Tecno Plug Non-Intrusive Inline Isolation Tool
STATS’ DNV type approved Tecno Plug® provides failsafe double block and bleed pipeline isolation. Systems can remain pressurised, live and operational while they are repaired. The isolation plugs provide dual seals with a zero-energy zone to enable maintenance work on pressurised systems to be carried out safely and efficiently. The dual seal configuration of the pipeline isolation plug provides an annulus void between the seals which can be pressure tested to verify both seals are leak-tight before maintenance work is carried out. Both seals are leak tested with full pipeline pressure. Once the seal integrity has been proved the annulus is then vented to ambient pressure to create a zero-energy zone, providing effective double block and bleed pipeline isolation. The large section elastomer seals are highly compatible with poor pipe surfaces and are engineered to suit corrosion or ovality issues ensuring a leak-tight seal even in ageing assets. The isolation plug has the ability to monitor the isolated pipeline pressure, this is achieved via a dual-sealed pressure impulse line and ensures there is no leak path through the tool. If required, pressure application through the isolation plug is attained by adding an additional module containing a second equalisation valve. Pipeline isolation safety is ensured as two separately controlled valves need to be functioned to allow pressure communication through the Tecno Plug.
Fully Proved Double Block: Seal Test Sequence
The Tecno Plug fail-safe design uses differential pressure acting on the plug to energise the locks and seals, this is referred to as self-energisation. When the isolation plug is self-energised the isolation is maintained independently of the control system. It is, however, backed up by the hydraulic control system which maintains the pipeline isolation when the differential pressure is below the self-energisation threshold. Once the isolation plug is activated the hydraulic pressure, circuits are locked in by pilot-operated check valves and manual isolation valves (tether controlled), or fail-safe solenoid valves (remote controlled). The check valve pilot lines can be separate lines controlled independently if required. The taper lock-ring provides twice the required lock contact area giving 100% contingency. If the control system is compromised, the tool actuation mechanism will unset when differential pressure is equalised. This feature ensures pipeline integrity is maintained and the isolation plug is always recoverable upon job completion. The remotely operated Tecno Plug system is a piggable, remote-controlled, tetherless isolation tool.
The remote control system provides a high degree of flexibility and eliminates the need for tethers or specially modified pig-trap doors. Through-wall communication is achieved using an extremely low frequency (ELF) inductive system for reliable tracking and accurate positioning of the Tecno Plug. An onboard hydraulic power pack provides the necessary actuation and control functions for the tool. The remote control module provides a robust system for safety-critical activities. The remote control module has been assessed for use in an explosive atmosphere (EN60079-0:2004 and EN60079-2:2004) against rating Ex pz II T3. The external communication system is housed in an ATEX rated enclosure Exe IIC T6 GB.
Pigging Bypass Technology – Unpiggable Pipelines
STATS have developed a patented pigging bypass system for the Tecno Plug which allows two isolation plugs to be pigged towards a blind centre. The technology was developed to facilitate the pipeline isolation and repair of unpiggable pipe defects. This system allows a section of pipeline to be isolated where full bore access is unavailable due to a defect such as a pipeline buckle or dent. Isolation plugs are pigged from either end of the pipeline towards the defect to isolate the section and allow repair or replacement to safely take place.
DNV Type Approval
STATS Tecno Plug is fully certified by DNV to verify that the design criteria satisfies the requirements for Pipeline Isolation Plugs to provide dual seal and isolation in accordance with Offshore Standards; DNV-OS-F101 (Submarine Pipeline Systems) and recommended Practices; DNV-RP-F113 (Subsea Pipeline Repair) and in compliance with the following code; ASME BPVC Section VIII, Division 2.
- Pipeline valve replacement/valve repair
- Rise replacement/riser repair
- Pressure testing i.e. leak detection of risers or repaired pipelines
- Platform abandonment and bypass
- Pipeline diversion/re-routing
- Mid-line pipeline repair/pipeline tie-in
- Safe breaking of containment on pressurised pipelines, providing a fully proved double block and bleed pipeline isolation, with a zero-energy zone maintained between the two barrier seals – in accordance with topside and subsea isolation guidelines
- Piggable isolation tools require no welding or cutting into live lines, leaving no residual fittings or hardware on the pipeline
- De-commissioning (bleeding down) and re-commissioning (refilling and re-pressurising) of pipelines minimised or eliminated, saving time and reducing costs
- Production continued during pipeline maintenance or modifications
- No flaring of gas or displacement of pipeline inventory
- No emissions of gas or hydrocarbon vapour to the atmosphere during blow down
- No danger of accidentally flooding offshore pipelines during construction
- No need to dispose of hydrates, chemicals and contaminated water
- Robust, compact design enables Tecno Plug to be set in short sections of pipeline. In many instances production can be continued during pipeline maintenance or modifications activities
- Isolates short sections of pipeline anywhere in the pipeline system
- Emergency preparedness and operational readiness
Tecno Plug Specification
Key Features - Tecno Plug
- Available as 3D bend compliant as standard with 1.5D on request
- Dual compression elastomer seals are highly effective even in pipelines with corrosion and ovality issues
- High integrity isolation, taper lock grips provides twice the required lock contact area i.e. 100% contingency
- Annulus bleed between seals allows pressure to be vented to ambient creating a zero-energy zone providing true double block and bleed pipeline isolation
- Fail-safe design feature; taper lock grips and seals energised by differential pressure; referred to as self-energisation
- Self-energisation feature maintains safe isolation while differential pressure exists across the plug
- Both seals fully energised by pressure – rubber pressure 1.1 – 1.4 times greater than pipeline pressure
- Reverse pressure can be applied across the Tecno Plug to facilitate system leak testing
- Outboard pressure monitoring options
Remote Tecno Plug Specification
Key Features - Remote Tecno Plug
- The Remote Control Module provides a robust system for safety critical activities. Certain Remote Control Modules can be made available for use in a Zone 2, Potentially Explosive environment. The communication antenna and field cable are available for use in a Zone 1, Potentially explosive environment.
- Subsea communication via acoustic link (3000m depth rating)
- Through-wall communication is achieved using an extremely low frequency (ELF) inductive system for reliable tracking and accurate positioning
- Remote Tecno Plug does not use lithium batteries negating the need for Emergency Response Procedures for the transportation / use of extremely hazardous materials
Reinstatement Pressure Testing
Following the successful isolation of a pipeline, it is often necessary to carry out reinstatement pressure testing of the repaired or newly installed pipeline components. The Test Plug is an extension of the Remote Tecno Plug® isolation train and provides a barrier that allows the newly repaired section to be pressure tested to the pipeline code test pressure, before the isolation is removed, independent of the Tecno Plug isolation.
Key Features - Test Plug
Pipeline code strength testing and leak testing of repaired pipelines, risers, valves or other pipeline components
- Available in sizes 18” – 48” and pressure up to 350 bar / 5076 psi.
- The elastomer seal is highly effective even in pipelines with corrosion and ovality issues
- Fail-safe design feature: lock grips and test seal control circuits will automatically depressurise after a set period of time, allowing the tool to be recovered should communication to the test plug become compromised
- Separate hydraulic control circuits activate the lock grips and test seal
- Fail-safe self-energisation of locks when test pressure is applied and a differential pressure exists across the Test Plug
- Allows full pressure reinstatement testing of the repaired pipeline without invalidating the Tecno Plug isolation
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Terms & Conditions
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