress corrosion cracking.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE 2. pitting corrosion.g. 357 . preferential corrosion of welds/heat affected zones. storm damage. damaged/missing external corrosion protection coating. 4. denting/gouging from external interference (trawl boards. buckling/distortion due to seabed movement. crevice corrosion. anchors etc. hydrogen induced cracking. Internal corrosion • • • • • • • • general corrosion. stress corrosion cracking. from free spans).). mesa corrosion. damaged/missing external weight coating. buckles/fatigue damage (e. pitting). erosion/abrasion (internal or external).g. 3. External corrosion • • • • general corrosion. microbiological corrosion. Mechanical damage • • • • • • • • • internal mechanical damage from pigs. failure of CP system. denting/gouging from dropped objects.

i) cut out pipe section and replace with welded pipe section. c) downrate the pipeline. without interrupting the flow. e) use epoxy grouted repair sleeves. h) use welded full encirclement shells or hot tap fittings. girth weld defect acceptance limits in standards such as API1104 or BS4515 are based on good workmanship.g. The techniques for carrying out repairs to defects discovered in pipelines include: a) do nothing.g for a large leak). immediately by replacing the pipe section after stopping the flow (e. This is now recognised.1 Do nothing In certain circumstances. e) use mechanical leak clamps.2. for a minor leak or damage which does not immediately threaten the integrity of the pipeline).2 REPAIR TECHNIQUES 9. for example when defects outside the workmanship standards used during construction are discovered. and most national and international standards have fitness-forpurpose appendices which allow defect sizes based on engineering critical assessment to 358 . f) use composite repair collars such as Clock Spring. For example. the repair operation may need to be carried out: • • • immediately.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE Depending on the nature and extent of the damage. b) do nothing but monitor the defect. perhaps using a temporary leak clamp in the first instance (e. and whether the pipeline is leaking or not. it may be possible to apply fitness-for-purpose principles to accept the defects. for a major rupture). d) remove the defect by dressing it out. as soon as practicable by any appropriate method (e. It is usually possible for defects to be much larger before they affect the integrity of the pipeline.g. g) use welded patches or half shells. j) cut out pipe section and replace with mechanically connected pipe section These are discussed individually below: 9.

4 Remove the defect by dressing it out. and the defect is well within acceptable limits then it may be appropriate to ignore the defect and treat that section of the pipeline like any other section. then it may be appropriate to monitor the defect in some way.2. or if there is a possible defect growth mechanism in operation (such as fatigue).2 Do nothing but monitor the defect. ie. Therefore.2. Obviously if the source of the corrosion cannot be eliminated further deterioration of the pipeline should be anticipated and further downrating may be necessary. the heading 'do nothing' is simplistic. depending on the results of regular surveys. 9. or the pipe body. Assuming that an engineering critical assessment has been carried out. 359 . However.2. when there is extensive corrosion along the seam welds of a pipeline. Those classified as superficial and moderate can be repaired by dressing and an algorithm has been produced to ensure that appropriate precautions.3 Downrate the pipeline If an engineering critical assessment analysis demonstrates that the defect is likely to lead to failure of the pipeline at the current operating pressure. spalling) and corrosion.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE be calculated. For these calculations to be carried out it is usually necessary to have some measure of material notch toughness (eg CTOD). but the defect is too extensive or too difficult to repair then an option might be to lower the maximum permissible operating pressure of the pipeline (ie. such as pressure reduction. defects are classified as superficial. Figure 1. stress on the defect and material toughness) is known. degree of metal removal. These approaches can be applied to defects in girth welds. are taken Figure 2. provided the input data (defect size. An alternative to re-laying the pipeline would be to downrate the pipeline to an operating pressure at which there is no danger of pipeline failure. seam welds. This technique is used mainly for the removal of metal loss defects such as mechanical damage (eg gouges. and a repair is impracticable or uneconomic. for example. The approach here is to reduce the stress concentration caused by the defect by removing metal around it to produce a smooth surface contour. moderate. For subsea pipelines routine access for defect monitoring is not available so that this option may not be a practical proposition unless the defect lends itself to examination by some form of remote monitoring system. In repair standards such as that used by British Gas. 9. although it has also been used for minor cracking. since it is normally necessary to carry out a paper or computer based analysis before ‘nothing’ can be done! 9. downrate the pipeline). carry out only the normal routine inspection programmes. severe and extreme(1). as well as a knowledge of defect size and stress on the defect. etc. Such a case might be. if the defect is close to the acceptable limit.

