TDW Offshore Services has successfully completed a key subsea flex-joint isolation operation on the Independence Trail natural gas pipeline for Enterprise Products Partners L.P. in the Gulf of Mexico. The isolation operation allowed critical repairs to be made on the FlexJoint™ assembly of the 20-inch export riser on the Enterprise Independence Hub platform in Mississippi Canyon Block 920 that had begun to leak in April 2008.
Safe and timely repairs were essential on the leaking subsea flex-joint due to the important role of this natural gas export riser. The Enterprise Independence Hub platform has the capability of handling more than 10% of the natural gas transported from the Gulf of Mexico. Located approximately 85 feet (26 m) below sea level, the FlexJoint allows the riser to withstand the movements of the platform. In order to facilitate the riser repair, Enterprise engaged TDW to isolate this FlexJoint assembly, with its piggable, tetherless, SmartPlug isolation tool.
Assessment of the Independence system for isolation emergencies -- undertaken earlier by TDW -- permitted record breaking response from TDW for isolation of this important 20 inch riser. According to TDW, the Enterprise operation is one of the fastest mobilizations the company has ever carried out, due in part to the advanced preparations of the SmartPlug operation for Enterprise.
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