Pipeline Evacuation & Assessment

pigging

Pipeline pigging SME and integrated pipeline services provide single source solution for Gulf of Mexico upstream operator.

Location: Gulf of Mexico

Pipeline Specifications: 6 inch: 5.3 miles

BACKGROUND

A GoM operator witnessed a leaking 6” pipeline. Upon repairing the visual leak and attempting to perform a successful hydrostatic pressure test a second non-visual leak occurred, ultimately resulting in extended production loss.

In order to perform a second assessment and bring production back online, the pipeline assessment required a 100% fluidpacked volume of seawater to ensure an oxygen-free environment. This demand ultimately created two major concerns:

  1. The utilization of nitrogen for evacuation tasks exceeded the project budget.
  2. The utilization of a typical poly pig created a structural integrity risk, since the said asset lacked maintenance pigging attention.

CHALLENGE

Create a low risk and economic solution to ensure 100% fluidpacked volume and oxygen removal and perform a successful hydrostatic pressure test assessment.

SOLUTION

Launch BlueFin’s water-based AquaGel Plus pig system to transverse the pipeline and evacuate any trapped oxygen.

Plan of Execution

  • Displace a 250’ column of AquaGel Plus into the 6 inch pipeline.
  • Fluid-pack the said pipeline with seawater.
  • Receive and filter all fluids in front of and including the AquaGel Plus spacer.
  • Discharge all filtered fluids overboard per BSEE regulations.
  • Perform a planned hydrostatic pressure assessment upon confirmation of fluid-packed pipeline.
  • Return the pipeline back over to the operator for production startup.

Technical Achievements & Benefits

  • Utilized the same tie-in points and equipment for both the AquaGel Plus spacer tasks and the hydrostatic pressure assessment tasks. No additional on-site equipment or pig launchers/receivers were needed.
  • Received the full 250’ column of AquaGel Plus, insuring that a proper hydraulic seal was maintained during the fluid-packing stage.
  • Mitigated concerns of oxygen presence inside the pipeline.
  • Decreased pressurization time during hydrostatic pressure operations.
  • Provided zero risk of pipeline plugging with a 5 psi pressure increase.