Success Story


Operator Regains 42-Well Production Capacity After 24 Miles of FlexSteel Pipe is Installed in One Month

The Challenge

After steel pipelines in a well-developed shallow water area of Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo suffered corrosion-related damage, a major operator faced the prospect of causing environmental damage and a substantially reduced oil and gas transmission capacity. For these reasons, it was imperative that the 24.85-mi (40-km) network of oil and gas flowlines be made safe and serviceable without delay. The operator also wanted to eliminate several compulsory operations: frequent flowline maintenance, on-going cathodic protection, and the regular use of corrosion inhibitors.

The Solution

FlexSteel recommended its innovative Marine Grade 3-inch line pipe rated at 2,250 psi, which would guard against external corrosion caused by the offshore environment. Because FlexSteel’s Marine Grade pipe is negatively buoyant, it eliminates the complex subsurface anchoring systems associated with conventional steel pipe installations that substantially increase pipeline completion time. In addition, FlexSteel pipe can be installed more efficiently and cost-effectively than conventional steel pipe; more FlexSteel pipe can be installed in 15 days using one installation boat than conventional steel can be installed in a month by 17 boats.

The Results

The pipeline solution FlexSteel implemented enabled the operator to realize several key benefits:

  • Regained delivery capacity of approximately 6,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) and 7,000 million cubic feet per day (MMcfd) of gas.
  • Avoided a prolonged and costly steel pipeline installation in an environmentally sensitive area.
  • Replaced a 24.85-mi (40-km) subsurface pipeline network in one month with a FlexSteel pipeline system that is virtually maintenance free and substantially more corrosion resistant.