Western Australia’s growing importance and expertise in the oil and gas sector has been further evidenced by the development of new subsea pipeline repair technology by Perth-based company Velocious.
The subsea engineering and remote technology business has recently completed proof of concept testing and detailed design of a new tool that improves the speed, quality and capability of subsea pipeline coating removal.
Velocious CEO Brett Silich said the development program had taken more than two years and was the most extensive of its kind attempted anywhere in the world. The tool is expected to be used by Woodside on its Pluto LNG operation.
“The customer’s design requirements were very exacting and, at that time, the technology required to achieve the results being sought simply were not available,” Mr Silich said.
The requirements included the ability to remove coating two to three times faster than any other tools in the market. Additionally removing the three layers of coatings being reinforced concrete, polypropylene and fusion bonded epoxy, of variousness thicknesses by one tool in a single diverless operation up to 1500MSW, rather than in multiple operations.
This work resulted in a diverless tool, capability of working in depths up to and in excess of 1500msw, powered and controlled by industry standard Work Class ROV and able to remove multiple (three) layers of coating from a pipeline over a 4m span.
“The customer also had set specifications for the final surface finish that couldn’t be met without developing new technology and techniques of material removal that takes extreme care in the final material cleanup.”
Mr Silich said Velocious’ growing team of engineers continued to work on other designs for new pipeline repair tools that compliments this work and meets the specific requirements of operators in the Australasia region and in particular look forward to increasing capacity to support Woodside’s subsea operations.
“These requirements can relate to the amount of subsea pipeline being installed in the region over the coming years, the increasing dimensions of the pipelines on LNG projects and the capability to withstand specific environmental and operational conditions.”
Also under development as part of Velocious’ Pipeline and Connection Systems product line is a Diverless Corrosion Resistant Alloy Repair System for specific repair of pipelines transporting natural gas that are CRA lined.
“We have recently registered the patent for this technology which, again, doesn’t currently exist anywhere in the world. With all our new products, we either gain funding from a specific operator to support the development program or we invest ourselves in order to continue building our intellectual property bank.”
LNG World News Staff, November 26, 2012; Image: Velocious