By Liz White, UT staffNiles, Illinois-MFRI Inc. announced 23 March that its Perma-Pipe Inc. subsidiary has gained orders worth more than $21.5 million from oil and gas companies to pre-insulate sub-sea oil and gas flow lines. These products will be made at Perma-Pipe's facility in New Iberia, Louisiana. Perma-Pipe said initial orders worth $3 million for its new Auto-Therm glass syntactic polyurethane, (GSPU) product in Q3 2005 have been successfully completed. Now it has gained further orders totaling more than $18 million to apply the GSPU insulation for Gulf of Mexico subsea oil flow lines. Perma-Pipe says the Auto-Therm process "automatically applies specially formulated compounds to the exterior of steel pipes to be incorporated into oil and gas flow lines and risers connecting the sub-sea wells to their host platforms." All of these orders will be completed before the end of 2006, said Perma-Pipe, in an MFRI announcement. MRFI describes itself as "a leading manufacturer of custom-designed industrial filtration products, specialty piping systems and industrial process cooling equipment." The Auto-Therm system is designed to provide reliable insulation to flowlines subjected to large hydrostatic pressures-as experienced in deep water-over long periods of time, said the supplier. These flowlines will be installed in water depths of 2000 to 6500 ft (600m-1980 m). Perma-Pipe says that insulating the oil flow lines is common practice at these water depths: it prevents blockages from paraffin or hydrate buildup on the internal surfaces of the pipes at low temperatures and so ensures that oil flows steadily from the well.The company said it has also gained new orders totalling about $3.5 million for its polyurethane foam and polyethylene jackets for pipe-in-pipe and shallow water applications. These orders-for encased pipeline applications in the deep water of the Gulf of Mexico and for a shallow water project in West Africa-will be processed by Q3 this year, the firm said."MFRI anticipates that the requirement for insulated infield pipeline construction in the Gulf of Mexico will remain active as oil and gas producing companies tie-in sub-sea producing fields to new and existing platforms," Fati Elgendy, president of Perma-Pipe, said in the company statement. The contracts were gained via Bayou Flow Technologies llc, a joint venture between Perma-Pipe, The Bayou Companies llc and Cuming Insulation Corp. The JV was formed to market coating, insulation and fabrication of sub-sea pipelines and structures to the oil industry."