SmartPlug® Isolation System


Field-proven with hundreds of offshore projects, SmartPlug® double block and monitor (DBM) technology minimizes platform downtime by enabling operators to isolate pressurized pipelines so equipment maintenance, repairs, and replacements can be done without bleeding down the entire system. By keeping hydrocarbons flowing during scheduled or emergency work, operators maintain productivity and profitability while also avoiding the time, expense, and risks of depressurization and recommissioning.

The SmartPlug system is non-intrusive, tetherless, and remotely controlled. Because both of the two plug modules in the standard configuration can work independently to isolate the full pipeline pressure alone, the tool meets the accepted criteria for a true double block isolation. An optional third plug module is available for post-repair hydrotesting without retrieving the SmartPlug tool from the pipeline. The modules are articulated for improved piggability; in addition, the tool’s bi-directional design enables it to travel in either direction inside the pipeline.

Best used for: valve replacement, riser and midline repair, tie-ins, dropped object protection during construction, hydrotesting, trap installation

Key features:

  • Bi-directionally piggable.
  • Onboard control and communications.
  • Failsafe self-lock via differential pressure; additional built in contingency unsetting system.
  • Designed to seal against up to 350 bar (5,075 psi) operating pressure.
  • The integrity of each seal can be validated at all times by monitoring the pressure in the annulus (between the two plug modules), which represents a significant safety advantage.
  • Eliminates the need for bleed-down of pipeline (decommissioning and recommissioning), which significantly reduces pipeline downtime and lost production days.
  • No need to remove pipeline contents, flare gas, or dispose of contaminated water.


  • What is a double block and monitor isolation and why is it important? The term “double barrier isolation” is commonly used to refer to an arrangement of two seals in series to isolate a pipeline. Each of these seals must be fully capable of maintaining the isolation in case the other seal fails. In general, barriers are termed “double” when each can retain the full pressure alone, each is tested, their integrity can be monitored, and they are independent of each other. The underlying requirement for a successful double barrier is therefore a system in which the failure of any one seal will not compromise the integrity of the other. During onshore pipe repair work where isolation methods are employed, establishing double barriers to safeguard personnel is often required. While offshore, it's mandatory.
  • What pigging media can the SmartPlug tool travel with and isolate? The modular, self-lock, double-block design of the tool ensures failsafe operations in most pipeline media, including gas, crude oil, refined products, and can be propelled with nitrogen, treated/untreated water, glycol, and diesel.
  • How is an isolation using the SmartPlug tool performed? The basic steps involved in a SmartPlug isolation include feasibility and testing; equipment and workforce mobilization; testing and retrieval.