Success Story

A Major Oil & Gas Exploration Company in Canada’s Montney Shale Play Selects FlexSteel as their Pipeline of Choice for a New Water Hub System

Faced with increased regulatory requirements and the rising cost of hauling water, a client turned to FlexSteel for a cost-effective solution to transport water to multiple drill sites in the region


The Challenge

As a result of shifting to multi-well pad drilling, a large Canadian oil & gas producer began to see a dramatic increase in water consumption from longer drills and larger fracs. Consequentially, water hauling costs rose sharply and the local provincial government increased environmental regulatory requirements aimed at reducing fresh water consumption. To manage costs and remain compliant with regulations, the company decided to build a water hub system to transport water from massive retention ponds.  To do this, they needed a pipeline technology that could transport highly corrosive produced fracing water, but that was also versatile enough to handle the transportation of natural gas in future operations.  Because of the corrosive operating environment, the company also needed a solution that could help mitigate the high costs associated with lifetime maintenance programs.

The Solution

While considering steel pipeline alternatives, the client identified FlexSteel’s 6-inch diameter pipe as the perfect solution for the project because it offered several distinct advantages.  First, FlexSteel could dramatically reduce installation times and costs; requiring less equipment, personnel, and connections than jointed steel.  Second, a steel pipeline would have required a liner to be able to transport the corrosive fracing fluids.  This would have involved coordinating the schedules of multiple contractors, all within critical project timeline windows.  FlexSteel comes equipped with a highly durable polyethylene liner and external shield specifically designed to withstand corrosive operating environments, significantly reducing lifetime maintenance costs of the pipe.  Also, FlexSteel can easily be used for multiple applications over time, allowing the client to transport both produced water and natural gas.  Finally, FlexSteel’s environmentally responsible design captures permeated gas and channels it through the pipe’s annulus.  Lined steel pipe alternatives would have required a venting program for gas trapped between its layers.

The Results

FlexSteel rapidly installed over 1,300 meters of pipe and 10 fittings with minimal crew, helping to quickly bring water hub system online – a factor critical to the success of the project.  The client concluded that FlexSteel is faster to install than lined steel pipe, resulting in an overall lower total cost of ownership.  As a direct result of the project, they are in the process of installing more than 8,800 meters of FlexSteel’s 8-inch product, which will deliver a 125% increase in flow capacity compared to the 6-inch lines.