Updated emergency pipeline repair service for better disaster planning

Friday, 30 March, 2012

Following the dramatic reaction to the Gulf disaster in early 2011, ever-increasing demands are being placed on oil and gas operators to provide safer, faster and more effective contingency plans to react to major accidents.

To address the issue, joint integrity specialist Hydratight has launched an updated Emergency Pipeline Repair System (EPRS) to offer better disaster planning and contingency services to operators and contractors in the oil and gas industry. The EPRS provides a way for operators and installation contractors to meet their pipeline contingency needs with greater urgency.

The potential for environmental damage of subsea pipelines requires a critical level of risk management and repair planning, said Hydratight Australia Commercial Leader Neil Ferguson.

By joining the EPRS ‘club’, operators and contractors gain guaranteed highest-priority treatment and fast delivery of the required Hydratight Morgrip device and expert installation assistance, if required, according to the company.

Morgrip is a mechanical pipe connector used to replace the need for the welding of topside and subsea pipes in oil and gas, and petrochemical applications.

Morgrip 2000 flange adaptor

Hydratight joins EPRS member-companies in preparing a full list of Morgrip and associated engineering needs, offers designs for type approval and regularly updates this information. Members also get advance knowledge of the likely cost of instituting the full repair. “This means much of the delay at the front end of the repair - the design specification, the approvals procedure, costing and all the other associated advance work - is largely eradicated,” said Hydratight’s Connector Product Manager, Paul Hughes.

Once assessment of the member’s needs is completed, Hydratight ensures the steel stock, machining and engineering teams are allocated and always in readiness. To prove system readiness, the EPRS team provides regular paper exercises with the client to ensure the service will run exactly as intended should a genuine emergency arise.

The service already numbers several very large operators among its club members and even companies offering complementary emergency services, where Morgrip is an integral part of a larger repair.

“Even as few as five years ago, Hydratight would need to quote up to two months to deliver one of the larger Morgrip connectors - even in an emergency - because of the need to get approvals and costings and to assemble the many parts and order the machining necessary,” said Hughes.

“These days, club members can look forward to receiving the finished connector in as few as two or three weeks - well within even the sort of shrunken timescales forced on companies by environmental and political expediency. This sort of emergency response means a major accident can be cleared much more quickly yet with the same dedication to safety.”

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