Pipeline pressure isolation operation a success

T.D. Williamson has successfully performed its first pipeline pressure isolation operation for KazTransOil in Kazakhstan.

T.D. Williamson (TDW) was retained by KazTransOil (KTO) to carry out a pilot pipeline pressure isolation operation, with KTO deciding that STOPPLE plugging technology would be the best option for ensuring that a defective section of pipe could be safely plugged, isolated, cut out and replaced without shutting down the line and halting production.

The operation commenced on 5 November 2010, with TDW using a standard model 760 Tapping Machine to hot tap the line, and a standard double STOPPLE position system with by-pass to plug it. This method required that TDW use two machines – each equipped with a plugging head – and a by-pass that is situated between the two machines to divert the product.

TDW remained onsite to oversee the operation and monitor the pressure in the line in order to ensure that it remained at a safe level while the designated pipeline section was removed and replaced. The pipeline was isolated for a total of four hours while the section was removed. The operation was successfully completed as planned on 19 November.

KTO Technical Policy Department Director Adilbek Niyetkaliev said “It was critical that the work area be secure while the pipeline section was being replaced, so we are very pleased with the outcome.”

“The fact that we weren’t compelled to shut down the line, and maintained production throughout the procedure is extraordinary, especially in terms of savings in time and costs,” Mr Niyetkaliev added.

For more information, visit www.tdwilliamson.com

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