T.D. Williamson (TDW), a leading supplier of pipeline services and equipment, has announced that it has successfully performed a hot tapping operation offshore Angola for Ponticelli Angoil on behalf of a major operator. It was the first time that the company had worked in Angola. The operation was carried out so that a live flare line could eventually be safely connected to a deposit line that is attached to a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel.
“In spite of working within a tight timeframe in the extremely cramped quarters of the FPSO, the operation was successfully completed, creating a point that will eventually serve to connect the two lines,” said Rudy Lenom, Project Co-ordinator – Africa for TDW. “By connecting the two lines, the operator will be able to burn – or flare – any excess associated natural gas that is released from the oilfield during production,” he added.
By mobilising equipment and personnel via plane and helicopter to the offshore site, the TDW team was able to carry out the operation very rapidly. Working in an extremely confined space, the team adapted the company’s compact model 760 air drive tapping assembly, and used an additional air motor to perform a 90° 12 in. angle hot tap on a special mechanical fitting used for platform applications. Because work was to be carried out on a flare line, an air motor (rather than a fuel motor) was selected to avoid risk of fire. The offshore operation required just three days, from the time that the team arrived at the site to completion of the job and demobilisation. At no time during the operation was production shut down.
“It was critical that we connect the flare line to the deposit line, as it is necessary for safety purposes to ensure that any associated gas waste from the field is properly disposed of,” said Herve Cardeau, Project Manager for Ponticelli Angoil. “With the requirement that the hot tap operation be carried out quickly and safely without shutting down production, we were extremely satisfied with TDW’s ability to achieve this so efficiently, especially in such a small space. It meant that we realised considerable savings in time and costs, especially in comparison to the costs that would have been incurred had we been required to shut down the line, even for a few hours,” he added.
Although it was the first time that TDW has worked in Angola, the company has carried out successful hot tapping operations for its customer elsewhere in Africa. During the coming months, the company will conduct a series of hot tapping operations offshore Nigeria for Ponticelli Nigeria Ltd.
Adapted from press release by Cecilia Rehn.