STATS Group has been commissioned to provide pipeline isolation, hot tapping and plugging services to the world’s largest diameter subsea pipeline intervention project in the Middle East.
The Aberdeenshire-headquartered pipeline technology firm has been contracted by UAE-headquartered oil and gas contractor National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), on behalf of a national operating company (NOC) in the region.
Work includes hot-tapping – connecting to a pipeline without interrupting or draining it – and double block and bleed isolation of multiple pipelines with diameters ranging from 42” up to 56” across the Middle East region.
The work will see STATS deploy its SureTap hot tapping machines and patented BISEP technology.
It follows the group’s long-term commitment to support localisation in the Gulf region, and it now employs more than 80 people across facilities in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, Muscat, Oman, and Doha.
The company’s general manager for the Middle East, Mark Gault, said: “We believe this project to be a first in the world. As far as we are aware, there have been no other subsea intervention projects of this complexity or scale that involve subsea isolations on pipelines of 56” diameter.
“We have made a significant product development investment with three new large-diameter hot tapping machines and the associated isolation assets capable of handling this unique work scope.”
Accordingly, he said the group was also “delighted” to have increased its DNV Type Approval status for work on pipelines up to that size
The firm has also reportedly made “significant investments” in extending its range of hot tapping machines, which can now cater for up to 60” diameter cuts.
Mr Gault added: “This is a landmark project for STATS Group and reinforces our credentials for providing innovative subsea hot tapping and high integrity isolation solutions which can address diverse and technical challenges.
He said STATS would continue to recruit more staff to support the NPCC project and other regional work as activity increases in the wake of the pandemic.
NPCC chief executive Ahmed Al Dhaheri said: “We are proud of this new collaboration with STATS Group, market leaders in the supply of pressurised pipeline isolation, hot tapping and plugging services to the global energy industry. NPCC has always been a pioneer in delivering mega projects, and we will continue to support and enhance our clients’ infrastructure to meet the technical, safety and environmental standards required.”
The Kintore-based firm is eyeing similar expansion across Australasia, having secured frame agreements with some of the region’s largest Tier 1 operators.