ROV enables safer subsea pipe laying

Jon Lawson

Cortez Subsea and AFGlobal have strengthened their strategic partnership to bring new technology to the market which will reduce cost and risk to pipelay. The Stinger Deployed Diverless Connector (SDDC) has been developed to conduct pipeline tie-ins using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and, when coupled with other installation techniques, can offer cost savings of up to 30 per cent.

The technology will be deployed offshore near Malaysia where Cortez Subsea won a contract with Vestigo Petroleum for pipeline installation in the Berantai field.

Managing Director of Cortez Subsea, Alasdair Cowie, said: “Imagine shallow-water pipelay without welding, but with stronger joints, and pipeline connections without the need for divers, reducing the reliance on large vessels and crew.”

The solution is driven by the AFGlobal Retlock clamp technology. Managing Director of AFGlobal UK, Martyn Conroy, explained how this existing technology was transferred into a new application: “Our Retlock clamp is a two-bolt clamp which has the ability to connect mono and multi-bore. It is suitable for vertical and horizontal applications and has been proven effective in more than 1,600 offshore applications. A compact, lightweight design with continual leak-monitoring system, it was the ideal basis for the SDDC system.

“This is a perfect example of taking a proven technology and customising it for a new application for operational efficiencies. Investment in research and development is key in driving the sector forward but it’s also important that existing technology from both inside and outside the industry is optimised.    

“Solutions, such as the SDDC, are being created and tested in response to the needs of the industry. This along with smart application is of absolute importance as we move into a new era of oil and gas exploration and production and to prolong the legacy of success of the energy sector.”

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