Development of an Emergency Pipeline Repair System (EPRS) for Offshore Pipelines

Black Sea, Russia



The South Stream project was first announced in 2007, and was planned to transport natural gas from the Russian Federation through the Black Sea to Bulgaria, and on into Europe. The proposed route of the pipelines initially required a 931-kilometre offshore section, and was to be laid at depths reaching 2,200 metres. Four parallel pipelines were to be installed, each with a wall thickness of 39 millimetres. IRM Systems provide pipeline services to create an EPRS, and also to review procedures and contractor documents.

Project Challenges

The seabed of the Black Sea is very hostile. The concentration of sulphur found here posed a threat to the pipeline’s integrity. Combined with other contextual factors, this made the project uniquely challenging. IRM Systems engaged with a number of established repair companies, looked on the market for the best available technologies, and with internal expertise from an independent stand point came up with an array of smart repair ideas tailored to this pipeline system in the event of an error.

Added value

Developing an EPRS to repair a pipeline like that is a huge challenge. The biggest challenge was the length, secondly the depth, and then the wall thickness. Luckily, we already knew how to de-water a pipeline like that, how to clean it, and how to deal with corrosion.

We were able to complete this phase of the EPRS thanks to the experience of our team.




IRM Systems B.V.

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IRM Systems UKWA

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Aberdeen AB25 1HF

United Kingdom

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