The Development of Unique Deep Water Pipe Laying Technologies for South Stream Offshore Pipeline Project
Proceedings Publication Date
The South Stream Project is designed to consolidate security of energy supply to Europe. It is a key project for the diversification of the natural gas supply routes. The main objective of the South Stream Project is to meet Europe’s incremental demand for natural gas, which is ecologically the safest among the fossil fuels. In the long-term perspective, gas will serve a solid base for the energy sector. Therefore, diversification of routes and joint implementation of gas pipeline projects are vital for the modern European energy mix. The South Stream Offshore Pipeline is the biggest underwater pipeline project in the world, building four lines in total stretching 931 kilometers across the Black Sea. It will originate at the Russian Black Sea coast in the area of Anapa, Krasnodar Krai, and extend approximately 931 km to the landfall in Bulgaria near Varna. What makes this Project technically advanced is its length, location and the maximum depth. Much of the pipeline will run along the abyssal plain of the Black Sea, more than 2 kilometres deep. With the expertise of specialized engineers, South Stream Offshore Pipeline is applying advanced pipeline design and technology, to create a pipeline that will safely withstand such pressure. Each of the pipes has a diameter of 32 inches and exceptionally strong steel walls of almost 4 cm thick – making South Stream Offshore Pipeline the biggest pipelines project considered for such deep water. Due to the high pressure, together the four pipelines will have an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic metres per year. South Stream can provide the energy needed to supply as much as 38 million European households to meet around 12% of predicted gas demand in Europe by 2020.