Success Story


PEMEX Production Reliability Greatly Increases After Steel-Reinforced Pipe Installation in Burgos Basin

The Challenge

While conducting an enhanced oil recovery operation in Mexico’s Burgos basin, PEMEX discovered leaks in 40 carbon-steel lines that had recently been installed for the transmission of produced water. As a result, the wells the lines were serving had to cease production. To resolve the situation, the company urgently needed a cost-effective replacement pipeline that could endure highly corrosive produced water delivered at high pressures and volumes. Beyond a substantially longer service life, PEMEX also wanted a pipeline that could be installed in harsh terrain – and they would have to operate at a level of efficiency that would minimize revenue losses from the idled wells.

The Solution

For PEMEX’s pipeline application, FlexSteel recommended its 4-inch, 2,250-psi (155 bar) spooled pipe. The steel-reinforced pipe, which has proven to reliably deliver fluids with chloride content in excess of 100,000 parts per million (ppm), would provide the company with a dependable pipeline despite the highly corrosive produced-water application. In addition to FlexSteel’s corrosion-resistant design, the pipe’s ability to maintain flow integrity without derating under cyclic loading conditions would ensure the reliability of lines, supporting the company’s enhanced oil recovery operations. FlexSteel pipe’s rugged construction would also enable safe and efficient pipeline construction in harsh terrain without the installation complexities associated with special handling, bedding, or tracing wires.

The Result

With a small crew and minimal equipment, FlexSteel installed 40 produced-water lines, totaling 18.64 mi (30 km) of pipe. When compared with constructing a carbon steel pipeline of the same length, the FlexSteel installation was far safer and more efficient. Completed in a few months, the project enabled PEMEX to regain production of the wells affected by the produced-water line failures while affording the company a substantially more reliable pipeline.