Corrosion in oil and gas operations is generally caused by water, carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and can be aggravated in downhole applications where high temperatures combination with H2S introduce other challenges related to corrosion and iron sulfide (FeS) scale formation. The repair costs from corrosion attacks are very high and associated failures have effects on plant production rates and process integrity. To overcome this existing problem in upstream, nonmetallic composite materials were introduced for drilling, tubular and completions in high risk, corrosive environments. The goal being to increase the well life cycle and minimize the effect of corrosion, scale and friction in carbon steel tubulars. The new proposed materials have light weight, high strength, and superior fatigue resistance in addition to an outstanding corrosion resistance that is able to surpass many metallic materials.

The economic analysis shows that utilization of nonmetallic tubulars and internal linings will yield substantial life cycle cost saving per well mainly due to the elimination of workover operations. However, with these advantages, composite materials pose several challenges such as single source provision, high initial cost of raw materials, the manufacturing process and the limitation of standards. As results, the polymer and composite solutions for upstream oil and gas are still very limited even in targeting low risk applications such as low temperature and pressure scenarios. Therefore, research & development (R&D) efforts are ongoing to increase the operation envelope and introduce cost effective raw materials for high-pressure, high temperature (HPHT) subsurface applications.

The present paper highlights practical examples of nonmetallic materials selection and qualification for upstream water injection/producer and hydrocarbon wells. Several future NM applications in upstream will be summarized. Challenges and R&D forward strategies are presented in order to expand the operation envelope of current materials and increase NM deployment to more complex wells, i.e., extended reach drilling (ERD).

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