Solutions Engine

Line Abandonment

The process of taking a pipeline out of service involves more than halting product flow. Before abandoning a line, operators must ensure that it is safe and in full compliance with regulatory and industry requirements.

Abandoning a pipeline is a multi-step process that typically includes disconnecting the line from the product source, removing product, cleaning, and, in some cases, segmenting and capping the line. TDW subject matter experts can guide operators through this process and recommend solutions, from pigs 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 abandonment to prevent environmental hazards.
  • Ensure the abandoned line is clean and free of product.
  • Leave the abandoned line in full regulatory compliance.



Operators must ensure that a pipeline is product-free and clean before abandoning it. TDW offers an array of pigging solutions to help Offshore Pipeline operators accomplish these objectives.

Liquids displacement pigs:

  • UNISPHERE™ pig Designed to help pipeline owners and operators remove liquids from natural gas lines, this also can be used with liquid or dry natural gas, sweet or sour crude oil, and refined hydrocarbon products.
  • REDSKIN™ foam pig – This oversized foam pig creates a tight fit within the pipeline, making it an extremely valuable tool for moving liquids and batching.
  • OptionAll™ pig Highly effective for displacement, this pig also can be fitted with cups or blades for batching and cleaning.
  • ULTRA™ pig Manufactured from structural grade urethane, the mandrel-type pig is 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 – This utility tool performs well in nearly any pigging function, including batching, cleaning, gauging and liquids displacement.

Cleaning pigs:

  • OptionAll™ cleaning pig This pig has proven extremely effective for cleaning. It is 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 – This multi-use pig 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 – This is designed to remove soft to medium-hard deposits from internal pits.
  • FJR/JRN cleaning pig – This pig is equipped with wire brushes and urethane cups to remove contaminants and deposits from pipelines.
  • VANTAGE®+ cleaning pig – This multi-use pig 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 – It is 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 path to a solution requires consultation.


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.

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. 


To prepare a pipeline for abandonment following decommissioning, operators must ensure that the pipeline has no major integrity issues that could cause harm to the surrounding environment. Non-intrusive inline isolation technology aids in making any necessary repairs of a pipeline before it is abandoned. The technology enables Offshore Pipeline operators to replace a segment of a high-pressure pipeline while operating at full line pressure, without bleeding down the entire system.

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