Pipeline rehabilitation and life extending specialist, Swagelining Limited, has completed the first ever flangeless polymer lining project to be carried out in the Middle East. The project was undertaken by Swagelining Ltd’s regional licensee on behalf of the Kuwaiti Oil Company (KOC).
The initiative saw the Middle East debut of Swagelining Ltd’s flangeless WeldLink® Connector, which was utilised when lining the 1.4km section of an onshore water injection system using its patented Swagelining™ technique.
Originally developed for use in subsea pipelines, the WeldLink® Connector is a cornerstone product in Swagelining Ltd’s Integrated Lining System that enables polymer lined carbon steel pipelines to be fully welded. This allows the pipeline system to operate at high pressures without the risk of leakage from flanges. This connector system has been in use in high pressure water injection pipelines for over 15 years around the world.
The KOC initiative is part of a trial to test the feasibility of using Swagelining Ltd’s unique technology as a future solution to safeguard the thousands of kilometres of flow lines which it operates.
Stephen Barnes, Managing Director at Swagelining Ltd said: “The internal corrosion of ageing steel flow pipelines is a wide-spread problem throughout the Middle East. The costs and disruption of leaking pipes and their subsequent replacement can be avoided by inserting a close-fit internal lining using polyethylene and the life of the pipeline system can be significantly extended.
“While the industry has recognised the benefits of polymer liners, lined pipelines were traditionally joined together with flanges. Over the life of a pipeline, flanges can present a risk of leakage at higher pressures and this requires intervention, which may involve shutting the pipeline system down to fix a problem. The WeldLink® Connector effectively removes the potential of flange leakage.
“With KOC looking for the most reliable ways in which to protect the future condition of its flow lines whilst maximising pipeline life span, the company was keen to examine this well proven, highly efficient option.”
In water injection, Swagelining Ltd’s Integrated Lining System has extensive industry credibility. As well as being at the heart of possibly the world largest onshore lined water injection system - a 55km 24inch onshore pipeline in Congo - Swagelining™ and WeldLink® connectors are currently being used in the construction of the world’s deepest lined riser in offshore West Africa.
Swagelining Ltd’s techniques enable it to provide the industry with fully welded polymer lined pipelines working in high pressure service. Operating water injection pipelines at high pressure pays dividends. Increasing the volume of water injected into the well can increase field output in real time. With the WeldLink® currently tested to 344 bar pressure service and scheduled for testing at 440 bar later this year, operating a fully welded polymer lined pipeline using Swagelining Ltd Integrated Lining System at very high pressures is now operationally tried and tested and therefore low risk.
For the trial, the polymer liners were inserted using Swagelining™ bespoke insertion technology. The liner material was a new increased stress crack resistant PE100 grade. This increased durability together with the physical and chemical properties of PE100 materials is what convinced KOC that this was the ideal material to meet their requirements. Performance of the lined pipe will be monitored over the next few months and compared to the unlined sections allowing KOC to evaluate future pipeline investment decisions.
Stephen added: “While this project is relatively small, the future opportunities to supply this Integrated Lining System technology to operators in the Middle East are significant. It’s estimated that Middle Eastern operators will have to invest hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years to protect their resources as the effects of corrosion are being felt on the vast stretches of pipelines. The benefit of Swagelining™ technology is that it provides options. Existing pipelines can be rehabilitated instead of being replaced. The cost and time savings of refurbishment are very significant indeed when compared to replacement. New pipelines can also effectively be future-proofed against internal corrosion without the need for expensive corrosion resistant alloys.”
Swagelining Ltd is a technology company specialising in the control and prevention of internal corrosion in new and existing pipelines. Based in Glasgow, Scotland and operating across the world, Swagelining Ltd uses cutting edge polymer lining technologies developed from a concept originally created by British Gas.
Continued investment in new technologies has enabled Swagelining Ltd to tailor its Integrated Lining Systems to markets which include the worldwide onshore and offshore oil and gas industry, the utilities sector and the global mining industry.
Developments in materials, venting and connector technology are also now opening up the market to allow Swagelining™ to be employed in higher temperature, high pressure hydrocarbon and other applications, which until now were considered to be outside the scope of polymer lining.
One such development generating worldwide interest is the new connector technology LinerBridge™, which allows a fully polymer lined flangeless end to end system. Targeted at the previously untapped lay barge construction market, ideal for the shallow waters of the Gulf, this unique system delivers a quick and cost effective method of connecting lined pipe sections.
Swagelining Limited are on the UK pavilion, stand number 09010A at ADIPEC.