Operators are constantly looking for new solutions to improve the economics of new oil or gas fields. Specifically, Operators could see benefits in the development of subsea solutions for long distance tie-backs to existing platforms or on-shore facilities. Pigging is an important part of tie-back pipeline maintenance and inspection, and NOV proposes a new method for simplifying subsea pigging operations by reducing operation cost and improving safety operation (remove MSV intervention).
In order to simplify pipeline systems, NOV, Total and Shell are developing the Subsea Automatic Pig Launcher (SAPL), a pigging system that can be permanently installed on the seabed. The SAPL draws on established topside pigging technology and promises a flexible and robust technology that allows for a range of pigging operations including intelligent pigging. It eliminates the need for a second flowline just to enable pigging and wax/slug handling and reduces the number of days required for vessel mobilization, consequently improving also the safety (less lifting operation). On the operational side, it minimizes the use of an ROV-equipped vessel and encourages the frequent pigging that can help avoid blockages and production shutdowns. The main idea is that you can sit onshore, or on a platform, and push a button to launch a pig and you perform the reloading once a year!
NOV engineers will explain the technology and experience archived during the qualification testing performed on the west coast of Norway Q1 2018.