Corrib gas: Black starts, intelligent pigs and the mechanics of extraction
Peter Murtagh: Monday, 29 June 2015
The mechanics of extracting gas from the Corrib field appear simple enough. It is only when one gets into the detail of the engineering that the complexities emerge.
This is an environment in which a relatively small number of people can spend years – in remote places such as Sakhalin Island in the far east of Russia, in the Middle East, or on rigs in the North Sea – living intense lives in dangerous conditions and sometimes speaking a language alien to others.
They talk about “slug catchers” and “intelligent pigs”, about Christmas trees at the bottom of the sea, and about “black starts” – no one wants a black start, but if you are going to operate a terminal like the one now being tested at Bellanaboy in Mayo, someday for sure, you are going to have to do a black start.