Foundation, Concrete and Earthquake Engineering

Fiberglass Tubing Applications in Oil Industry

Fiberglass may be synonymous to home insulation. The glass substance that can be found in fiberglass is the same as the glass substance applied in windows and other glassware applications in houses and buildings alike. However, few may be aware that fiberglass is also used by many other industries like engineering. Primary use of fiberglass tubing can often be seen on injection wells used as reservoir pressure in oil companies across the world. Different uses of this composite in the industry vary from several applications in injection wells such as recycling wells and gas lift wells to producing wells.

Fiberglass is made up of very thin fibers of glass woven together to have its own form. It may be used mainly as reinforcement. The material, when woven across its axis is stiff and has an unbelievable strength in terms of compression and tension. It is also very flexible such that when several layers of fibers are placed on top of each other, no matter what direction they are woven, the stiffness and strength properties are basically controlled efficiently.

There are several reasons for using fiberglass tubing in the oil industry. First and foremost, the industry is looking for ways to be more cost-efficient in many aspects. One advantage of using the material is that the period of operation for the transportation of corrosive liquids like oil and/or water is prolonged up to 25 years. Another advantage is that the material is corrosion-resistant. The piping material required should be inert to different compounds like hydrogen sulfide, oxygen-containing compound, alkalis and acids. Thus, the pipes with fiberglass tubing are not subject to any deposits of paraffin or any solid precipitations. It is also proven that fiberglass weighs 5 times less than other metals but the strength displayed is practically the same, if not stronger. Amazingly, the material has a smooth inner surface, providing the entire pipe with minimum hydraulic resistance.

Applications of fiberglass tubing in pipes used for oil industry will definitely increase the possibility of having accident-free operations of oil and gas pipelines, thus reducing accident risk as well. It also helps in elimination of the depositions of salt, paraffin and other acids. As mentioned earlier, the material is corrosion-resistant, so there is no need to purchase exuberant corrosion inhibitors. Lastly, since the strength is already trusted and tried, the cost of maintenance will be significantly reduced as well.

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