Flow assurance challenges in pipelines such as corrosion, scaling and hydrate formation can greatly reduce flow efficiency and pose significant risk. The addition of chemical corrosion inhibitors or drag reducers represents a continuous operating expense, while intervention via mechanical cleaning can require extensive downtime. Furthermore, no widely accepted technique exists to evaluate pipeline sections in need of remediation. This work introduces a novel flow assurance strategy which utilizes a multifunctional coating applied via in-situ pigging to provide passive protection to the pipeline interior. The coating consists of a low surface energy material which is impermeable to water and oil and resistant to hydrate and scale deposition. The coating is capable of large scale application to in-place, heavily worn pipelines, demonstrating exceptional adhesion even on imperfectly prepared surfaces. The protective coating is combined with an in-field tool that can assess coating health, determine quality assurance, and the presence of deposition products. Such a combined protection and monitoring system can be seen as a step forward towards realizing the dream of “smart” pipelines in the oil and gas industry.


It has been well understood for decades that the condition of a pipeline interior plays a key role in transport efficiency. Buildup of deposits such as salt, carbonates, paraffin, asphaltene, wax, and sulfides can cause major blockage and reduce the effective diameter of the pipeline over time. Even microscopically small changes in surface roughness stemming from the adhesion of debris and corrosion products on the pipeline interior can have significant effects on pipe efficiency, promoting turbulent flow and frictional pressure losses, as can be seen in the well-known Moody diagram.1 Over time, these frictional losses can result in significant economic losses due to increased fuel consumption during pumping, the cost of adding chemical friction reducers, and overall increased wear and tear on the pipeline itself.

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