SOURCE: Kennon Products, Inc.

Kennon Covers

January 19, 2010 11:00 ET

Kennon's Mouse-Resistant Insulated Covers Keep Pipes From Freezing

SHERIDAN, WY--(Marketwire - January 19, 2010) - In the Wyoming coal-bed methane field, mice chew through fabric wellhead covers and build nests close to the warm pipes. The mice nests attract rattlesnakes, a potentially serious problem for the workmen who check the wells daily.

Gas is collected by pumping water out of the coal seam, relieving pressure and allowing gas to surface. One way to keep surface pipes from freezing is to wrap heat tape around the pipes and cover with an insulated blanket.

Kennon Products of Sheridan, Wyoming, builds insulated aircraft engine blankets. How did they go about solving this problem? Kelly Brennan, PhD describes his "field tests" in search of a solution. "We sewed peanut butter cups inside pouches made from common flexible covering materials and set them out in a hayfield. Mice quickly chewed through them to their reward. We then made a pouch with material that has a coating of hardened guard plates, and it stopped them."

More than a hundred of Kennon's Mouse-resistant Wellhead Covers have been in the gas fields for over a year, providing insulation, and leaving mice homeless.

Fiberglass huts or wellhead covers are also used to insulate pipes. Mice, skunks, porcupines and snakes find the dark, warm, shelters a safe-haven from the blistering Wyoming wind and cold. Huts also trap methane gas, which is a potential safety hazard.

Huts are falling out of favor for use on federal lands. Eagles perch upon the fiberglass to hunt rodents, and it has been changing their nesting patterns as they move to where there is easy prey.

Kennon's Mouse-resistant Wellhead Covers are lower than the huts and blend into the landscape. The company is working on camouflage colors to make wellheads less noticeable.

Kennon's covers install in less than 30 minutes and sell for a fraction of the cost of what a hut costs to purchase and install.

What's next? Mining water is used for the extraction of uranium, salt, and secondary recovery of crude petroleum. The company expects to insulate water pipes and face new challenges for years to come.

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