Middle East to India Deepwater Pipeline (MEIDP) crossing of the Indus Fan

The Middle East to India Pipeline (MEIDP) will provide an economic and secure source of gas for India, where the demand for energy will continue to increase over the coming decades. The proposed pipeline will be the deepest major infrastructure pipeline laid with water depths exceeding 3000m for significant sections of the 1200km route. In addition to its depth the MEIDP will have to contend with significant potential geohazards, namely the Indian and Omani continental slopes, the Indus Fan, the Owen Fracture zone and the Qalhat Seamount. Since the Mid 90's when the Oman India Pipeline (OIP) was first envisaged the crossing of the Indus Fan has been held up as one of the major technical challenges for such a deep pipeline.

This paper will give details of the 2013 geophysical reconnaissance survey along the MEIDP route, with particular focus on block reconnaissance performed for the area where the route crosses the Indus Fan which is characterized by two topographical main structures: The channel/levee systems of the Indus fan which dominate the central part of the survey area; and the deep sea basins in the easterly and westerly sections. The channel/levee system is characterized by central channels with a series of adjacent terraces and numerous abandoned channel loops, which are partially refilled by the overspill sediments from active canyon areas. The pipeline route crosses five turbidity current channels with side walls up to 200m high, in water depths between 2100m - 3200m. With the exception of Channel 1 the channels follow a meandering flow pattern with general N-S direction.  Channel side slopes up to 25° have been detected. Channel 1 on the western edge of the block follows a meandering E-W direction.

The results of the survey will be discussed together with details of the geohazard design process required to identify a feasible route across the Indus Fan and necessary intervention works at this feature to bring this project closer to reality.

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