ABERDEEN, UK – Crondall Energy’s flow assurance team is leading a new study of pipeline internal coatings, in partnership with Heriot-Watt University, The Oil & Gas Technology Centre, and The Oil & Gas Innovation Centre.
One of the aims is to deliver improvements that could lower the cost of offshore marginal field developments and help maximize economic recovery of small hydrocarbon accumulations.
Initially Crondall plans to combine published data with specialist knowledge to devise computational models of polymeric coating behavior, for evaluation in a subsequent experimental phase when the focus will be on correlating wax deposition behavior with coating surface parameters and flow characteristics.
The experiments will employ in-situ monitoring of the coatings under operating conditions. The project’s final phase will determine potential alternative polymer materials for improved internal coatings.
Crondall Energy subsea director Murray Anderson said although commercially acceptable pipeline internal coatings are available and used for prevention of deposit build-up, in addition to corrosion prevention, their behavior in oil and gas pipelines in harsh conditions is not well understood. So, there is insufficient knowledge of their performance at operating conditions.
“Internal pipeline coatings offer significant opportunities for the development of small pools in potentially eliminating the need for the major elements of conventional flow assurance solutions, including chemical, heat, and insulation requirements,” he continued.
“However, there is currently no significant experimental evidence that allows a robust estimate of how a coated system might perform under oil and gas pipeline operating conditions.”