Success Story


Steel-Reinforced Pipe Enables Crucial Bakken Pipeline Installation in Extreme Weather

The Challenge

The Bakken oil field has been on the rise as a hot shale play since 2007, when technology made it economically feasible to extract oil from this reserve. While the Bakken region has great potential, with over 18 billion bbl of recoverable oil, the region presents many operational challenges, including extreme weather and rugged terrain. As oil production in the Bakken oil field increased in 2008, a large pipeline operator wanted to tap into the shale, initially with 35 wells and possibly with another 200 wells over time. To keep the project on schedule, the operator needed to expedite the installation of several 4-inch, 1000-psi (70 bar) lateral pipelines before winter conditions deteriorated.

The Solution

Recognizing that FlexSteel line pipe could be efficiently installed over difficult terrain in harsh winter weather conditions, the operator selected FlexSteel 4-inch, 1,000-psi spoolable line pipe. The pipe’s unique design would enable the operator to eliminate the cost and time associated with special bedding materials typically required for installation in rugged terrain. FlexSteel pipe’s anti-corrosive properties would also minimize maintenance costs for the lateral lines and extend their service life.

The Result

Because continuous lengths of FlexSteel pipe were pulled with fewer connections than a conventional steel pipeline, the operator’s lateral lines project was completed before harsh weather conditions worsened and caused delays. When compared with the installation time for conventional steel pipelines, the FlexSteel pipe was installed 60% faster. To date, the pipeline operator has installed over 52 miles of FlexSteel pipe in the Bakken region.