Shell Taps Pipe Coating, Insulation Firms
A Chesterfield, MO, company involved in the protection, rehabilitation, engineering and design of infrastructure projects has announced it is slated to begin pipe coating work, and the application of an innovative pipe insulation material, on the Shell Appomattox project this fall.
Aegion's subsidiary, The Bayou Companies LLC, and Materia were selected by Shell Offshore Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, to provide the pipe coating and insulation for the Appomattox development located in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, Aegion explained.
“We are proud of our capabilities to provide large-scale project support to Shell and remain committed to providing high-quality pipeline corrosion protection, flow assurance and other services for their pipeline assets in the Gulf Coast region," said Charles R. Gordon, Aegion's president and chief executive officer.
The Shell Appomattox oil reserve is located approximately 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana at a depth of about 7,200 feet. The pipe coating and insulation project, which involves more than 200 miles of production flowlines and transmission pipelines, is expected to be completed 12 to 18 months after the start of pipe coating and insulation application.
Thermal Barrier, Incompressible Solid
“Shell’s safety and performance requirements were rigorous,” said Dr. Michael Giardello, co-founder and senior advisor to Materia. “We were charged with supplying pipeline insulation materials that met their performance requirements, while greatly reducing the complexity of the system.”
According to Materia’s announcement, the insulation system is unique among existing polymers in its ability to provide an effective thermal barrier between flowlines and seawater.
The thermosetting cross-linked hydrocarbon polymer, Materia said, maintains structural integrity in deepwater operating environments, remaining a stable incompressible solid at water depths greater than 10,000 feet. The company added that this advanced insulation technology can be rapidly and safely applied in the factory or the field.
“The new proprietary pipe insulation application process will permit safe and efficient transportation of crude oil from deepwater oil field developments in the Gulf of Mexico,” Gordon said.
Construction and Production
Materia recently completed the first phase of the required expansion of its Huntsville, TX, facility to produce the new thermal insulation material and is proceeding with the commissioning process, the statements noted. The second phase of the expansion is expected to occur in the second and third quarters of 2016, which would meet the schedule for full-scale production this fall.
Additionally, a state-of-the-art insulation coating facility designed for the Appomattox project is currently under construction at Bayou's New Iberia, LA, location, where Bayou will provide anti-corrosion pipe coating and ancillary services, Aegion explained.
Materia's thermosetting cross-linked hydrocarbon polymer (not shown) is said to maintain structural integrity in deepwater operating environments, remaining a stable incompressible solid at water depths greater than 10,000 feet, the company claims.
Bayou Wasco Insulation LLC, a joint venture between Aegion and Malaysia-based Wasco Energy Ltd that provides offshore insulation services, has developed, in partnership with Materia and Shell, a proprietary pipe insulation coating application process. Bayou is currently receiving specialized equipment for the insulation application as construction on the new facility continues for completion this summer, Aegion said.
Bayou expects to begin insulation application production during the fourth quarter of 2016.
"The selection of Bayou, Bayou Wasco and Materia to provide the insulation system for the subsea Appomattox oil reserve operating environment validates Bayou Wasco's insulating expertise and Materia's state-of-the-art material science technology,” according to Nitin Apte, Materia's president and chief executive officer, commented, “which provides an innovative and robust technology solution for pipeline flow assurance."
About the Partners
Aegion Corporation provides proprietary technologies and services: (i) to protect against the corrosion of industrial pipelines; (ii) to rehabilitate and strengthen water, wastewater, energy and mining piping systems and buildings, bridges, tunnels and waterfront structures; and (iii) to utilize integrated professional services in engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance and turnaround services for a broad range of energy related industries.
Materia develops and manufactures catalysts and advanced materials that solve complex problems facing todays' chemical, electronic, energy, industrial, pharmaceutical and transportation companies. Oil and gas applications include thermal insulation, buoyancy, well construction and corrosion protection, as well as structural composites.
The Bayou Companies LLC has provided services to the oil and gas pipeline industry for over 70 years, offering deepwater coating, insulation and prefabrication in North America. Bayou's services include the industry standard single and multi-layer fusion bond epoxy (FBE) coatings, polypropylene and polyethylene coatings, concrete weight coatings, flow efficiency internal coating, anode installation and deepwater insulation.