Posted in | Nanobusiness

Deep Sea Gas Pipeline to be Insulated by Nanotechnology Enabled Aerogel Insulation

Aspen Aerogels has been awarded a contract to supply its advanced Spaceloft aerogel insulation for a 21-kilometer, undersea natural gas pipeline being built by Technip for Petrobras in Brazil.

The rigid pipeline will connect the Canapu field (1,700 meters deep) to the Cidade de Vitoria floating production facility (1,400 meters deep). Technip will install the pipeline in the fourth quarter of 2008 for Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras.

This will be the first pipeline in Brazil to use a pipe-in-pipe design (production pipe surrounded by carrier pipe with insulation in between). Technip chose Spaceloft insulation because it offers the lowest thermal conductivity while being much thinner than other pipe insulations. This means the outer carrier pipe can be smaller, saving substantially on steel weight over the 21-kilometer line. Spaceloft comes in flexible blanket form, which simplifies installation. The insulation will be installed at Technip's spoolbase in Mobile, Ala.

"Aspen Aerogels' relationship with Technip has been based on delivering performance and customer satisfaction, which will continue on this exciting project," said Don Young, Aspen Aerogels president and CEO. "We look forward to growing our new relationship with Petrobras in the same way while supporting its future deep and ultra-deep pipeline insulation needs."

Aspen Aerogels has extensive experience insulating oil and gas pipelines and reservoirs operating between cryogenic temperatures (for liquefied natural gas) and 650 degrees Celsius. This includes projects in West Africa, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea and the Canadian Oil Sands. The company is finalizing new projects in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

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