At the Arabplast Exhibition held in Dubai from January 8 – 11, 2011, Borouge, a leading provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, showed how it is contributing to the Oil and Gas Industry in the Middle East, helping them extend the lifetime of their steel pipelines by internally lining them with durable, corrosion resistant polyethylene.

Internal corrosion of steel pipelines is a major hazard to Oil and Gas companies due to the high level of environmental costs and implications of spillage of oil or contaminated water. Regular replacement of the pipelines leads to high costs for the operator. Companies such as Kuwait Oil Corporation (KOC), which is suffering from an increasing presence of hydrogen sulphide, are seeking solutions to internal corrosion. One option is to use “close-fit” internal lining of polyethylene pipes which will significantly extend the life of the original pipeline. This is equally true for flow lines and water injection lines, which could be internally protected in the same way to increase their service life.

Borouge lines up with plastic pipe producer Kuwait International Advanced Industries (KAI) and Anti-corrosion Protection Systems (APS), a specialist relining contractor based in Dubai, to seek a solution by approaching the Operations Technical Services Division of the Kuwait Oil Corporation (KOC). A ‘tough’ PE100 liner is proposed for an existing steel pipe, which although it has only been installed a relatively short time ago is already showing signs of corrosion.

The new high stress crack resistant PE100 grade from Borouge, BorSafe™ HE3490-LS-H is applied for the highest security. This material provides a much higher resistance to crack growth than standard PE100 materials. In notched pipe testing, the performance is an order of magnitude greater than the 500 hour required by the PE100 specification. Therefore, any defects or scores that are introduced during installation will not develop into cracks, which will cause premature failure of the lining.

The project will commence when a section of an existing steel water injection line is decommissioned and removed from the pipeline and this section is then pigged to remove the considerable amount of sludge and corrosion products that have accumulated in the bore of the pipe. The PE100 pipe is delivered to site and the pipe lengths butt welded together by APS and pressure tested prior to insertion. The pipe is then inserted into the steel pipe using the well known “swage-lining” close fit insertion technique. In this method the pipe is drawn through a smaller diameter die by a winch, which then pulls the pipe through the host pipe. When the winch is uncoupled, the PE pipe tries to reform to its initial diameter and forms a close fit with the bore of the steel pipe.

“The process went extremely smoothly. KOC monitored closely throughout the project and were particularly pleased with the high speed of installation.” commented by Khalfan Al Muhairi, Application Marketing Manager of Pipe Business Unit, Borouge.
“With such a successful project, KOC are now considering working together with Borouge for other new projects in order to extend the lifetime of their assets.”