Maersk Oil is an international oil and gas company with operational production of approximately 700,000 barrels of oil per day from fields in the Danish Sea, North Sea and offshore Qatar and Kazakhstan. The Gryphon A FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading vessel) operates 280 km (175 miles) north-east of Aberdeen.

The vessel is 260m (853ft) long and 41m (134ft) wide. It is capable of storing 540,000 barrels of oil. The water depth around its position is 112m (367ft).The FPSO vessel was docked at Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam for repairs after suffering damage during a storm in the North Sea.

Insulation requirements
The first priority for insulation for offshore applications is that it must be impermeable to moisture and water vapour to prevent corrosion under insulation (CUI). Protecting equipment and vessels with the right insulation is critical in these types of applications because of the harsh weather conditions in the North Sea oil and gas fields. The second priority was the need for an insulation system suitable for service temperatures up to 80°C (176°F).

FOAMGLAS® insulation solution
The entire Gryphon A project was insulated with the FOAMGLAS® factory-applied TerostatPC® FR coating and sealant system. One of the key benefits of FOAMGLAS® insulation is its 100% closed cell structure, which means that it is impervious to water and condensing water vapour. This, combined with the excellent lambda value and the ability to withstand temperatures between -260 °C to 430°C (-436°Fto 806°F) made it ideal for this type of application.

Terostat-PC® FR is a factory-applied polymer vapour retarder and weather barrier. Pre-application of Terostat-PC® FR to FOAMGLAS® Insulation system is performed at the factory, which minimises onsite application time and provides full weather protection as soon as the FOAMGLAS® Insulation is applied. Its properties include high elasticity, extreme durability, UV and moisture resistance, and excellent bonding to glass. Terostat-PC® FR, which is also used as a sealant, can withstand continuous contact temperatures from -50°C to100°C (-58°F to 212°F).

Pittsburgh Corning technical support
Because the Gryphon A FPSO will be subjected to harsh weather conditions, it was vital that the insulation be applied to exact specifications. This, combined with an extremely tight schedule meant that the contractor requested training support. Prior to the start of the project, Pittsburgh Corning organised project-specific training for a team of 30 insulators from De Alblas BV. The specialised training took place in the Pittsburgh Corning training centre, which is located at the European Headquarters in Belgium.

Execution and relevance
Over 4,000m² of FOAMGLAS® insulation was installed on the Gryphon AFPSO vessel systems. The installation comprised of insulated pipes ranging in diameters of 0.5in (21.3mm) to 16in (406.4mm), 20m (65ft) long vessels in diameters of 3.5-4.5m (138in to 177in), exchangers and a variety of equipment and fittings. All elements had a factory-applied Terostat-PC®FR coating and were sealed with the same polymer, so that the coating and the sealed joints became continuous.

Equipped with the FOAMGLAS® Insulation Terostat® system, the Gryphon A is now ready to restart production protected by a combination of superior insulation and coatings to guard against extreme conditions.