Success Story

FlexSteel Quickly Installs Corrosion Resistant Production Pipelines for a Major Producer in the Shallow Waters of the Caspian Sea

FlexSteel's pipeline solution has helped the customer increase their production levels in the Caspian region by more than 50% in less than two years

The Challenge

A major producer of oil and gas operating in the highly challenging Caspian Sea region has concentrated efforts on re-developing an area covering 950 square kilometers comprised of two oil and gas fields, which are approximately 40 km offshore. These efforts have proven to be quite difficult. Since 2001, the producer’s efforts to re-develop both fields have involved an aggressive workover program on existing wells and a new multi-well drilling program. In the past, concrete-coated steel pipe has been used in these shallow water areas but the lines have presented operators with many problems. These steel pipelines are corrosive and are time consuming and expensive to install. In addition, throughout their life cycle, they require costly integrity management programs. After many failures from steel and fiber reinforced polyethylene pipe, the operator needed a more durable pipe that could withstand the high operating pressures and the rough environment brought on by the Caspian Sea.

The Solution

The company reached out to FlexSteel because their flexible pipe uniquely offers a steel core, which will not weaken when wet and is quick and easy to install. FlexSteel’s product, which can be laid directly in extreme offshore terrain, was just the solution they were looking for. Using FlexSteel’s corrosion resistant pipe and stainless steel flanged fittings for connections, the company connected approximately 1km of FlexSteel pipe onshore at a time. They then were able to tow the 1km pieces of pipe out to the installation site without the need to make offshore connections, which dramatically reduced their installation costs and the time it took to bring production from the wells online. FlexSteel technicians worked with the customer’s technicians to ensure proper installation and connections were made. After training the customer’s field service technicians onsite and overseeing the project’s initial execution for one month, FlexSteel was able to turn over the installation responsibility completely to the customer.

The Results

The customer realized significant savings on the installation by connecting the 1 km lengths of FlexSteel pipe onshore (with less than 2 connections per kilometer) and then towing the pipe to the location with a standard workboat versus expensive and complex pipe-laying marine spreads. FlexSteel was able to deliver a unique solution that allowed the customer to install over 60km of pipe easily and efficiently achieving the operational status they were targeting for their oil and gas fields. Since installing FlexSteel pipe, the operator has increased production by more than 50% in just two years. The durable and corrosion resistant nature of FlexSteel’s pipe made it the perfect solution for installation in the harsh environment of the Caspian Sea, delivering peace of mind for the operational life of the fields.