Secure Extraction of Natural Resources

ContiTech Supplies High-Tech Transport Hose Technology

June 2014The need for high-tech equipment for the transport of natural resources from the depths of the sea is increasing every year. ContiTech has developed a high-tech hose system for this purpose. It can be used to reliably transport up to two million tonnes of rock in just 18 months' time. ContiTech also supplies LNG hoses for a booming natural gas market.

The need for reliable high-tech equipment for the transport of precious natural resources from the depths of the sea is increasing every year. ContiTech has developed a high-tech hose system for this purpose. It can be used to reliably transport up to two million tonnes of rock in just 18 months' time. ContiTech also profits from the booming liquid natural gas (LNG) market: In cooperation with Bluewater Energy Services B.V. of the Netherlands, the company has developed an innovative LNG hose made from advanced plastic and metal. ContiTech also supplies special hoses for the Oil Spill Emergency Response Project. The project was set up following the events on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform to isolate oil spills more quickly. "Our comprehensive material and process expertise help us in every aspect here. We apply our skills not only to the mass market, but also for opening up technically demanding and economically interesting niche markets", says Matthias Schönberg, head of the ContiTech Industrial Fluid Systems business unit.

Oil Spill Emergency Response

Industrial Fluid Systems Oil & Gas segment has already been fulfilling the relevant standards of the American Petroleum Institute (API) for many years now. Companies in the oil industry worldwide focus on this seal of approval for safety and quality when selecting business partners for their challenging projects. In the wake of incidents surrounding the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, the issues of safety and technological expertise have taken on completely new dimensions. With high-tech developments, Industrial Fluid Systems makes a major contribution to protecting human life and the environment. Shell partnered with other oil majors have developed an oil spill emergency response, a global incident and response management system. A huge amount of money was invested in the establishment of a system that can be used to close uncontrolled drilling holes on the high seas within a very short space of time. "We were involved in this preventive project and commissioned to supply the necessary special hoses. Enjoying this level of trust clearly signals to us the importance of further expanding our market leadership," emphasizes Matthias Schönberg.

Subsea mining: new development for extracting raw materials on the seabed

ContiTech has developed a combination of two high-tech hose systems to gently extract precious resources such as gold, silver, platinum, diamonds, manganese, cobalt, ore, and nickel from the ocean floor at depths of up to 2500 meters. This innovation has to deal with extreme pressures at the seabed as well as with powerful currents that forcefully move the elements. The new development consists of a specially designed high-pressure riser on the deep-sea caterpillar tool which is connected by a fitting to a supply hose around 155 meters above the seabed. Developing the perfect connector piece between the different hose designs was a particular challenge. The extracted sharp-edged pieces of rock are temporarily stored in two flexible supply hoses of around 400 meters in length. This required the construction of a thick wear-resistant layer to ensure that the sediment pumped-up does not cause damage to the inside walls over a time span of 12 months. The rock gradually travels a further distance of 1,500 to 2,500 meters to reach the production support vessels. The system can be used to excavate up to 2 million tonnes of rock material in a period of only 18 months.

LNG hoses for a booming natural gas market

Experts anticipate that around 370 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas will be traded in 2015. This constitutes a remarkable 15 percent of the current global natural gas extraction volume and five times Germany's total consumption. Trade, however, is not the basis of the global natural gas boom, but rather the easy transport of the gas: The gaseous fuel is cooled to -165 °C in large-scale liquefaction plants until it liquefies and thus massively decreases in volume. One cubic meter of natural gas in a liquid form, referred to as "liquefied natural gas" (LNG), has a mere volume of barely 1.7 liters. This makes it possible to transport large volumes of natural gas around the world on special ships equipped with insulated gas tanks. The process is reversed upon arrival at the destination and the natural gas is allowed to circulate in its natural state. This frequently bypasses the expensive and technically demanding transport of natural gas by means of pipelines on the seabed.

The conventional process for transferring liquefied natural gas (LNG) from large ships to the smaller shuttle tankers for further transport was previously achieved using side-by-side transfer. This requires calm seas, for one thing, and a maximum hose diameter of no more than eight inches, for another. As a result, loading takes approximately 24 hours. In cooperation with Bluewater Energy Services B.V. of the Netherlands, ContiTech has developed an innovative LNG hose made from advanced plastic and metal. More than 70 layers of various materials are processed to create a unique composite body for the hose. This is reinforced by spiral-shaped metal framework inside and outside to ensure the stability of the structure, which withstands pressure of up to 20 bar in addition to extremely low temperatures.

The ContiTech hoses enable a faster flow rate because the diameter has been doubled to 40 centimeters and the transfer is made by tandem loading. In this process, two shuttle tankers are now positioned at a distance of up to 100 meters from the bow of the processing ship instead of alongside the ship at a distance of 3 meters. There is a special loading device for this. The LNG hoses are reeled off this loading device and can be connected to the floating liquefaction plant at any time. Storms on the high seas and crashing waves of up to five-and-a-half meters in height are no problem for the ContiTech innovation.

Secure Extraction of Natural Resources

ContiTech supplies hoses for media transport in all dimensions.

Secure Extraction of Natural Resources

ContiTech has developed a combination of two high-tech hose systems to gently extract resources from the ocean floor.

Secure Extraction of Natural Resources

ContiTech supplies hoses for media transport in all dimensions.

Secure Extraction of Natural Resources

It is possible to transport large volumes of natural gas in a liquid form, referred to as "liquefied natural gas" (LNG), around the world on special ships equipped with insulated gas tanks.

Secure Extraction of Natural Resources

The ContiTech LNG hoses withstand not only extremely low temperatures but pressures of up to 20 bar as well.