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1. WO2020109259 - DIVERTING PIGS IN A PIPELINE OR PIPING SYSTEM

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]

Claims

1. A pig diverter, comprising:

a hollow housing having a flowline inlet port, a flowline outlet port, a pig entry opening and a pig exit opening, all communicating with the interior of the housing; and

a pig holder enclosed by and movable within the housing between a receiving position and a launching position;

wherein, when in the receiving position, the pig holder is aligned with the pig entry opening to receive a pig; and

when in the launching position, the pig holder is aligned with the pig exit opening to launch a pig and effects fluid communication between the flowline inlet port and the pig exit opening.

2. The pig diverter of Claim 1 , wherein, when in the receiving position, the pig holder effects fluid communication between the pig entry opening and the flowline outlet port.

3. The pig diverter of Claim 2, wherein the pig holder comprises an aperture positioned to effect fluid communication with the flowline inlet port when the pig holder is in the receiving position and with the flowline outlet port when the pig holder is in the launching position.

4. The pig diverter of Claim 3, wherein the pig holder is elongate and the aperture is on an axis transverse to a longitudinal axis of the pig holder.

5. The pig diverter of Claim 4, wherein the aperture is offset longitudinally toward one end of the pig holder.

6. The pig diverter of any preceding claim, wherein the pig entry opening and the pig exit opening are disposed on respective sides of a longitudinal axis of the housing and communicate with the interior of the housing through respective opposed ends of the housing.

7. The pig diverter of Claim 6, wherein the pig entry opening and the pig exit opening are substantially equally spaced from the longitudinal axis of the housing.

8. The pig diverter of Claim 6 or Claim 7, wherein the pig holder is a tube that extends along the housing and the opposed ends of the housing are positioned to close opposed ends of the tube.

9. The pig diverter of Claim 8, wherein the pig holder is mounted to the housing for pivotal movement about a pivot axis between the receiving position and the launching position.

10. The pig diverter of Claim 9, wherein the pivot axis is aligned with the longitudinal axis of the housing.

1 1. The pig diverter of Claim 9 or Claim 10, wherein the pivot axis is disposed between a receiving axis that extends through the receiving position and a launching axis that extends through the launching position.

12. The pig diverter of Claim 11 , wherein the receiving axis and the launching axis are substantially parallel to each other and to the pivot axis.

13. The pig diverter of Claim 1 1 or Claim 12, wherein the receiving axis and the launching axis are substantially equi-spaced about the pivot axis.

14. The pig diverter of any of Claims 6 to 13, wherein the flowline inlet port and the flowline outlet port are at longitudinally-aligned positions with respect to the longitudinal axis of the housing.

15. The pig diverter of any of Claims 6 to 14, wherein angular spacing about the longitudinal axis between the pig entry opening and the pig exit opening substantially matches that between the flowline inlet port and the flowline outlet port.

16. The pig diverter of any preceding claim, wherein a flow path is defined within the housing outside the pig holder, in a space between the housing and the pig holder.

17. The pig diverter of Claim 16, wherein when the pig holder is in the receiving position, the flow path effects fluid communication through the housing between the flowline inlet port and the pig exit opening.

18. The pig diverter of Claim 16 or Claim 17, wherein when the pig holder is in the launching position, the flow path effects fluid communication through the housing between the pig entry opening and the flowline outlet port.

19. The pig diverter of any of Claims 16 to 18, wherein when the pig holder is at an intermediate position between the receiving position and the launching position, the flow path effects fluid communication through the housing between the flowline inlet port and the flowline outlet port.

20. A method of diverting a pig, comprising:

when a pig holder is on a receiving axis,

directing a flow of fluid from a pigging path outlet to a flowline outlet port, and

receiving the pig into the pig holder from the pigging path outlet;

moving the pig holder and the received pig from the receiving axis onto a launching axis; and

when the pig holder is on the launching axis,

directing a flow of fluid from a flowline inlet port to a pigging path inlet via the pig holder, and

launching the pig from the pig holder into the pigging path inlet.

21. The method of Claim 20, comprising directing the flow of fluid from the pigging path outlet to the flowline outlet port via the pig holder when the pig holder is on the receiving axis.

22. The method of Claim 20 or Claim 21 , comprising directing a bypass flow of fluid around the pig holder within an enclosure in which the pig holder is movable between the receiving axis and the launching axis.

23. The method of Claim 22, comprising directing the bypass flow of fluid from the flowline inlet port to the pigging path inlet when the pig holder is on the receiving axis.

24. The method of Claim 22, comprising directing the bypass flow of fluid from the pigging path outlet to the flowline outlet port when the pig holder is on the launching axis.

25. The method of Claim 22, comprising directing the bypass flow of fluid from the flowline inlet port to the flowline outlet port when the pig holder is at an intermediate position between the receiving axis and the launching axis.

26. The method of any of Claims 20 to 25, comprising pivoting the pig holder from the receiving axis to the launching axis.

27. The method of Claim 26, comprising pivoting the pig holder about a pivot axis that is substantially parallel to the receiving axis and the launching axis.

28. The method of any of Claims 20 to 27, comprising directing the flow of fluid to the flowline outlet port in a direction transverse to the receiving axis.

29. The method of any of Claims 20 to 28, comprising directing the flow of fluid from the flowline inlet port in a direction transverse to the launching axis.

30. The method of Claim 28 or Claim 29, comprising directing the flow of fluid through a side wall of the pig holder.

31. The method of any of Claims 20 to 30, further comprising returning the pig holder from the launching axis onto the receiving axis after launching the pig.

32. The method of any of Claims 20 to 31 , comprising receiving a pig launched from the pig holder.

33. The method of Claim 32, comprising recirculating the pig in a loop.

34. A subsea installation comprising the pig diverter of any of Claims 1 to 19 or operating in accordance with the method of any of Claims 20 to 33.