New Wave Media

July 21, 2020

Malaysia: Cortez Subsea Installs Subsea Pipeline Using Weld-Free Tech

Image Credit: Cortez Subsea

Image Credit: Cortez Subsea

Subsea technology and services company, Cortez Subsea has reported it has completed the first-ever subsea pipeline using NOV's Zap-Lok mechanical connector, offshore Malaysia.

The company says the technology enables faster and cheaper completion of subsea pipelay. The project, conducted together with Malaysian offshore vessel owner Alam Maritim, recorded a best average lay rate of 4.7km in 24 hours with the rigid pipelay section completed within 20 days.

"This lay rate is considerably faster than traditional welded pipelay and meant the project was completed at a cost saving," Cortez Subsea said.

The pipeline system was developed specifically for the Tembikai Non-Associated Gas (TNAG) Development by Vestigo Petroleum, a subsidiary of Petronas, focused on marginal field development.

Per Cortez Subsea, the system uses NOV-Tuboscope Zap-Lok connectors to link the rigid pipeline via diverless connections.

The work included the engineering, procurement, construction, installation and pre-commissioning of the pipeline system and was delivered from Cortez Subsea’s office in Kuala Lumpur.

Alasdair Cowie, Managing Director of Cortez Subsea, said: “We pioneer the latest developments to support our clients with quicker, safer and cleaner techniques.

“We championed the Zap-Lok mechanical interference connector as a weld-free alternative to traditional pipelay. This is the first time this technology, which is much faster and more efficient, has been used offshore Malaysia."

According to data on NOV's website, Zap-Lok is a patented pipe connection system developed by NOV Tuboscope that does entirely without welding. The connection is effected by press-fitting and is suitable for all types of line pipe (gas sour/non-sour, oil, water), including offshore and high-pressure projects.  

On the machines developed by NOV Tuboscope, one pipe end is given a bell shape, and the other a pin shape. During pipe-laying, special
equipment is used to push the pin end into a bell end and press them together to a tight fit.

Commenting further on the operation, Cowie said:"In another industry first, the rigid pipe was connected to flexible risers using a Stinger Deployed Diverless Connector (SDDC), which we brought to the market in partnership with AFGlobal.  Using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and a deployment frame, the connection is made from the pipeline to the host facility without the use of divers.

“A complete diverless approach reduces cost and increases safety for the team offshore and this mechanical alternative to welding results in a safer work environment, which is free from hot-work and radiography.

“A reduction of reliance on equipment and people, thanks to the technology, allowed us to reduce our carbon footprint. At Cortez, we form genuine partnerships and cooperate to support and lead the development of services to conquer new and innovative subsea frontiers and deliver projects to save our customers money.

“The hope is that the industry will continue to adapt and use new technology as the key to unlock the world’s energy resources and keep the subsea industry at the forefront of innovation.”

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