• Short Summary

    The enclosed film shows the record-breaking pipe construction operation being carried out to the north-east of Shetland.

  • Description

    Long shot Lay Barge 232 in Firths Voe, Shetland.

    LS from LB 23 to land and pipe trench.

    Medium shot of start of pipe pull.

    MS moving pipe on stinger and pan to land

    LS LB 23 from shore.

    MS pipe in trench coming towards camera.

    LS looking up hill and pipe moving from camera.

    Close up pipe head moving.

    LS LB 23 and pan to pipeline ashore.

    MS pipe coating at Delfzijl, Holland.

    CU concrete spraying on pipe.

    MS men measuring completed pipe.

    LS LB 23 at sen.

    CU man painting number on pipe.

    MS men welding pipe.

    LS of pipe in ??? bay moving towards camera.

    MS pipe moving in stinger.

    LS pipe in stinger from above.

    MS pipe in stinger from lower down.

    CU moving pipe filling screen passing camera.

    MS stinger and pipe moving into sea.

    LS pieces III submarine preparing to swing out.

    MS launching crew and submarine.

    MS submarine lowered into sea.

    LS submarine in sea with rubber dinghy.

    LS submarine before diving.

    CU of echo sounder recording sea bed contour.

    LS submarine after surfacing.)

    Medium LS of submarine after surfacing.

    MS of submarine at stern of mother ship.

    LS of submarine on board mother vessel settling in cradle.

    The operation began when Lay Barge 23 pulled the line ashore at Firths Voe. It was laid in a trench which will later be filled in. From Firths Voe the line will continue for three miles overland to Sullom Voe, where a storage, treatment and shipping terminal is being upbuilt to handle the oil from the five fields of the Brent System.

    Once the pipe had been pulled on to the land and secured the barge began to work its way outwards to the site of the Cormorant platform. The section near the shore was laid by Lay Barge 23. This was then replaced by Lay Barge 28, which is identical. This barge is now working on the line.

    The pipe emerges from the rear of the barge onto the stinger. This is a 360 feet long articulated structure which supports the weight of the pipe as it is eased into the sea. It is able to tilt downwards at a angle.

    The 36 inch diameter pipe is made in Germany. It is then taken to British or Dutch yards where it is coated with asphalt mastic to prevent corrosion. Concrete is sprayed on top of that for protection and additional weight. Pipe intended for areas where there are high currents receives extra concrete. The pipe is then taken to a ship anchored off Orkney used as a floating storage base. From there it goes to the lay barge.

    On the lay barge each joint has a number painted on it. The joints are 40 feet in length. The pipe is welded by a team of 22 welders spaced out at seven points - or welding "stations" - on the barge. At the eighth station X-rays are taken of the welds.

    On a good average day the barge can lay 100 joints, or 4,000 feet of pipe. It is hoped to lay half of the 91.5 miles line by the autumn, when bad weather will make further work impossible. If a storm is threatened then the pipe has to be cut and the end capped. It is placed on the sea bed and the barge moves off,, towing the stinger.

    A two man submarine has become a valuable tool in laying the pipe. She is the ??? III, operating from a mother ship, the Vickers Viscount. This has a crew of 34, including the submarine team of 10.

    The submarine can "talk down" the pipe and instruct the engineers in the lay barge on its positioning. This was especially valuable for three particularly difficult stretches near the shore. In two of them the line had to be laid between rock pinnacles and the third was in a 60 feet gap in a sea bed canyon.

    ??? III is used for a visual check of the line when it has been laid. On its television cameras it takes videotape pictures of the pipe which are studied by engineers in London.


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The enclosed film shows the record-breaking pipe construction operation being carried out to the north-east of Shetland.

    The film is 210 feet of mute colour 16mm. It is Shell copyright. It can be used without charge only for news, current affairs and documentary purposes.

    A pipe construction operation which has set new world records is being carried out on two separate locations to the north-east of Shetland. At the peak of the work this summer it will involve 1,000 men in 30 ships at a cost of about 200,000 a day.

    The work has created these world records:
    (1) The laying of the most northerly offshore pipelines in the open sea. These are in the same latitude as much of Alaska.

    (2) The biggest - 36 inch - diameter pipeline to be laid so far to the north offshore in the world.

    (3) The first major lines to be laid in the area which has the worst weather yet found in world-wide offshore operations in the open sea.

    By the time the work has been completed in 1976 the 36 inch line will have been laid in the deepest water in which pipe of this size has been placed anywhere in the world - at 530 feet. Already pipe has been laid in 500 feet of water.

    On both locations the work has been commissioned by Shell U.K. Exploration and Production Limited, acting as operator for itself and its partners. The two operations are:
    (1) The building of a 36 inch pipeline between Shetland and the site of the Cormorant production platform. Shell Expro is acting here for the 17 companies associated in the Brent System. This includes the pipeline, the Cormorant platform and a Shetland shore terminal. The Shell/Esso joint venture has nearly 70% of the shareholding in the System.

    (2) The laying of pipelines of smaller size in the area of the Brent field, about 120 miles north-east of ??? Shetland landfall of the 36 inch pipe. Here Shell Expro is acting for the Shell/Esso joint venture only.

    A Press release giving full details of the Shetland pipe laying operation is available.

    Some of these lines will take oil from the Shell/Esso Brent and Dunlin fields and feed it into the platform on the Shell/Esso Cormorant field to be pumped into the Brent System pipeline.

    The film shows the building of the 36 inch line. It will run for 91.5 miles from the landfall at Firths Voe in Shetland to the site where the Cormorant production platform is to be placed. In the early 1980s a million barrels of oil a day will flow through this line from five fields. Four-fifths of the route is in water at least 400 feet deep.

    The film begins with the pipe being pulled ashore at Shetland, and continues with scenes on Lay Barge 23 at sea. These scenes are entirely representative of the work still continuing at sea on both locations. (The only difference is that the barge in the Brent area is laying smaller pipe.) The film falls into four sections:

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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