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The thermal behavior of fluid transport pipelines must be increasingly taken into account in new field developments, to prevent production of waxes or hydrates. The deepest developments (water depth >1,500 m) are particularly sensitive to these problems, and solutions are needed for such depths. The current solutions – coated pipe, pipe-in-pipe, syntactic foam – have to be adapted to ultra-deep water, as there are limitations in terms of thermal conductivity, hydrostatic pressure and installation possibilities. Thus, more-satisfactory solutions have to be found for the different installation procedures currently in use.
In the framework of the CLAROM (club for research on offshore structures), IFREMER, on behalf of a group of companies including Stolt Offshore, Bouyges Offshore, TotalFinaElf, IFP and BV, managed a research project on the evaluation of insulation materials usable for ultra-deep pipelines (1999 – 2002).
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