iNPIPE PRODUCTS™ was approached by a leading pipeline laying company with the problem of loading pigs into a size-on-size cut pipe end during subsea pipe laying operations. The pigs were to be used as part of a wider wet or dry buckle contingency procedure.
The challenge was to develop a tool that would allow normally sized pigging tools to be loaded into the cut end of the pipeline, with no loss of de-watering capability. The simple solution would be to under-size sealing discs, however this would diminish the water removal capabilities of any pigs used.
iNPIPE PRODUCTS™ was contracted to design, manufacture and test the new Contingency Pig Loading Tool (PLT) that would allow for safe loading of pigs directly into the pipe size. This included 6”, 8”, 12” & 18” pipelines. The PLT incorporated a number of unique features, including;
- Hydraulic ram system
- Transition / Locking collar
- Extension system to allow for use with Video Laser Tool (for welding operations)
- Pig nose connection system (patent pending)
The Patented design, as well as allowing correct positioning of the pigs to allow operation of the Video Laser tool (by others), the design had to allow for pigs to be positioned as close as possible to the water level, therefore a pressure relief system was incorporated to allow safe release of pressure between the pig and water level. At the same time the system had to allow for pig discs to be pre-loaded to match the direction of travel to reduce risk of pressure spikes during pre-commissioning activities.
The tool also had to be designed to avoid contamination of the CRA internal coating.
Following full FAT testing of all systems at iNPIPE PRODUCTS™ facilities, the tools were deployed to site.
Peter Fretwell Director of pigging products commented “Our knowledge of pigging applications, ability to design, manufacture and test under one roof, enabled us to deliver a fully integrated system to meet the client’s specific requirements”.
The design allows for size on size insertion of pigs at any size. This means the new system can be used across a wide range of pipeline activities, including;
- Offshore pipelay contingency pigging
- Topside insertion where no trap exists
- Laydown head insertion (ROV & Diver systems can be incorporated)
- Onshore & Offshore decommissioning activities
- Onshore planned or emergency pigging operations
iNPIPE PRODUCTS™ provide a fully integrated engineered solution, including design, manufacture FAT, certification and site services, to project manage deployment. Tools can be designed to suit a range of sizes and pressures, dependent on project specifications from 6” through to 48” line size.
iNPIPE PRODUCTS™ is an internationally recognised leader in the design and manufacture of pipeline pigging products, including foam pigs, cup pigs, bi-directional cleaning / gauging pigs, pig handling equipment, pig signalers, engineered solutions for pipeline isolation and joint testing, launching & receiving systems as well as bespoke pigging solutions based on specific client project requirements.