Pipeline operators are renewing and repairing existing pipes and laying new pipelines to secure energy and water supplies across the world. There are also new applications upcoming including carbon dioxide sequestering. Alongside this there is intense international interest in pipeline integrity that will be discussed along with current issues and solutions at the AMI conference, Pipeline Coating 2012 in Vienna. Expert consultant Noru Tsalic of AMI will lead the event with a review of market trends.
Oil, gas and water are being transported under very hostile conditions including extremes of temperature and pressure from subsea to deserts and arctic environments. The steel pipelines carrying these materials have to be protected from both the exterior and from interior corrosive factors in the fluid that is being transported. This is carried out using techniques such as cathodic protection and polymeric coatings. For example, DuPont has engineered internal coatings for downhole production tubes. Adhesion of coatings is vital: Dow Coating Materials has novel technology to improve coating with fusion-bonded epoxy (FBE).
Quality control is critical in this industry and there are case studies from leading companies. Gazprom Vniigaz is studying the standards of pipe coating in the northern sections of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline and the Safa Rolling and Pipe Mills company has been comparing testing protocols for cathodic disbondment. In the operating area, Statoil has been examining the temperature performance of polyurethane field joints. For subsea insulation, Total Exploration and Production is looking for wet thermal insulation coatings and suitable qualification methods. This is also an area of interest to Trelleborg Offshore, which supplies custom coating thermal insulation systems. Exova is in the business of testing coatings including subsea performance.
In the Middle East, Borouge has been assisting in applying a 3-layer polyethylene coating to protect the mega Ras al Zour to Riyadh water pipeline. Across the world in Malaysia Petronas has worked on the development of a toughened 3-layer PP coating system and the leading Indian company, Welspun, has studied the advantages of a PE coating and epoxy compared to cement. For rehabilitation in the field, Kleiss has a viscoelastic material and Trenton has methods to help prevent corrosion in carrier pipes.
Field joint coating systems are critical to integrity and it can be hard to attain the factory applied levels of sealing. The Nederlandse Gasunie has innovations in field coating for the new Dutch gas pipelines, while CANUSA has a novel automated system to control field applied coating. In Finland, Gazprom has been using a new field joint coating system developed by KWH Pipe Technology on the Mantsala-Situntio natural gas pipeline. In a development with Total, Ifremer has tested a new polymer for deep sea field joint coatings. In addition, Berry Plastics has studied the requirements for field joints for 3-layer PP coated pipes.
Pipe coating system suppliers have been examining the needs of the industry and Bredero Shaw has produced new equipment for mobile pipeline coating. Pipeline operators are looking for more robust, durable protection and the latest research on this subject including new pipe coating materials will be presented at Pipeline Coating 2012.