The installation of mechanical (i. Dressing of a defect in a pipeline Dressing of defects in live pipelines must be carried out with care.2. wheel grinderette type. Figure 3. in case there is further damage at the site of the ground excavation. but the complex sealing welds required around threaded components such as stud bolts make it difficult to guarantee a satisfactory finished repair.e. but the depth is typically only 0. using the correct equipment. This is because the cost of gaining access to the defect is so high that it is usually considered worthwhile to carry out a more extensive repair.01-0. such as with a repair sleeve. by trained operators. Although this defect dressing technique is used regularly on onshore pipelines. The most common form of dressing is by grinding. its use on offshore pipelines is limited. bolted) repair clamps offshore relies on : • • • good preparation of the pipe surface installation of heavy half shells without damage to the seals application of the correct torque to the bolts 360 . Some clamps are claimed to act as a permanent repair if they are subsequently welded to the pipeline (see Figure 11). preferably using the 100mm dia. often reinforced with metal antiextrusion supports to enable them to seal and contain high pressures. taking care not to overheat the surface.06mm and this is insignificant as far as pipeline integrity is concerned.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE Figure 1. 9. Tensile residual stresses may be produced underneath the ground excavation.5 Mechanical Clamps The high pressure versions of these clamps consist of flanged and bolted heavy wall split shells with a number of elastomeric seals.

Example of defect classification system used by British Gas (from Ref 1). 361 .Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE Figure 2.

due to the lack of satisfactory published performance data.2. For onshore pipelines companies prefer to regard mechanical clamps as a short term repair and aim to replace them with welded repairs or to replace the damaged pipe section when operational conditions allow. including cracking. For offshore pipelines. Figure 3. gouged dents and defective girth welds. or by fitting the abutting edges with flanges which may be bolted together. corrosion. and familiarity with welded shells. However. Examples of welded and flanged epoxy repairs are shown in Figures 5 and 6. mechanical clamps may often be left in place as a semipermanent repair subject to regular inspection. 9. which enable more consistent performance from mechanical clamps to be obtained. Bolted repair clamp (courtesy Plidco). The epoxy filled shell repair comprises two half shells which are joined to encircle the damage leaving an annular gap of between 3 to 40mm. The grout may be 362 . such as clamp handling frames and torque indicating bolts. The technique avoids the need for welding on to live pipelines and fit-up problems are reduced compared to welded shell repairs. The ends of the annular gap can be sealed with a fast setting epoxy putty and the enclosed cavity is then filled with a high stiffness epoxy grout. gouges. because of the costs involved in subsea intervention. Repair of pipeline damage with epoxy grouted shells is not new.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE A number of aids to achieving these requirements have been developed. they have only recently been generally adopted.6 Epoxy grouted repair sleeves. The shells are usually the same thickness and grade as the damaged pipe and are at least one diameter longer than the damage. The half shells may be joined together by a longitudinal seam weld (Figure 4). The technique is suitable for repair of all types of damage.

Welded repair shell (from Ref 2) 363 . Figure 4.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE injected at high pressure. Some stress transfer to the shell may be obtained with the low pressure technique by carrying out the repair at reduced pipeline pressure (15-30% reduction). in which case the repair works by transfer of the pipeline stress to the shell. Schematic of welded epoxy grouted repair shell (from Ref 2) Figure 5. Flanged repair shell (from Ref 2) Figure 6. or a low (less than 7 bar) pressure. and this is done for the more severe defects (Fig 7). in which case the main effect is to prevent bulging of the defective area.

