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Decommissioning

Before decommissioning a line, operators must ensure that the retired line is safe and in full compliance with regulatory and industry requirements. Decommissioning a pipeline is a multi-step process that typically includes disconnecting the line from supply, removing the product, cleaning and then abandonment, inerting or full removal, and environmental re-instatement. TDW subject matter experts can guide operators throughout this process and recommend solutions for many of these steps, from cleaning tools that can push out liquids and clean the pipeline, to hot tapping and plugging services that facilitate line modifications.

TDW allows pipeline owners and operators in the Offshore Pipeline market to:

  • Select the right tools and services for their unique project.
  • Test the integrity of the line before decommissioning to prevent environmental hazards.
  • Ensure the line is clean and free of product.
  • Inert the line.
  • Keep people and the environment safe throughout the project.
  • If abandoned, leave the line in full regulatory compliance.

STEP 3 / VIEW SOLUTIONS

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Pipeline owners and operators must ensure their pipelines are product-free and clean before decommissioning or abandoning their lines. TDW offers the Offshore Pipeline market an array of pigging solutions to prepare lines for decommissioning, as well as the subject matter experts to provide consulting services to help operators select the best choice for their situation.

Liquids displacement pigs:

  • UNISPHERE™ pig – Designed to help pipeline owners and operators remove liquids from natural gas lines. It also can be used with liquid or dry natural gas, sweet or sour crude oil, and refined hydrocarbon products.
  • REDSKIN™ foam pig – Oversized to create a tight fit within the pipeline, making it an extremely valuable tool for moving liquids and batching.
  • OptionAll™ pig – Highly effective for displacement. Can be fitted with cups or blades for batching and cleaning.
  • ULTRA™ pig – Mandrel-type pig manufactured from structural grade urethane, more than capable of moving loads within the pipeline. Its nearly all-urethane design makes this pig lightweight, durable, and easy to handle in the field.
  • X-Pig® multipurpose utility tool – Performs well in nearly any pigging function, including batching, cleaning, gauging and liquids displacement.

Cleaning pigs:

  • OptionAll™ cleaning pig – Extremely effective for cleaning. Constructed with recessed steel bolt and locknut construction to prevent breakups in the pipeline and the related costs of finding and removing debris.
  • VANTAGE® V cleaning pig – Multi-use pig that can be equipped with brushes to remove hard, crust-like deposits, urethane blades for removing gummy deposits, scraper discs to clean both hard and soft deposits, and magnet kits to remove ferrous material.
  • PitBoss™ cleaning pig – Designed to remove soft to medium-hard deposits from internal pits.
  • FJR/JRN cleaning pig – Equipped with wire brushes and urethane cups to remove contaminants and deposits from pipelines.
  • VANTAGE®+ cleaning pig – Multi-use pig that can remove hard internal pipe deposits such as mill scale, crust, and calcium deposits as well as thick, soft contaminants including sludge and mud.
  • REDSKIN™ foam pig – Available in five different configurations, including the REDSKIN RoughRider® pig for removing hard deposits.

Technical assistance is available from TDW subject matter experts for special circumstances or if the operator’s path to a solution requires consultation.

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Whether the project calls for discontinuing line service temporarily or permanently, hot tapping and plugging (HT&P) offers the Offshore Pipeline market proven solutions for ensuring that the line is left in full regulatory compliance – with minimal risk to people and the community

The HT&P process incorporates a high pressure pipeline fitting, valve, tapping machine, and isolation equipment – all working together to provide a safe and proven isolation solution. Once the area of pipeline that requires work has been safely isolated and evacuated, the line modification can be performed.

TDW isolation solutions play a critical role in this process: they allow repairs to be performed without the need to stop product flow. The STOPPLE® Train Plugging System, for example, uses double block and bleed technology to help increase efficiency and safety during pipeline maintenance and repair. This approach to line isolation, which is able to create a double block and bleed seal through a single fitting, reduces costs associated with fittings, valves, welding, and inspection services. The bleed port affixed on the line ensures that any product that bypasses the first seal is captured and evacuated through the bleed port, which creates a safe zone within high-consequence areas.

Whether operators are purchasing equipment to perform their own HT&P jobs or turning to TDW to execute the service, they can rely on the TDW line of equipment and consumables. The Subsea 1200RC tapping machine, for example, is a topside-driven hot tap machine that can be safely operated down to a depth of 3,000 meters (9842.5 feet). The machine has proven to be a highly reliable shallow and deep-water solution.

TDW can also locate and access the optimum spot on the line for effective capping, which further reduces risk to the environment. TDW application engineers are recognized industry experts, ready to assist operators through each project phase – from start to finish. 

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Decommissioning and capping a segment of a pipeline using TDW non-intrusive inline isolation technology enables work to be done at full line pressure, without bleeding down the entire Offshore Pipeline system. 

  • SmartPlug® isolation technology – The SmartPlug tool is a remotely controlled and operated, non-tethered, double block and monitor pipeline isolation system for oil and gas pipelines. It helps protects people, assets, and the environment while saving time and money compared to the temporary decommissioning of the entire pipeline. By isolating the segment to be decommissioned, SmartPlug technology enables local hydrotesting of the replaced/repaired area without affecting the integrity of the initial isolation, which can be held in place. The SmartPlug tool also allows production and flow of other lines tied in to the downstream section of the isolated pipeline to continue uninterrupted.