The exploration and production of deeper oilfields over the past six years has demonstrated an increase in temperature of around 40°C, raising the pipelines temperature up to 120°C. It appears that operating temperatures will continue to increase. Steel pipelines for hydrocarbon transportation have always been protected from corrosion through a coating system. Fusion bonded epoxy coatings, in combination with cathodic protection have been established as the best protective option for many years. Nowadays, failure of FBE coating systems is a fact, due to the increase in temperature of oilfields above regular operating temperatures. This work describes the analysis, selection and testing of FBE coatings as a corrosion protective system for operating with temperatures up to 150°C. Current standards do not provide testing practices for temperatures over 90 °C. A tests protocol was developed for applied film, following the guidelines of CSA Standard Z245.20-10 "External Fusion Bond epoxy coating for steel pipe1”, adjusting test temperature to 150°C.


Most of the remaining oil resources worldwide are viscous and heavy hydrocarbons, which are difficult and expensive to produce and refine. High fuel demand, high oil prices and production decrease within most conventional oil fields are leading industry’s attention towards heavy oil exploitation. New Colombian oil supplies are turning into heavy crude oil. For heavy crude oil to flow through the pipe, reservoir fluids are required to have high temperatures exceeding 80 ºC and sometimes over 120 ºC. Most pipelines at production fields are being protected with FBE coatings, showing great performance, which have been proven over many years around the world in highly aggressive conditions. However, taking into account current production conditions of high fluid temperatures, thermal stability of FBE is questionable2. Blistering, discoloration and delamination from the steel substrate result in a reduction of useful life.

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