A steel pipeline developed in the UK has achieved an industry first by becoming the deepest to be laid in the Mexican section of the Gulf of Mexico.
The 140km of pipeline manufactured at Tata Steel’s double submerged arc welded (DSAW) mill has was laid at water depths in excess of 3,000ft.
Tata was awarded a contract to supply 457mm OD x 28.6mm WT API 5L PSL2 X65MO line pipe from its large diameter 42” DSAW mill in Hartlepool.
The mill made than 125 improvements in 2015 to its overall operational and performance capability.
The improvements include upgrades to welding equipment, reduced repair rates, and traceability.
A laser profiling system provides a 3,600 point profile to monitor pipe straightness and provide a full dimensional survey of the pipe end. This data can be used to ensure minimum ‘hi/low’ in girth welding for high fatigue and other applications.
Energy efficient inverters have replaced more than 50 traditional transformers/rectifiers on production lines to enable quick and repeatable set ups at industry-leading levels while cutting the mill’s electricity demand by nearly a third.
The mill’s ‘O’ press control has been upgraded to optimise the forming process, ensuring uniform pressing along the full length of pipes to achieve optimum pipe shape.
This has benefits for deepwater operations, as both the shape and balancing of the ‘forming ratio’ of the pipe are critical for deepwater collapse resistance.
Commericial manager Richard Broughton, said: “The overall benefit of the investments can be seen in the welding quality performance achieved during the project in the Gulf of Mexico.
“Our new inverter based power sources have significantly improved welding machine availability and have resulted in an increase in power efficiency from 60% to 95%.”
Tata Steel is exhibiting at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston from 2 – 5 May.