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Cabot's Aerogel to Insulate Sub-Sea Pipelines in the North Sea

Cabot Corporation (NYSE: CBT) has been selected by global engineering company Technip to provide pipe-in-pipe insulation for four subsea pipeline projects in the North Sea.

Technip will use Cabot's aerogel Compression PackTM to insulate a total of 64 km of subsea pipe-in-pipe (PiP) flowlines. The systems will be installed in the Norwegian and United Kingdom sectors of the North Sea.

Technip's clients for these projects include Statoil, BP, Total, and the BG Group. The projects are as follows:

  • Statoil Smorbukk NE: a 6 km, 10 inch x 15 inch PiP system.
  • BP Devenick: a 34 km, 10 inch x 16 inch and a 3 km 8 inch x 14 inch PiP system.
  • Total Islay Field Development: an Electrical Heat Trace PiP (EHT-PiP) system.
  • BG Gaupe (formerly known as Pi): a 14.5 km, 8 inch x 14 inch PiP system.

"These project awards further reinforce the aerogel Compression Pack as the product of choice for the insulation of subsea pipe-in-pipe systems," said A.J. du Plessis, commercial director, Cabot Aerogel. "It's a tremendous technical challenge to insulate subsea pipelines. Our customers prefer our solution because the Compression Pack is a fully-integrated, cost-effective system that is easy to install and offers superior insulation performance."

Cabot Aerogel will deliver the Compression Packs to Technip's spoolbases in Orkanger, Norway, and Evanton, Scotland for installation. Once insulated, the flowlines will be installed by Technip's Apache ll vessel in the reel-lay method, unspooling the long vertical pipes in one continuous length in water depths from 85 m to 380 m.

These four projects continue the subsea pipe-in-pipe collaboration between Cabot and Technip which began with the 2009 award of the BP Galapagos Area Development project in the Gulf of Mexico. The Devenick project is also significant as it is the third BP pipeline to be insulated with Cabot's aerogel Compression Packs, joining Block 31NE offshore Angola, and the Galapagos project.

Innovation First - Electrical Heat Trace Pipe-in-Pipe Application

Cabot's collaboration with Technip on the Islay project represents a first in subsea pipe-in-pipe systems. It's the first time an EHT-PiP application will incorporate aerogel insulation. The technology takes the form of electrical heat tracing cables that run in physical contact along the length of the pipe between the outer wall of the flowline and the insulation. The unique expanding nature of the Compression Pack allows the aerogel insulation to expand around the heat tracing cables, filling any gaps in a single layer, in contrast with traditional multi-layered insulation systems.

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