Preparing For Pipeline Repair Emergencies

August 2012, Vol. 239 No. 8

Independent Risk Management Systems B.V. (IRM Systems) announced that pipeline operator BBL Company awarded the company a contract to produce a concept proposal that will provide a thorough assessment of the organization’s current pipeline repair contingency plans and preparedness.

BBL operates the BBL pipeline, which can provide the UK with l5% of its total natural gas supply. The 36-inch export line transmits gas from Balgzand, near Den Helder, in The Netherlands to Bacton Gas Terminal on the coast of Norfolk, England. The system extends 146 miles of which 140 miles is offshore. The system is of strategic importance for the supply of gas to the UK.

IRM is supplying BBL with advice as to whether the pipeline operator would benefit from a range of both established and emerging repair methods. The company will also provide guidance on the best-in-class repair technologies available and the companies that provide them.

Central to the study is a cost-benefit analysis that addresses the possibility of adopting an enhanced or – in some cases – a new EPRS.

To ensure they are using the best methods and technologies available, BBL stresses the importance of objective advice. Hans Boersma, offshore asset manager for BBL said, “Whether it’s surface repair, connectors, pressure isolation methods or reliable suppliers of hot tapping services, it is important that they are recommended because they will be the most cost-effective and deliver the greatest benefit for our specific needs.”

The concept proposal is considered Phase 1 of IRM Systems’ overall program of EPRS consultancy services. Should BBL opt to proceed to Phase 2, IRM will produce a customized plan that will detail and optimize the selected repair scenarios. The repair scenarios feature all details associated with, for example, front-end engineering and design, and commercial and vendor requirements that are central components of an EPRS.