Subsea 7 Limited has acquired the exclusive global license rights for a new subsea hot tap technology, known as Subsea Grouted Tee (SSGT).
The Subsea Grouted Tee technology enables intervention activities to be carried out on high and low pressure subsea pipelines, without the need for major hyperbaric welding operations. Typical intervention scenarios are repairs, valve by-pass/replacements, removal of blockages and branch connections. These activities are frequently performed with the assistance of highly experienced welder divers. Utilising the SSGT presents the opportunity to intervene into pipelines whilst still under pressure, negating the requirement for costly production shutdowns. Further benefits are that SSGT can be deployed by mechanical divers and it eliminates the need for lengthy welding qualification.
The Grouted TeeTM technology was originally developed by Advantica, now GL Industrial Services UK Ltd (GL), in the 1990s and used on cross-country high-pressure onshore pipelines and distribution networks worldwide. In 2006, Subsea 7 realized the benefits that the technology could potentially bring to its clients and, in support of its own development program, embarked with GL on an industry-sponsored Joint Industry Project (JIP) to convert the technology for subsea applications.
"Subsea 7 has played a key role in developing this revolutionary technology over the past three years because we believe it offers a safer and more cost-effective solution to traditional hot-tap intervention methods. We are committed to the development of new subsea technologies with the potential to bring real benefits to our clients. Our involvement in the development of this exciting new technology helps to reinforce our reputation for engineering and technical excellence as we strive to become the Subsea Partner of Choice in our sector," said John Mair, Global Technology Manager for Subsea 7.
Following completion of the JIP and further development by Subsea 7, the Subsea Grouted Tee technology has been verified by DNV and is now available for offshore use. It has the potential for further development to enable diverless activities in ultra deepwater, remotely operated, subsea applications.