Saipem brings sustainability to subsea pipelaying

Saipem has revealed a new, sustainable subsea pipelaying method which allows forming vertical cold bends in the pipeline in a strictly controlled way and directly underwater by means of a specially designed remotely operated underwater bending machine.

The Underwater Cold Bending technology is said to allow a considerable reduction of environmental impacts on the seabed.

The fact that the bends are created when the pipeline is about to be positioned on the seabed means there is no interruption to regular pipelaying operations, Saipem said.

According to the Italian offshore contractor, the technology optimizes the pipelay process in correspondence of sharp slopes or escarpments, where the site conditions are typically so critical as to present serious design concerns and which require massive seabed preparation works with heavy environmental impacts.

“Compared to the traditional approach, the Underwater Cold Bending method represents a safe, sustainable and economic solution and guarantees the maximum integrity and safety of the pipeline throughout its life cycle,” the company stated.

At the end of March, Saipem’s board of directors approved a rescue plan to strengthen the company’s financial and capital structure following a profit warning in late January.

The company plans to launch a capital increase of €2 billion or about $2.2 billion by the end of the year with ENI and CDP, two of its biggest investors, underwriting about 43 per cent and the rest being covered by banks.

It is worth noting that Saipem was awarded an offshore drilling contract worth $325 million by Aker BP in March for a campaign offshore Norway, and shortly after new contracts in offshore drilling in the Middle East and in West Africa for a total amount of over $400 million.

At the beginning of April, the Italian company won a $150 million maintenance contract for Eni’s Coral Sul FLNG offshore Mozambique.

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