Shale basins like the Eagle Ford often present significant challenges for pipeline operators. One of them is the higher produced water temperatures associated with shale production in the region. Those temperatures often are in the 160 to 180 F range, which exceed standard polyethylene (PE) pipe temperature ratings that do not go beyond 140 F.
Higher corrosion rates in metallic pipeline environments can lead to product leaks that compromise project safety and pose environmental hazards. In addition to carrying serious consequences, these issues often decrease asset reliability and affect production output, as well as cost predictability.
Often faced with these difficult conditions, pipeline operators will install chillers employed to cool pipes carrying high-temperature liquids, as in the case of systems used to handle produced water. At times, companies employ heavy haul trucks as an alternative to transport product. But neither solution helps sustainably control operating costs or carbon emissions.
In response to these challenges, Plano, Texas–based Performance Pipe has introduced a new product to support pipeline operators with their most demanding applications. A division of Chevron Phillips Chemical, Performance Pipe has brought to market its PlatinumStripe® 1800 Series PE-RT Piping, made with highly temperature- and corrosion-resistant high-density polyethylene (HDPE).
Major oil and gas producers and midstream operators have found the new PlatinumStripe® 1800 Series PE-RT Piping addresses many of their concerns, especially tied to high-temperature pipeline operations. Those include gas and water distribution, oil and gas gathering and many industrial pipe segments.
Due to its flexibility, toughness and resistance to corrosion as well as abrasion, this HDPE pressure pipe has become central to a variety of multiphase fluid applications. In fact, the new Performance Pipe product has become a mainstay across several major U.S. shale basins, with more than 1 million feet currently in service throughout high-temperature, multiphase oil and gas gathering projects.
For instance, EVX Midstream Partners uses the product to transport produced water more sustainably from the Eagle Ford to multiple saltwater disposal (SWD) sites. Since 2019, the company has expanded its pipeline to more than 300 miles. The move makes it the region’s largest SWD pipeline network carrying produced wastewater from local shale fields.
“The installation of Performance Pipe’s PlatinumStripe® 1800 Series PE-RT Piping provides numerous benefits to safety, the environment and the local community,” says Lou Compton, Performance Pipe’s general manager. “When it comes to our work with EVX Midstream Partners, our product helps meet the water handling requirements of shale producers in an all-around safe and reliable manner, from reducing the carbon footprint associated with saltwater disposal to creating less truck traffic and related emissions.”
By using PlatinumStripe® 1800 Series PE-RT Piping, operations at EVX Midstream Partners have experienced superior gains on several fronts, including:
- a lower risk of produced wastewater spills and improved road safety
- no need for heavy-haul trucks to transfer produced wastewater in the region, something that has reduced traffic on public roads by an estimated 250,000 truck trips annually
- higher reliability and production output yielding predictable expenses for water gathering and disposal versus fluctuating costs associated with fuel prices from truck transportation
- reduced installation and operating expenses as well as carbon emissions associated with chillers installed to cool standard steel pipes otherwise used to transport high-temperature liquids
- less disruption for landowners and neighboring communities
“This project is a great example of how Performance Pipe products carry significant advantages on multiple fronts, including in this case for shale production, the environment, public safety and our highway infrastructure,” says Herb Chambers IV, CEO of EVX Midstream Partners. “That is why we believe our SWD pipeline network represents a true win-win for shale producers, our company, local landowners and the Eagle Ford’s economic growth.”
The PlatinumStripe® 1800 Series PE-RT pipe is the only solid wall HDPE pipe made specifically for high-temperature industrial, mining and oil and gas gathering applications. The product has a Plastics Pipe Institute TR-4 listing with a Hydrostatic Design Basis of 800 psi (5.52MPa) at 180 F, allowing continuous operation at temperatures up to 180 F. This characteristic offers an expanded operating window over traditional PE4710 HDPE pipes, which are typically limited to a maximum of 140 F for pressure service.
The product also comes with a patented stabilizer system for high-temperature oxidative environments with an ASTM D3350 CC3 rating and extremely high resistance to stress cracking. These factors make it particularly useful for applications flowing aggressive chemicals that require excellent oxidative resistance.
“The introduction of our PlatinumStripe® 1800 Series PE-RT Piping has helped North American shale producers resolve many of the issues tied to some of their most demanding pipeline operations,” adds Compton. “We are proud to have developed a piping solution that addresses so many applications and helps make our customers’ projects more efficient and sustainable.”
Learn more about Performance Pipe and its PlatinumStripe® 1800 Series PE-RT Piping at www.performancepipe.com/PE-RT. Email PerfPipeContactUs@cpchem.com for product inquiries.