Large Bore Pipelines are typically used as gas export lines and are lower pressure. Connections for these lines are usually horizontal. FO> has supplied Optima Connector Systems for large diameter gas export pipeline connections, including Pig Launcher Receiver (PLR) applications. These export lines will often have In-Line Tee’s and end terminations such as Pipe Line End Manifold (PLEM’s) and Pipe Line End Termination (PLET’s) where there is often a Sub Sea Pig Launcher Receive (SSPLR) fitted.
Large Bore Connections are exposed to large loads, from the pressure end load, and also from imposed loads from the pipelines and SSPLR. It is especially important for these export lines that the connectors are extremely robust and are calculated, designed and tested using appropriate methods.
For the Tampen Link Project, FO> supplied two 32” Vector Optima Connectors that connected the SSPLR’s to the PLEM’s. The connectors had a 30.00” ID and a design pressure of 177Barg (2,567psig).
Since their installation in 2006, they have been successfully operated a number of times during the SSPLR pigging operations. (See left image)
For the Heimdal project, 16 years after the Tampen Link Project, FO> supplied a tie in for a bypass system that will allow the removal of two costly top sides modules and required an additional 32" Optima® connector and tooling. (See right image)
For the Polarled Pipeline Project, FO> supplied two 36” Vector Optima subsea connectors. One was used to connect the Sub Sea Pig Launcher Receiver (SSPLR) to the Pipe Line End Manifold (PLEM) and the other was used to connect the PLEM to the export pipeline. The PLEM is located near to the Aasta Hansteen SPAR Platform at the deepest point of the pipeline in 1,265m (4,150ft) water depth. The pipeline has a design pressure of 233Barg (3,378psig).
The design of large bore Optima Connectors requires some specific design requirements to ensure that an even clamping load is created by the clamp, minimisation of connector operating time and operation of the Optima to allow for correct alignment of the connector hubs.
For the Polarled Project, FO> also supplied the Seal Removal Tools, Seal Face Cleaning Tools, Torque Tools for closing Optima Connector, and some other ancillary tools.