Insulation is commonly applied to offshore pipelines to ensure the flow of hydrocarbons at elevated temperatures. The thermal properties of the insulation can be readily modeled; however, the performance of the insulation needs to be verified under conditions similar to those encountered in deepwater service. Autoclave testing of individual materials can be conducted but this is not representative of the conditions that the materials see in service. The insulation is typically present in layers, and not every layer is exposed to the same environment. Simulated service testing, where a full size pipe is exposed to a water pressure equivalent to that it will see in deepwater service load, is typically used to verify the performance of the insulation.

This paper presents the unique combination of a process control discipline with the data measurement capability of a new Simulated Service Vessel (SSV) to ensure accurate determination of U value for insulation systems in a deepwater environment.


During the development and qualification of insulation systems for subsea oil and gas pipelines it is important to understand and quantify the behavior of the insulation under service conditions experienced in subsea environments. ShawCor's Simulated Service Vessel (SSV) is a key part of a new state of the art facility built to do just this.

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