Figure 7. Fatigue tests have shown that even defects which would fail on the first cycle in the unrepaired condition had acceptable fatigue lives after repair (2). Although grouted repair shells have been used extensively for the repair of onshore pipelines.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE Experimental tests have shown that repairs are stronger than the pipe in static burst tests. it is believed that their use offshore has been restricted to strengthening of platform tubulars and to the reinforcement of riser pipes. 364 . Low pressure grouting procedure from (Ref 2). even for repairs to defects which would have failed at 30% pipe yield strength without repair. The use of epoxy repair shells subsea would be difficult and entail using a dry habitat so that the required high standards of pipe preparation could be achieved.

2. applying adhesive between the layers to create an essentially monolithic sleeve around the pipe (Fig 10). The repair is suitable for pipe diameters from 100mm to 1400mm. and partly by polyester resin adhesive placed between the layers. although it is claimed that Clock Springs removed after 2-7 years exposure time show no significant loss of mechanical performance or chemical breakdown(4). Figure 8.7mm.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE 9.7 Clock Spring Repair The Clock Spring repair is a multi layer pre-formed fibreglass bandage which is wound around the pipe and held in place partly by its own 'springiness' (like a spring in a watch or clock). 9. Longer defects can be repaired by the use of multiple adjacent Clock Springs. 365 . Applying adhesive to Clock Spring The width of the Clock Spring is approximately 300mm and the number of layers wrapped around the pipe is typically about 8. There is a concern that the composite strength and stiffness might diminish with time. but further work is ongoing to explore their long term behaviour(5). Whilst the filler compound is still pliable the composite is installed by wrapping the flexible layers of composite over the defect. Clock Spring Figure 9. Offshore applications of clock spring repairs have been for topside piping and riser strengthening. so that it is not suitable for the repair of circumferential damage such as defective girth welds. Figure 8. One disadvantage of the technique is that it provides very little end load resistance. Composite Clock Spring repairs have performed very well in short term burst tests. The defective area is thoroughly cleaned and the metal loss region is filled with a compound to allow load transfer to the spring to be achieved. and only a small clearance is required around the pipe to install it. giving a total thickness of 12. The Clock Spring repair is applicable to the repair of blunt defects such as general corrosion.

The partially cured spiral wraps such as Technowrap. Example of clock spring repair on land pipeline. but repairs using carbon fibre reinforcement have been used to seal leaks up to 200bar. Trial repairs to pipes and tees underwater have been undertaken and are continuing (7). based on epoxy or polyurethane resins. Leak sealing capabilities of the repairs depend on the pressure and pipe diameter. Alternate layers of chopped strand and woven wroving may be used. 366 . Wet laminates are applied by painting the pipe and reinforcing material with an epoxy or vinyl ester resin and wrapping the pipe. Some systems can be used underwater and use a water initiated curing system. or dry fabrics which are then loaded with resin(6). 9. The systems are supplied as tape 25 to 200mm wide which is wrapped around the pipe under hand tension to build up several layers. Leaks must first be sealed with putty or a rubber patch. wet laminates.2. oil. Stop It.8 Alternative Composite Repair Systems Although the Clock Spring is perhaps the most well known composite pipe repair technique.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE Figure 10. there are other techniques using composites which usually involve either applying partially cured wraps. A third technique is to apply a dry pre-formed carbon fibre fabric which is then injected with resin so that it cures in-situ. or Super Wrap are claimed to work on leaking pipe and can be used for chemicals. Devonport Royal Dockyard have developed a repair system called the RIFT process (Resin Infusion under Flexible Tooling) and it is claimed that the repairs produced by this process can be inspected using ultrasonic techniques because of the low void content. and gas.

Fillet welded patches and half shells are simpler to install than full encirclement shells or hot tap tees. Their main disadvantage is that they involve fillet welds which are orientated. at least in part.2.9 Welded patches and half shells. there is a danger that they would constitute a potential source of problems. and since the longitudinal direction on a pipe sees twice the stress of the circumferential direction. Comparison of welded repair fittings 367 . Since fillet welds have poor fatigue properties. are difficult to inspect thoroughly. However.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE 9. their use is not permitted by many offshore pipeline operators. Figure 11. Figure 11. along the length of the pipe.

