Described herein is a chronology for developing a deepwater pipeline repair system and cooperative ownership group for affecting emergency repairs of damaged pipelines. Using a Joint Industry Project (JIP) funding model, technology development started in 2004, and continued as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit in 2005, and resulted in the formation of DW RUPE – Pipelines Co-Ownership Group in May of 2007. Included in this paper is a description of the repair methods developed, and repair tools being procured and developed for affecting 10 to 24 inch ANSI pipeline repairs in 1,000 to 10,000 feet of water. A recently-developed spreadsheet-based pipe lifting analysis laptop computing tool is described for use in planning pipe lifting and cutting operations for a specific emergency pipeline repair operation in deep water.
Background on the Formation of DW RUPE
In 2004 Phase 1 of a JIP was formed to develop a low CAPEX emergency repair capability for pipelines and flowlines in water depths in the 1,000-10,000 ft range, in the US Gulf of Mexico. Stress Subsea, Inc. (SSI) performed a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, conducted interviews with suppliers and operators and included input from the JIP Steering Committee.
Phase 1 JIP Conclusions
As a result from DW RUPE, Phase 1, the following conclusions were drawn for export pipelines:
The probability of needing a deepwater repair is low, but the consequences resulting from pipeline damage are high. Because of this, the project agreed upon pursuing a low CAPEX repair solution, recognizing the need to minimize capital expenditures since the probabilities of occurrence are low.
Ayers, R.R., Hoysan, S., Gage, E., Rebello, A., Stark, M., “DW RUPE: A New Deepwater Pipeline Repair Capability for the Gulf of Mexico and Other Deepwater Regions,” OTC 19207, Presented at the 2008 Offshore Technology Conference, May 8, 2008, Houston, Texas.