Success Story


Steel-Reinforced Pipe Meets Dual Application Demands for Marcellus Shale

The Challenge

Facing a short project deadline, a large oil and gas company needed a pipeline technology that would enable the prompt installation of produced water lines to sustain its fracing program in the Marcellus Shale. The project would require a 3.22-mi (5.18-km) pipeline that could endure the corrosive effects of produced water as well as the cyclic pressures produced by erratic transmission loads and changes in elevation along the right-of-way. In addition, because the project called for the pipeline to be installed across a wildlife preserve in a mountainous area, it was imperative that the impact of pipeline installation operations on
this environmentally sensitive area be minimal. The company also wanted the flexibility to reuse the pipeline in the future for the transmission of produced gas without any loss of flow integrity.

The Solution

Initially the company considered transporting the produced water by truck, but rejected this option for two key reasons: transporting produced water by truck was not economically viable for this application, and it would greatly increase vehicular traffic through a sensitive wildlife area. After evaluating their options, the company selected FlexSteel 8-inch 1,500-psi (100 bar) line pipe. FlexSteel pipe offered the largest diameter compared to other onshore spoolable reinforced thermoplastic pipeline systems, enabling the company to deliver the large amounts of produced water needed to sustain its frac program. The pipe would also provide the company with a pipeline that endures the pulsating cyclic pressures and highly corrosive effects associated with produced water while retaining the integrity to reliably deliver produced gas for a subsequent application.

The Result

FlexSteel installed a 3.22-mi (5.18-km) pipeline and delivered a 92% reduction in connections versus the operator’s previous conventional steel pipeline install. The pipeline also enabled the company to avoid the environmental risks associated with the transportation of produced water and provided an easy-to-install solution so the project could be completed ahead of schedule. In addition, the pipe’s large internal diameter and durable design provided the company with a reliable and plentiful source of water for its fracing program. FlexSteel pipe also ensured that the company had the flexibility to use the same line for the transmission of produced gas upon completion of its fracing application.