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TDW Offshore Services AS Develops Largest Ever SmartPlug® Isolation Tool 

TDW Offshore Services AS Develops Largest Ever SmartPlug® Isolation Tool 

Posted on 3/26/2012 


12-ton Custom-designed Tool for Nord Stream AG to Facilitate Pipeline Maintenance Activities

STAVANGER, Norway – March 26, 2012 -- TDW Offshore Services AS (TDW) announced today that it has successfully designed and built a customized 48-inch SmartPlug® pipeline pressure isolation tool for Nord Stream AG. Weighing approximately 12 tons, it is the largest SmartPlug tool ever produced.

Nord Stream retained TDW to assist in developing contingency solutions for pipelay, pressure testing and planned future maintenance of the Nord Stream gas pipelines. Upon completion, the two 48-inch pipelines will extend 758 miles (approximately 1,220 km) from Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. TDW carried out a series of pre-engineering studies before finalising the design. The SmartPlug tool was designed, built and rigorously tested by TDW at its global headquarters in Stavanger. The new 48-inch SmartPlug tool will be used to safely isolate pipeline pressure during scheduled pipeline maintenance and potential valve change-outs. It is currently Type Approved by Det Norske Veritas for a maximum operating pressure of 199 Bar.

“The tool design is based on our proven 42-inch SmartPlug design,” said Larry Ryan, Director, Operations for TDW Offshore Services. “However, the exceptionally large diameter of the pipeline meant that Nord Stream required a SmartPlug tool that was 30% larger. The new SmartPlug tool is not only exceptionally large, but is also capable of isolation at extremely high pressures,” he added.

The SmartPlug pipeline pressure isolation method is designed to provide great value to owners and operators of pipeline systems. It makes it possible to safely isolate the area targeted for work from hydrocarbons without bleeding down the entire work zone, which is costly and time-consuming. In the case of Nord Stream, there are no mid-line valves available for use, so the entire 1,220 km pipeline would have had to be depressurized, taking a significant amount of time. Given the minimal amount of gas released while isolating a work area, the new SmartPlug tool offers more than economic benefits. It is also very effective in minimizing impact on the environment.

About TDW Offshore Services
TDW Offshore Services provides customers with the products and services they need to construct and maintain pipelines. The company’s world-class engineering capability has resulted in numerous innovative products and services. The SmartPlug® tool from TDW Offshore Services is the world’s leading in-line pipeline pressure isolation technology.

About T.D. Williamson
The company is a subsidiary of T.D. Williamson, one of the world’s leading providers of pipeline equipment and services. T.D. Williamson delivers a comprehensive portfolio of safe integrity pipeline system solutions for onshore and offshore applications, including hot tapping and plugging, pipeline cleaning, integrity inspection, pigging and non-tethered plugging pig technology for any pressurized piping system, anywhere in the world.

About Nord Stream AG
Nord Stream AG plans to provide a transport capacity of about 55 bcm per year upon completion of the second line in 2012. Russian OAO Gazprom holds a 51 percent stake in the joint venture. The German companies BASF SE/Wintershall Holding GmbH and E.ON Ruhrgas AG hold 15.5 percent each, and the Dutch gas infrastructure company N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and the French energy company GDF S.A. each hold a 9 percent stake. Source: www.nord-stream.com

Note to editors: Photos of the 12-ton, 48-inch SmartPlug pipeline pressure isolation tool developed for Nord Stream may be obtained by contacting Sharon Roe below.

For further information, contact:
Larry Ryan, Director, Operations, TDW Offshore Services AS, Stavanger, Norway Phone: +47 51 44 32 67, Email: Lawrence.Ryan@tdwilliamson.com

Stephanie Weiderstrand, Marketing Manager, T.D. Williamson SA, Nivelles, Belgium Phone: +32 (67) 28 36 91, Email : stephanie.weiderstrand@tdwilliamson.com

Sharon Roe, Spinnaker Communications, St Andrews, Scotland Phone : +44 (0)1334 473 754, Email: Sharon.roe@tesco.net

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