Cast-in-place syntactic foam used on deepwater lines, PLEM

The King field's six-mile long pipeline and PLEM (pipeline manifold) sleds, which were both coated with cast-in-place syntactic foam insulation, are now operating and expected to continue over a period of 20 years.

The King field's six-mile long pipeline and PLEM (pipeline manifold) sleds, which were both coated with cast-in-place syntactic foam insulation, are now operating and expected to continue over a period of 20 years. The flowline is part of the Shell operated King Subsea Project located in Mississippi Canyon Block 807 in the Gulf of Mexico.

Of significance for the flowline is that it is operating in 3,300 ft water depths at a temperature of 170 degrees C. Cuming Corporation coated the lines with a patented casting process, something that had not been done previously. Cuming claims that syntactic foam offers higher thermal efficiency and better resistance to hydrostatic pressure than conventional protective materials.

The insulation was applied to the pipe at Cuming's new factory in New Iberia, Louisiana. The pipe joints were assembled nearby and barged offshore for J-lay installation by McDermott's Derrick Barge 50. Cuming says it is continuing to develop syntactic foam insulation for even greater depths and higher temperatures.

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