FLOWLINES & PIPELINES
Operators planning some 5,600 miles
of offshore pipelines through 2017
Operators and developers are studying, planning, and building almost 5,600 mi ( 9,012 km) of oil and gas pipelines to bring these supplies from offshore felds to onshore markets. The total refects a slight decrease compared to last year’s report, which showed a total of nearly 5,800 mi ( 9,334 km).
The decrease is due to the completion of a number of offshore
pipeline projects, including the 149-mi (240-km), 18-in. SEKCO oil
pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico, which was completed this year.
The most active regions for offshore pipeline construction remain
the same as last year – and in the same order – with Europe, the
Middle East, South Pacifc, and the Gulf of Mexico leading the tally.
Europe remains the clear leader in offshore pipeline projects, with
more than 2,700 mi ( 4,345 km) of systems being built and planned. That
marks an increase over last year’s total of 2,553 mi ( 4, 109 km). The largest project being planned offshore Europe is the South Stream pipeline.
It would move Russian gas through the Black Sea to Bulgaria and other
markets through a 560-mi (901-km), 32-in. pipeline to be installed in
waters down to more than 7,300 ft ( 2,225 m). Developers Gazprom and
Eni say that offshore pipelay on this project will begin next spring.
The Middle East is the next most active region, with nearly 1,011
mi ( 1,527 km) of oil and gas pipelines being built and planned. That
total marks a slight decrease from last year’s total of 1,084 mi ( 1,745
km). The most notable project in this region – and a big contributor to
the region’s total – is the proposed South Asia Gas Enterprise (SAGE)
pipeline project, which proposes to move natural gas from the Oman
Middle East Compression Station (MECS) to Gujarat, India, by building 807 mi ( 1,299 km) of 24 to 27-in. pipe through the Arabian Sea,
in waters down to 11, 100 ft ( 3,383 m). The project is currently under
study, and project developers are looking at a 2017 in-service date.
The South Pacifc is another active region for offshore pipeline work,
with Chevron’s Wheatstone and INPEX’s Ichthys projects both having
associated pipeline systems as part of the development. Work is currently under way on the 140-mi (225-km), 44-in. Wheatstone gas trunkline,
with construction contractor Allseas currently installing the system.
Photo courtesy GSP Offshore
The biggest offshore pipeline project in the South Pacifc is associated with the Ichthys project offshore Western Australia. It calls
for 552 mi (888 km) of 42-in. pipe to move gas from an offshore processing facility to shore at Darwin, Australia. Work is also under way
on this project, and installation contactor Saipem is targeting a 2014
In the Gulf of Mexico, Williams reports that work is under way
on the Keathley Canyon Connector project. It involves the construction of a 215-mi (346-km), 20-in. pipeline to gather production from
the Keathley Canyon, Walker Ridge, and Green Canyon areas in the
central deepwater Gulf. Saipem is laying the line in waters down to
7,380 ft ( 2,249 m), and the overall project is scheduled for a mid-2014
Offshore South America, Petrobras is also moving forward with
plans to move gas from the Guara and Lula Northeast FPSOs in its
Lula feld to other systems that will take the gas to onshore markets.
A joint venture of Eni and Repsol has announced plans for a new
export gas line offshore Venezuela. Work here will involve the construction of a nearly 42-mi (68-km), 30-in., pipeline in the Cardón IV
block in the Gulf of Venezuela.
This second annual Global Offshore Pipeline Construction Survey –
a detailed project-by-project listing of all the major large-diameter offshore oil and gas pipeline systems being built, planned, and studied
– begins below. •
Global offshore pipeline construction survey
Amberjack Pipeline Co.
Length Pipe dia.
Location of project
Jack/St. Malo hub, Walker Ridge blk 718
to Shell Boxer “A” platform,
Green Canyon blk 19
Green Canyon block 903
to Heidelberg development
Keathley Canyon, Walker Ridge, and
Green Canyon areas, central GoM