TDW Offshore has successfully completed an onshore pipeline isolation operation for OMV Gas GmbH. The operation was carried for OMV Gas GmbH in Austria in conjunction with the company's Trans Austria Gas pipeline (TAG) expansion program.
TDW isolated these pipelines by using its remote-controlled 38-inch SmartPlug® trains to create double-block isolations against the gas pressure. Both SmartPlug trains were launched and pigged with production gas into excavated sections of the pipelines, travelling approximately 100 meters from launcher to the work position.
Using wireless, through the wall communication system, TDW manoeuvred each plug train into place, and set them horizontally in the excavated area of the pipeline. While the plug trains were in place and isolated pipeline sections, OMV Gas GmbH carried out the necessary modifications and re-routed the two pipelines to the new compressor station in Eggendorf. Once this was completed, TDW released the SmartPlug trains and pigged them back to the launcher and receiver using gas pressure from the pipelines. The pipeline pressures for both pipelines were 50 bar during the isolation operations. While each SmartPlug train isolated the pipeline sections for three days, the entire isolation operation took just 10 days from TDW's arrival onsite in Austria through to demobilization.
In order to help the two pipeline sections cope more effectively with the additional internal pressure exerted by the SmartPlug trains, TDW developed eight custom-made tension belts specifically for the OMV Gas GmbH operation. Although traditional belts can be cumbersome and time-consuming to attach to the pipelines during onshore isolation operations, TDW designed the tension belts in such a way that they are quickly and easily mounted. As a result, TDW was able to reduce the time and effort required to attach the belts and progress more rapidly to isolating the pipeline sections in order that the modifications could be made, and the pipelines safely re-routed.
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