West Africa exports approximately 4.5 billion barrels of crude oil each day. It is a vital component of the economy, with China, India, Europe and the US as key buyers. Keeping vital oil supplies moving reliably in some regions of West Africa can be extremely challenging due to location, and in some cases, security of the infrastructure and personnel.
Two carbon steel pipes were damaged with explosives interrupting crude oil transportation to a critical West African export hub, impacting much-needed government revenues. CSNRI was asked to assist with repairs on this small, unmanned platform. A solution incorporating ThermoWrap® MT was determined to be the best option for the repair.
- Operates up to 313oF (156oC)
- Easy installation and rapid curing
- No pipe cutting or welding
- Restores pipe strength
- Minimal creep ensures a long service life
- Rapid restoration solution for high-consequence piping
- Extends the life of aging, damaged or corroded assets
- Prevents future external corrosion
- Designed for high-temperature, high-pressure environments
- No VOCs
Both a 6-inch and 4-inch line had been damaged. The smaller line suffered a severe dent that significantly constrained flow, reducing line inventory, but was not leaking. The 6-inch reducer had suffered a similar attack, resulting in a small leak to the weld. An interruption in transport of crude to various farm tanks and customers had the potential to result in income loss in an economically burdened area. Additionally, the pipe damage posed possible environmental issues to surrounding wild life, if not quickly addressed. The remote location, as well as security issues, posed extraordinary challenges for repair. CSNRI worked with its regional partner, Nigeria-based Sub Sea Systems, to rapidly expedite a plan for repair incorporating ThermoWrap MT.
Due to the geographic location of the platform, as well as security risks, the repair required quick execution without welding new sections of pipe into the damaged lines. CSNRI leveraged its working relationship with Sub Sea Systems, a long-established partner with a vast amount of experience working in this region. Sub Sea Systems personnel are well-trained and have a high level of proficiency installing CSNRI composite systems.
Under heavy guard, the team collected measurements to determine materials required to execute the repair. Measurements were relayed to the CSNRI engineering team, which quickly designed a repair solution. The repair system incorporated ThermoWrap MT, which was shipped on an emergency basis, to the Sub Sea Systems base.
ThermoWrap MT is an engineered, field-saturated repair system made of proprietary fiberglass cloth applied with a two-part epoxy and a high-modulus filler material. Its thick, non-crimped, glass fiber architecture and nano-tube-enriched resin combine to yield high-strength characteristics. ThermoWrap MT is used globally in plants, refineries, tank farms, terminals and on offshore assets as a pressure-containing repair to seal leaks and as a reinforcing repair to restore the strength of pipe in the axial and circumferential directions. ThermoWrap MT components are also easily transportable and relatively fast to install, making this an ideal composite solution for the unusual circumstances of this repair.
The remote platform location required that surface preparations be completed by hand. Old coatings were removed from damaged pipe by hand filing. Preparation was completed in one day. Extensive repair to pipe geometry was completed with EPN-101 epoxy prior the application of the ThermoWrap MT repair.
The hot, humid weather off the West Africa coast can cause composite systems to cure more rapidly. Care was taken with awnings used to protect the application from the sun and ensure maximum workability of the ThermoWrap MT repair.
The properties of ThermoWrap MT and the solution engineered by CSNRI provided an expedient, proven means to execute the pipe repair in a timely manner. Other methods of repair were not viable in such a remote location. Preparations and repairs were completed in two days, resulting in minimum downtime. Pipeline integrity and function was restored, without risk to the surrounding environment. The objective to restore pipeline function safely and as quickly as possible was achieved. The asset owners were able once again to transport crude and continue generating crucial revenue to the West African economy.