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Inspection test on Thames pipeline confirms integrity

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World Pipelines,

Independent Oil and Gas plc (IOG), the development and production focused Oil and Gas Company, is pleased to provide an update on operations to confirm the integrity of the Thames Pipeline – a key step in its Southern North Sea dual gas hub development project.

Further to the announcement made by the company on 5 June 2018, IOG has been in detailed consultations with regulatory authorities on the necessary steps to re-commission the Thames Pipeline. Analysis undertaken by Oilfield Testing Services (OTS) on behalf of IOG of the three 12 m sections retrieved from the 60 km offshore point during offshore operations in May 2018 has enabled a recalibration of the predicted internal corrosion. This shows the pipeline’s condition can be considered practically ‘as new’.

Under the new pipeline integrity confirmation plan, IOG will run a crawler based measurement device from the Bacton terminal to approximately 1 km offshore to assess the line’s internal condition. This is the section that, if any, would have been at a higher risk of degradation since decommissioning in 2015. Analysis of this data, along with the new corrosion baseline, will allow the company to determine the safe maximum pressure of the subsequent 24 hr hydrotest that is required under the Pipeline Code. These operations are expected to occur during July and August 2018.

In this context, a further intelligent pigging run is not expected to be required until the line is recommissioned shortly before First Gas. By that time, the Thames Pipeline will run continuously from the Southwark platform to Bacton following the addition of a 7 km 24 in. extension. An intelligent pig would then be run to inform future pipeline integrity management along the entire length of the export route.

In addition to significant cost savings, this optimised programme is also expected to minimise the impact on project schedule from the inconclusive intelligent pigging operation. This is expected to be limited to a matter of weeks, with FDP approval now targeted for the end of September 2018. Following that IOG expects to commence the process of full and safe recommissioning to export its 303 billion ft3 of 2P gas reserves across five proven fields and additional 314 billion ft3 of development and appraisal assets.

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Natural gas pipeline news Pipeline pigging news