Success Story

FlexSteel Delivers 50% Savings to Penn Virginia On Pipeline in Extreme Marcellus Terrain

FlexSteel is faster and more economical to install than steel pipeline and the only flexible pipe with the durability to deliver reliable performance when installed directly in rough terrain

The Challenge

Limited rights of way and frequent elevation changes of 500 – 1,000 feet made the installation of steel pipelines difficult, time-consuming and costly in the extreme terrain at Penn Virginia’s Maple Gas Transfer Project. The company was seeking a cost-effective solution for a new 35,000 foot, six-inch pipeline located deep in the Appalachian Mountains near Beckley, West Virginia. For maximum performance and value, the project would require the installation advantages of flexible pipe plus the durability to withstand the area’s harsh terrain without the need for bedding materials or special handling.

The Solution

Penn Virginia recognized that FlexSteel's innovative and durable design make it the ideal choice for direct installation in rough terrain. With an un-bonded structure of high-density polyethylene and steel, FlexSteel offers superior internal pressure and axial tension capacity. Yet it is quick and easy to install by simply unspooling pipe from reels directly into the trench, even in the harshest terrain. The Maple Gas Transfer project utilized more than 30 reels, containing approximately 1,100 feet each, of six-inch, 750 psi FlexSteel pipe joined by midline connections. Swaged onto each segment to form a compression fit, the connections provide exceptional sealing of internal pressure, withstand the pipeline’s full tension capacity and allow internal venting that eliminates OD clearance issues and prevents moisture penetration.

The Results

Working hand-in-hand, Penn Virginia, its contractor, Ultra Pipeline Construction, and FlexSteel’s field service crew conquered daunting terrain and unfavorable January weather to successfully complete the installation on time and under budget.  The following milestones were achieved: • Mid-winter installation of 35,000 feet of six-inch, 750 psi FlexSteel completed in three weeks • Savings of 50% on time and money compared to similar steel pipe installation the previous summer • Project required minimal contractor specialty equipment • Two-man, end-fitting and midline connection crew installed 30 midlines on one continuous line