Over the last decade, the oil and gas industry has expanded rapidly worldwide into deep and ultra deep water. Virtually all deep water field developments are dependent on pipelines.
Failure of a pipeline due to corrosion, defect or an external event can lead to loss of production and, in the worst case, can cause pollution. However, the technology to repair pipelines both in shallow and deepwater in an efficient and cost effective manner has been greatly improved and the equipment and procedures that are presently available can be considered field proven.
The cost of installing export pipelines can have an impact on the economical feasibility of a project. For certain (marginal) fields, the economics may be greatly enhanced by the proximity of existing pipelines and the ability to share and utilize these existing pipelines for the export of the newly discovered gas or oil.
However, connecting new pipelines onto existing pipelines generally implies that the existing pipeline is prepared, during the design, with a connection link to receive the new pipeline connection.
For a specific case, an existing producing pipeline network was available nearby a new oil field discovery that could potentially shorten and significantly reduce the costs of the export pipeline.
However, since the existing nearby pipeline did not have any pre-installed pipeline connection points to receive the new export pipeline, the oil company chose to install, as an industry ‘first’, a connection point in the existing pipeline subsea using equipment and procedures that was previously used only for diverless pipeline repairs.