STATS Group are in a strong position to capitalise on new opportunities arising in the transition to more sustainable energy supplies and a carbon net-zero future.
With decades of experience working on oil and gas pipeline projects, the Aberdeenshire-headquartered company has at its disposal the skills and proven technologies to isolate in Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS), related CO2 pipelines, and natural gas pipelines blended with hydrogen.
STATS Group chief executive officer, Leigh Howarth, said: “STATS double block and bleed isolation technologies have been helping our customers reduce emissions for 20 years. Our focus on innovation means we’re ideally placed to continue this support, not only in the traditional hydrocarbon sector, but also as the industry transitions to more sustainable energy supplies.”
With investment in both CCUS and hydrogen projects accelerating, there is a growing focus on how existing pipeline infrastructure can be repurposed for both CO2 and blended or pure hydrogen transportation. Therefore, the requirement for isolation, hot tapping and line plugging technology to safely and efficient isolate these pipelines for repair, maintenance and modifications is increasingly important. Over the past two decades, STATS Group has played a central role in the UK and internationally, in pipeline isolation, repair and maintenance projects, giving the company a deep knowledge base of the very infrastructure that, in the future, may be repurposed.
In that same period, and directly relevant to CCUS, STATS has established itself as the “go-to” provider of hot tapping and line stopping services on high-pressure liquid CO2 pipelines.
Leigh Howarth said: “After safely completing multiple workscopes for Kinder Morgan on their high-pressure (up to 138 bar) CO2 pipelines in New Mexico in the United States, we’re in an excellent position to support CCUS infrastructure owners and operators with future pipeline maintenance and upgrade projects.
“Also, with an eye to the future, STATS is partnering in a joint industry project with DNV and a number of pipeline owners and operators, looking at in-service welding for the purposes of providing isolation solutions on natural gas pipelines blended with hydrogen. The objective is to determine if welding onto an in-service pipeline that contains a mixture of methane and hydrogen results in an increased risk of hydrogen cracking, and if so, to develop guidance pertaining to measures that can be taken to mitigate the increased risk.”
Notwithstanding the opportunities in relation to CCUS and hydrogen, STATS continues to support its customers to reduce emissions, recognising the pivotal role that natural gas is playing as the world seeks to first reduce carbon emissions ahead of a longer term transition to more sustainable sources of energy.
Using the company’s proprietary double block and bleed pipeline isolation technologies, localised repair and maintenance worksites can be safely isolated without the need to depressurise large sections of the pipeline, thereby avoiding the need to discharge significant quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. In the case of large diameter gas pipelines, this can prevent the potential discharge of thousands or tens of thousands of tons of methane emissions into the atmosphere.
Mr Howarth concluded: “We’re excited about the future energy transition and the role STATS is playing in supporting our customers to achieve their net-zero goals.”
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