TDW safely removed and replaced the pipeline valve, which is located in a remote desert in North West Australia.

The company used a pressure-balanced tapping machine to hot tap the 16in pipeline and its recently built STOPPLE Train system to plug it.

The damage portion of the pipeline was isolated for two days prior to the operation.

It took seven days to complete the operation, which includes set-up, hot tapping, STOPPLE Train plugging, valve replacement, and setting the LOCK-O-RING completion plug.

TDW Global Hot Tap & Plugging technical specialist Joe Buttigieg said, "By using the STOPPLE Train plugging method to isolate the pipeline, the customer was able to pack the pipeline and continue to supply to its downstream customers, without having to depressurize a substantial amount of the pipeline, and incur the cost of a considerable amount of lost natural gas."

"In addition, because the system requires just one STOPPLE fitting instead of two, it meant that fewer fittings were required and, therefore, less excavation, non-destructive testing, and hydrotesting. Associated costs with these were effectively reduced by 50%," Buttigieg added.