BOSTON and HOUSTON -- Pipeline Technique (PTL) and Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) have selected Cabot Aerogel's Nanogel aerogel compression pack to insulate a 39-km (24-mi) subsea pipeline in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The pipeline will be part of the Cascade-Chinook development project in Walker Ridge block, operated by Petrobras America Inc, a subsidiary of Petrobras.
The 9-in. (23-cm) in 14-in. (36-cm) pipe-in-pipe tieback will use Nanogel aerogel insulation in a J-lay application. The flowlines will be fabricated by PTL in its Mobile, Alabama, yard and installed by HMC's DVCBalder vessel in water depths ranging from 2,440 to 2,680 m (8,000 to 8,800 ft). The Balder features a J-lay tower with a hoisting capacity of 1,050 metric tons (1,157 tons) that can handle up to six 40-ft (12-m) pipe joints at a time.
The Nanogel aerogel compression packs that will insulate the Chinook project pipe-in-pipe system consist of packs of compressed Nanogel with an integrated protective outer layer to provide durability and consistency of form. The packs are applied to sections of inner pipe, and then expanded to their final forms prior to insertion of the insulated inner pipes into outer pipes.