Oil States Industries marks 500th mechanical underwater hot-tap fitting sale
10th March, 2006
Oil States Industries, Inc., has recently received an order from a Gulf of Mexico Gas transmission pipelines operator for its 500th mechanical underwater hot-tap fitting. This order represents yet another milestone in the worldwide offshore pipeline industry’s acceptance of Oil States’ pipeline products.
“Hot-tapping” is a process whereby an access port is machine-cut through the wall of an in-service (or “hot”) pipeline without disturbing the product flow of the pipeline. This is done in order to add additional flow or, in some cases, divert product flow from the pipeline. Originally developed for onshore applications, the hot-tapping process is normally performed through the branch of tee saddles welded to the pipeline for surface applications.
During the late 1960’s, operators of offshore oil and gas pipeline systems in the Gulf of Mexico began evaluating the possibility of utilizing available capacity in existing pipeline systems for transporting newly discovered production to shore as an alternative to the costly prospect of constructing new pipelines. After a great deal of research, development and testing, the first producing underwater hot-tap was performed in 1971 on an oil pipeline through the branch of an elastomer-sealed, “bolt-on” split mechanical hot-tap clamp. The hot-tap was designed and manufactured by an Oil States subsidiary and took place in 160 feet (49m) of water. Since that time, these unique mechanical underwater pipeline fittings have been successfully utilized to make on-bottom, subsea lateral pipeline tie-ins without costly underwater welding and without interrupting flow through the main line being tapped, all while maintaining the structural integrity of the pipeline. There will soon be 500 of these Oil States’ mechanical hot-tap fittings on subsea pipeline systems worldwide, including the Gulf of Mexico, Mexican Gulf, Caribbean, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia- Pacific Region.