Self-Propelled drilling units mobilised to Europe

Jetting pressure tailored to pipeline resin material and deposit

A Netherlands refining facility experienced severe effluent fouling which had almost blocked the line. Only four days were available to local contractors, but none could commit to completion in less than 8 days. The pipeline was made of glass-reinforced epoxy (GRE), which placed strict limitations and great risk on how it could be cleaned to avoid damage to both pipe and rubber cup seals connecting them. Tube Tech developed bespoke methods and completed everything in less than 4 days.

The Challenge

  • The oil refinery/chemicals manufacturing site is the largest complex in the Netherlands, manufacturing lower olefins, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), chemical solvents, hydrocarbon solvents, brake fluids and polyols.
  • The effluent pipeline had become progressively restricted down to 20% flow.
  • The 400m long pipeline was made of glass-reinforced epoxy for chemical resistance, which meant that standard water-jetting lances, nozzles and pressure hoses had to be modified to avoid damage.
  • Rubber expansion joints were at risk of damage if water jetting was carried out incorrectly.
  • Local and international contractors all quoted 8 days when only 4 days were available.
  • Downtime costs were €500k per day.

Solution

  • The pipeline was cleaned in one 400m length, 200 metres at a time.
  • Mechanical rotary cleaning pigs were used – previously trialled on a mock rig at Tube Tech.
  • Five systems in total were used on site.
  • Deposits consisted of soft concrete like hardness, like dried chalk.
  • Inspection was done to confirm the necessary standard was achieved.

Tube Tech Comment

Mike Watson, Technical Director: “With only four days to complete such a delicate job we arranged a scale replica mock-up at our UK HQ which paid off in speed and efficiency.”

Client Comment

The Site Manager observed: “After several local and international cleaning specialists told us the pipeline clean could not possibly be done within our 4-day time limit, we were worried that it was not going to be possible to get the job done properly. When Tube Tech told us they would research a solution that could clean the pipeline in four days or less, we wondered how and why they could claim this when no-one else could. Having seen the mock-up of our pipeline Tube Tech put together to test the system they were proposing to use, we were reassured that they could deliver on their claims. The actual results speak for themselves: the pipeline was cleaned within the time limit and to a far higher standard than we have ever seen before.”

Images and videos associated with this project are available via Tube Tech International
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