Innovative Orbital Welding Unit For Seabed Pipeline Repairs

October 2009 Vol. 236 No. 10

The Acteon company CAPE Group, based in Singapore, says it has developed and successfully tested an orbital welding unit that can be used to repair oil and gas pipelines on the seabed.

Officials said a trial was carried out in Abu Dhabi when two sections of 30-inch pipe were successfully welded underwater within a hyperbaric chamber specially designed to house the orbital-welding equipment. The results of X-ray analysis and mechanical testing of the weld reportedly have since all proved satisfactory.

As a result of this first trial, plans are being made to carry out further tests later this year on 48-inch pipeline to prequalify the technique for pipeline repairs for two major Qatar-based operators. The chamber, which is capable of simulating water depths to 600 feet, will be used in the future to define welding procedures and qualify the welding unit to meet the pipeline repair requirements presented by individual clients.