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Saddle Replacement on NGL Lines

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Working with their KSA partner Diversified Lines Petroleum Services (DLPS), over a period of four weeks Ovolifts fulfilled the lifting scope to enable replacement of 80 support saddles prioritized across four NGL lines at the Saudi Aramco YNGLFD facility in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia. The four lines are insulated and cladded, and the requirement was to lift on the cladding from the midpoint between adjacent supports.

To prevent damage to the insulation and cladding material, Ovolifts engineered lifting saddles for the jacks which were designed to maximise the contact area between the cladding and the lifting points.


The Need & Challenge

Four NGL loading and circulation lines at the Saudi Aramco YNGLFD facility in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia required selective replacement of selected support saddles after 45 years of service. The lines and insulation were remarkably free of any deterioration or external corrosion, but many of the support saddles had been exposed to the regions’ sporadic rainfall over the years and were corroded. 

The project scope consisted of four insulated lines ranging in size from 36” to 20” in diameter to be lifted to replace the existing pipe saddles at multiple locations. All four lines had both 6m and 12m meter support spacing. The insulation thickness on all four lines was 5” thick with another half-inch for the aluminum cladding. Aramco standards are that critical hydrocarbon lines should not be lifted by crane due to the uncontrolled nature of the operation, when lines could be over lifted and damaged.

A 50mm gap clearance was required between the support and the target pipe saddle base to facilitate replacement. A piping stress analysis was performed to determine the lift heights required to achieve this gap clearance, to calculate the reaction loads against the lifting equipment, and ensure the pipe stresses remained within acceptable limits. 



Solution & Outcome

For all configurations, lifting was performed using the Ovolifts Multi-Jack (with a Working Load Limit of 10 tonnes each) from two temporary beams installed on adjacent sides of the target support. The two jacks were lifted simultaneously to reduce pipe stresses and the reaction loads against the lifting equipment, the ability to do this is one of the unique features of Ovolifts’ jacking system.

To support Aramco and the appointed Contractor, Ovolifts and DLPS conducted stress analyses for the planned lifts on all four lines, developed comprehensive lift plans for execution in the field and method statements for a common understanding of the equipment and procedures to conduct the lifts safely.

The project was a great success as all targeted supports were lifted and replaced within the  project timeframe and the lifting saddles which Ovolifts engineered operated safely and did not damage the insulation or cladding. 


Aramco’s facility engineers and management gathered to witness the first lifts of this newly introduced technology and they warmly support its deployment elsewhere in the company and the Kingdom.

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