Success Story

Large Pipeline Operator in the Bakken Installs FlexSteel Pipe in the Midst of Severe Winter Conditions

FlexSteel helped a customer complete pipe installation in extreme weather conditions before even harsher oncoming weather arrived

The Challenge

The Bakken oil field was founded in the 1950s, and has been on the rise as a hot shale play since 2007, when technology made it economically feasible to extract oil from this shale reserve. As oil production in the Bakken oil field increased in 2008, a large pipeline operator wanted to tap into the shale with 35 wells and potentially adding an additional 200 wells over time. While the Bakken region showed promise; with over 18 billion barrels of recoverable oil lying in wait, the region posed many difficulties as it still does today. For this particular project, extreme weather and the geological composition of the formation presented the most significant challenges. The pipeline operator needed pipe for lateral lines that could be efficiently installed in harsh winter weather conditions, ultimately beating the extreme weather rapidly approaching.

The Solution

Recognizing that FlexSteel pipe provides superior performance with cyclic operating pressures, and that it is quick, easy and cost efficient to install, the operator selected FlexSteel’s uniquely designed 4”, 1000 psi spoolable pipe in lieu of traditional steel line pipe for the project. With harsh weather conditions already present, expected to only get worse in the near future, the installation needed to be performed before the end of December. Using FlexSteel pipe, which has proven to be installed up to 5 times faster than traditional line pipe, enabled the operator to efficiently lay the required lengths of pipe in time.

The Results

Because FlexSteel pipe can be pulled in continuous lengths, connections are only required every 2500 ft; versus connections every 40 feet required with conventional steel, the operator was able to quickly install and connect FlexSteel pipe before the harshest weather conditions arrived. The operator also saved money because special bedding materials and connection welding were not required for the installation, as FlexSteel’s pipe can be directly installed in extreme terrain without special handling and connected using FlexSteel’s midline connections. Life-time maintenance costs in the field were also minimized, since FlexSteel’s anti-corrosive properties deliver proven performance in challenging cyclic environments. Today, the pipeline operator has installed over 52 miles of FlexSteel pipe in the Bakken region.