Safer bolt removal from flange connections

Offshore staff

ABERDEEN, UK – Stork Technical Services has unveiled a hot bolt clamp system for use on live flanged connections.

The system has been field tested and was deployed recently on a Chevron-operated facility in the North Sea.

The system enables removal and replacement of corroded stud bolts on live flanged connections that have eight bolts or less.

Fraser Coull, Stork’s operations support director, said: “Corroded and substandard bolts can seriously impact on an asset’s integrity and lead to hydrocarbon releases. Our innovative hot bolt clamp system provides a safe, efficient and cost-effective method of rectifying this issue which can be delivered out with a traditional shutdown period.”

The system hydraulically clamps together pressurized bolted pipeline flanges so that corroded bolts can be safely removed without applying additional force to the gaskets. The hot bolt clamps are then depressurized and removed.

Change out of the bolts is effecting without taking the flanges out of service, and without disruption to the standard line pressure or the risk of hydrocarbon release, Stork claims.

By removing this potentially time-consuming activity from planned or unplanned shutdowns, Stork adds, the system reduces downtime and minimizes the number of personnel required on-board when bed space is at a premium.

It also reduces the likelihood of hydrocarbon releases offshore.

2/28/2012

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