Thermal Insulation of Tubing in the Petroleum Industry

Mehdi Kasbi

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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Heat losses are a major problem in the petroleum industry. Especially in the upstream business, it can cause temperature reduction resulting in asphaltene and paraffin precipitation as well as loss in production. Insulating the tubing can be a solution to preserve the energy and to decrease the heat losses along the wellbore. In this study, tubing insulation was evaluated using different materials, which are polypropylene foam, calcium silicate, mineral wool, polyurethane foam, fiberglass, microporous silica, and aerogel. The insulation was tested inside and outside the production tubing in order to select the best option. Moreover, the thickness of the insulation material was varied for both internal and external case to see its effect on the heat losses preservation and to pick its optimum value. The different scenarios were simulated in PIPESIM Schlumberger software where the effect of insulation on the production rate, the temperature profile and the pressure losses of the well were studied. Furthermore, three different models of oils were used in the simulation, which are light oil (36°API), medium oil (26°API) and heavy oil (16° API). The obtained results have shown that using insulating materials helped on reducing the heat losses and pressure losses along the wellbore as well as increasing the production rate. The aerogel material has given the best results in comparison to the other insulation materials. In addition, internal insulation of tubing has produced better results than external insulation case. Furthermore, it was found that increasing the insulation thickness enhances the productivity of the well and decreases the temperature losses. The heavy oil scenario was the most influenced one by insulation in comparison to medium and light oil scenarios.
Translated title of the contributionThermische Isolierung von Steigrohren in der Erdölindustrie
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Montanuniversität
  • Fruhwirth, Rudolf, Co-Supervisor (internal)
  • Hofstätter, Herbert, Supervisor (internal)
Award date29 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

embargoed until null


  • heat losses
  • tubing
  • internal insulation
  • external insulation
  • production rate
  • temperature profile
  • aerogel
  • polyurethane
  • polypropylene
  • light oil
  • medium oil
  • heavy oil

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