10 Welded full encirclement shells and hot tap fittings. 9. 368 . the gap between the shell and the pipe should not be too great otherwise the risk of weld cracking when the circumferential fillet welds are made increases. Figure 12. The problem can be overcome by making sure that when the seam welds cool the shell does not clamp the pipeline.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE Although some local welded repairs to subsea pipelines have been carried out by wet welding or welding using a local habitat around the welding torch. For this reason the additional extra cost of installation of a full encirclement shell compared to a half shell or a patch is probably not very significant. work has shown that if the fit is too good then defect stress may increase due to the ovality in the shell created when the longitudinal seam welds cool and contract (Fig 12). and have better weldability than forged repair fittings such as mechanical clamps.2. Although the full encirclement repair shells are nominally classed as snug fit shells. for high integrity there is a need to install a hyperbaric chamber around the pipe and this operation is very expensive. since they are thinner and normally made from rolled plate. However. Full encirclement shells are lighter. Pipe bending stresses due to pipe and shell ovality and weld shrinkage (from Ref 1).

2. the fillet weld throat can be stressed to near yield if the pipeline is operating at 72%SMYS. when it is essential to do so. for offshore pipelines the same arguments would apply as those previously discussed for patches and half shells. In order to produce a technically acceptable repair the weld deposition operation would have to be carried out in a hyperbaric chamber and the extra cost of using a full encirclement fitting would not be very great. Pressurising the annulus by under pressure drilling of the shell and the pipeline to allow gas pressure to equalise on each side of the damage will reduce the stress on the defect. because if the annulus between the pipe and the shell is pressurised. One example is to prevent the propagation of defects which are longer than the critical length for rupture. The annulus should only be pressurised. since it is expensive and leaves fittings welded to the sleeve which make wrapping it with protective tapes difficult. the technique has been used on a number of occasions for onshore pipelines. 369 . the highest quality repair would be achieved by installing the sleeve inside a hyperbaric weld chamber. Also. lying between the depth of corrosion which may be dressed and left intact without further repair (up to 40% of wall thickness in some cases) and the minimum remaining ligament for safe welding (usually about 5mm) which must remain after the corrosion has been dressed. Usually this option is only undertaken rarely.11 Local weld deposition repair Weld deposition repair of localised defects. Although such a technique is useful to have available for special situations. such as corrosion. This is important. (Fig 13). 9. particularly where an Engineering Critical Assessment may not require an immediate repair but further corrosion may be anticipated due to the location or geometry of the pipeline. so that the fillet weld leg length is at least twice the wall thickness. on a live pipeline is an operation which needs to be carried out with great care and little published research is available. in the case of extreme damage. Also the technique is not economically attractive for the recovery of large areas of pipe surface because of the welding times involved. Although sleeve repairs to offshore pipelines could be carried out by wet welding. (8). Recently the technique has been incorporated into the AGA pipeline repair codes. In these cases a welded or epoxy grouted shell repair would be more suitable. This is because the defect depth window for application of the technique is rather small. the potential for the general use of this technique is not very great.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE The shell thickness is normally chosen to be twice the carrier pipe thickness. therefore. However.

