Demonstration Validates Field Joint Coating Process

March 2013, Vol. 240, No. 3

Dow Oil, Gas & Mining and Pipeline Induction Heat Ltd (PIH) (part of the CRC Evans group of companies) report a simple and robust field joint coating process for DOW NEPTUNE™ F Advanced Subsea Flow Assurance Insulation.

PIH demonstrated the field joint coating process at full production scale on 8-inch line pipe coated with NEPTUNE P Flow Assurance Insulation at its facilities in Burnley, UK in January. The robust, reproducible process resulted in high-quality field joints, in line with PIH and Dow Oil, Gas & Mining expectations, the company said.

“PIH and Dow have a long history of collaborating to bring innovation to offshore oil and gas production,” said Tony Pontefract, director of Business Development, PIH. “Through our collaboration on NEPTUNE F Insulation, we now have the ability to offer customers a simpler, reproducible field joint coating process, competitive cycle time, high mobility and a compact equipment footprint, facilitating an end-to-end flow assurance system that performs at both high and low temperature extremes.”

With components designed for use together as line pipe, field joints and subsea architecture coatings, the complete NEPTUNE Advanced Subsea Flow Assurance Insulation System protects assets from wellhead to delivery point, and offers the widest end-to-end installation and operating temperature range of any wet insulation system on the market, according to the company’s news release. It possesses excellent physical properties, remaining highly flexible down to -40°C (-40°F) and retaining excellent thermal stability for service temperatures of at least 160°C (320°F), the company added. 

The system was developed by Dow in cooperation with leading industry coating applicators, including PIH, which specializes in polyurethane field joint coating for the subsea oil and gas industry.

“Dow has a long track record in offshore flow assurance insulation with HYPERLAST™ Offshore Systems, so we knew that field joint coating would be critical to delivering an end-to-end concept,” said Alexander Lane, global business leader for Oil & Gas Transmission.

“Working with PIH on the development of NEPTUNE™ F Insulation for field joint coating created a match of material science and application expertise that was instrumental in bringing forward a technology that would raise performance while maintaining application efficiency and reliability,” he said.

The insulation product was developed at Dow laboratories in Freeport, TX and at new PIH R&D facilities in Burnley, UK where PIH has invested in state-of-the art equipment to support the new technology offering.

Featuring what is described as a a single, robust and easy-to-apply homogenous layer of proprietary insulation over a proprietary fusion bonded epoxy, the system for line pipe and field joint coating together eliminates the need for multiple and adhesive tie layers, contributes to a thinner coating profile and maintains a consistent low K-factor from tree to line pipe to field joint, thus reducing the potential risks associated with bonding dissimilar and potentially incompatible materials.

“We’re very pleased to have been involved in the development of NEPTUNE F Insulation from the start,” said Pontefract. “We are very comfortable with the resulting field joint coating process and our ability to deliver it to our customers in the field, which is PIH’s historic strength.”