Development of an Emergency Pipeline Repair System (EPRS) for Offshore Pipelines

black sea, russia


The South Stream project was first announced in 2007, and was planned to transport natural gas from the Russian Federation through the Black Sea to Bulgaria, and on into Europe. The proposed route of the pipelines initially required a 931-kilometre offshore section, and was to be laid at depths reaching 2,200 metres. Four parallel pipelines were to be installed, each with a wall thickness of 39 millimetres. IRM Systems provide pipeline services to create an EPRS, and also to review procedures and contractor documents.


The seabed of the North Sea is temperamental. The sand lying on the seafloor is prone to change, like dunes on the Dutch coast, and could create a free span below the pipeline. The pipeline could then vibrate, sag, and cause damage. IRM System’s methodical approach identified this unique issue, and incorporated it into its report alongside in-depth assessments of other potential pipeline integrity management threats.


The intention is, in case of an emergency or accident or event to a pipeline, to be able to repair it as swiftly and safely as possible. Our EPRS manuals really start at the identification of the damage and end at the phase where you’re back in production. We have created a 16-step approach – from identification, to setting up a team, buying the right kit, getting the right vessels and so on – and we tailor it to each new client for their specific needs.