Description of the Material

Integrity management programs are used to prevent, detect and mitigate integrity threats that occur throughout a pipeline's lifecycle, from construction through operation to decommissioning. But unfortunate events occur, causing pipeline failures that jeopardize people, the environment and business. Offshore operators often establish a dedicated Emergency Pipeline Repair System (EPRS) to effectively respond to - and recover from - an incident. This paper describes several remote control systems that contribute to EPRS capacity.


Attributes of an effective EPRS include its ability to cover 1) all incidents, by having a comprehensive inventory of the right tools, 2) the full lifecycle of pipeline assets, from design to decommissioning, and 3) all operating areas, including deep water or where unsafe diver conditions exist.

Results, Observations and Conclusions

T.D. Williamson (TDW) has developed several remote-controlled tools that may assist in establishing optimum response capacity. Inserted in the pipeline in strategic positions along the suspended section during pipe laying, the SmartLay tool acts as instantaneous barrier against flooding in case of an inadvertent wet buckle, protecting the vessel from undue forces from the heavier flooded pipe and preventing costly and time consuming dewatering and re-commissioning of the just-laid pipeline. The Clamp Installation Tool (CIT) is a lightweight, readily deployable tool run with standard work class ROVs for the installation of any size repair clamps or hot tap tees from any third party supplier. Combined with the CIT for tee installation, the remote-controlled Subsea 1200RC Tapping Machine offers a hot tap solution that not only facilitates deep water repairs, but also reduces risk to personnel and increases efficiency. The SmartPlug® tool is an un-tethered inline tool for isolation management of a range of repair scenarios where intrusive plugging is less desirable. It is remotely controlled via thru-the-wall communication by SmartTrack technology, which can also act as stand-alone pig tracking equipment.

Significance of Subject Matter

The anti-flooding SmartLay Tool can cover the construction phase; the Subsea 1200RC Tapping Machine and Clamp Installation Tool assist deep water intervention and repair during operations; SmartPlug® technology offers isolation management; and SmartTrack pig tracking affords integrity management.

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