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Balltec nets pipeline recovery contract for project in Gulf of Mexico

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Houston, Texas-based Enbridge Offshore Facilities has awarded Balltec a contract for the Vito project, located in the Gulf of Mexico around 150 miles south of New Orleans, Louisiana in the US, in water depths of 4,000ft.

The contract is for Balltec’s PipeLOK pipeline recovery tools and flangeless subsea PIG launchers. The equipment will be rented during subsea installation of the 18-inch oil and 10-inch gas export pipelines, as well as steel catenary risers.

According to Balltec, the installation is due to commence by the end of 2019. The contract demonstrates further success for Balltec’s subsea PIG launcher design, which is the world’s first diverless and flangeless launcher.

The subsea tool enables the dewatering of pipelines from a cut section of pipe, without the need for additional fixtures. The PIG launcher uses gripping and sealing technology to create a fast, safe and reliable connection.

The Shell-operated Vito project is a deepwater development in the Gulf of Mexico, with a forward looking break-even price estimated at less than $35 (€32) per barrel. The project is due to begin producing oil in 2021, and is expected to reach peak production of around 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.