Saipem lays TAP pipeline offshore Albania

Italian oilfield services firm Saipem has recently pulled ashore first offshore pipeline in Albania which is part of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline, linking the pipeline to the onshore section.

Castoro 10 vessel / Image source: TAP
Castoro 10 vessel / Image source: TAP

Saipem used its 139-meter long and 36-meter wide pipelay barge Castoro 10 for the operation. Steel pipes were welded together aboard the vessel, which was located 1.4km from the beach. The welds were then tested and the pipeline was lowered onto the seabed. The first 1.8km of welded pipe was pulled ashore at the landfall near Fier.

Saipem’s Castoro 10 pipelay barge now continues to lay pipes in Albanian shallow waters, to be followed by fibre optic cable installation and backfilling offshore and at the landfall.

TAP marked the start of construction works for the offshore pipeline section in October 2018. TAP’s offshore section, linking the Albanian and the Italian coasts, is around 105 km long.

The pipes will be laid on the Adriatic seabed where 37 kilometers of the pipeline will run in Albanian territorial waters, 25 kilometers in Italian territorial waters; and 43 kilometers in international waters.

The deepest point of the pipeline will be more than 810 meters beneath sea level. Approximately 9,000 pipes, with a 36-inch diameter, will be used, weighing approximately 100,000 tonnes in total.  The landfall in Italy will be located at San Foca in Puglia.

TAP, an 878 km long pipeline, will carry natural gas from the giant Shah Deniz II offshore field in Azerbaijan to Europe. In November 2018, it was connected with TANAP at the Turkish-Greek border at Kipoi. Once complete it will cross Greece, Albania, and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in Southern Italy.


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