Continued development of the oilsands in the Fort McMurray area of Alberta lead to a need for the MacKay River Pipeline. This heavy oil pipeline provides long-term, cost-effective transportation for production from the MacKay River area. The pipeline is designed to transport bitumen with little or no dilution (dry bitumen). In order to operate without diluent, the bitumen must be heated. Heat must be retained using a continuous layer of insulation, which ensures that viscosity remains low. The high operating temperature and the environment, through which the pipeline passes, were major challenges encountered during the design and construction phases. This paper focuses on the design, selection criteria, and testing of the coating system and discusses the important aspects of construction.

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