Innovative Steel-Reinforced Pipeline Enables Caspian Sea Operator to Boost Production by 50%
A major oil and gas producer operating in the Caspian Sea wanted to increase oil production through the redevelopment of its shallow-water fields in the area. The plan to redevelop these fields required the costly replacement of a number of .62-mi (1-km) steel injection lines that had been taken out of service as a result of corrosion-related damage. The producer was required to conduct integrity management programs for a network of more than 100 lines. In addition, the steel pipe’s lack of durability and the resulting line failures had reduced production capacity and led to expensive repairs. For these reasons, the producer wanted a more reliable and cost-effective pipeline solution.
FlexSteel recommended replacing the existing system using its 6-inch line pipe and stainless steel flanged fittings. This solution offered a reliable pipeline system with the durability to endure the highly corrosive application. To minimize project construction time, FlexSteel developed a highly efficient installation plan: specified lengths of FlexSteel 6-inch line pipe would be connected onshore to form complete .62-mile (1-km) injection lines. The completed lines would then be towed offshore using a standard workboat. This approach enabled the company to eliminate the need to make any midline connections at the job site. In addition, FlexSteel pipe’s design would eliminate the construction of complex subsurface anchoring systems used for shallow water applications. FlexSteel also arranged to have its technicians work with and train the producer’s installation crew to ensure installations and connections would meet project requirements.
FlexSteel installed a total of 53.15 mi (85.53 km) of its pipe to replace the failing steel lines in the producer’s shallow water oil and gas fields. FlexSteel’s vessel usage costs were substantially lower than they would be for the costly and complex pipe-laying marine spreads that are used to lay conventional steel pipe. Since installing FlexSteel pipe, the producer’s water injection lines have operated at full-capacity without corrosion-related issues. This increase in pipeline reliability has resulted in a production boost from the two fields of more than 50% after only two years.