Having an Emergency pipeline repair plan in place not only saves our oceans (and your reputation), but it also protects against unplanned expenses. At Marsol, we have identified a service to prepare and be ready for pipeline emergencies in shallow waters, tackling the challenges that intertidal zones present, such as shifting sands and tides.
Why is emergency pipeline repair important?
In a report in 1993, the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) estimated total oceanic oil pollution at 2.3 million tonnes per year, 24% of which is leaked during transportation and shipping.
As the amount of oil being transported has roughly tripled, it stands to reason that the amount of oil pollution will have tripled as well. Statistics around this, however, are inconclusive, but the issue should not be around just how much oil enters the ocean – the question should be why it ever enters the ocean at all.
In piped transportation of hydrocarbons, pipelines inevitably travel along or through intertidal zones where they face harsher elements and mechanical damage. Such areas are not always easily accessible by typical marine service providers, and as such, extends the time lost and oil spilt before a fix is applied.
For this reason, Marsol International has launched a specialist Emergency Pipeline Repair Service (EPRS) to safeguard shallow-water intertidal zones.
How does Marsol make Emergency Pipeline Repair Service possible in intertidal areas?
In order to supply emergency pipeline repair, Marsol has worked to develop sophisticated support assets such as Modular HDPE Pontoons and HDPE craft – products that have been tried and tested in hostile and difficult environments.
EPRS has been developed over the last six years to service all types of environmental situations and geotechnical configurations, to address the inherent challenge of accessing delicate areas not normally serviced from sea or shore.
Marsol International has worked with various partners to develop multi-purpose tools and equipment which offer functionality and versatility, resulting from the company’s experience in developing specialist diver-operated equipment, capable of work in dry areas, the intertidal zone and subsea.
Mike Young, director of Marsol International, explains: “Marsol has a strong team of engineers who understand first-hand the real-life scenarios on a busy oil export hub. Should a pipeline require repair, time is of the essence. Safeguarding against environmental damage, minimising the impact on production and ultimately protecting company reputation is vital. EPRS offers an experienced team who can act fast.”
That said, we firmly believe that prevention is better than cure, so Marsol also offers a pre-emptive Pipeline Integrity Management service to ensure all bases are covered.
Why is Intertidal pipeline repair different to deepwater repair?
Due to various clients’ requests for a turnkey solution, EPRS has been launched to best service the needs of a niche market in the environmentally delicate intertidal zone. This requires a different but complementary skill set from subsea or deepwater pipeline repair.
Intertidal Pipeline Repair Challenges
- Shifting sands
- Powerful tides
- Safe access in shallow water
It will utilise the company’s experienced offshore terminal and marine workforce to locate and stabilise the ground to access damaged pipelines in the intertidal zone, and to implement the requisite pipeline repair. Repair scenarios such as pipeline rupture, pin-hole leak, dents and buckles, internal and external pipeline pitting and problems due to corrosion are considered pipeline emergencies.
EPRS will be driven by the nature of the pipeline failure or damage, the pipeline size and specification, as well as the site location, and offers a complete range of specialised equipment required to work in intertidal zones, including multi-purpose amphibious units, amphibious excavators, modular trench shoring systems and all-terrain/amphibious personnel carriers.