Success Story


FlexSteel Enables Cinco Natural Resources to Rehabilitate Aging Pipelines in Environmentally Sensitive Area

The Challenge

With three aging and/or decommissioned lines running beneath the protected waters of the Corpus Christi, Texas, Ship Channel, Cinco Natural Resources needed an economic pipeline rehabilitation solution to meet the strict standards of state and federal regulatory agencies. To avoid the time and expense of constructing a new pipeline a substantial distance away, the company sought to pull a spoolable pipeline through the existing 12-inch steel pipeline running beneath the ship channel. The 12-inch pipeline to be rehabilitated would connect a well to a tank farm from more than four miles away. As in all pipeline rehabilitations, unknown factors and obstructions inside the carrier pipe posed a major potential complication that could jeopardize the project. In addition, this project needed special permits and would be completed under the watchful eye of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC).

The Solution

Cinco Natural Resources recognized FlexSteel as the only solution with the strength to rehabilitate the damaged 12-inch line. Working from a barge loaded with multiple reels of FlexSteel 6-Inch, 1,000 psi (70 bar) line pipe, Cinco Natural Resources’ construction crew and FlexSteel certified technicians prepared the pipe for the underwater pull. To check for unknown obstacles within the carrier pipe, FlexSteel rehabilitation specialists developed a custom “proving pig” that mimicked the dimensions of midline connections, enabling verification of the pipeline bore before the actual pull. The midline connections, which were connected onshore and on the barge, and the pipe were monitored during the pull to ensure the systems tension would remain within safe limits.

The Result

Working miles apart at the onshore and offshore ends of the pull, Cinco Natural Resources and FlexSteel completed a landmark project to restore the pipeline with minimal environmental impact, to restore the pipeline. The FlexSteel pipeline system was one of the only solutions that could rehabilitate the aging pipeline in this environmentally sensitive area. Because of this project, the operator was able to significantly reduce the time and cost to restore the 12-inch steel pipeline.