One of the oldest mechanised welding systems for pipeline construction. offshore pipelines.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE Figure 13. The weld deposition repair method discussed above is suitable for the repair of external defects. There has. The system. Consequently. which employs internal grinding of the weld preparation. therefore. Some pipeline corrosion problems are internal. but not excavated. The Japan Gas Association reported the development of an internal welding robot system for 600mm diameter pipelines which was designed to produce an internal weld root reinforcement for old pipelines with partial penetration girth welds. Similarly internal welding machines have been constructed to weld tubular tethers for floating platforms (11). Figure 14 (12) . or to use expensive habitats in the case of subsea pipelines. such as corrosion and. such as the preferential corrosion of weld root beads in wet gas or oil pipelines or process pipework. At first sight it would seem possible to combine such technology with a specialised pig which could carry out internal repairs to de-commissioned. the only ‘remote’ internal repairs of this type have been carried out in onshore pipelines by tethered vehicles which are supplied with power via an umbilical from a suitable access point in the pipeline. of course. been an interest in equipment which will carry out remote internal repair welding of pipelines without the need to excavate the pipeline. Schematic of weld deposition repair ‘window’. followed by gas metal arc (GMAW) 370 . The technology to carry out welding inside a pipe has existed for many years. This problem can be very serious in old pipelines and has led to the need for complete pipeline replacement in some cases (9). the CRC Evans process. uses an internal pipe alignment clamp containing GMAW welding heads which deposit the root bead from inside the pipe (10). The difficulty in using such technology to carry out remote repairs is the problem of transmitting sufficient power to the repair equipment to allow the welding process to operate. requires access to the external surface of the pipeline.

Figure 14.5D bends in the pipeline but is limited to a maximum distance of 150m from the access point. 371 .Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE welding controlled by video monitoring. can negotiate 1. Figure 15. Schematic of remote repair robot (from Ref 12) Although there have been proposals to develop similar equipment for the internal repair of offshore pipelines the high development costs and logistical difficulties of deploying such a device offshore have prevented any progress in this direction. Schematic of girth weld internal repair welding procedure (from Ref 12) Figure 15.

This can be carried out without disrupting the supply through the pipeline by a technique known as a ‘stopple and bypass’ operation. Figure 17.12 Cut out pipe section and replace – welded spool piece If the corrosion or damage in the pipeline is too severe to allow a local repair. The inner two tees are then drilled in a similar manner and stopple plugs are inserted into the pipeline to stop the flow in the damaged section. such as the welded sleeve. Figure 18 although the tapping operation can be carried out in the wet by divers. Obviously such a major operation. The number of such bypass operations for subsea pipeline repair was only estimated at three in total in 1990(15) Figure 16. which involves leaving a large number of expensive fittings permanently attached to the pipeline.2.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE 9. After purging the product from the isolated section it can then be removed and replaced with a new section. It is then possible to install a bypass pipe between the valves attached to these tees. A pair of split tee pieces are welded to the pipeline either side of the damaged section of the pipeline and under-pressure drilling equipment attached to the outer two tees is used to penetrate the pipe wall (‘hot tapping’). It also possible to obtain combined stopple and bypass tees so that the number of large diameter tees which need to be welded to the line is halved. If the pipeline is designed for sour service then the welding procedure for attaching the fittings to the pipeline must be designed to ensure that NACE hardness limits are met (13). Figure 19(14). then the damaged section may have to be replaced. is very time consuming and expensive and hence the importance of regular inspection programs to help avoid the need for such repairs. Figure 16. The stopple fittings have to be welded to the pipeline inside a hyperbaric chamber. Schematic of stopple and bypass operation 372 .

Figure 18. Welding tee to subsea pipeline inside hyperbaric chamber(14) 373 .Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE Figure 17. Combined Stopple and Bypass Tee. (courtesy T D Williamson).

13.2. 9.2. Mechanical connectors can be of several types : • • • those which use elastomer seals.1 Elastomer systems These systems use elastomer seals (which may be bolt activated) to contain the internal pressure and usually a separate system. Tapping a subsea pipeline. such as mechanical locking slips which grip the pipe outer surface to contain the axial loads. 9. Some systems also rely on grout injection behind the seals as an additional precaution.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE Figure 16. The long term performance of elastomeric seals may be questionable and the seal material has to be chosen carefully for the anticipated service environment..2.2 Forging systems One cold forging system uses an internal forging tool which expands the pipe bore by means of rollers so that the pipe yields circumferentially and makes intimate contact with the bore of the coupling. those which use metal to metal seals initiated by bolts or studs. those which use metal to metal seals initiated by deformation of the pipe/coupling.13.13 Cut out pipe section and replace . The bore of the coupling may have grooves into which the pipe material is deformed in order to give greater pull out resistance. After forging the 374 .(14) 9.mechanical connectors An alternative to the expensive hyperbaric welding operations involved in the conventional replacement of damaged pipe sections is the option to use in-line mechanical connectors to tie-in the new pipe section.

