Increased concerns about energy security and the desire to support net-zero targets through innovative decommissioning projects are driving up demand for subsea clamps and connectors, according to pipeline technology specialist STATS Group (STATS).
The global demand for energy, set against a backdrop of political uncertainty and instability, means protecting and maintaining the integrity of pipeline networks cannot be overstated.
STATS, a leading provider of pressurised pipeline isolation, hot tapping, and plugging services, has responded to client concerns by producing the SureConnect™ standardised range of mechanical connectors and clamps.
The SureConnect range allows operators and contractors to efficiently carry out planned maintenance or quickly respond to emergency scenarios to ensure any interruption to energy supplies is minimised.
Recent projects where SureConnect mechanical connectors have been deployed include a pipeline flange repair in the UK North Sea; an 18” hot tap clamp to enable a pipeline tie-in in the Bass Strait, offshore Australia; and a hot tap clamp to tie-in a new gas lift line to an existing pipeline in the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Andy Norrie, STATS Group Head of Sales and Business Development, Europe, said: “We all recognise that energy security is currently a pressing concern for national governments and global operators and that it is prudent to plan for emergency situations which are out with their control.
“We are experiencing a great deal of interest in our SureConnect range as operators look to invest in equipment to ensure they are in a position to react quickly should a pipeline incident occur.
“Typically, the industry does not hold significant stock of large diameter/high pressure connectors or repair clamps – and with lead times sitting at around 16 weeks-plus – it makes sense to put in place contingencies should an asset be compromised and production is threatened.”
Within the standardised product range, there is flexibility to adapt subsea connectors to suit specific client requirements, including design codes, pressures, materials and flange requirements.
“Any interruption to the flow of oil and gas through the international pipeline network can have significant impact on the energy supplies for millions of people and can result in the suspension of industrial activities. It is therefore essential that in the event of an issue, repairs can be implemented quickly and safely with the best possible technology solutions to restore their operation and ultimately energy supply,” added Mr Norrie.
Aside from maintenance and emergency pipeline repair functions, SureConnect products are used across a variety of subsea pipeline applications such as the tie-in of new lines to existing infrastructure or in capping redundant pipelines during decommissioning.
“The oil and gas sector is conscious of the need to support a net-zero vision and our clamps and connectors are ideally suited to many of the innovative decommissioning projects taking place across the world, and also in the repurposing of existing infrastructure to make it hydrogen and Carbon Capture Usage and Storage ready, and we are experiencing a significant uptick in enquiries.”