High temperature thermal insulation for deepwater pipelines

Norner will complement Shawcor with specialized polymer competence and equipment.

The project will develop a deepwater and high temperature thermal pipe insulation system capable of withstanding 180 °C fluid and 3000 m sea depth. The insulation system will be a fundamental element in future technology for multiphase pipe transport and flow assurance.

  • Thermal insulation of subsea oil and gas pipelines is critical in assuring flow in pipeline fluid transport. Insulations prevent flow reduction by keeping the temperature of the fluid high, to avoid solids precipitation and clogging the pipe during production shut downs and towards terminations. The maximum temperature rating for insulations on deepwater flowlines is currently 150 °C. There is an increasing trend towards deeper waters and higher temperatures for new fields in Norway and internationally. To make these resources more feasible, higher temperature insulation is required. Shawcor Norway, located in Orkanger is the primary supplier of wet thermal insulation to the Norwegian continental shelf. The wet insulation used on the highest temperature flowline ever was produced by Shawcor Norway, and there is a need to develop even higher temperature resistant insulation to meet the coming challenges in the market.
  • The central challenges are to develop new polymer formulations for an insulation and corrosion protection systems with sufficient flexibility for reeling at low temperatures, sustained bonding between layers and 30-year lifetime at high temperatures. Another challenge is to develop reliable test methods to demonstrate 30 years lifetime with 1-2 years testing time.
  • Shawcor Norway is part of Shawcor Pipeline Performance, the largest pipe coating company in the world. Shawcor’s development centre for wet insulation systems is located in Orkanger, Norway. Shawcor’s trademark for wet thermal insulation is Thermotite®. Shawcor has insulated more than 1200 km pipelines for the Norwegian Continental Shelf with Thermotite® products and 5000 km of conventional anti-corrosion pipeline coating. Shawcor in Orkanger has insulated pipes for flowlines all over the world, from Gulf of Mexico, Africa and as far away as Australia.
  • To keep its unique and leading position in the market, Shawcor has to develop and commercialise new and more advanced products. Shawcor has excellent product and process development facilities, a strong team of material engineers, scientists and project management experts available for the development project. The laboratory facilities are advanced and equipment at different locations around the world, for instance simulated service vessel, electrical impedance spectroscopy and autoclaves. With XT180, Shawcor will again break new frontiers of development and extend the high-end market for wet thermal insulation.

Norner project contribution

  • Norner will contribute in selecting, designing, developing and produce laboratory-scale polymer materials, as well as experimental materials supplied by material suppliers, and test these regarding relevant performance under high temperature and pressure.
  • We were selected due to the unique and advanced test facilities, industrial polymer knowledge, polymer structure-properties relationship and polymer stabilisation competence.
  • Norner will complement Shawcor with specialized polymer competence and equipment and has so far contributed with valuable results in the development of present thermal insulation systems.
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