13.3. At this stage they contract. However. various articulated ball joint connectors and sliding joints are available.3 Metal seals Another mechanical coupling system uses an expandable steel bladder which is inflated inside the coupling to grip the pipe by means of hydraulic pressure or a chemical action. This used a series of water jets built into the base of the dam which were fed from a ring main at the top of the dam. 9.3 ANCILLIARY REPAIR EQUIPMENT Two of the first problems that may be encountered when carrying out an emergency repair to a subsea pipeline are excavation of the pipeline and the removal of any damaged concrete weight coating in the area of interest. so maintaining metal to metal contact. The water jets fluidised the seabed. 9.1 Pipeline excavation Excavation of the damaged pipeline can be problematic in unstable seabed conditions and a coffer dam may need to be constructed around the pipeline to prevent the excavation from being re-filled and to provide protection from tidal currents during the repair. Figure 20. 375 . and sealing glands in the bore of the coupling grip the pipe. Couplings made from the memory alloy ‘Tinel’ can be expanded by immersing them in liquid nitrogen.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE pipe yields plastically by about 2% and the coupling is in a state of elastic tensile hoop stress. also built into the wall of the dam. BG plc developed a self-burying coffer dam to keep on standby for emergency repairs to its Rough Field and Morecambe Bay pipelines. care must be taken to ensure that these connectors do not pose an obstacle to pigging operations. A further form of metal/metal seal is the use of heat shrinkable alloy couplings. Figure 21. after which they are placed over the ends of the pipe to be joined and allowed to warm up. which was then pumped away by jet pumps. The former will be necessary to access the damaged area and the latter may be required to investigate the pipeline damage and to ensure sealing of any temporary clamps.2. so allowing the dam to sink into the channel which had been formed. 9. A flanged coupling is attached to each end of the damaged pipeline and then a flanged spool piece is fabricated topside to go between the two flanges. In order to accommodate any misalignment in the two pipe ends and to ease the difficulty in fabricating the spool piece exactly to length.

Use of coffer dam for subsea excavation (from Ref 3). Prototype self burying coffer dam (from Ref 3) 376 . Figure 21.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE Figure 20.

Although this can be done manually by divers. Figure 23.3. Prototype clay cutting equipment (from Ref 3) 9. the debris again being removed by jet suction. and both the concrete and the reinforcing can be removed with underwater disc cutters or high pressure water jetting. Then concrete is cut into two semi-cylindrical shells which are removed from the pipe with a second machine. with less risk of damage to the pipe. A diver operated hydraulically driven diamond tipped saw is mounted on the frame and can cut in both the longitudinal and circumferential directions. Figure 22. a mechanised system has been developed by BGplc and this allows greater control of the operation. The weight coating is reinforced with steel reinforcing bars. 377 . The mechanised system consists of a saddle frame which straddles the damaged area of pipe and is held in place by chain tensioners. Figure 22.2 Concrete weight coating removal Once the pipeline has been excavated the concrete weight coating must be removed.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE For more difficult clay seabeds a rotary clay cutting device was also developed which uses water jet cutters to break up the clay. This equipment can be mounted on a seabed crawler to manoeuvre it over the seabed.

378 . Experience with the equipment suggests that 2m long sections of concrete can be removed from the pipe in four to six hours. depending on the visibility. The second machine consists of another saddle frame held in place by chains. Figure 24. Figure 5 Schematic of concrete coating removal equipment (from Ref 3).Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE Figure 23. but in this case four rams are arranged to grip the two half shells of concrete and prise them apart in order to remove them without damaging the pipe. Schematic of concrete coating slitting equipment (from Ref 3).

