Oil country tubular goods (OCTG) account for one of the major CAPEX spends of an energy company prior to drilling a well. In some of the more demanding fields where high temperatures and high concentrations of H2S and/or CO2 are present, operators will often have to utilize corrosion-resistant alloy (CRA) OCTG such as Duplex, Austenitic, and Nickel-based alloys. These materials are a reliable solution for long-term well integrity in corrosive environments, however, do come at a significant price premium to the more commonly utilized carbon alloy OCTG. When CRA OCTG is required for an application, it is important to prevent damage and ensure the material integrity remains intact. CRA pipe handling and storage requires a protection protocol to prevent contamination from other materials when stored, handled, and transported. Improper handling and storage could result in expensive and extensive repairs, as well as cost-eating rig downtime.
The most common type of damage to CRA OCTG is seen in the form of rust. Rust forms as a result of contamination of these alloys with other non-corrosion-resistant materials or corrosive substances. Special care is taken to avoid contact such as that with contaminated metal inspection tables, metal forks, chains, and cables. The following two types of rust can form as a result of contamination:
Superficial Rust: Superficial rust is iron oxide deposited on, not bonded to or below, the surface of the pipe. It does not compromise the corrosion resistance and has no negative impact on CRA materials.
Embedded Rust: Embedded rust lies below the original surface of the pipe and is caused by contact with a material that is not corrosion-resistant, such as chains, nails, stakes, and metal forks. Embedded rust should be remedied and remediated.
To prevent damage to CRA OCTG pipe it is important to adhere to proper handling and storage protocols such as those outlined below by PipeSearch facilitator, Corrosion Resistant Alloys.
CRA Pipe Protection Protocol
It is recommended to follow a protection protocol in order to best prevent damage to cra material. This includes:
Metal on Metal Solutions
Preventing metal-to-metal contact for CRA manufactured material is required and applicable post pickle operations and for all GROUP 2, 3, and 4 alloys. To avoid contamination, the use of chains, cables, or metal tools should not contact the material. It’s recommended to use spreader bars with fabric slings and plastic or nylon bumper rings to prevent contact. As with forks and exposed metal lift frames, vertical surfaces shall be covered with plastic or fork sleeves are recommended.
Work surfaces should be maintained and free of sharp edges to eliminate the possibility of gouging or damaging material.
Liquids, Fluids, and Moisture
Any fluids or other substances that may be corrosive need to be removed from the material first, before further handling or release. Moisture can get trapped in plastic wrap or dirt and other foreign substances on the material. This needs to be removed to prevent corrosion.
CRA material should not be stored on steel, in dirt, or on concrete surfaces. Duplex, Austenitic, and Nickel-based alloys may be stored in direct contact with wood. For long-term storage of martensitic alloys, plastic shall be used to prevent contact with wood. Always check for protruding nails and other embedded iron that must be removed.
Bolsters with only plastic contact surfaces are permitted for storage and shipment without limitation. Other types must be individually evaluated.
During storage, all casing and production tubes should have a minimum of two plastic or nylon bumper rings applied to isolate each tube/joint.
Avoid metal-to-metal contact during material movement by utilizing fork sleeves or padded forks on forklifts. The use of metal chains should be prohibited. During the transportation of casing and production tube, all joints less than 34’ should have a minimum of two rings staggered and joints 34’ and longer a minimum of three rings staggered.
Best practice for loading material onto trucks for transport includes the use of padded pipe stakes; material loaded no higher than the height of the pipe stakes; strip stacking with wood 4 x 4’s under the first layer and in between each layer with enough pieces to prevent sagging of material between; nylon straps used to strap material done applied closest to padded pipe stakes; shortest pieces on the top layer.
PipeSearch ensures you receive a quality product with the support of our quality inspection methods and processes. Our quality assurance program, PipeFacts helps sellers increase their asset value and gives buyers confidence in our products. We measure over 200 data points through a combination of field assessments, formal inspections, and office technical reviews. We utilize API 5CRA as our baseline analysis criteria and have included other industry best practices to guide our comprehensive quality service. Explore our database for the purchase or sale of our quality CRA OCTG products and services. Please click here to view our full product guide.
The PipeSearch Platform consolidates update-to-date mill schedules, lead times, and global market inventory into the largest database of corrosion-resistant alloy tubulars in the world.
PipeFacts by PipeSearch is a multi-stage process that utilizes proprietary software to manage a sequence of QA/QC steps in the evaluation of OCTG. It is designed to bring transparency, integrity, and consistency to the evaluation of tubulars no matter the location of the pipe.
PipeFacts goes beyond standard physical inspections of material. It evaluates the specification of the original MTRs against API 5CRA or 5CT, identifies any exceptions, and sets a standard by which MTRs are reviewed and by which inspections are performed. Our PipeFacts process has been developed to give customers complete confidence in the product they are receiving.
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