State approves Nikaitchuq flowline repair
Alaska’s Division of Oil and Gas has issued a memorandum authorizing Eni US Operating Co. to repair a pipeline in the Nikaitchuq oil field, in the nearshore waters of the Beaufort Sea. The subsea line carries produced fluids from the Spy Island drill site to the onshore Oliktok Point pad.
Eni has determined that the repair is necessary because of internal pitting in the bottom third of the 14-inch line, the memorandum says. The repair operations will require the flowline and the Spy Island wells to be shut in for 30 to 45 days.
The memorandum says that Eni plans to repair the line by installing a 10-inch repair sleeve inside the existing line. The repair operation will entail a push-pull methodology, using a horizontal directional drilling rig on Spy Island and a pipe thruster in the flowline at the Oliktok Point pad.
The division says that the pipeline project constitutes a minor modification within the state pipeline easement and does not represent an expanded use of state land.
- ALAN BAILEY