TDW Offshore Services Delivers Pipeline Repair Solution for Kvitebjorn

TDW Offshore Services has successfully designed and delivered a customized pipeline repair solution for StatoilHydro.

The Kvitebjørn field, which resumed exporting liquids and gas on January 27, 2009, was shut down in August 2008 when a gas leak was discovered approximately 10 km from the platform. StatoilHydro contacted TDW Offshore Services, as one of its suppliers with which it shares a frame contract, to develop one of several alternative solutions to repair the gas pipeline between the platform and the Kollsnes processing plant near Bergen. The pipeline had been dragged out of position and damaged by a passing ship's anchor.

Subsea Clamp Weighing 44 Tons Plays Key Role

TDW Offshore Services was awarded a contract by StatoilHydro to assess the situation, and develop a solution to repair the subsea pipeline. Working in close cooperation with StatoilHydro, TDW Offshore Services set to work. Extensive testing -- including an onshore installation of a special subsea clamp system (Patent Pending) onto a mock-up of the affected portion of the Kvitebjorn pipeline -- was carried out at its base in Stavanger. The purpose of the clamp would be to secure integrity for the pipe connector in the event that it was not possible to obtain adequate holding power with the primary solution. The clamp, which is one of the key features of the Kvitebjorn field pipeline repair solution, was specially designed, developed and produced by TDW Offshore Services engineers as part of StatoilHydro's solution for repair of the Kvitebjorn.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the damage inflicted on pipeline systems in the Gulf of Mexico, there is a growing trend in the industry to thoroughly prepare for the possibility of natural disasters and potential pipeline disruption, especially subsea. "During recent years, the offshore industry has experienced several pipeline shutdowns caused by anchor drags or similar," said Rune Haddeland, Managing Director of TDW Offshore Services. "In such situations, TDW Offshore’s engineered solutions have proven to be highly beneficial for our clients. We were extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with StatoilHydro to develop an innovative, customized solution for repair of the Kvitebjorn pipeline. I applaud StatoilHydro for their efforts to prepare for a wide range of pipeline repair eventualities."

Kvitebjorn Field

The Kvitebjorn field began delivering natural gas on October 1, 2004. Rich gas and condensate (light oil) from Kvitebjorn are piped to Kollsnes near Bergen and Mongstad further north, respectively. Following processing at Kollsnes, the dry gas is piped to continental Europe. The separated NGL is transported by pipeline to the Vestprosess plant at Mongstad for fractionation into propane, butanes and naphtha. Based on current plans, it is expected to recover roughly 55 billion cubic metres of gas and 22 million cubic meters of condensate.