3 Flow stopping pigs The replacement of pipe sections using conventional stopple and bypass methods is very expensive. such as equipment availability. A two stage (low pressure and high pressure differential) plug was designed which was over 4 metres long. Communication with the plug was via the pipe wall using magnetic modulation techniques from a skid unit placed on the pipe wall. Remotely deployed plugs rely on battery power and computer control to allow them to be deployed several kilometres down a pipeline. The plug was tested at 70 bar and successfully deployed for operation at 35 bar. An alternative is to use flow stopping plugs and these can either be directly or remotely operated. Figure 6. Hydroplug flow stopping pig – schematic(17) 379 . Because of the need to use umbilicals these types of flow stopping pig can only operate at a distance of a few hundred metres from the access point. with signals relayed to the surface control vessel. Figure 6. and the location of the reinforcing bars through the concrete thickness. A recent example of the use of such a plug was to carry out a subsea tie-in on the Phillips 34inch Ekofisk oil pipeline while the pressure in the line was 35 bar(17).3. Directly operated plugs can be used to replace components such as valves and risers at the end of the pipeline and are operated by umbilicals passing through pressure seals(16). Pressure sensors were used to monitor pressures in the various parts of the plug so that any leakage in the high or low pressure parts of the plug could be detected.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE The optimum solution for concrete weight coating removal will depend on a combination of factors. area to be removed. 9.

7.4 REFERENCES 1. AND D R STEPHENS ‘Pipeline Repair Manual’ American Gas Association Catalog No L51716. 6. 1979. Newcastle upon Tyne 24-25March 1999. UK. W A BRUCE. 380 .G HUTT. D R STEPHENS Composite Reinforcement of Pipeline Corrosion Defects . Killingworth. J NAYLOR New Pipeline Isolation Systems Benefit Maintenance and Servicing of On-Shore and Offshore Lines Pipes and Pipelines International. December 31. W PALLAN ‘Pipeline Maintenance and Repair’ Pipeline Industries Guild Meeting. 5. 1994. Pipelines for Marginal Field Studies 280-281 1990. 18-21 April. 9 September 1987. I CORDER. 2. C J LONDON ‘The Forties Export Pipeline Project’ Pipes and Pipelines International May-June 1991. May 1992. 7-13. 9.ANON ‘Innovative EWI Hot tap welding procedure helps BP’ EWI Insights. 16. 5-18. JAPAN GAS ASSOCIATION ‘Internal Welding Robot System for 600mm Steel Pipelines’ Berlin 18th World Gas Conference 1990 13. 17-18. Cambridge. 8. 26-29. J A FARQUE Remotely Operated Hydroplug Keeps Vital Pipeline Online Pipeline & Gas Journal 44-47.Main Menu PIPELINE ENGINEERING: MATERIALS & WELDING MODULE: OFFSHORE 9. P S HILL Strengthening and Repair of Pipes and Structures using Carbon Fibre Reinforced Composite Materials Piping and Infrastructure Conference. 14. P A C MEDLICOTT Overview of Composite Offshore Repair Systems Rehabilitation : Piping and Infrastructure Conference. 11. February 1999. 10. P HOPKINS ‘The Repair of Pipeline Defects Using Epoxy Filled Sleeve Repair’ AGA 8th Symposium on Line Pipe Research. Newcastle upon Tyne 2425March 1999. 4. JulyAugust 1977. 17.: New Anomalies’ EPRG/PRC 10th Biennial Joint Technical Meeting on Linepipe Research. J F KIEFNER. R STARSMORE Hot Tapping on a Subsea Pipeline Welding and Metal Fabrication 136-139 April 1995. A WEST. Newcastle upon Tyne 24-25March 1999. September 1993 3.R L JONES ‘CRC Automatic Pipeline Welding’ Pipeline Industries Guild Journal 67. ANON ‘New techniques for Heidrun’ Highland Fabricator’s house magazine March 1994. England. Maintenance and Repair of Pipeline Systems Pipeline Indusries Guild/Institute of Gas Engineers Joint Meeting. Ambergate 14th September 1994. 15. 12. N BLOCK Rehabilitation of Corroded Pipelines : Strength Restored with Composites Rehabilitation : Piping and Infrastructure Conference. L M JOHNSON. R WILLIAMS Subsea Hot Tapping : A Review of Applicable Codes and Standards.