When challenges obstruct a commonly accepted solution, it is critical to have a backup plan in place. One operator found itself entrenched in difficult circumstances when long lead times for casing spacers threatened lengthy delays in a pipeline casing installation adjacent to a busy roadway. With eight-week lead times projected before the spacers would arrive, the operator contacted Allan Edwards to consider additional options to salvage both time and productivity. Without spacers, the project could not move forward.
Time was not a luxury in this instance. Every minute of delay added expense for the operator. After discussions between Allan Edwards staff and the operator in which requirements were clarified, both parties set out exploring alternatives. The 12-inch diameter pipe would need a 163-foot section outfitted with spacers to maintain the annular space between the carrier pipe and the 16-inch pipe casing. Each spacer would need to sit 6-inches apart from the next closest spacer. After several discussions, the operator and Allan Edwards agreed to install modified OmegaWrap® EG (e-glass) composite wraps in sections throughout the length of the 163-foot pipe segment. While the primary purpose for the OmegaWrap® e-glass composite is to reinforce moderate anomalies on a pipeline, it was determined in this case to be a cost-effective—and readily available—substitute for the much-delayed casing spacers.
Maximizing Usage and Efficiency
Once approved, materials were immediately transported to the project site for installation. To maximize usage, the e-glass fabric was first cut in half vertically so that the width of each spacer would not exceed 6 inches. This also doubled the available material to apply towards the spacer installation. A crew of nine was able to install 27 of the makeshift OmegaWrap® EG composite casing spacers within a total time frame of six hours. Not only was the project completed within a fraction of the expected timeline, but the e-glass composite application was also comparable in cost with the original casing spacers, meaning that the project was completed slightly under budget.
It Pays to Be Unconventional
While the OmegaWrap® EG composite system was not the obvious default choice as an alternative to standard casing spacers, the ingenuity demonstrated by both the operator and Allan Edwards removed obstacles that otherwise would have resulted in significant delays and inflated project costs. Both parties worked efficiently to find an alternative that addressed the need with readily available resources. The total length of time between initial discussions and installation of the wrap lasted just over three weeks.